Tottenham are an attractive club for all players says Mauricio Pochettino

first_imgMauricio Pochettino insists Tottenham can attract star names in the January transfer window – not just promising youngsters. Pochettino’s revamping of the Spurs squad has been driven by a strong faith in youth, with the likes of Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Dele Alli all thriving under the Argentinian. Alli admitted the opportunities for young players was a key factor in his decision to move to White Hart Lane and the club continued that trend with five players selected in the latest England squad. “We feel very proud but it is not our or my secret,” Pochettino said. “Our philosophy is not about one person, it is about the team and the club. “The player deserve first credit because it is always up to them to take the tools we provide. “We need to congratulate first the player and then all the staff and also the president. “He believes in this project and he turned the club in this way one and a half years ago.” Spurs host West Ham on Sunday, looking to extend an 11-match unbeaten run in the league. The Hammers will be without star playmaker Dimitri Payet, who is set for three months out with an ankle injury, but Pochettino is expecting a difficult test from Slaven Bilic’s side. “West Ham are a very good team,” Pochettino said. “Their results away are fantastic. It is a big derby. I know what it means to play against West Ham. It is another tough derby. “I think that all players are back from international duty in a very good condition. “Today (Friday) the energy and mental state were fantastic. On Sunday we need to win because for us it is three very important points.” Pochettino is proud of Tottenham’s reputation for promoting youth but believes his team’s progress means they can also lure proven quality as well as up and coming talent. “We only have a few places left. It is impossible to bring 20 or 30 players in,” Pochettino said. “But today Tottenham is a very attractive club, not only for youngsters but all players. “The way we respect the players, the way we try to play – for the big players and the young players it is a fantastic club. “Tottenham today is one of the most attractive clubs in the world for all players, not just young players. We are starting to be attractive. “Tottenham are a name at home and in Europe and now we need to be clever to improve.” Dier and Alli started in the centre of England’s midfield against France on Tuesday, with Alli capping a man-of-the-match performance with a superb goal from long range. Pochettino has helped nurture 10 of the last 18 England debutants and as well as the players, he paid tribute to chairman Daniel Levy for the club’s shift in approach. Press Associationlast_img read more

Tennis News ‘Crowd chants Roger, I hear Novak’ – Novak Djokovic after winning Wimbledon title for fifth time

