Georgetown Basketball: April 2010 News Archive
It's been part of the Dikembe Mutombo legend that the 7-2 All-American came to Georgetown University for pre-medical studies, although he enrolled in the School of Languages and Linguistics instead. On May 22, you can call him "Dr." Mutombo.
Georgetown has announced that Mutombo (SLL'91) will be the featured speaker at the commencement ceremonies for the College on Saturday, May 22, and will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Mutombo is one of nine different speakers across the undergraduate and professional schools; owing to space restrictions, the University has been unable to host a unified undergraduate commencement for 23 years.
"Our commencement speakers are exceptional individuals who represent a wide spectrum of backgrounds and perspectives," said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia in this link to GUHoyas.com. "They've devoted themselves to addressing critical issues around the world, and they represent the many opportunities that await our graduates."
Mutombo becomes the sixth Georgetown basketball alumnus to receive an honorary degree from the University:
Mutombo, 43, is among the younger honorary degree recipients to date. The youngest is believed to be Bill Clinton (F'68, H'80), who received an honorary degree at the age of 33 when he was a first term governor of Arkansas.
It's hard to believe that next year will mark 30 years since the last season of on-campus basketball at Georgetown, an experience lost for two generations of students and alumni. And with a recent planning decision, the reliance on off-campus rents will continue indefinitely.
The Georgetown Voice reported late last week that Georgetown will remove a "convocation center" as part of its efforts to win community support for its 2010-20 campus planning. Proposed in 2000 under the tenure of former athletic director Joe Lang, the convocation center would have served as a 6,000-7,000 seat facility for 7-10 on-campus games a season and for University-wide events such as guest lecturers, entertainers, and commencement.
In 2000, The HOYA wrote that "Plans include renovating within the [McDonough Gymnasium] walls, rather than creating a whole new structure, significantly cutting costs...After turning the court 180 degrees, the plan is to dig down and build a bowl that will contain the court...adding up to somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 seats. Investigations have deemed the plan feasible because there are no pipes resting under the area of the building that would interfere with digging. In addition, a practice facility would be added between the existing building and the observatory to avoid conflicts between the teams using McDonough."
The proposal was not considered a priority under Lang's successor (Bernard Muir), and given the backlog of unfunded athletic proposals from the 2000 plan (Multi-Sport Facility, an athletic training facility, a softball field aside the Southwest Quadrangle, etc.), this may have been one of those good ideas who died of institutional apathy rather than concerted opposition.
The full presentation on the 2010 campus plan can be found here.
Sunday's Washington Post notes the passing last month of Dr. Carl MacCartee (M'67), an orthopedic surgeon who served as team physician for the Georgetown men's basketball program from 1974 through 1994, and as a sports medicine consultant to the program through 2007. Dr. MacCartee was the among first of his kind in providing a sports medicine focus for area teams and he set a high standard for those which have followed.
With widespread opposition to expanding the NCAA tournament to 96 schools, an NCAA committee has recommended a more modest increase from 65 to 68 schools in a release posted by the Associated Press.
The change adds three additional play-in games on the Tuesday before the start of the tournament.
"With the addition of three more teams to the field, the basic structure of the tournament will not be impacted significantly in the foreseeable future,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. “As a coach, I am very pleased with this result.” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who favored the 96 team plan, said that "This is the easiest way and hopefully down the road there will be a bigger expansion."
The NCAA also announced a 14 year, $10.8 billion agreement with CBS and Turner Sports to cover the NCAA tournament through the 2023-24 season. As part of the deal, every NCAA game will be seen nationally on a variety of CBS and Turner-affiliated networks.
The decision comes as a bitter setback to ESPN, which had hoped to lock up a near-monopoly on NCAA championship events. A brief statement from the network noted that "We made an aggressive bid and believe our combination of TV distribution, digital capabilities, season-long coverage and year-round marketing would have served the interests of the NCAA and college fans very well."
Georgetown volunteer leader and Big East consultant Paul Tagliabue (C'62) wasted no time in his approach to answering the challenge of Big Ten expansion, telling the New York Times that the Big Ten's actions are "disruptive" to college sports and invites political intervention.
"The Big Ten looks at a bunch of choices and everyone else has to deal with the depreciating value and a ton of negativity. I hope there’s a better way," Tagliabue told the Times. "Otherwise it’s going to have a terrible negative effect on everyone other than the schools in the Big Ten At some point they’re going to overreach and get a big negative reaction out of Congress or someone else.”
