Sacramento Kings escribió:Duke (sucks) perdieron ayer contra Perdue, y Duhon se quedo en 8 puntos .
Duke ha jugado 3 partidos me parece y en los 3 las estadísticas de Duhon son de risa.
James Worthy escribió:Puesto que no soy un gran aficionado a la NCAA y por lo tanto un gran desconocido me gustaría que me informaseis sobre el jugador danés de la Universidad de Florida. Ahora mismo no recuero su nombre, pero he leido cosas sobre él y todas muy buenas.
Gracias de antemano.
Ben escribió:Una pregunta. Por curiosidad, ¿cuál os parece la equipación más bonita de la NCAA?
[From the Dayton Daily News: 03.13.2001]
Paying to play
Ticket to U.S. comes with hefty price tag
By Russell Carollo and Christine Vásconez
©2001, Dayton Daily News
NIKSIC, Montenegro | From the free world, Milos Nikolic's apartment in this dingy, isolated city is a spooky two-hour drive over steep mountains, through three sets of heavily armed border guards and past lines of Yugoslavian army trucks, bombed-out houses, and an entire side of a building painted with an obscene warning to Westerners.
Days after a reporter made this trip during the summer of 2000, the border crossing closed. Within weeks, eight Westerners and two Slovenian tourists would be in custody, suspected of plotting terrorist attacks.
Strangers aren't welcome, especially Americans.
But a 5-foot-2-inch former elementary school teacher in suburban Minneapolis — a wife and mother of two — found Nikolic here, got him to a private high school near Miami, became his legal guardian and signed his college athletic eligibility form to play basketball at the University of Texas at Arlington.
The same woman, Julie Lyon of Plymouth, Minn., signed as legal guardian for a second player, an African at the same university, and she made arrangements for other basketball players from Yugoslavia, Cameroon, Russia, Spain, Costa Rica, Great Britain and St. Lucia in the West Indies to attend American schools.
She has personally visited their families overseas or flown thousands of miles to meet them after they arrived in the United States. One African player said she flew to the Cincinnati airport just to help him change planes, and the father of a Spanish player said she met the player's mother in Atlanta and accompanied her on a plane to Washington, D.C., where the player was hospitalized.
She tours college campuses across the United States, and she is well-known to college coaches in Kentucky, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, the District of Columbia, New York, North Dakota, Colorado and South Carolina.
Her business card says: "Lyon-Zapata International Student Exchange, education, sports, language, cultural, worldwide." Like other high school exchange programs, Lyon charges families overseas for placing their children in American high schools.
But hers is no ordinary foreign-exchange business.
Though incorporated, the company is not approved by the Council on Standards For International Educational Travel, used by virtually every state to approve high school foreign-exchange programs. And of the more than two dozen students identified by the Dayton Daily News as having come through her program, all were basketball players.
There’s another difference, too. Unlike other high school exchange programs, Lyon continues her interest in the students through their college careers, including assistance in obtaining sports scholarships.
Lyon’s most talented player, 6-foot-10-inch Simplice Njoya of Cameroon, said he lived with her onetime business partner and close associate, Charles Cunningham, a former assistant basketball coach at the University of Minnesota. Lyon accompanied Njoya on a recruiting visit to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Cunningham accompanied him on a trip to the University of New Mexico.
Last fall, Njoya signed a national letter of intent with UNLV about the same time the school hired Cunningham as an assistant.
Because Lyon deals primarily with athletes, high schools that accept players from her risk violating recruiting guidelines in a number of states. And her involvement with athletes after high school raises questions about violations of college athletic regulations as well.
Florida has, in effect, refused to grant eligibility to any more athletes brought in by Lyon, and Minnesota officials have quietly issued a similar warning to schools there.
A single call from a reporter concerning Lyon to the University of Texas at Arlington, where she signed as legal guardian for Milos Nikolic and Achille Ngounou of Cameroon, triggered an investigation and a subsequent statement by the athletic director that he had instructed his coaches not to deal with her.
A Dayton Daily News examination linked Lyon to one of Spain's best-known basketball agents, Miguel Paniagua of Madrid, who has sent players to the United States through Lyon.
