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Krzyzewski on brink of historic 903rd career victory

Krzyzewski on brink of historic 903rd career victory

DURHAM, N.C. (AP & Staff) — Duke Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski is looking to shatter more NCAA basketball records this year, starting from surpassing Bob Knight’s record of 902 career wins. The always-busy Mike Krzyzewski has a lot on his plate — even for him. He’s trying to lead a young Duke team to a fourth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title, attempting to lead the U.S. national team to back-to-back Olympic gold medals and is on the verge of becoming the winningest men’s basketball coach in Division I history. And the record is all anyone wants to talk about, except Krzyzewski. The longtime Duke coach is about to pass Bob Knight, but Krzyzewski, a point guard on Knight’s Army teams in the 1960s, downplays the milestone because he said his mentor should have more victories. “I can put the wins record in perspective, because Coach is my coach,” Krzyzewski said in an interview with The Associated Press. “And I know if he had stayed at Indiana, he might still be coaching, and he would have had I don’t know how many wins, and no one would have won as many games as him.” Pretty soon they’ll say the same thing about Krzyzewski, who enters his 37th season as a college coach with a record of 900-284 — two victories shy of Knight. He can tie him Nov. 12 at home against Presbyterian and pass him three nights later against Michigan State at Madison Square Garden. For Krzyzewski, the inevitable march toward history isn’t about a specific number, but the company it puts him in. Virtually every conversation he has about the impending record includes praise for Knight. Knight, now an ESPN analyst who did not respond to interview requests, retired from coaching in 2008 late in his seventh season at Texas Tech. During his coaching career, he led Indiana to three national championships and the last undefeated season in Division I. “I just think it’s cool that my head coach and I were the two first guys to hit 900,” Krzyzewski said. “And I think that’s unbelievable, that a coach and one of his players could do that, which I think says a lot for the guy who’s the coach. It says a lot more for the guy who’s a coach than the guy who’s a player.” Those who have played for Krzyzewski — and coached both with [...]

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New rules would keep UConn out of 2013 tourney

New rules would keep UConn out of 2013 tourney

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP & Staff) — Changes in NCAA rules adopted Thursday would keep defending national champion Connecticut from participating in the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Under the rules adopted by the NCAA’s Division I Board of Directors, a school cannot participate in the 2013 tournament unless it has a two-year average score of 930 or a four-year average of 900 on the NCAA’s annual Academic Progress Rate, which measures the academic performance of student athletes. Connecticut’s men’s basketball scored 826 for the 2009-10 school year. A UConn official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the number isn’t official until next May, said the score for the 2010-11 school year would be approximately 975. That would not be high enough. It would give Connecticut a two-year score of 900.5 and a four-year average of 888.5. Connecticut, which lost two scholarships this season as a result of the latest APR report, sought clarification hoping the NCAA might use numbers from the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years. The 2011-12 numbers are not expected to be released until May 2013, after the tournament is played. But NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson confirmed the governing body’s position. “For access to postseason competition in 2012-13 and 2013-14, teams must achieve a 900 multiyear APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible,” he said in an email to the AP. “For 2012-13, those years would be 2009-10 and 2010-11. For 2013-14, those years would be 2010-11 and 2011-12.” The NCAA also said the current process for collecting and reporting the data, which takes about a year to complete, would continue. But, it said the committee was interested in ways to speed up the process, and that could eventually result in more current data being used to determine eligibility. There also will be an appeals process before a team is banned from the tournament, the NCAA said. University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst said in an email Thursday night that she endorses the NCAA changes, but believes the punishments should be applied “as soon as possible after violations are found, not two years later.” “Students who have enjoyed academic success should not suffer because of the shortcomings of individuals who played in prior seasons,” she said in an email. “It is my understanding that the NCAA has already begun examining the fairest method for implementing the new rules and I encourage [...]

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NCAA claims graduation rate hits all-time high at 82 percent. Maybe not.

