Aug 2, 2012
UCF Coach Hopes Team Stays Together After Sanctions

Orlando Sentinel

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/college/knights/os-ucf-will-hoops-players-transfer-0802-20120801, 0, 91502.story

UCF basketball coach Donnie Jones decided not to push and prod his seniors for answers.

Seniors Keith Clanton, C.J. Reed, Marcus Jordan and Josh Crittle are the only UCF players free to transfer to other programs and be immediately eligible to compete during the upcoming season after the NCAA handed down stringent sanctions against UCF Tuesday.

The NCAA determined the Knights committed extensive major recruiting rules violations, triggering a long list of penalties that included a one-year postseason ban in men’s basketball.

More than 25 coaches representing a variety of other schools have reached out to current UCF seniors. The list includes representatives from high-profile programs such as USC and Illinois and smaller programs such as Delaware. The coaches are allowed to actively recruit the athletes, who must make a final call on whether to transfer before the start of the fall academic semester.

Jones decided to take a different approach, vowing not to treat this as another recruiting process. He was tempted, but he didn’t ask any of his players whether they had an initial feeling whether they might stay or go.

“It’s always a hard decision, Jones said of the dilemma facing the seniors. … I brought each and every one of them in there and told them, ‘It’s about you. I want the best for you and the right decision for you.’ So I want to respect giving them a couple of days here to really take things in.

“But how could they not want to stay here? We’ve got a great place here at UCF. I love those guys dearly as people as well as players. They’ve really made a great commitment here this summer with their leadership. They’ve still got a lot to play for here at UCF.”

Clanton, who is expected to be named the preseason Conference USA player of the year, is the biggest prize attracting the most attention.

He also has the strongest ties to Orlando. Clanton, an Orlando Christian Prep graduate, chose UCF over other higher profile schools because he wanted his mother to be able to watch every game.

Clanton could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Jones is hoping Clanton recognizes the UCF coaches know him best and could help him make the jump to the professional level. He noted the entire UCF offense is built around his seniors, who could potentially end up being role players rather than stars on other teams.

Bethune Cookman transfer C.J. Reed seems to have quickly embraced his leadership role replacing outspoken UCF point guard A.J. Rompza.

However, Reed’s father, former Bethune-Cookman coach Clifford Reed, recently landed an assistant coaching job at Georgia Southern. It is unclear whether C.J. Reed will take advantage of the opportunity to switch programs and play for his father.

Crittle, who transferred from Oregon, is slated to earn his bachelor’s degree from UCF next week and has not told Jones whether he is willing to jump to a third school.

UCF Hopes Team Sticks Together After Sanctions

Orlando Sentinel

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/college/knights/os-ucf-will-hoops-players-transfer-0802-20120801, 0, 91502.story

UCF basketball coach Donnie Jones decided not to push and prod his seniors for answers. Seniors Keith Clanton, C.J. Reed, Marcus Jordan and Josh Crittle are the only UCF players free to transfer to other programs and be immediately eligible to compete during the upcoming season after the NCAA handed down stringent sanctions against UCF Tuesday.

The NCAA determined the Knights committed extensive major recruiting rules violations, triggering a long list of penalties that included a one-year postseason ban in men’s basketball. More than 25 coaches representing a variety of other schools have reached out to current UCF seniors. The list includes representatives from high-profile programs such as USC and Illinois and smaller programs such as Delaware. The coaches are allowed to actively recruit the athletes, who must make a final call on whether to transfer before the start of the fall academic semester.

Jones decided to take a different approach, vowing not to treat this as another recruiting process. He was tempted, but he didn’t ask any of his players whether they had an initial feeling whether they might stay or go. “It’s always a hard decision, Jones said of the dilemma facing the seniors. … I brought each and every one of them in there and told them, ‘It’s about you. I want the best for you and the right decision for you.’ So I want to respect giving them a couple of days here to really take things in. “But how could they not want to stay here? We’ve got a great place here at UCF. I love those guys dearly as people as well as players. They’ve really made a great commitment here this summer with their leadership. They’ve still got a lot to play for here at UCF.” Clanton, who is expected to be named the preseason Conference USA player of the year, is the biggest prize attracting the most attention. He also has the strongest ties to Orlando. Clanton, an Orlando Christian Prep graduate, chose UCF over other higher profile schools because he wanted his mother to be able to watch every game. Clanton could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Jones is hoping Clanton recognizes the UCF coaches know him best and could help him make the jump to the professional level. He noted the entire UCF offense is built around his seniors, who could potentially end up being role players rather than stars on other teams. Bethune Cookman transfer C.J. Reed seems to have quickly embraced his leadership role replacing outspoken UCF point guard A.J. Rompza. However, Reed’s father, former Bethune-Cookman coach Clifford Reed, recently landed an assistant coaching job at Georgia Southern. It is unclear whether C.J. Reed will take advantage of the opportunity to switch programs and play for his father. Crittle, who transferred from Oregon, is slated to earn his bachelor’s degree from UCF next week and has not told Jones whether he is willing to jump to a third school.






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