first_imgNovak Djokovic won his 16th Grand Slam title.Djokovic is the first man in 71 years to win the title from match points down.Roger Federer missed a chance to win his ninth Wimbledon title. For all the Latest Sports News News, Tennis News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. London: Novak Djokovic has vowed to convince fans that he is not public enemy number one even if he surpasses people’s champion Roger Federer as the greatest Grand Slam title winner of all time. The world number one saved two match points to clinch a fifth Wimbledon title and 16th major on Sunday, shattering Federer’s bid to become the oldest Grand Slam champion in the longest final ever contested at the tournament.     Despite being outplayed by the 37-year-old Swiss for large parts of the knife-edge encounter, the top seed emerged victorious 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 13-12 (7/3). At four hours and 57 minutes, it was the longest Wimbledon final and the first to be settled by a final set tiebreak.     Djokovic is the first man in 71 years to win the title from match points down, saving two in the 16th game of the deciding set. His major title tally is now just two behind Rafael Nadal and four off the all-time men’s Grand Slam record of 20 held by Federer. He has time on his side, being a year younger than Nadal and more than five years younger than the legendary Swiss.     After Sunday’s epic triumph, Djokovic revealed he was able to turn the overwhelmingly pro-Federer, 14,000-strong Centre Court crowd in his favour by training his mind.    ‘They chant Roger, I hear Novak’     “I like to transmute it in a way: When the crowd is chanting ‘Roger’ I hear ‘Novak’,” said the 32-year-old Djokovic. “It sounds silly, but it is like that.”     Djokovic has spent the best part of his career in pursuit of Nadal and Federer and attempting to seduce fans sceptical of his character. For many, he is viewed as too intense, too insincere, too calculating and prone to fads.  Federer and Nadal, in comparison, are treated almost reverentially.     “It’s hard to not be aware of the crowd. You have that kind of electric atmosphere, that kind of noise,” said Djokovic. “Of course, if you have the majority of the crowd on your side, it helps. When you don’t, then you have to find it within, I guess.”      Djokovic insists he won’t get distracted by the pursuit of Federer’s record haul. “Whether I’m going to be able to do it or not, I don’t know. I’m not really looking at age as a restriction of any kind for me at least. What I said on the court, I really meant it: Roger really inspires me with his effort at his age. It just depends how long I’m going to play, whether I’m going to have a chance to make historic No. 1 or Slams.”     When asked if he sees himself still playing at 37, Djokovic said the motivation to be treated with the same respect is strong. Eventually, hearing screams of “Let’s go, Novak, let’s go” will be more than welcome. “Hopefully in five years’ time, I can be hearing the same chants.”      Most consistent of ‘Big Three’     Djokovic is by far the most consistent of the ‘Big Three’ at the Slams. Since the start of 2015, he has won nine of the 19 majors played with Nadal winning four and Federer three. The other three have been split between Stan Wawrinka (two) and Andy Murray (one).     On Sunday, Djokovic saved match points in the 16th game of the deciding set, which ran for over two hours and was settled by a 12-12 tiebreak for the first time in a singles match at the tournament. It was another display of stunning mental fortitude.     He has been in similar predicaments in the past against Federer — saving two match points in both of his semi-final victories over the Swiss at the 2010 and 2011 US Opens. “I just try to never lose self-belief, just stay calm, just focus on trying to get the ball back, return, which wasn’t serving me very well today. But in the most important moments, all three tiebreaks I guess, I found my best game.”      He was off the pace for large parts of the final, only carving out his first break points in the eighth game of the fourth set. Federer won more points in the match with 218 to 204, broke serve seven times compared to three, hit 25 aces to 10 and 94 winners to Djokovic’s 54. “I thought I could have played better. But the one thing that probably allowed me to come back and save match points and win this match was the mental stability,” admitted the champion.center_img highlightslast_img read more

Windies skipper Holder confident ahead of crucial ODI series at Providence

first_imgA NEW-LOOK West Indies team arrived in Guyana yesterday, ahead of their three-match One Day International (ODI) series against Pakistan at the Guyana National Stadium. The three ODIs are scheduled for April 7, 9, and 11, with matches set to bowl off from 09:30hrs.Given their recent run of form, West Indies are under pressure to bring their ‘A’ game, in order to avoid the indignity of having to qualify for the next World Cup in 2019.The ODIs will be crucial, since the top eight teams in the ICC ODI rankings at the end of September 2017 automatically advance to the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England.Pakistan are currently ranked eighth on the ICC ODI rankings table, the last automatic-qualification spot, with 89 points while West Indies are five points behind them in ninth position with 84 points.If West Indies fail to get into the top eight spots by September, they must participate in the 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifier.That tournament is currently scheduled to be held in Bangladesh, although that may change if Bangladesh – currently ranked seventh with 91 points – gain an automatic qualification.“We look forward for this tour; it’s just a situation where we need to get out and start the series well. It’s a very short series,” said West Indies skipper Jason Holder, while speaking to reporters at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.Holder will be joined by Guyanese Devendra Bishoo, Jonathan Carter, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell and Chadwick Walton in the West Indies 13-man squad.“It’s a good squad,” Holder pointed out, adding that “there are a couple of changes and it will be a good test; we just need to play good cricket.”“The series will be crucial and as I said it’s very important that we play good cricket. The T20 series is behind us; this is a new format and we have some fresh faces coming into the squad,” Holder said.Given the home side’s recent form in international cricket, Pakistan will be seen as favourites to clinch this series, despite West Indies’ record at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, where the Caribbean side won two of the three games against Pakistan.However, last year when the two teams met in an ODI series on West Indies tour of the UAE, Pakistan won the series 3-0.It is the first Pakistan tour of the West Indies since 2013 – when Pakistan won a five-match ODI series 3-1 and swept a pair of T20 Internationals – and their first Test series in the Caribbean since a drawn two-match series in 2011.last_img read more