Lyon was legal guardian for former Clemson player Iker Iturbe of Spain, now a professional player in Madrid represented by Paniagua, and she also is the legal guardian for Iturbe's brother, who played at George Washington University this season.
Paniagua sent two players to Wake Forest University: current player Rafael Vidaurreta and former player Ricardo Peral, who also was represented by Paniagua after returning to Spain.
Rules governing Division I college athletics forbid players from having any type of agreement with an agent or accepting anything of value from an agent.
During interviews in Spain, two players said they had oral agreements with Paniagua for representation before coming to high school in the United States. At least four players sent to the United States through Paniagua were later represented by him or by the company where he sits on the board of managers.
"I don't know how in the hell (Lyon) is connected to all these players," said Bob Gibbons, one of the country's best-known recruiting analysts. "She is the person college coaches seek out and pay homage to.
"How she is connected to so many foreign players, I don't know."
ACTIVITIES SHROUDED IN MYSTERY
On the Spanish island of Mallorca, more than 4,000 miles from the headquarters for her student exchange program, Lyon's name is nearly as recognizable as it is on college campuses in the United States.
As he sat on bleachers watching practice, Jose A. Artigas, director general of the club team Basquet Inca, said he knows Lyon by her maiden name, Zapata. Artigas said he called Lyon in the United States to help his friend Paniagua send the son of a local restaurateur, Roberto Vidal, to a prep school in Connecticut.
"Miguel spoke to me. Jose (Vidal, the father) speaks to Julie Zapata. I spoke to Julie Zapata. Roberto Vidal this year is playing in the USA."
Does Julie work for Paniagua?
"No. They're working? No. I don't know. Miguel is my friend."
Others having dealings with Lyon had difficulty explaining what she does or how many players she's placed.
"She's just somebody helping us understand how it works," said assistant basketball coach Matt Daniels of the University of Texas at Arlington.
Though the Daily News conducted a lengthy interview with Nikolic and his family in Montenegro, officials at the school in Arlington later refused to allow either Nikolic or of Ngounou to speak about Lyon. The newspaper’s request, however, prompted the university to conduct an investigation and later instruct its coaches to quit dealing with Lyon for players.
An assistant coach answering the phone at Howard University in Washington, D.C., denied knowing Lyon, but Coach Frankie Allen later confirmed that the assistant coach did know Lyon and that she had visited the campus recently.
University of Colorado basketball coach Ricardo Patton said, "My relationship with Julie Lyon has nothing to do with this program."
When pressed about how his relationship with a woman who handles basketball players could be unrelated to his program, he said: "This conversation is over."
Patton called back later and said he met Lyon in Las Vegas during the summer of 1999.
"She gave me her card," Patton said. "It's like a recruiting service I imagine."
WHO IS JULIE LYON?
Thousands of miles from the remote and exotic places where Lyon finds basketball players is a split-level house with a two-car garage at the entrance of a cul-de-sac — a typical American street in a typical American middle-class suburb. The address is a 10-minute drive from downtown Minneapolis and the official address of Lyon's business.
Terry Janson, who is married to Lyon's sister, said Lyon makes frequent trips to Spain, and he believed she was on the board of directors of an orphanage there.
Several of her business contacts in Spain confirmed she had visited the country, but they knew nothing about the orphanage.
Two families in Spain recalled that Lyon was accompanied by a man she said was an Arabian prince.
"She said I am going to meet the prince from Arabia. He is very rich," recalled Asier Larrea of Vitoria, Spain, brought to play basketball at a Minnesota high school through Lyon.
During an interview in her attorney's office in suburban Minneapolis, Lyon said, "I provide a service for students to come to the United States."
She provided little else about the company or her background.
Asked where she was from, she said: "Texas."
Asked what city, she said, "Texas."
Lyon cut the interview short, and neither she nor her attorney has responded to numerous requests for another interview, including certified letters sent to each to them.
Iker Iturbe said he first met Lyon when he was on the basketball team at Totino-Grace High School in suburban Minneapolis in the early 1990s. Iturbe said Lyon called him one day.
"She wanted to get to know me and stuff, and from then on, she always helped me out with everything, things I needed . . . She took me places. Let's say I wanted to go to the mall."