"One of the real challenges for the networks is to provide value, but you only provide value in markets where you provide traction,” Tagliabue said. “Is Minnesota and Rutgers going to get a big rating on Long Island? Give me a break. Every game isn’t Michigan and Michigan State.”
An emotional Greg Monroe bid farewell to his teammates and fans at Tuesday's Hoya Hoop Club awards banquet, as noted in this link to the Washington Post.
"The discussion this summer is going to be: How are we going to replace Monroe?" said coach John Thompson III. "We aren't. We don't want to. It's going to be a different group."
In contrast to past years, only one award was announced, with juniors Ryan Dougherty and Julian Vaughn receiving the Coach's Award for outstanding effort for the team. In addition, the Hoya Hoop Club honored Dr. William Licamele (C’68, M’72, R’74, W’76) with its Anthony Fernicola. Award for outstanding dedication and service to the men's basketball program. (Dr. Fernicola was among the founders of the Hoop Club following the work of the Committee on Basketball in 1976.
Amidst the storm clouds on conference realignment, some good news Wednesday, on two fronts: the Big Ten is not pursuing imminent expansion plans, and the Big East has added Paul Tagliabue (C'62) as a consultant on what the conference needs to do in the short term regarding these matters.
Tagliabue, currently the chairman of the Georgetown University Board of Directors, brings a lifetime of real-world experience as the former NFL commissioner to an issue that, at its heart, is driven around television contracts. The Big East is two years away from renegotiating its television rights fees, but it's more than that. The Big Ten expansion is not about football traditions but TV markets and carriage fees. Here's a link to an Illinois blog with a interesting review of what this all means, and well worth the read.
So what does this mean for Georgetown? Well, not just keeping the Big East together (and the ability to recruit and compete on the national stage), but to leverage television in ways unthinkable when the conference was founded 30 years ago. If the Big East could build a revenue stream through TV and other media (including mobile) with the markets already at its disposal, its impact would be far more than the Big Ten Network...which is exactly why the Big Ten would even consider a school like Rutgers to join its ranks.
I posted this scenario over at the HoyaTalk board and, while simplistic, is an example of some of the options the Big East still has its disposal while it is still together. You can't pick up the pieces if the players have scattered, but with what it has now the Big East ought to be thinking, well, big:
"Consider this scenario: what if the Big East and Tagliabue engineer a deal with ESPN/Disney and the Big 12 (another conference that can't afford B10 expansion) to create a basic cable network akin to the Big Ten Network, owned 35% by the BE, 35% by the B12, and 30% by ESPN, with 24 hour coverage across 28 schools? In addition, the conferences could arrange for cross-league challenge series in the major sports (Georgetown-Kansas, Syracuse-Texas, UConn-Oklahoma, etc.).
I'll leave it to more experienced folks than myself to figure it all out, but the Big East has media leverage no other conference has. With Tagliabue in its corner, it has a fighting chance to to figure out how to use it while it still can.
From the Boston Globe, this idea on Big East expansion:
"Who is to say the Big East does not react aggressively by expanding and going after other teams such as Maryland, and there has even been speculation that the Big East could send out an olive branch to see if Boston College would come back into the fold. Throw in Central Florida as partner in Florida with South Florida. Add that to a core group in the Northeast centered around Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, UConn, West Virginia and you might have a football conference that might not only survive, but thrive."
"Who is to say we couldn't go to 20 teams in basketball, but not have one 20 team league, but a league with four or pods of four or five teams?" conference commissioner John Marinatto told the paper. "Why couldn't we do something with Notre Dame in football, where they aren't a member, but they schedule groups of teams (which is already being done) in our conference. Why couldn't we do more with television and a Big East television network (similar to the Big Ten's highly successful)?"
"We need a new way of thinking," Marinatto said. "We need to be proactive rather than reactive and develop our assets. We are representative in 25 percent of the nation's households. Paul [Tagliabue]'s theory is think long term, think over the horizon. Out of the box thinking Jim [Delany] is always saying to me, you have to think differently. So hopefully Paul is going to help us think differently."
Congratulations and a hearty "Hoya Saxa!" to the Georgetown men's golf team, with a historic win Tuesday in the 2010 Big East championships in Palm Harbor, FL.