Senior striker takes strides at UW

first_imgGREGORY DIXON/Herald PhotoPotential is a word used to describe the anticipated success of a small business in the stock market. Meteorologists use it to predict the effect a storm will have on a community. Or, it can illustrate to colleges a student in the classroom who scores well on her placement tests. The point is, potential is a term used to label the abilities of someone who is expected to do impressive things. For three years, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team was said to have potential. And while they showed glimmers of brilliance, the team fell short of expectations for the most part. Now, after three years of empty promises and heartbreak, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team is fulfilling their potential with the leadership of striker Reid Johnson and the rest of its senior class. Wisconsin (7-4-2, 2-1-1 Big Ten) is having its best season since they went 11-5-5 back in 1996. Despite a setback against Ohio State Sunday, Wisconsin appears to be a contender for not only the Big Ten Championships, but also an NCAA berth. Johnson would love for either of them to happen considering the struggles he and the team endured the previous three years. “It would be great. It would basically be three years of struggling to finally get your goal at the end,” Johnson said. “Three, four years of work to no avail [is] frustrating, but having the result at the end of it — even if it’s just once — it’s so rewarding.”In the midst of Wisconsin’s best season of the decade, Johnson has compiled a pleasant track record as of late. The senior striker has recorded four points this year, including two game-winning goals in as many games last week against Northwestern and Western Illinois.”I’m just kind of getting back to 100 percent health-wise and it’s just a matter of pride to play well [in your last season],” Johnson said. “I want to make a statement. [It’s the] end of the line — we just got to get the team geared, and the best way to do that is to have a player step up … That’s what I’m trying to do.””He’s done real well for us,” UW head coach Jeff Rohrman said. “Obviously he can score goals — he has demonstrated that. Reid is not afraid of any situation or circumstance that comes up … He’s very even-keeled. Reid gives us a guy who can score on the ground, [or] in the air.” More important than his stats, Johnson leads by example, and his leadership has launched the Badgers to new levels. “[Winning] is not just for me, it’s for every guy out there and you have to play for your teammates more than anything,” Johnson said. “There are times when a player can get down on the field and I think staying positive, words of encouragement [and] communication really helps. [They all] will get any player back on their feet a lot quicker than just shooting them down or not saying anything.”Johnson admits that he wasn’t always the positive leader that he is today. Throughout his tenure at Wisconsin, Johnson’s desire to win sometimes got the best of him. He would often become upset and get down on himself if he felt that he shared some responsibility for a loss. This season Johnson rebounds quickly from tough performances and helps out his struggling teammates. “Reid has dealt with some of the frustrations and disappointments much better this year,” Rohrman said. “Even in the loss [Sunday] — even though it wasn’t a great performance, he was one of the first guys to be sure we were picking our heads up and not dwelling on it — making sure our focus is now on Wednesday.” “This year more than any of the others Reid has also connected more with the other forwards,” Rohrman added. “I think there was a time in his career where it was a little difficult to play with this guy or that guy. Reid has really opened up to the idea of playing with different people and trying to work through some of the difficulties that come with different partners up front. I think that’s a real credit to Reid in terms of his growth and development.”With just five remaining games before the Big Ten Tournament, Johnson and the rest of Wisconsin’s seniors will be sure to put forth a tenacious effort so that their four years of perseverance and resolve will not go to waste. “It’s a very important part of the season down the stretch here and there’s a lot of teams that have six, seven, eight wins and a lot of things are going to be decided in these next five games. I know that [Reid] is going to put his best effort into these next five games to close out his career in the right way.”last_img read more