At the time, Iturbe and another player from the same region of Spain helped the school's basketball team to a 19-4 record and a trip to the Minnesota state tournament. Iturbe came to the United States through the Spanish Heritage exchange program, but during his second year, he left the host family arranged by the program and moved into Lyon’s house. She also became Iturbe's legal guardian.
After graduating from Clemson, Iturbe returned to play for a Spanish professional team called Real Madrid, where Paniagua represents him.
On April 14, 1997, Lyon and her husband, Craig, formed Zapata-Lyon International Student Exchange, Inc., and registered it as nonprofit corporation in Minnesota.
In documents filed with the Minnesota Secretary of State, the couple described the nature of the business as: "social services."
LINKED TO SPORTS AGENT
In an upper middle-class neighborhood not far from downtown Madrid, two flights of pink marble-looking stairs lead to Paniagua's office on the top of his three-story home.
Two skylights helped illuminate the poster of Larry Bird overlooking Paniagua's desk. There's also a poster of Michael Jordan and a Los Angeles Lakers poster signed by some of the players.
"I'm a basketball agent, so I handle pro players," Paniagua said in nearly flawless English after finishing a telephone conversation in Italian.
For at least 10 Spanish players, the road to America began here, and for six of those, the next stop was Lyon.
"I call her and I say through your student exchange program can you help us?" Paniagua said.
NCAA rules prohibit college players from having agents and from having oral or written agreements with agents for future representation. Paniagua denied that he ever represented a player attending school in the United States.
But two players said they made agreements with Paniagua before they went to American schools.
"That was the agreement," said Paco Plou, placed at a Minnesota high school through Lyon. "He was my agent."
Javier Crespo, who played at a Pennsylvania high school and at Bowling Green University in Ohio, said he, too, had a verbal agreement with Paniagua.
"When I left (for the United States), there was an agreement," Crespo said. "The agreement with him was — I didn't sign anything but my word is better than if I sign — I am going to stay with you when I get back to (Spain)."
Paniagua did acknowledge that placing players in American schools can give him a competitive edge over other agents wanting to represent the player later, and he said he has no problem taking advantage of any loyalty a player may have to him.
Crespo and at least three other players sent to the United States through Paniagua later were represented by Paniagua or by his sports agency.
One of those who returned to Spain to be represented by Paniagua was Ricardo Peral, one of two players Paniagua sent to Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
"He (Paniagua) recommended several players," Wake Forest coach Dave Odom said. "I don't want to corner in on all the Spanish players. Whenever I have a need, I call Miguel and we talk, and I say I need a shooting guard but he may say we don't have one good enough for you or we don't have one this year."
Paniagua maintains close ties with Rafael Vidaurreta, currently at Wake Forest, and with coaches and players at other American universities. Vidaurreta included Paniagua’s name on his wedding invitation list that he posted on his Web site.
Though he denies currently representing Vidaurreta, Paniagua admitted that he spoke on the player's behalf to a team in Barcelona six years ago, long before he went to Wake Forest.
Another college coach, Fran Fraschilla, said he worked through Paniagua to recruit Jeronimo Bucero when Fraschilla was coaching at Manhattan College in 1993. Now at the University of New Mexico, Fraschilla hosted two coaches who are friends of Paniagua for two months last season.
Asked how Paniagua knew the coaches, Fraschilla said: "Everybody knows Miguel in Spain. If you're involved in basketball at any level, you know Miguel."
DEALING WITH COLLEGE
On the island of Mallorca, with the blue waters of the Mediterranean visible through the huge glass windows of the restaurant C'an Pelut, Juan Vidal explained why he paid thousands of dollars to Julie Lyon so his son could play basketball at an American high school.
"The most important thing was for him is that he is in the United States, he's happy and he's playing the sport he likes and he has an opportunity to go to the university," said Vidal, sitting at a table in one of his four restaurants. "We would have done the same thing with Julie or without Julie."
Like Vidal, several of the players placed by Lyon came from well-to-do families. The father of former Minnesota high school player Asier Larrea, a banker, said he paid Lyon thousands of dollars in cash in his living room in Vitoria, Spain.
