NCAA ROUNDUP | News and notes
Coaches no more: Paul Biancardi stepped down as Wright State's basketball coach Monday, three days after the NCAA barred him from recruiting for violating rules when he was an assistant at Ohio State. The NCAA found that Biancardi passed $6,000 from former Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien to a recruit's family in 1999 and that both coaches acted unethically by not reporting their conduct to the school. In a ruling Friday, the NCAA prohibited Biancardi from recruiting until Oct. 1, 2007, with the stipulation that if he did, Wright State would face NCAA sanctions. Also, Delaware fired coach David Henderson, a week after the Blue Hens concluded their third losing season in five years. Henderson, a former player and assistant coach at Duke, was 85-93 in six seasons at Delaware. The Hens went 9-21 this past season, giving the program back-to-back 20-loss seasons for the first time in its history. Delaware was 20-41 overall in the last two seasons, including an 11-25 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association.
Ray cleared to practice: With or without goggles, Allan Ray should be back on the court this week. Three days after a scary eye injury left the senior guard fearing he'd be blind, Ray was cleared to practice Monday and is expected to play for No. 2 Villanova in the NCAA tournament. Ray might not even wear protective goggles after he was hit hard in his right eye at the Big East tournament Friday night. Ray received full clearance to participate in all drills after seeing a specialist on Monday. He's expected to join the Wildcats on the court Wednesday. Wright plans a light practice today.
Calipari pays no heed: Maybe the talk show babblers and chat line experts will calm down a bit now that Memphis is a No. 1 seed. John Calipari, quite frankly, doesn't much care if they do or they don't. "My self-esteem and self-worth aren't built every day on somebody else's opinion of me because in this business if you do that, you need to take Prozac," the coach said. Memphis plays Oral Roberts (21-11) in the first round Friday in Dallas. When Calipari got to Memphis six years ago, Tiger fans awaited overnight wonders. Success arrived, but it took awhile. The No. 5 Tigers were near the top of the rankings most of the season, getting as high as No. 3. They won the Conference USA tournament, were regular season conference champs and mastered a tough non-conference schedule. Now, their NCAA slot is the best in school history, topping the No. 2 seedings of 1982 and 1985.