Badgers to fight Sioux on ice

first_imgWhile the UW women’s hockey team’s home matchup with North Dakota this weekend won’t have as much national attention or as many postseason implications as last weekend’s with Minnesota, it will be important nonetheless.Wisconsin (7-0-1, 5-0-1 Big Ten) split last weekend with a win and a draw, ending its 19 game win streak, and dropping the team into a tie for the top spot with New Hampshire in the national rankings. The second game of the series, a 3-3 tie, was especially disappointing for the Badgers, as they let a two-goal lead slip through their fingers in the final minute of play and were left with a sour taste in their mouths. This week though, the team has rebounded, working hard to ensure the late-game letdown against Minnesota won’t happen again.”I think we’re responding really positively,” said captain Bobbi-Jo Slusar of the team’s reaction in the aftermath of Sunday’s tie. “I think our practices have been good, we’ve looked like we’ve been up tempo, and we’ll be ready to go this weekend.””We had a very good practice yesterday, and today was pretty good,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “We’re just getting better as a team.”Though there isn’t as much time as usual between games this week — Wisconsin will play Friday afternoon after last playing Sunday — Johnson understands that might not be a bad thing as it gives the Badgers a quick opportunity to get back out on the ice.”It’s nice to have a short turnaround, because you don’t have to think about [the tie] very much,” Johnson said. “We get right back into our next game.”North Dakota (2-4-0, 0-4-0) comes into the series in a bit of a slump as the Fighting Sioux have lost their last four games and have failed to score in any of them, having been outscored by a whopping 19-0. The Sioux are a young team with just two seniors and only one junior, and inexperience has hampered them early on in the season.Yet, the Badgers won’t be taking them lightly.”I get more nervous about these games than I do when we play Minnesota,” Johnson said. “As coaches we have to make sure these kids are prepared and play up to their potential.”Johnson and his coaching staff must have been effective getting that point across as Slusar agrees the team must come out hard against the undermatched Sioux.”You can’t take [North Dakota] lightly, they’re going to come out and be a good team. They’re going to fight the whole way,” Slusar said. “They have nothing to lose, and we have a lot to lose. Games like [this weekend’s] are just as important as last weekend, we have to go out and play 60 minutes.”North Dakota, who is a mere 1-33 on the power play this year and averages just 19.7 shots per game, hasn’t been very successful against Wisconsin historically. Last season, the Sioux lost all six of their games against the Badgers, and the team has never beaten the Badgers, losing all 10 of the teams’ meetings. Despite those numbers, Johnson recognizes that on any given day an upset may occur.”It doesn’t matter who you’re playing or where you’re playing, you just have to come out and compete every night,” Johnson said. “You’ll see upsets because one team took someone lightly, but we don’t take anyone lightly.”Wisconsin opened the season against a lightly regarded Quinnipiac team and had little difficulty dismantling them. Over the course of the season, the Badgers have faced teams of different levels of play, and, with the exception of Sunday’s tie against one of their toughest opponents, the Badgers have emerged victorious every time.”We’ve been able to establish consistency over the season,” Johnson. “I anticipate us coming and playing quite well Friday afternoon.”last_img read more

Frustrated by Syracuse’s zone defense, Cal guard Crabbe struggles to score in uncharacteristic performance