Jose Rubio, whose son was placed through Lyon at an exclusive private high school in New York, is the president and owner of the professional basketball team in Zaragoza, Spain, where he also owns a document company that employs 14 people.
Vidal didn't recall exactly how much money he paid Lyon, but he did recall that he sent the money to a bank account in the United States.
Asked if the amount was about $5,000 or $6,000, he said, "Yea. Yea."
He also recalled that the fee included help in placing his son in a college.
"Yes. Yes. Yes. That's her job," Vidal said. "That's supposed to be her job: to find the university, the best university."
The banker's son, Larrea, recalled that Lyon didn't promise to find a college but "mentioned that she would act as an intermediary between universities and me, like an agent."
NCAA rules say that anyone "that represents a prospective student-athlete for compensation in placing the prospect in a collegiate institution as a recipient of financial aid shall be considered an agent." NCAA officials said anyone who is involved in placing athletes in college and also takes money from a student — even for high school placement — risks violating that rule.
"She represented herself as their legal guardian in the whole recruitment process," said Pete Carlon, athletic director at the University of Texas at Arlington.
PROBLEMS IN FLORIDA
A photograph of the 1999 Gainesville High School 5-A boys state championship team overlooks Dan Boyd's desk at the Florida High School Activities Association office.
"They're all home-grown," Boyd said.
As Gainesville High School principal in 1984, Boyd reported his own school for using a player from outside the school district, forfeiting four games and knocking the team out of any chance for the district tournament.
"So I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for these people who lie and cheat and break the rules," Boyd said.
Recruiting athletes is "a gross violation" of the association's bylaws, and Boyd takes his responsibilities seriously.
In 1999, he and Lyon were on a collision course.
Boyd's investigation linked Lyon to 11 foreign players on the rosters of the girls’ and boys’ teams at the Berkshire School, a private boarding school south of Miami. The school finished the 1999-2000 season 25-2.
On May 10 of last year, Berkshire became the first school in 60 years to be expelled from the Florida activities association. The association also fined the school $2,500 and requested more than $11,000 in legal expenses.
"It is reported that Ms. Lyon's exchange organization charges a fee to parents of the international students," Boyd's report says. "The fee is alleged to range from $1,500 to $2,000 per client.
"It is evident at Berkshire School that she specialized in providing basketball players," the report says.
OUT OF AFRICA
One day last fall, 6-foot-10-inch Simplice Njoya, from one of the world's poorest countries, talked about Julie Lyon as he walked the campus of a $25,000-a-year private high school north of New York City, surrounded by multimillion dollar homes and classmates from the world's wealthiest families.
Njoya, from Cameroon, is one of two players Lyon placed at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. The other is Jose Rubio, who came to the school through Miguel Paniagua.
Asked how he ended up at the Masters School, Njoya said: "I don't know why. People ask me this question."
Njoya's official transcripts from Cameroon, written in French, say he was born Aug. 14, 1981, making him 19. He said he came to the United States through Achille Ngounou, a Cameroon player who went to the Berkshire School in Florida before attending the University of Texas at Arlington, where Lyon signed as his guardian.
"My father was looking for somebody to be around me and treat me like a son," Njoya said. "If something happens to me in the United States, my father will look to her."
A number of people in Africa began raising money for his trip, he said, and his father began speaking to Lyon by phone.
"Even like my cousin and aunt" gave money, he said.
The first time he saw Lyon, he said, was at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport, where she helped him change planes on his way to Miami.
After Njoya enrolled at Berkshire, Lyon's associate, former University of Minnesota assistant coach Charles Cunningham, flew to Miami to give the player "private coach’s lessons," he said.
Cunningham said he wasn't a college coach at the time he dealt with Njoya, and he violated no rules.
Former UNLV head coach Bill Bayno said UNLV paid for Lyon's lodging when she and Njoya visited there, but she paid for her own plane ticket.
"I think Julie's airline ticket to Vegas was $280," Bayno said. "She is Simplice's legal guardian."
Records from the Minnesota Secretary of State show that Cunningham and Lyon formed a nonprofit corporation called Twin Cities Big Man Camp Inc., on Jan. 26, 2000. At his office in Spain, Paniagua had a business card with Lyon's name and the name of that company.
Cunningham said the business never really got going.
