By PETE YOUNG
© St. Petersburg Times,
published October 12, 2001
An annual rite of autumn is returning to South Florida: Midnight Madness.
After a two-year hiatus, USF will host Bull Madness tonight at the Sun Dome as the men's and women's basketball teams begin fall practice at midnight.
The doors open at 10, and among the activities will be audience contests, a skit featuring basketball players, a dunk contest and scrimmage.
Men's coach Seth Greenberg, whose team is coming off an 18-13 season, credits the student government with spearheading the return of Bull Madness.
"It's great to see such support from the university community to help bring Bull Madness back to campus," Greenberg said.
AWAITING JUDGMENT: Senior center Mike Bernard will be forced to miss some basketball games this season. How many remains to be seen.
Bernard (6 feet 11, 280 pounds) will be penalized by the NCAA for participating in 21 games as a reserve with a professional team in his native England.
Bernard was not paid, but according to NCAA rules, he must sit out 21 USF games. The NCAA is cracking down on such situations, and 58 players across the country are being punished for similar violations, said Steve Horton, USF assistant athletic director for compliance.
Conference USA commissioner Mike Slive has initiated a proposal to the NCAA, through the Collegiate Commissioners Association, to have the penalties reduced to 20 percent of the games played but no more than eight, meaning Bernard's punishment could be reduced to five games.
Horton said a decision could come as soon as the end of this week, if the NCAA's academic eligibility compliance subcommittee decides to rule. If the subcommittee defers, it won't be decided until Oct. 21-22, when the NCAA Management Council convenes.
POLAR OPPOSITES: The two men's basketball commitments, Orlando Evans power forward Yusuf Baker and Hamden (Conn.) Hall guard Danny Oglesby, are as different as it gets.
Baker is big (6-8, 220) from a big (Class 6A) in-state public school, and he's a nationally recognized player, ranking in the top 100 -- and sometimes top 50 -- on virtually every recruiting list.
Oglesby is just 6-2 and barely known outside New England. His Class D school, on the outskirts of New Haven and with a tuition of $17,000, has just 115 male students. He is a blip on recruiting lists, but his coach, David Beckerman, said Oglesby excels in leaping ability, long-range shooting and academics.
KNOCKED DOWN, BACK UP: The previously unbeaten men's soccer team was shut out in Friday's showdown with UAB. But the Bulls demonstrated something significant afterward: character.
Less than 48 hours after losing for the first time, and losing 3-0, USF bounced back Sunday to defeat East Carolina 1-0 in Greenville, N.C. Largo graduate Joe Valencia scored in the 60th minute as the Bulls improved to 9-1, 3-1 in C-USA and got right back on the winning track.
The UAB loss dropped USF 10 spots to No. 18 in the Soccer America rankings. The Bulls are headed back to North Carolina for a tournament, playing host UNC-Greensboro at 7:30 p.m. today and North Carolina at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Tar Heels (8-2) are No. 9 in Soccer America.
GOING TO CAROLINA: The volleyball team also will play in North Carolina this weekend. After losing in five games to Louisville on Sunday at the Corral, USF (9-6, 3-3) plays at 7 tonight at Charlotte and at 7 Saturday at East Carolina.
- Pete Young covers USF sports. He can be reached at (727) 893-8129 or by e-mail at