first_imgSAN JOSE, Calif. — When Allen Crabbe stepped into the shot, rising to fire from five feet beyond the 3-point line, the voice of a young boy rang out from behind press row.“That’s way too deep!” the boy yelled to his friend.But an instant later the ball splashed through, touching no part of the rim and dropping to the floor along with the mouths of the two children.This was Allen Crabbe, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, the shooting guard capable of lighting up an arena from well beyond the arc with a stroke so smooth his teammates call it effortless.This was Allen Crabbe, swishing home his last meaningful basket in a game of frustration that ended his junior season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCrabbe was a nonfactor in Saturday’s 66-60 loss to Syracuse, stifled by the zone defense that never allowed him to get comfortable and gave him only one clean look at the basket. He finished with eight total points, 10 below his season average, and attempted only nine total shots. Wherever he went, a defender was there. And Crabbe could do nothing about it.“I think he was getting a little frustrated,” Syracuse guard Brandon Triche said. “We were pushing him out three and four feet behind the 3-point line. He did a good job trying to penetrate and find guys. But we made sure he didn’t get in a good shooting rhythm.”That one spectacular 3-pointer, which came midway through the first half and cut the Syracuse lead to 11-7, was Crabbe’s only made basket until mop-up time in the closing minutes. For the 29 minutes between field goals, he was ineffective, passive and off his game that made him one of the best guards in the country.Time and again he passed on open and semi-open looks on Saturday, opting to pass to teammates when he should have been taking shots. The Golden Bears offense predicated on his scoring, and without it his teammates seemed unsure who should be taking the shots.Crabbe was already cursing by his team’s second possession of the game, baffled by the Syracuse 2-3 zone that is menacing on tape and mind-blowing in person. A few possessions later he turned the ball over by stepping out of bounds, pushed to the sideline by the width of the defense.“They keyed in on me,” Crabbe said. “The shots that I thought I would probably get weren’t there. And they took things away from me.”Instead, California turned inside for scoring. Forwards Richard Solomon and Robert Thurman, the latter long and athletic while the former is stocky and strong, combined for 31 points on the interior but could not make up the early deficit.The Golden Bears turned the ball over on seven straight possessions in the early portion of the game, and they played from behind the rest of the way.It created a scenario in which Crabbe’s shooting — he had 10 games with three or more 3-pointers this season — could have brought them back. He even said on Friday that his eyes lit up a bit at the prospect of playing a team that relies exclusively on zone defense.When he took the court Saturday, though, everything was different. Crabbe said California had seen zone throughout the year from a handful of teams in the Pac-12, but that was never for more than few minutes. Against Syracuse he was bumped, pushed and shadowed until he had backed so far behind the 3-point line that his shooting became, essentially, irrelevant.“They weren’t leaving Allen,” California head coach Mike Montgomery said. “Whatever zone it was, they knew where Crabbe was at all times. And he’s the one guy that, percentage-wise, can shoot the ball.”With 2:15 remaining, and the game out of hand, Crabbe connected on his second and final 3-point shot. He added a jumper shortly thereafter, finishing his night with three points that mattered and five that did not.On Friday he exuded confidence, and his teammate Justin Cobbs said he scores with ease.On Saturday he was frustrated, because he realized scoring is not that easy.Said Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams: “We knew that if we were going to win we had to shut him down.” Comments Related Stories IN A ZONE: Syracuse’s vaunted 2-3 lifts Orange past California, into Sweet 16Gallery: Syracuse defeats California to advance to Sweet 16 Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on March 24, 2013 at 3:42 am Contact Michael: mjcohe02@syr.edu | @Michael_Cohen13last_img read more

Football: Four-Star recruit Stevenson denied admission to UW, granted release

first_imgWisconsin football recruit Jordan Stevenson was denied admission to the university Thursday and will be granted his release Friday morning, according to a report from 247sports.com.Head coach Paul Chryst and running backs coach John Settle informed the four-star running back earlier Thursday he didn’t get into the school, the report said.Stevenson’s release will become official Friday morning, and he can sign with any school he desires.https://twitter.com/Jordanstevie2/status/624393707198877696?lang=enStevenson, a Dallas, Texas native and South Oak Cliff product, received Scout.com’s No. 84 overall ranking in the country in the 2015 class, and would have been Wisconsin’s highest-rated recruit this season.The Badgers still have Bradrick Shaw, a three-star running back out of Hoover, Alabama, and he will now be the lone incoming running back in this class.Get to know the Wisconsin football recruiting class of 2015QUARTERBACKS (2) Austin Kafentzis ★ ★ ★ City: Sandy, UT H.S.: Jordan Ranked as the No. 1 quarterback in Utah Read…The Badgers still have depth at running back, with Corey Clement taking over the starting role and Dare Ogunbowale, Taiwan Deal and Serge Trezy also listed on the depth chart.Stevenson won’t be the only original Class of 2015 member missing at Wisconsin. The Badgers also lost three-star quarterback recruit Austin Kaftenzis, who transferred to Nevada, after it became clear during spring practices that fellow incoming freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook would outrank him on the depth chart.Admissions standards at Wisconsin are among the toughest in the nation for incoming student-athletes, and the requirements have received a lot of attention over the last few months.The standards are  the main reason why former football head coach Gary Andersen bolted Madison for Oregon State this past December.The UW football program places emphasis on academics. Two months ago, the team received the highest Academic Progress Rate in the country, beating schools like Stanford, Duke and Michigan.Final Grades: Might not be best on field, but Wisconsin football No. 1 in classroomThe University of Wisconsin football team may not be No. 1 in the rankings, but it is in the classroom. Read…Wisconsin opens up its season against SEC powerhouse Alabama Sept. 5.last_img read more

