Irish eye 4 football players in academic probe

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Irish eye 4 football players in academic probe

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame football players KeiVarae Russell, DaVaris Daniels, Ishaq Williams and Kendall Moore are being held out of practice while the school investigates what it is calling "suspected academic dishonesty."

The school announced Friday it has notified the NCAA about the inquiry. Because of potential violations, the four players can't compete until the conclusion of the investigation and the university honor code process.

The Fighting Irish open the season against Rice on Aug. 30.

The Rev. John Jenkins, the university president, said during a news conference that no student has been judged responsible for "academic dishonesty."

"Nobody has been dismissed," Jenkins said.

All were expected to be key contributors this season, coach Brian Kelly's fifth at Notre Dame.

"We have great confidence in Brian and his staff," Jenkins said. "They have been nothing but supportive."

Russell, a junior, starts at cornerback. Daniels, a junior, is the team leading returning receiver. Williams, a senior, was expected to be a big part of the defensive line. Moore, a senior, is backup at linebacker.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said the players have not been suspended. He said they remain grant-in-aid students and have access to athletic facilities and resources.

Jenkins said evidence students had submitted papers and homework that had been written for them by others was initially detected at the end of the summer session. The case was then referred to the compliance office on July 29.

"If the suspected improprieties are proven, we will use the experience to reinforce among our students the importance of honesty in all that they do. We are also examining ways of better conveying to students that they can avail themselves of legitimate academic assistance without resorting to cheating," Jenkins said.

Jenkins said the school would vacate victories if it is determined players have been ineligible during past competition. All four were members of the 2012 team that played for the BCS national championship.

The investigation is the latest in a series for the Irish in the past 15 months involving academics, starting with starting quarterback Everett Golson in May 2013. He was suspended for the fall 2013 semester what he called poor academic judgment.

Jerian Grant, the leading scorer on the basketball team at the time, was suspended in December for the spring semester for an academic violation. Daniels was suspended two weeks later for the spring semester and was recently reinstated.

Penn State loses thriller to Ohio State on layup in final seconds

Penn State loses thriller to Ohio State on layup in final seconds

BOX SCORE

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Ohio State players swarmed one of their own, offering hugs and handshakes before assembling the traditional postgame line to offer the same to their opponents on Tuesday.

Jae'Sean Tate saved Ohio State with a late layup that lifted the Buckeyes to a 71-70 win over Penn State.

Tate took a pass at mid court, spun by two Penn State defenders in the lane and kissed the ball off the glass for the game-winner. It countered a deep 3-pointer from Penn State's Tony Carr that gave the Nittany Lions a 70-69 lead with nine seconds to play.

"Tremendous finish by J.T. there," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said.

Marc Loving added 14 points and Trevor Thompson chipped in 11 for the Buckeyes (17-13, 7-10 Big Ten) who won on the road for just the fourth time this season. Tate finished with 12 points and nine rebounds and also committed six turnovers, the most by any player.

That fact elicited a long pause from Matta who's watched his team stumble to a 4-7 road record in what's been a disappointing season.

"Obviously we felt comfortable with it and he had his reads," Matta said. "He made the right read and we had plenty of time there to pass if he needed to."

Penn State was out of time and a desperation heave fell short. The Nittany Lions lost their fourth straight.

Carr finished with 21, Shep Garner notched 20 points and Lamar Stevens added 16 for Penn State (14-16, 6-11).

Penn State coach Patrick Chambers fought off emotions after the game.

"The guys that competed really competed hard and they gave us a chance to win," Chambers said. "This is our process. This is our journey. Can't put my finger on why the ball is not bouncing our way. But this is our process and we're going to learn from these and hopefully we'll learn quick."

It appeared they did just that in-game. After the Buckeyes took a 40-36 lead into halftime, the Nittany Lions came out in the second half and took advantage of room on the outside.

Garner, who hit three of his five 3-pointers in the first half, made two in the first two minutes of the second. Penn State took its first lead on a pair of Stevens free throws with 18:22 to play before the Buckeyes used a 22-14 run to regain control with an Andre Wesson 3-pointer with 6:39 to play.

