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College basketball

Villanova escapes sanctions

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 10, 2003

PHILADELPHIA -- The NCAA will not sanction Villanova over allegations former star Tim Thomas accepted lavish gifts from a man who wanted to be his agent.

Villanova officials said the NCAA informed the university Wednesday too much time had passed since the alleged violation in the 1996-97 school year.

An NCAA spokeswoman confirmed the inquiry had been closed because of case's age. NCAA rules generally limit inquiries to infractions no more than four years old.

Ahmad Matari, a clothing store owner in Paterson, N.J., filed a suit in December claiming he showered Thomas with gifts during his freshman year after Thomas agreed to make him his agent once he turned pro.

CALIPARI STAYING: John Calipari, who has been mentioned for several coaching openings, insists he is staying at Memphis. The Tigers reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996 this season and are 71-31 in three seasons under Calipari.

ARKANSAS: The university asked a federal judge to dismiss Nolan Richardson's lawsuit against it and three officials, saying any obligations to the ex-coach are being fulfilled through a $3-million buyout of his contract.

ARK.-LITTLE ROCK: Porter Moser, who was 54-34 in three seasons, is leaving to coach Illinois State. Third-year assistant Steve Shields will be interim coach.

DAYTON: Brian Gregory, who spent the past four seasons as an associate coach at Michigan State, was hired as coach. He succeeds Oliver Purnell, who left after nine seasons to coach Clemson.

WINTHROP: Coach Gregg Marshall will stay with the Eagles through 2009 after the university extended his contract another year. Marshall finished 20-10 in his fifth season and was Big South Conference coach of the year a second time.

WOMEN: Susie Gardner was hired as coach at Arkansas after guiding Austin Peay to a school-record 27-4 mark this season. She replaces Gary Blair, who was named Texas A&M's coach March31. Gardner was 112-92 in seven seasons at Austin Peay.

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