He said he was a high school freshman. He starred for the basketball team. He was actually 25. Washington Post To fans of Hillcrest High’s varsity basketball team, its new star player must have seemed like a gift from above. As it was, Rashun Sidney Richardson had traveled an unusual path, to say the least, to become the Panthers’ leading scorer, considering … Dallas high school basketball star was really a 25-year-old man …Los Angeles Times Texas High School Basketball Star Turns Out to Be 25-Year-Old Imposter: CopsInside Edition This Fun Story About a 25-Year-Old Faking His Way Into High School Basketball Turns Out to Be Not Fun at AllEsquire.com USA TODAY –NBCSports.com –CBS News –Dallas Morning News all 158 news articles »
Dallas man, 25, arrested after posing as a 17-year-old to play high school basketball USA TODAY Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley enrolled at Skyline High School under the name of “Rashun Richardson,” the newspaper reported, before transferring to Hillcrest High School, where he joined the basketball team. Gilstrap-Portley was arrested Friday night … Dallas high school basketball star was really a 25-year-old man posing as a student, officials sayLos Angeles Times He said he was a high school freshman. He starred for the basketball team. He was actually 25.Washington Post 25-year-old poses as high school student to play basketballKPRC Click2Houston Inside Edition –CBS News –WFMZ Allentown –Dallas Morning News all 116 news articles »
More: Why Romeo Langford means so much to basketball in Indiana
More: How Archie Miller landed Romeo Langford, against the odds
Cutting through the inevitable hysteria, from Indiana’s perspective, there’s not much there, at least not yet.
That’s not to discredit the Post’s story, which is well-reported and revealing, while also measured and balanced. It makes a case and makes it well — Adidas, in an effort to keep Romeo Langford under its umbrella, agreed to sponsor an AAU team run by his father.
Romeo Langford sat flanked by family during a groundbreaking ceremony in Kevin Hammersmith Park that will feature a basketball court named after the New Albany High standout. 5/11/18 (Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to Courier Journal)
It’s not that that’s not news. It is news. It’s just that, at least in addressing questions about Romeo Langford’s eligibility, his potential college career and the ripple effects on IU, none of it appears to be illegal or against NCAA rules.
Pitino himself, quoted heavily in the Post story, told the Louisville Courier-Journal on Tuesday, “I don’t think they did anything wrong,” referring to Adidas’ decision to sponsor Twenty Two Vision, Langford’s AAU program the summer before his senior year of high school.
An IU spokesman did not respond Tuesday to questions about whether the university athletic department’s compliance wing has gotten involved at this point. No one from Indiana was directly quoted in the Post’s story, although it was pointed out Indiana is — and indeed has been for a decade now — an Adidas-sponsored school.
To suggest Tuesday’s report opened up a can of worms ignores the reality that the can was already open.
Barring some yet-to-be-uncovered misdeeds, the Langford-Adidas relationship does not appear to have broken any laws or NCAA rules.
The NCAA’s decision in a similar eligibility case involving Duke one-and-done star Marvin Bagley III suggests the organization doesn’t see that relationship as running afoul of its bylaws.
The organization declined to comment Tuesday when asked by IndyStar for clarification on the subject.
Tim Langford, father of Romeo Langford, spoke briefly during a ceremony naming the basketball court at Kevin Hammersmith Park after his son. 5/11/18 (Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to Courier Journal)
If you find this morally objectionable, that’s reasonable. You also won’t have to walk a long mile to find someone who finds it equally objectionable that an elite high school basketball player is financially limited by a system that stands to make millions of dollars each year off his talent, and the talent of others like him.
And then we’ll be back where we were when this scandal took off months ago — trying to decide how much of the argument is about legal and ethical wrongdoing, and how much should address a broken system that created the monsters it is now demanding come out from under its bed.
More: ‘Romeo Langford’ graduated from the Kelley School of Business, thanks to an IU prankster
This isn’t the first time Indiana has been touched by all this.
In late February, on the night of IU’s regular-season finale against Ohio State, Yahoo! Sports reported that ASM Sports agency associate Christian Dawkins — one of the central figures in the FBI’s criminal investigation into college basketball corruption — claimed through internal communication to have had contact with former IU assistant coach Chuck Martin.
Dawkins appeared to suggest to another employee of ASM Sports, the agency employing him, that he was attempting to trade favors with Martin. He would steer elite recruit Brian Bowen to Indiana, in exchange for Indiana steering soon-to-be NBA prospects Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby to ASM.
Insider Zach Osterman and columnist Gregg Doyel discuss Romeo Langford’s decision to play for Indiana University. Clark Wade/IndyStar
Bowen never visited Indiana, nor was he ever reported as a serious IU target. Neither Bryant, nor Anunoby, signed with representation under ASM’s umbrella. Responding to an open records request from IndyStar, Indiana University said it had no record of contact between any ASM employee and Martin, or any other member of IU’s staff at that time.