Meanwhile, Penn State's offense went cold. The Nittany Lions went without a field goal for 4:29 of the final 5:11 before Carr cut Ohio State's lead to 69-67 with a layup with 42 seconds left.

Big hurt
Watkins hobbled to the locker room with cramps midway through the second half. He emerged minutes later and was able to return to the game.

But Penn State's big man wasn't feeling well and kept stretching his legs as play went on. Watkins, who entered the game second in the Big Ten with 75 blocks, finished the game on the bench, not under the hoop when Tate scored the winning shot.

Chambers said Watkins was cramping for much of the game.

Watkins' loss wasn't the only one for Penn State.

Guard Josh Reaves left the game in the second half and did not return. Forward Payton Banks didn't play due to an illness and forward Julian Moore, nursing an injury sustained Saturday, played just 14 minutes.

"These are facts, not excuses. No Payton Banks. We lost Josh Reaves with six minutes to go. We didn't have Mike Watkins for long stretches. Julian Moore played on one leg."

Buckeyes good in close
Ohio State took advantage of Penn State's banged up forward corps. The Buckeyes finished with 37 rebounds to Penn State's 28 and outscored the Nittany Lions 34-16 in the paint.

Tate, Loving and center Trevor Thompson combined for 22 rebounds.

Another close loss
The Nittany Lions have lost six conference games by a possession or in overtime.

"You know what they're not doing?" Chambers said. "They're not planning a spring break. We've got winners in that locker room who are invested, who want to get better, who want to see this team turn."

The big picture
Ohio State: The Buckeyes sometimes hopeful, often frustrating season can be summed up by looking at their last two games -- a complete effort in a win over No. 22 Wisconsin and this back-and-forth tilt with middle-of-the-pack Penn State.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions have often looked like a completely different -- and much more competitive -- team at home. With youth on their side, the Nittany Lions just need more consistency to take the next step.

Up next
Ohio State hosts Indiana on Saturday.

Penn State is at Iowa on Sunday.

Speedy Morris to receive Basketball Hall of Fame high school lifetime acheivement award

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St. Joe's Prep

Speedy Morris to receive Basketball Hall of Fame high school lifetime acheivement award

Speedy Morris can add another accolade to his already vast résumé.

Morris on Tuesday was announced as the 2017 recipient of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame's Morgan Wootten Award, a lifetime achievement honor for coaching high school basketball.

Currently the head coach at St. Joe's Prep, Morris began his coaching career at Roman Catholic in 1968. In 14 seasons at Roman, Morris compiled a 347-82 record and captured six Philadelphia Catholic League titles. Morris then moved to Penn Charter, where he had a 41-14 record in two seasons.

After stints at La Salle as both women's and men's head coach from 1984-2001, Morris returned to the high school ranks in 2002 to coach at the Prep. In his 16 seasons at the Prep, Morris has racked up a 321-109 record. He is the only high school coach in Pennsylvania history to win 300 games at two different schools.

Morris' total high school coaching record is 709-205. If you count his years at La Salle, Morris has a career 990-422 mark in his 49 years as a coach.

The Wootten Award is named in honor of DeMatha High School (Maryland) head coach Morgan Wootten, who was head coach at DeMatha for 46 years and is one of two high school coaches enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The winner of the award for girls' basketball is Marcia Pinder from Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Pinder has won more than 900 games and nine state championships in 40 years. She was named WBCA High School Coach of the Year in 2012 and was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014.

"When it comes to winning, these coaches certainly know how to get the job done," Wootten said in a statement. "The Philadelphia and Fort Lauderdale communities are fortunate to have such dedicated leaders and mentors available to their student-athletes."

Morris, who is a member of 11 halls of fame, including the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and the Big 5 Hall of Fame, will receive the Wootten Award at a ceremony on March 29 in Chicago.

"The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame applauds these tremendous coaches for their efforts and dedication to the game and the lives of young athletes," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. "Speedy Morris and Marcia Pinder have undoubtedly had a positive impact on those they have coached, all while collecting wins and hardware along the way."