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Track and field coach Patrick Henner resigned Friday following a University report on allegations of misconduct by members of the men's track program.
"I have always demanded the highest athletic and personal standards for my coaches and student-athletes,Ē said Henner in a link posted at GUHoyas.com. ďI regret that some students engaged in behavior that fell short of these expectations. I recognize the Universityís need to move forward with a fresh start and I do not want to be a distraction in that process."
Henner arrived at Georgetown in 1999 and moved to head coach in 2007 following the departure of Ron Helmer to Indiana. Henner is only the fifth head coach in track at Georgetown since 1969, coaching the women's cross country team to the 2011 NCAA title, the only sport at Georgetown to have won an NCAA title since men's basketball in 1984.
Henner was not cited in the report, a summary of which was posted to the University web site and not GUHoyas.com. It reads, in part, "The investigation found that inappropriate locker room behavior and the creation of offensive materials relating to unofficial team events violated the Universityís policies ... It is clear that not every student-athlete engaged in misconduct and the investigation found no wrongdoing by the coaches. Nonetheless, these behaviors and actions created a culture that is inconsistent with the Universityís values and did not meet the expectations Georgetown has set for members of its community and for its student-athletes."
The report indicates that the men's team will miss seven weeks of competition in 2015-16, though it did not state if this was in indoor or outdoor competition. There are no NCAA sanctions involved in the report.
In a separate action, the University's Office of Institutional Diversity Equity and Affirmative Action rejected a claim by a member of the women's track team of racial bias by coach Mike Smith, who has been named as Henner's interim replacement as head coach.
According to the GUHoyas.com link, athletic director Lee Reed "will begin a process to determine the leadership and coaching staff of the track program going forward."
The Big East Conference announced its 2014-15 "All-Academic" teams, with 2,197 student-athletes across the ten schools honored for their academic achievement. Georgetown led all schools by participation, but fell short in its flagship sport.
Of Georgetown's 286 students with a 3.0 grade point average or better, only one was a men's basketball player, Trey Mourning (C'18). Across the other nine Big East schools, 44 different men's basketball players were listed, including seven members of the Villanova team and eight at DePaul.
Not every player needs to be on the Dean's List to graduate and succeed in life beyond basketball. Nonetheless, Georgetown can do better.
In other Big East news, the conference is moving its men's soccer tournament to on-campus sites. Last year's tournament at 18,500 seat PPL Park in Chester, PA drew less than 400 fans to see Providence and Xavier in the final.
Many Georgetown fans have expressed concern with various photos showing former Georgetown forward Mike Sweetney (ex '04) having gained a considerable amount of weight since leaving the NBA eight years ago. In an article at the New York Post, Sweetney discusses his personal battle to stay healthy.
"I donít think I was honest back then, but Iím now open to be able to say everything that happened was my fault and I own up to it," Sweetney said. ďI was in a bad depression [following the death of his father], didnít eat right or work out enough and I ate myself out of the league. Iíve just owned up recently to the problems of depression. I think I was in depression mode for years and I didnít get proper help. I was in denial."
Sweetney is playing in a the semifinals of a national pick-up basketball tournament this weekend in New York.
An Q&A interview with head coach John Thompson III was posted Thursday at CBS Sports.com.
"We did well [last season], but I'm more excited about this group than about last year's group," Thompson said. "We're much deeper. We're much more versatile. We literally have three guys -- Jessie, Bradley, and Tre -- that can only play one position and literally everyone else can play multiple positions offensively and defensively. They can play multiple positions and guard multiple positions effectively. So we can be one of those teams where on any given night depending on the scouting report, a different guy can emerge depending on who is going to be out of the floor."
Thompson was also asked about the impact of D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera for his senior year.
"Getting his degree and having the opportunity to do that is first and foremost," he said. "He has a chance to be one of the top five scorers in the history of Georgetown basketball. I think that him coming back is good for his development both on and off the court. I think eventually he came to that realization. Honestly, I don't think about legacy and things like that. We go out there and if we do the things we're supposed to do we're going to win and then the legacy part is going to take care of itself. And I think this team can do that. I think this team is positioned to have success."
A road game at NC-Charlotte will be held on December 22, per the 49ers web site.
The game will be played at the 20,200 seat Time Warner Cable Arena in downtown Charlotte, home of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets. The 49ers play its other home games at 9,000 seat Halton Arena.
He had all the potential at UCLA. Then at Georgetown, Now, the NBA's Miami Heat is deciding whether center Josh Smith (ex'15) can commit to the grind of the NBA season, reports the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
"He's got some talent. He's got great hands," said Heat VP player personnel Chet Kammerer. "He obviously has some major weight issues. He would really have to be really committed to change his body. But he's just so intriguing."
"A lot of it has to do with maturity with me," Smith said. "I mean, my college career didn't go the way I planned. I didn't put in the work that I needed to. Right now, I'm just trying to be the best professional I can and just trying to show them now that the weight that I am now that I can still get up and down the floor, that I can still move, and that it's not a liability on offense or defense."
Meanwhile, another former Georgetown player is working to reestablish himself in the summer leagues.
Greg Whittington (ex'15) last played competitively in January, 2013 but is working his way back into some pro conversations.
"The whole organization and Pat Riley, they're good guys and they're a defensive-minded team first," he said in this link from SB Nation. "Coming from Georgetown that is also defensive-minded, so I already have that instinct to just got out there and play D before I score. They made me want to work hard for them so it's the same as being at Georgetown."
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