UCF Basketball Coach Donnie Jones is suspended 3 conference games without pay and will be issued a letter of reprimand.”As the program’s head coach, I accept responsibility for mistakes when they occur,” Jones said in a statement. “I respect Dr. Hitt and the University of Central Florida and believe the decision in this case is fair. I look forward to representing UCF in a positive manner on and off the court.” Jones will miss conference games against Tulane on January 4th, at East Carolina on January 7th, and home game against Houston on January 11th. Jones first game back in conference would be January 14th at Marshall where he coached before coming to UCF. “Out of respect for the NCAA process, I will not discuss these issues further until their resolution.”
The Knights are still waiting word from the NCAA on status of Knights guard A.J Rompza who sat out last saturday exhibition against West Virginia Tech. Rompza is right in the middle of the investigation with his relationship with Ken Caldwell, a recruiter for a professional sports agency, and Brandon Bender, an associate of Caldwell’s. Caldwell and Bender helped UCF in recruitment of six basketball players one of them believed to be be Rompza and five football players by promoting the program. ten of the eleven players in question never played at UCF. Certain staff at UCF were aware of the activities were going on. Bright House Sports Network David Baumann reported saturday night that Rompza will be suspended 15 games according to his sources. I was told late wednesday night that Rompza will be suspended a minimum of 15 games if not longer.
Jeff Jordan is also waiting for NCAA eligibility issues although it is not related to the Caldwell case. Guard Marcus Jordan, forwards P.J.Gaynor and Josh Crittle were suspended last saturday exhibition game due to team rule violations. Crittle sat out last season as he transferred from Oregon.The status of Marcus and Jeff Jordan is up on the air as is P.J.Gaynor and Josh Crittle if they get more punishment. Sources close to program have told me they all could be suspended for the opener if not more. The Knights open the season on Saturday Night at 5pm at UCF Arena against St Thomas.
Here is Entire UCF Press Conference with UCF President Dr John Hitt.[audio:1080/UCFAA_Presser.mp3|titles= UCF President John Hitt Press Conference]
My appearance on Tuck and O’Neill on Wednesday with fallout from press conference.[audio:1080/Eric_Lopez-11-9-11.mp3|titles= Eric Lopez on Tuck and Oneill latest from UCF]