Former Duke standout Grant Hill is criticizing former Michigan star Jalen Rose for saying the Blue Devils "only recruited black players that were "Uncle Toms." "
Rose made the comments in a recent ESPN documentary about Michigan’s “Fab Five,” a class of talented freshman in the early 1990s. Rose said he hated Duke back then and said the ACC program would never recruit someone like him.
In a column that appeared on The New York Times’ website Wednesday, Hill cautions his “fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them back then for their appearance and swagger.”
Hill, whose Duke team beat Michigan in the 1992 national title game, wrote that it’s a “sad” and “pathetic” turn of events to see friends disparaging black athletes at Duke.
Hill currently plays for the Phoenix Suns.
Rose said Wednesday he was only describing how he felt back then, when he was younger.
“I have great respect and appreciation for the Duke program, its players and all they’ve achieved,” Rose said in a statement. “As I said in the documentary, those thoughts were how I felt as a teenager.”
OBAMA: KANSAS RULES
For the third year in a row, President Barack Obama has filled out an NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN. He said Duke, Kansas, Ohio State and Pittsburgh will make the men’s Final Four, with the Jayhawks beating the Buckeyes in the national championship game.
His pick to win it all was revealed Wednesday on SportsCenter.
Obama also picked Kansas to win the title last season, but Northern Iowa upset the Jayhawks in the second round. Duke went on to defeat Butler for the championship.
BRUINS BURNED UP
UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said the school is “extremely disappointed” that the original round center section of basketball court at Pauley Pavilion is to be auctioned online in April.
The 12-foot jump circle, which belongs to a UCLA alum who wants to remain anonymous, was used from 1965-82 by the men’s teams that won eight national championships and the women’s team that won the 1978 national title.
Since it was replaced in 1982, the jump circle has been in storage. In 1998, it was signed by former UCLA coach John Wooden and some of his greatest players, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Sidney Wicks and Walt Hazzard.
Guerrero says the center circle belongs on display after Pauley Pavilion’s current renovation is complete and the arena reopens for the 2012-13 season.
Tennessee athletics director Mike Hamilton says he does not know if embattled Bruce Pearl will be the Volunteers’ coach after this season ends, saying in an interview with WNML-AM in Knoxville, Tenn., that he, the UT-Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek and school trustees will evaluate Pearl after the season ends. Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt interviewed former Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie in Palm Beach, Fla., as a possible successor to Pat Knight. Colgate basketball coach Emmett Davis has been released from his contract by athletic director David Roach. Davis, 51, leaves with an overall record in 13 seasons of 165-212. His victory total is a school record. The First Four matchup between No. 12 seeds Clemson and Alabama-Birmingham on Tuesday drew 1.35 million viewers on truTV, after No. 16 seeds UNC-Asheville and Arkansas-Little Rock drew 1.2 million viewers. Last year’s opening game between No. 16 seeds Winthrop and Arkansas-Pine Bluff drew 1.05 million viewers on ESPN.