Friday night, sophomore forward Dominique Ferguson said his appeal of the athletic department's refusal to release him from his scholarship was denied. He was notified by an e-mail from Dr. Stephen Fain, Professor Emeritus in the College of Education and FIU's faculty athletics representative to the NCAA. CC'd on the e-mail were Dr. Pete E.C. Markowitz of the Physics Department; Thomas Baker, Law Preofessor; senior associate athletic director Julie Berg-McGraw; and complaince director Valerie Sheley.
Ferguson said the e-mail, sent four hours after his appeal meeting Friday, informed him the powers that be felt it would benefit him better to stay at FIU.
Never mind that the coach I personally saw make sure Ferguson went to class and got all the tutoring help needed being thrown out of FIU's house like some husband busted for getting something on the side. Never mind there's no coaching staff there now to follow up in the same manner.
The firings occurred hours before First Seder of Passover, but the school's trying to stem an exodus. It might take someone demanding, "Let my people go" while a sibling throws down a staff that turns into a snake.
FIU can't hold onto what's not there yet. Two players from Boca Raton Grandview Prep, 6-9 power foward Windale Glinton and 6-3 point guard Ivan Canete, both had committed verbally to FIU for 2013. Last Friday's firing of Isiah Thomas changed a few things.
Canete and Glinton's Grandview Prep coach announced their decommittment in a Friday afternoon phone call to me. Canete averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 assists, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game for Grandview this season. MaxPreps has him as the No. 56 ranked player in the state.
I see one of the comment debates has been about Richaud Pack. I don't know the exact reason he left, but I do know it happened weeks after a Nov. 28 practice altercation. Pack stormed out of practice shouting he'd been punched in the face by Phil Taylor (other witnesses denied any fisticuffs took place). Thomas tried to calm Pack down and physically restrain him, but Pack twisted away and stormed off.
Pack was granted his scholarship release and transferred to Division III Adrian College, where he played his first game Dec. 22. Pack started seven of 18 games and averaged 14.6 points per game on 42.9 percent shooting.