African Senior Athletics Championships Set for Record Attendance in Asaba

first_imgFifteen countries have already sent in their provisional list of athletes and officials ahead of the 2018 Africa Senior Athletics Championships to be hosted in Asaba, Delta State.After scoring a big point with the hosting of the inaugural edition of the Africa Junior Athletics Championship in Warri, which is the best in the series till date, Delta State is set for another big mark this time with the flagship Africa Senior Athletics Championships.According to the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships, Solomon Ogba, a record attendance is expected at the event. Ogba said that for the first time in the history of the biennial athletics championship, all the countries in Africa would be represented in Asaba.“I can guarantee you that we will be having a historic championship in Asaba as every country will be represented. The LOC will be sponsoring two athletes from all the countries so you can be sure that everybody will be present,” the former president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria assured track and field aficionados.Ogba who played a key role in the successful hosting of first Africa Youth Championships which has served as a template in subsequent editions disclosed that the aim is to also make Asaba 2018 the best ever in the history of the Africa Senior Athletics Championships.“We want to set a new standard as far as the Africa Senior Athletics Championships is concerned, the goal is to make this edition as glamorous as the World Championships itself,” Ogba stressed.Aside from Nigeria that has entered 72 male, 69 female and 29 officials, the likes of Kenya, Algeria and Senegal are also planning a large contingent for the Athletics Championships in Asaba.Kenya has provisionally entered 34 male and 27 female athletes as well as 11 officials.Algeria has equally sent in entry for 31male and 29 female athletes on their roster with 17 officials,Senegal is coming with 30 male and 30 female athletes as well as nine officials.The Asaba 2018 Africa Senior Athletics Championship is to take place at the Asaba Township Stadium between August 1 and 5.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Parimatch hails top talent of inaugural ‘Universal Sports & Games Hackathon’

first_img Parimatch has hailed its first ‘universal Sports & Games Hackathon’ as an unbridled success, as participants generated over 100 ideas in 48-hours of programming.Hosted from between 7-9 August, the hackathon organised by the betting group’s ‘Parimatch Tech’ unit and esports venture capital fund JKR saw over 400 developers, project managers, marketers and designers collaborate in innovating all components related to core igaming and esports wagering disciplines.The two-day event drew developers from nine countries including Ukraine, Germany, Spain, Belarus and Poland, in which a total of 37 teams submitted projects for Parimatch Tech and JKR to review.The hackathon forms part of Parimatch group’s ongoing corporate development programme, nurturing and developing tope engineering talent.Stepan Shulga, head of Esports at Parimatch commented: “It is great to see people keep generating ideas, even though they can’t get together in the same room as normal. An online hackathon is a new format for us and we are pleased with the result: organizers, judges, and mentors saw many different high concept ideas being generated.”The engineering duo of Nikolay Ursatiy and Sergey Poverennov (Team Dragon) won the Parimatch Tech hackathon, developing a platform game titled ‘Run Out’, taking home a prize of $1,500.In addition to prize money, Ursatiy and Poverennov will be provided access to Parimatch facilities and resources to progress their ideas and test future developments with live audiences.“We are delighted with our victory. The hackathon was a great experience for us. Many teams came up with some really interesting and exciting ideas. This event gave us a chance to test our capabilities and get feedback from mentors and judges. We’re going to continue working on the game, and shortly, we will move on to negotiations with publishers,” added Nikolay Ursatiy, team leader of Team Dragon. StumbleUpon Submit Share Related Articles Share Parimatch named official betting partner of OMEGA league August 3, 2020 Parimatch secures ‘premium VS’ content with Global Bet July 24, 2020 Ukraine gambling bill enacted by President Zelensky August 11, 2020last_img read more

