July 6, 2016
After a less-than-stellar freshman season at Mississippi State University, guard Malik Newman decided to test the NBA waters. Newman chose to return to school once it was certain that he wouldn’t get drafted late in the first round or early in the second.
Signs showed that Newman might not have heard his named called on draft night in either round.
As one of the top recruits in the nation and the top recruit in Mississippi, it was expected that the star guard would spend one season in college. Instead, he averaged just 11.3 points per game and only shot 39 percent from the field.
After withdrawing from the draft, Newman has ultimately decided to leave MSU. Newman informed ESPN that he will be transferring to the University of Kansas.
The Jayhawks, along with Kentucky, were one of several schools vying for Newman’s college commitment. The six-foot, three-inch playmaker decided on Kansas after trips to North Carolina State University, Western Kentucky University and the University of Oregon.
Currently, the starting Jayhawks guards are senior Frank Mason and junior Devonte’ Graham. Newman will have to sit out next season under the NCAA transfer rules.
In Mississippi tennis news, Jackson State University won the 2016 SWAC Men’s Championship, but the actions of a former coach have put the program in hot water with the NCAA. The Division I Committee on Infractions placed the program on one-year probation from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017.
The violations occurred when former coach Scott Pennington used an ineligible student athlete under the name of a student who was eligible to play. The NCAA cited that the former coach failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance and knew the student wasn’t eligible to practice or take place in competitions.
Still, Pennington allowed the player to practice and reimbursed the student for travel-related expenses on at least two occasions. The NCAA determined that the student received impermissible recruiting benefits.
The NCAA’s other penalties and corrective measures include a public reprimand and censure of the university, a two-year show-cause penalty for Pennington from July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018, a $5,000 fine, and the forfeiture of any wins that the ineligible student athlete participated in.
Pennington committed these violations in 2015 before Lois Alexis replaced him. In her first season as the men’s and women’s coach, Alexis earned the honor of the SWAC Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year after leading the JSU men to a title.
*CORRECTION: In a previous version of this story, Mississippi State was incorrectly named the University of Mississippi State. Also, Malik Newman committed to MSU after Rick Ray was fired, not before.