Perhaps IU is just lucky. Perhaps there is another twist to come. Perhaps the relationship between shoe companies and college basketball has become so intimate and pervasive that it will be hard for any major program not to be brushed by this.
Tuesday’s Washington Post story, though, didn’t really reveal anything not already either known or presumed.
And the social media reaction, while unsurprising, felt distinctly Casablanca, with Claude Rains telling Humphrey Bogart he’s “shocked” to find gambling going on in Bogart’s café, as a croupier hands him his winnings.
Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.
Nick Weiler-Babb learned quickly which bar patrons had the most money Randy Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kira Lewis, of Hazel Greene, is named the 6A Player of the Year during the annual Alabama Sport Writers Association Mr. and Miss Basketball Banquet in Montgomery, Ala. on Tuesday April 10, 2018.(Photo: Mickey Welsh / Advertiser)
With April’s evaluation period in the books, 2019 priorities for college basketball teams around the country are becoming more and more clear.
Based on what the Register is hearing from recruiting contacts and industry sources, as well as taking team needs into consideration, here is the newest version of Iowa State’s basketball recruiting big board:
Lots of guards in here, as the Cyclones have made the backcourt their big-time priority for 2019. Although they also would like to add an athletic forward or wing.
Iowa State will likely try to land four players in its 2019 class, even if Lindell Wigginton stays in Ames next year. It is no longer in the running for D.J. Carton, who recently named a top six of Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Marquette and Xavier.
Lewis is blowing up right now. Kansas is his most recent offer, but he’s also received new offers from Oregon, Northwestern, UConn, Clemson, Indiana and Pitt, and Alabama is all over him. Lewis hosted Iowa State for an in-home visit in April. It will try its best to stay in the hunt for the South’s rapidly rising point guard.
3. Mario McKinney, PG/SG
Vashon (St. Louis)
247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars
McKinney has been at or near the top of Iowa State’s board for a long time. He’s an explosive combo guard who would work well with any of the point guards on this list. The Cyclones had an in-home visit with McKinney in April. As much as Missouri is considered the favorite, Iowa State is in this race, too.
4. Dekeyvan ‘KyKy’ Tandy, PG
University Heights (Hopkinsville, Kentucky)
247Sports Composite: 3 stars; Rivals: 4 stars
Prohm has had his eye on Tandy since his sophomore year, and he’s recently impressed Tandy with his level of interest. He’s another guy Iowa State had an in-home visit with this April. Tennessee, Kansas State and Cincinnati are also showing healthy interest.
5. Luke Anderson, PF
Lakeland (Lakeland, Florida)
247Sports Composite: 3 stars; Rivals: 3 stars
Iowa State has been in on Anderson since August, when it became his first high-major offer. Other schools, such as Georgia and Florida State, have offered since. But the Cyclones are well-positioned here. Their interest hasn’t wavered.
6. Tyler Wahl, SF
Lakeville North (Lakeville, Minnesota)
247Sports Composite: Unrated; Rivals: Unrated
Wahl, who plays with Terry on D1Minnesota, has blossomed into a high-major prospect with a strong offseason. He’s hauled in offers from Drake, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa State and Butler since April 22. His shot needs some work, but the Cyclones love his length and play-making ability. On paper, he looks like a power forward, but he plays nimbly like a wing. He could see more high-major offers come his way this summer.
7. Samuell Williamson, SG
Rockwall (Rockwall, Texas)
247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars
Iowa State has gained good traction with Williamson lately, and a summer visit could be in the cards. Rivals loves this kid — it ranks him top-50 in the class. Williamson would be a nice third guard to go along with a point guard and a combo guard for the 2019 backcourt class.
8. E.J. Liddell, PF
Belleville West (Belleville, Illinois)
247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars
Of course, Iowa State would love to get Liddell, the reigning Mr. Illinois Basketball. But the Cyclones are fading from the picture here.
9. Malik Hall, SF
Sunrise Christian (Wichita, Kansas)
247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars
Iowa State loved what it saw from Hall last month and offered him on April 24. It’s getting into this race later than some of the other contenders, including Kansas, who many consider the favorite. The Cyclones will try to wedge themselves in here.
10. Terrence Hargrove Jr., SF
East St. Louis (East St. Louis, Illinois)
247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 3 stars
Iowa State hasn’t offered, but Hargrove is on the Cyclones’ board and they will continue to evaluate him this offseason. Assistant coach Daniyal Robinson watched Hargrove in February during the same trip in which he watched Liddell and McKinney. An athletic, scoring-machine small forward.
Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.
Hear why Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles wants to play Iowa twice each winter Mark Emmert, firstname.lastname@example.org
Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said he’s always interested in having his men’s basketball team play border rivals twice each winter. The Hawkeyes will be paired with Nebraska in a home-and-home series for the foreseeable future.(Photo: Jeffrey Becker, USA TODAY Sports)
ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Iowa men’s basketball team will likely be assured of facing Nebraska twice each season for the foreseeable future.
Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said the Badgers have asked to be paired with Minnesota in this arrangement.
“We were all given a chance to pick one and that’s the obvious one for us because of the border,” Gard said.
Gard said Iowa would be another natural fit.
“But then, who does Nebraska go with?” he said. “So you look at bordering states as a whole vs. maybe what’s best for you. Whether it was Iowa or Minnesota, obviously, when you have bordering states, for fans it’s always a big deal.”
Iowa will face Nebraska and Wisconsin twice each this winter under a schedule that was revealed last month. The Hawkeyes will meet the Gophers just once. Each Big Ten team plays a home-and-home series with seven league foes while contesting with six others only once.
Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, also attending meetings here, noted that schedules beyond 2018-19 have not yet been done. But he’s in favor of maintaining regional rivalries as much as possible.
“I always make sure that the conference knows I love to play border schools. I just think it’s good for our fans,” Barta said.
Nebraska coach Tim Miles echoed that sentiment.
“I want to play Iowa twice. I want to play Minnesota and Wisconsin twice. I think that’s really important, because I know it bothers me when we don’t play them twice,” Miles said. “I think it will be really good for everybody involved. If you just look over the course of time, there’s times we’re strong, times we’re not. Times that another (team) is strong, they’re not. Those things kind of level out.”
Iowa played Nebraska only once last winter, dropping a 98-84 decision in Lincoln. But Miles said it’s a matchup he hears a lot about.
“Our fans don’t want to lose to Iowa. Especially in that Omaha region. It’s really prevalent there,” Miles said. “I think that’s great. Any time you have people talking about a particular game, it raises the interest and intensity of the game.”
Gard indicated that the protected rivals are subject to change.
“Unless we look to shuffle it. I don’t know if we’ll continue to do that,” Gard said. “But going forward here in the near future it’s going to be two games (between Minnesota and Wisconsin).”
Barta still evaluating status of softball coach
The Iowa softball team saw its season end Saturday with a 2-1 loss in eight innings against Northwestern in the second round of the Big Ten tournament. The Hawkeyes finished 21-32 and 6-16 against league opponents.
Marla Looper concluded her eighth season as head coach with her future in doubt. Her contract expires June 30. She has a 172-247-1 record at Iowa.
“I was really proud of our women. They played hard, played two great games,” Barta said when asked about Looper’s status.
“It was sad for them to lose that extra-inning game. It’s now complete and here I am (in Chicago) for the next couple of days, so no chance to evaluate in a complete format. But we’ll get there.”
Barta said there is some urgency to review the season and the job Looper did.
“It’s always a priority for me to evaluate the spring sports that are done,” he said.
White House High School opted for familiarity when filling its boys’ and girls’ basketball coaching vacancies this offseason – both in history and proximity.
White House announced this week the hire of former Blue Devil player Caleb Cook as its head boys’ coach and the promotion of Kelly Smelcer, a White House grad herself, to head girls’ coach after serving as an assistant last year.
“It’s always been a dream of mine since my first year of college (at Western Kentucky University) when I decided I wanted to teach and coach,” Cook began. “The job comes with a lot of responsibility. Life exists long after basketball and I want to instill some life lessons that hopefully these players can carry on when they’re long gone from the school.”
Cook returns to White House, where he attended through his junior year of high school, after coaching basketball at nearby Christian Community School the past two seasons. He was also the school’s athletic director and served as interim assistant principal the past year. He will hold a teaching position at White House.
A part of the first ever graduating class at CCS after transferring to the school in 2002, Cook takes over a Blue Devils program that went 15-15 a year ago under coach Gary Smith before being bounced in the first round of the District 9-AA tournament. Smith is hanging up his whistle to become the school’s next AD.
“I’m a motion guy when it comes to the offensive end of the floor,” Cook said of his preferred style of play. “We’re going to play a majority man-to-man on the defensive end of the floor. We’ll play to a system and all of our guys will have roles within that system, playing the right way.”
Smelcer has a more immediate history with White House. In fact, she’s coached the team’s rising sophomores since they were in seventh grade at White House Middle School, where she was prior to last year’s position as a high school assistant.
The 1994 White House graduate, who went on to study at University of Tennessee, said that familiarity will help as she turns up the pace of play for the Blue Devils.
“We’ll definitely be more of an up-tempo team,” said Smelcer, a biology teacher at the high school. “We’ll look to push the ball as much as we can offensively, which will feed off of our defensive play.”
The White House girls finished 3-22 and winless in 9-AA last year under retiring longtime coach Jeff Bennett. Crucial to the turnaround is invigorating the program’s talented youth, Smelcer said.
She’s already had a hand in the process as former middle school and JV coaches.
“We’re starting to turn things around and there’s better days ahead,” Smelcer said. “That’s the biggest key, getting these girls together at a younger age so when they get up here some of the groundwork is already laid.”