NCAA claims graduation rate hits all-time high at 82 percent. Maybe not.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP & Staff) — The NCAA released its annual report on graduation rates Tuesday and proudly declared that college athletes are earning degrees at record rates and outpacing their fellow students by nearly all measures.  As with most things the NCAA claims about “student athletes” the actual facts are more than a bit different. According to the NCAA, for the first time, the graduation rate for both the one-year snapshot of incoming freshman (in 2004-05) and the four-class measure (covering the years 2001-04), hit at least 80 percent. The one-year score was 82 percent, three percentage points higher than the record 79 percent from the previous three reports. The four-year average was 80 percent, breaking the previous all-time high of 79 set in 2009 and matched in 2010. Claiming “These numbers are real, important indicators of the work we’ve done,” Walter Harrison, the University of Hartford president and chair of the NCAA’s committee on academic performance. “I think about these results and I don’t see percentage points as much as I do real students, going off to lead successful lives with better chances than before we began this work.” Critics contend the NCAA’s numbers are skewed both because the athletes are routinely fed into meaningless no-fail courses and majors (think “sports management” and “knitting”) and because the NCAA uses aits own calculation which is very different from that of the federal government. While both measure success over six years, the feds do not count the performance of transfer students regardless of whether they earn a diploma. And the transferees, typically from Junior Colleges, are typically from the very bottom of the student barrel. But even the government numbers show a record 65 percent of all Division I athletes earned a degree, compared to 63 percent of the overall student body. The NCAA does not calculate graduation rates for the overall student population. One explanation for the jump to record numbers is a first-time inclusion of Ivy League schools in the annual report. Those schools had not previously been included because the Ivy League does not award scholarships based on athletic performance. The NCAA contends that while the Ivy League schools did have a significant impact on the Football Championship Subdivision numbers, it had a minimal impact on the across-the-board numbers. For instance, the overall one-year grad rate would have still been a record 81 percent even without the Ivy League schools. NCAA President [...]

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NCAA weighing $2,000 payments to student athletes

NCAA weighing $2,000 payments to student athletes

WASHINGTON (AP & Staff) — NCAA President Mark Emmert says he supports a proposal to allow conferences to increase grants to student athletes by $2,000, “to more closely approach” the full cost of attending college, beyond the athletic scholarships athletes receive for tuition, fees, room, board and books. Emmert told the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics on Monday that the proposal will be finalized this week and he’ll ask the NCAA Division I Board of Directors to support it. He noted that student athletes have limited opportunities to work outside the classroom and playing fields, and that the current model of athletic scholarship hasn’t changed for 40 years. Emmert says he’ll also ask the board to allow colleges and universities to provide multiyear grants, instead of year-to-year scholarships. “This week, I’ll be asking the board to support a proposal to allow conferences — not mandate anyone, but allow conferences, not individual institutions — to increase the value of an athletic grant in aid to more closely approach the full cost of attendance,” Emmert said. “We are going to create a model that would allow — probably … up to $2,000 in addition to” tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies.

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NBA players, owners meeting with mediator

NBA players, owners meeting with mediator

NEW YORK (AP & staff) — NBA players and owners are meeting with a federal mediator, and Commissioner David Stern believes more games could be canceled if there isn’t movement toward a new labor deal. George Cohen tried to resolve the NFL’s labor dispute. Now he’s overseeing basketball’s negotiations for the first time. Stern wants immediate results, saying during interviews last week that proposals could get worse and more games could be lost without a deal Tuesday. “If there’s a breakthrough, it’s going to come on Tuesday,” he told NBA TV. “And if not, I think that the season is really going to potentially escape from us because we aren’t making any progress.” Tuesday was the 110th day of the lockout. In another interview, Stern told WFAN radio in New York that his “gut” was that there wouldn’t be NBA games on Christmas if it ended without a deal. But large gaps remain between the sides, with both seeking 53 percent of basketball revenues and players opposing owners’ attempts to significantly change the salary cap system. Cohen met with the sides individually at their offices Monday before both brought their full bargaining committees to a hotel Tuesday. The union said it wanted to have the whole week set aside for negotiations, but owners have two days of board meetings beginning Wednesday. Stern wants to be able to bring them a deal. If not, they may have to discuss further cancellations after the first two weeks of the season were already wiped out. Cohen was appointed director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service by President Barack Obama in 2009. He was present for talks between NFL owners and players for 16 days in February and March before that mediation broke off. He previously helped broker a deal between Major League Soccer and its players and was lead lawyer for the baseball players’ union when it won an injunction against its owners in 1995, ending the 7½-month strike.

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