Memphis discovers the cost for fighting NCAA over James Wiseman’s eligibility may be exorbitant

first_imgHe will not be permitted to play, absent a successful appeal, until Jan. 12 against South Florida. He will miss games against Ole Miss, NC State, Tennessee Georgia and Wichita State. Had there been no suit and no injunction and no cheerleading from the Memphis suits, he at least would have been in a Tigers uniform before Christmas and would have missed no American Athletic Conference games.And there might not have been any NCAA enforcement action threatened as a result of the circumstances that put Wiseman’s eligibility in jeopardy.You want to pick a fight with the NCAA? OK. That sounds cool. You better come armed with a case that can stick. North Carolina fought the NCAA to establish that its bylaws did not cover the academic impropriety that existed for years in the university’s African and African-American Studies department. When that case was over the Tar Heels faced not a single sanction, not even loss of their LA privileges.Missouri cooperated with an NCAA investigation into whether one of its academic tutors who worked with football players had provided improper assistance to a dozen student-athletes and wound up banned from participating in a bowl. The message many who follow college sports received by juxtaposing these two cases was simple: If you’re facing an issue with the NCAA, it’s better to battle. That perception was, in fact, overly simplistic, a lesson the Memphis Tigers learned in most painful fashion Wednesday afternoon.They were informed their audacity in playing freshman star James Wiseman in multiple games after the NCAA had warned he “likely” was ineligible for competition had a severe immediate price, and possibly a more damaging cost going forward.He will serve a suspension of a dozen games – nine games as prescribed by the dollar amount of the extra benefit he was deemed by the NCAA to have received from current Tigers head coach Penny Hardaway, plus three extra games as punishment for his appearance in the first three games of the season. Wiseman also will have to make an $11,500 payment to charity to regain his eligibility, a requirement he can fulfill on an installment plan.MORE: Donation cost could be tough on WisemanIt was a stunning result, one Memphis immediately pledged to appeal. “Based on case precedent, the circumstances of this case and other mitigating factors, the University will immediately appeal this decision,” read a statement issued by the Memphis athletic department. “We expect a more fair and equitable resolution, and we will exhaust all avenues on James’ behalf.”It also may not be the end of this matter. According to Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde, the NCAA apparently is threatening a major infractions case against Memphis athletics – based largely on the facts that clearly have been established: that Hardaway paid $11,500 to Wiseman’s family for moving expenses when he still was coaching East High but also was considered a Tigers booster because of a $1 million donation he had made to the athletic department nearly a decade earlier.One might think that alleged offense is being purged by the “repayment” assigned to Wiseman and the 12-game suspension, but that would be incorrect.It’s something that happens a lot when attempting to follow the logic of NCAA jurisprudence, and that may have been what led to the arrogance apparent in Memphis’ initial declarations of support for the suit Wiseman brought against the NCAA to gain an injunction and its decision to play him in games against Illinois-Chicago and Oregon.On the day of the UIC game, the university president, David Rudd, and its athletic director, Laird Veatch, expressed support for Wiseman. Veatch, who started his job in October, even said in his statement, “It is clear to me in my short time here that Memphians will stand up and fight, both for each other and for what is right, and I am proud to stand with them.”That probably sounded better to the fans at FedEx forum than in the offices of NCAA headquarters.When Wiseman chose to drop his case against the NCAA a week ago, it seemed some sort of rapprochement had been realized between the two sides. He had hired an esteemed legal team with a track record of improbable victories, so the abandonment of the suit appeared to indicate the NCAA was willing to make some sort of deal regarding the establishment of Wiseman’s eligibility.This is no deal. This is like a player having a shot slapped back into his face.last_img read more