Last summer, Njoya said, he moved into Cunningham's house in Minnesota.
Sometime before the school year started, Skip Peltier, associate director of the Minnesota State High School League, said the league received a report concerning a school being approached by Lyon about Njoya.
"My understanding is that she shopped him around," Peltier said.
Though the league never made a ruling on Njoya’s eligibility, Peltier said, if a school inquired about the player’s eligibility "the response would be no because he was shopped in Minnesota."
Both Njoya and Cunningham denied that the player was shopped in Minnesota.
"He lived with me. I would know," Cunningham said.
Cunningham was hired to an assistant coaching job at UNLV a few months before Njoya agreed to attend school there, but both Cunningham and Bayno said his hiring had nothing to do with Njoya's agreement to attend school there.
"The fact that he could bring me a great player was an added bonus," Bayno said. "Everything Charles did was legal by NCAA rules."
On Dec. 12, UNLV announced that Bayno had been fired as head basketball coach and "reassigned" following allegations of recruiting violations involving Lamar Odom, now a star for the NBA Los Angeles Clippers.
FROM YUGOSLAVIA TO TEXAS VIA LYON
By last summer, one of the few ways left for outsiders to reach the city where Milos Nikolic lived was through Dubrovnik, Croatia, an ancient seaside resort filled with expensive hotels. From Dubrovnik, it's a two-hour drive across the border of Montenegro to Niksic, a factory town of about 50,000 in what is left of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
But security at the borders tightened daily as Montenegro distanced itself from Yugoslavian control.
For Lyon, who helped Nikolic come to America in 1999, the tense border proved to be no obstacle.
"My father spoke to an agency in Belgrade," Nikolic said during an interview at his family's apartment this summer. "These people in Belgrade, they represent Julie Lyon in Yugoslavia.
Nikolic, 6 feet 8 inches and weighing 210 pounds, identified the people his father spoke to as Milena and Darko Milanovic. Records from the Florida High School Activities Association show that Milena Milanovic wrote to an official at the Berkshire School to help explain some student transcripts from Yugoslavia.
In Niksic's center, laundry hangs from almost every window and people chop wood alongside the main streets. Graffiti is everywhere, on the seemingly endless rows of crowded high-rise apartments as well as on buildings downtown.
"You're here. You see. Life is bad," Nikolic said. "There are so many poor people here. There are some good players here who dream of going to the United States."
Nikolic's father has a good job programming computers, and he drives a late-model car. His mother works in a factory. Their apartment is spacious. There's a new computer in the living room and nice furniture throughout.
His family, Nikolic said, paid $3,000 to Lyon.
His original visa documents were processed by a high school in New York, he said, but when he arrived in the United States there were problems.
After 10 days in New York and Pennsylvania, Nikolic said, Lyon arranged for him to visit a coach in Maryland, who seemed to be impressed with his skills.
"I was packing for Maryland. Everything was OK," Nikolic said. "One day Julie called and said there were problems there. She asked for another $1,000.
"That was impossible. She said if you don't have the money, that's OK. We'll find you another school. I called Julie and said find me another school."
Later, he said, Lyon placed him at Berkshire.
If he plays professionally, Nikolic said, Lyon likely will get a percentage of his salary, although he insists they have no written agreement.
"She's helping me now, and she will get something from me in the future, probably a percent of my salary."
josegr escribió:James Worthy escribió:Puesto que no soy un gran aficionado a la NCAA y por lo tanto un gran desconocido me gustaría que me informaseis sobre el jugador danés de la Universidad de Florida. Ahora mismo no recuero su nombre, pero he leido cosas sobre él y todas muy buenas.
Gracias de antemano.
Ayer ganó Syracuse su primer partido (69-65 a Rhode Island) con 30 puntos de Warrick y 16 de Billy Edelin.
Michigan State 89 - DePaul 81. Reparto de puntos en los ganadores. 19 para Kelvin Torbert, 16 Chris Hill y Alan Anderson y 13 el novato Shannon Brown.
Stanford 60 - Rice 56.
El jugador de CHarlotte Brendan Plavich tiró y falló su 2º tiro de 2 de la temporada. Aparte de eso metió 4-9 en triples
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