To say that the Hoyas arrived at the tournament as an underdog was an understatement. Ranked 211th in the nation in the GolfWeek college poll, the 11th seeded Hoyas had not finished higher than sixth in any tournament this season, and had not won a Big East title in 12 years. Led by senior Vincenzo Salina, the Hoyas held off Notre Dame on the 18th hole of the final round for a one stroke win and the school's first Big East conference title in any sport in two years.
"When we won it in 1998, the conference was just beginning to get strong," said coach Tom Hunter. "The way it is now, it's so hard to win. For a little program like ours, we were the 11th seed of our tournament, and were knocking off teams that were in the top 50 in the country ... it's just unbelievable."
The women's basketball program at Georgetown has received an invitation to the 2010 Paradise Jam, which will be held Nov. 25-27 in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The three day, three game round-robin features the Hoyas meeting Missouri (12-18 in 2009-10), Georgia Tech (23-10), and an early pre-season pick for the NCAA title in Tennessee (32-3). Both Georgetown and Tennessee were knocked out by Baylor in the NCAA tournament.
Amidst the news of Washington, a local meeting Sunday may prove to be one of the more important events in collegiate sports history.
Presidents and chancellors from the Association of American Universities are in town to hold its biannual meeting in Washington this week. The 62-school AAU consortium comprise nearly all the major research institutions in the U.S. and Canada, including seven Ivy League schools and the entire Big Ten Conference. (Georgetown University is not a member of the AAU.) Of significance is the fact that this is the first meeting of the Big Ten presidents since the announcement that its conference would expand, and the Chicago Tribune reports that an accelerated timetable towards expansion will be considered during this week's meetings. A meeting Tuesday with BCS commissioners may provide a further update, according to Monday's Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Why is the AAU status important? All current Big Ten schools plus the University of Chicago (which still has ties to the league in research) are AAU members, and it is likely that to the extent AAU schools would be sought in expansion, these are the very schools whose presidents will be in town for the meetings.
Why should this concern Georgetown fans? It is likely that the Big Ten will select Big East schools for expansion. But which schools, and how many?
The latter scenarios are not promising for Georgetown. While Georgetown is not an expansion target owing that it plays I-AA football, the impact of a realigned Big East to the Hoyas could range from isolated to severe. (An eight team Big East, sans football, might not command TV contracts with ESPN or CBS as it does now, for example, and could be left with relatively few at-large bids for the NCAA tournament.) While Georgetown is well represented by Jack DeGioia among the conference presidents, the Big East is likely to be reactive as the Big Ten and others make changes.
There are certainly clouds on the horizon, but the severity of the changes are yet to be determined and with it, how this could impact Georgetown's long-term ability to compete at the highest levels of NCAA intercollegiate athletics. To borrow a phrase from an old movie, "watch the skies".
Despite his statement that the first round loss to ohio was not his last college game, sophomore center Greg Monroe will leave school and pursue an agent in expectation of being selected in the 2010 draft, according to a Georgetown press statement released Saturday morning.
"Greg and I, along with his family, have examined the situation and he has made an educated decision," said coach John Thompson III in a brief statement. "We have watched him grow as a player and as a young man while here at Georgetown. We support him and I look forward to watching and cheering him on for many years to come."
Monroe averaged 14.4 points and 8.1 rebounds, earning third team All-America honors this season.
Despite the award, Monroe statistics are not likely to be among the school's all time greats. The first Georgetown All-American to score under 1,000 points since Dan Kraus (1942-43, 1946-48), Monroe ranks 49th on the all-time scoring list, 28th in rebounds, and 24th in scoring average.
Additional links follow below.
Incoming freshman Markel Starks had 18 points as the Capital All-Stars defeated the U.S. All-Stars in the annual Capital Classic all-star game, this year being played at American University's Bender Arena. Fellow recruits Nate Lubick (8 points, 4 rebounds) and Moses Abraham (2 points, 6 rebounds) also saw action in the game.
"Great athletic programs are coach-driven, student-athlete-centered and administration assisted. What that says to me is that every single day at Georgetown University for our 750 student-athletes we will make long-term decisions that are in their best interest — from an academic standpoint, from a social standpoint and certainly from a competitive standpoint."--Lee Reed, Apr. 15, 2010
Former Cleveland State athletic director Lee Reed was named athletic director at Georgetown, effective May 10.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer had reported late Wednesday that Reed, 47, had been selected.
Reed becomes the 11th athletic director at Georgetown since the position transitioned from the Yard President and only the fourth since 1972.
