Welcome to July, fools, and I mean that as a term of endearment. I leave for vacation tomorrow and can almost taste it. Should anything happen while I’m gone – and you just know something will break, because this beat has zero consideration for my schedule – we’ll keep you updated one way or the other.
OK, on to your questions. As usual, some good stuff in here.
Q: What kind of fallout can be expected from the Forrest Moore lawsuit? An NCAA investigation, John Cohen being forced to resign, just a personal lawsuit with no repercussions for MSU, all of the above, none of the above? Based on the accusations and if all are found to be true, what kind of punishment could State expect to receive if any?
A: No telling, and I’m being careful not to speculate on this since it’s a legal proceeding. All we can do is be patient and let it play out. Sorry.
Q: Has Tommy Raffo had much success at Arkansas State?
A: The former Ron Polk assistant is 80-89-1 in three seasons at ASU, including a 41-48-1 mark in Sun Belt Conference play. The Red Wolves have not finished higher than seventh in league play or made the NCAA tournament under Raffo, who was passed over for the MSU head coach’s job three years ago (much to Polk’s well-documented dismay). ASU was 27-31-1 (13-16-1 SBC) this past season.
Q: I have tried to find the SEC football schedule for 2012 but am not having any luck. I was wondering when Tennessee rolls back onto the Bulldogs’ schedule?
A: The SEC hasn’t set the East-West rotations beyond 2011, so I’m not sure exactly when those two will meet again. MSU and UT played each other in 2007 and ’08, and if the sequence remains unchanged, I believe they would meet in 2012 and ’13. But don’t quote me on that.
Q: How much will State’s basketball fortunes rest on the shoulders of Renardo Sidney? How heavily will Rick Stansbury lean on newcomers D.J. Gardner, Deville Smith and Rodney Hood?
A: Sidney’s a huge piece for MSU, but I think a bigger impact player could be transfer Arnett Moultrie. He’s big (6-foot-11, 230 pounds), has an outside touch and is more mobile than Sidney. Moultrie will play both the four and five spots.
As for the newcomers, expect Hood to be the biggest contributor, and most likely a starter. Smith will share point guard duties with senior Dee Bost, and I’m not yet sure about Gardner. He’ll be a good one, I believe, but he’s got that foot issue and doesn’t come in as polished as Hood.
Q: Is there any truth to this rumor about us possibly getting a European basketball guy to transfer this fall? I heard his name is Mareks Mejeris.
A: I had to look this guy up, and he seems to be pretty good, but two problems with Mejeris signing for this season: A) The spring signing period ended May 18, B) MSU has no scholarships available right now.
Q: I have seen several players that we and other SEC schools offer end up at lower classification schools and assumed this is mainly due to grades. Is there a grade difference required for SEC schools and, say, Louisiana Tech or Lafayette or even Southern Miss?
A: You will often see lower admission standards at non-BCS schools, so that could be a reason. The NCAA does not, as far as I know, have a hard standard for athletes to be eligible for competition. All it requires is that an athlete be in good academic standing and making progress toward a degree, and those qualifications “are to be interpreted at each member institution by the academic officials who determine the meaning and application of such phrases for all students,” according to NCAA bylaw 14.02.6.