"Lee is committed to educational excellence and competitive success and I am confident that with his leadership we will continue to recruit and support first-rate coaches and student-athletes who maintain the University's tradition of academic and athletic success," said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia at the Thursday press conference. "This has been a thorough search process and we look forward to the contributions he will make to our athletics program and the lives of our student-athletes."
Reed played three years of basketball at Cleveland State from 1980-83 but did not graduate, earning a BA degree in 1992 at the University of New Mexico. he earned an MA in sports administration in 1994. Reed's previous athletic administration experience included four years as an associate athletic director at Eastern Michigan University before returning to CSU as athletic director in 2002.
Reed faces a considerable challenge from the role he played at CSU, where 17 sports and 277 student-athletes shared a $10 million budget, which ranked 235th of 344 Division I schools. Georgetown's 29 sports and 813 student-athletes share a $28 million budget, the second largest budget of any Division I-AA school, but the new athletic director must fight for as much as $100 million in unfunded construction projects and scholarship support needed to maintain the Hoyas' competitive and Big East standing.
Only two questions were offered at the press conference, one of which asked Reed for his thoughts on the unfunded and still-delayed athletic training facility.
"Obviously a facility that will enhance practice opportunities for our student-athletes is something that is of importance. I need to get here and understand all that has gone on until this point to see where the plan is," Reed said. "I'll work with our senior management team and the fundraisers in our athletics program and advancement to move forward on raising the money that is necessary to build that facility. So yes, it is critical to us."
The second question asked Reed for his thoughts on the status of the football program under coach Kevin Kelly.
"When I was associate athletics director at Eastern Michigan University, which is a I-A school as you know, obviously I spent seven to eight years there working with the football program. That has been the primary experience that I have had with football," Reed said. "I'm aware of where the [Georgetown] football program is. I can't wait to sit down with the coaching staff to kind of see where they are. I know it's important to this community, so we'll work with our coaching staff and we'll work with the staff in place now to see what's going on with the program."
Additional coverage follows below.
The ESPN documentary series "30 For 30" premieres a feature this week on the moment that changed Allen Iverson's life: his 1993 arrest for a fight at a bowling alley that nearly ended his athletic career before it began. The Philadelphia Inquirer talks to film maker Steve James about the project.
"People have said that what happened in Hampton was like the O.J. trial before O.J.," said James. "There are certainly very big differences. Allen obviously didn't kill anybody, and he wasn't accused of killing anybody, either. But they're very similar in that they both very quickly became for the black community about one thing, and for the white community something else."
Iverson himself did not participate in the project, choosing instead to work on his own documentary project to debut in the fall.
"No Crossover" premiered Tuesday on ESPN. Additional showings this week include Thursday Apr. 15 at 9:30pm (ESPN 2) and 10:00 pm (ESPN Classic), Friday April 16 at 2:00pm (ESPN U) and Sunday, April 18 at 10:00pm (ESPN U).
Following a senior season cut short by injury and a career average of just 5.6 points per game, few saw Jahidi White (C'98) to be a likely NBA prospect. But following his hard work at off-season camps, White elevated his draft status, was selected in the second round, and played seven years in the NBA, earning an estimated $25 million over his career.
ESPN.com talks to White, now 34, who served as a coach at the recent Portsmouth Invitational Tournament to mentor aspiring college seniors.
"The door of opportunity only opens once most times," said White. "You've got to take advantage of it."
"These guys got to realize, this is a million-to-one chance," he said. "It's a small fraternity that they're trying to be in and they got to know right now -- you've got to play every game like it's you last."
Sophomore Greg Monroe was not selected for the Naismith Award (that went to Ohio State's Evan Turner) but was selected by the National Association of Basketball Coaches with its Pete Newell Award for the top low-post player in the nation. Details follow in this link to GUHoyas.com.
As part of Final Four weekend, coach John Thompson III appeared on the CNN news program "State of the Union" Sunday to discuss the issue of graduation rates in college basketball. Video coverage of the interview is found here, while a transcript is also available.
"I agree that it's my responsibility as a coach [and] it's the institution's responsibility to ensure that your student athletes are progressing toward a degree," Thompson told CNN host Candy Crowley. "But the circumstances under which a young man playing for Georgetown can get that may be significantly different than at school X. We may have more resources. We may have the ability to help that young man once he gets to our institution."
So where do Georgetown fans come from?
Hoyas Unlimited has published a membership map of its donor base. Some interesting statistics:
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