Pat Forde

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Pat Forde is Yahoo! Sports’ national college columnist. He is an award-winning writer, author and commentator with 25 years experience in newspapers and online.

  • What Ole Miss could be facing in aftermath of Laremy Tunsil mess

    Opinions from three people familiar with the NCAA investigative process varied Friday on the jeopardy Mississippi could face after the social-media revelations Thursday night aimed at first-round draft pick Laremy Tunsil.

    One source told Yahoo Sports: “This information is as compelling and incredible as you can get at the NCAA. But it’s not a slam dunk. They’re going to have a hard time proving it.”

    But another said of the Rebels: “They’re screwed.”

    This is one of the problems with the complex world of NCAA rules and procedures. Even those well-versed in them can see a situation very differently.

    A text image of Laremy Tunsil's alleged conversation.A text image of Laremy Tunsil's alleged conversation. All three sources agreed on one thing: further investigation of Ole Miss undoubtedly already has begun. The school released a statement Friday saying it “will aggressively investigate and fully cooperate with the NCAA and the SEC.” And the NCAA assuredly has been in communication with the school. (The NCAA refuses to comment on current investigations; Ole Miss in January received a Notice of

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  • What Laremy Tunsil's apparent admission means for Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze

    Mississippi football has spent three years walking a high wire without a net.

    Thursday night, after several wobbles but just inches from finishing this dangerously ambitious walk in triumph, the Rebels fell.

    It could be a very hard landing.

    The first round of the NFL draft, generally a celebration for young men and the schools they attended, turned into a real-time nightmare for Ole Miss and a stunning series of embarrassments for its star offensive tackle, Laremy Tunsil. In a viciously timed display of social-media revenge, someone apparently hacked into Tunsil’s Twitter and Instagram accounts – posting information that led the No. 13 pick to admitting that a released video of him smoking what appears to be marijuana in a gas mask was real, and apparently admitting that he took money from an Ole Miss staffer while a player for the Rebels.

    Laremy Tunsil appeared to indicate he received money from a member of Mississippi's football staff. (AP)Laremy Tunsil appeared to indicate he received money from a member of Mississippi's football staff. (AP)How’s that for destroying draft night? And further jeopardizing Ole Miss' tenuous status with the NCAA?

    After this startling live attack on his

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  • Why it looks more likely the NCAA will go soft on N.C.'s men's basketball program

    For years, people have been asking when NCAA justice would be delivered unto North Carolina for its 18 years of academic misconduct that benefited more than 1,000 athletes.

    Those questions intensified as the Tar Heels men's basketball program – whose players were proportionally one of the most enthusiastic participants in the African and Afro-American Studies bogus classes scandal – advanced to this year's NCAA tournament championship game. The sense among many fan bases was that the Tar Heels were getting away scot-free, and those fan bases wanted to know when the hammer would fall.

    The long NCAA investigation has made recruiting more difficult for Roy Williams and North Carolina. (AP)The long NCAA investigation has made recruiting more difficult for Roy Williams and North Carolina. (AP)Today, we are closer to an answer.

    And that answer looks even more like never.

    The school received an amended NCAA Notice of Allegations Monday, nearly 11 months after the initial notice arrived. There still are five Level I allegations – the most serious violations in the NCAA penalty structure – but some things have changed.

    The charge of "impermissible benefits" to athletes who were enrolled in the

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  • Breaking down the cost of everything in Ludacris' rider for Georgia's spring game

    When Ludacris' ludicrous shopping list for his appearance at Georgia's G-Day spring football game became public Tuesday, the questions came quickly:

    Seriously?

    How much did all this cost?

    And how hard was it to find?

    There was only one thing for a reporter to do: get to the grocery store with Luda's list and price it out. So that's what I did Wednesday morning, putting myself in the role of Georgia's shopper for the rap star who would perform prior to Kirby Smart's first public show as football coach of the Bulldogs.

    Ludacris preforms at Georgia's spring game. (AP)Ludacris preforms at Georgia's spring game. (AP)About 80 minutes of retail scavenger hunting later, my empathy for the unknown Georgia athletic department staffer assigned to this chore was immense. Ludacris was booked in a hurry (just a few days before the game), and so the shopping had to be done in a hurry. This required SEC speed.

    If the entire, 42-item hospitality rider dictated contractually by Ebony Son Management was completed, whoever did it deserves a raise. Imagine you are the grad assistant or other

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  • Michael Phelps sizes up international competition ahead of Olympics

    MESA, Ariz. – There is no greater student of the sport of swimming than the greatest of all swimmers, Michael Phelps.

    So rest assured, he’s been watching the world as several of the top swimming nations recently staged their Olympic qualifying meets. It’s time to start figuring out where Phelps and the other Americans stand as they head toward the Olympic trials in Omaha in June.

    “That’s something I’ve always paid attention to my whole career,” Phelps said here Wednesday, a day before he will compete in the Mesa Arena Pro swim meet as the last competitive tune-up before Omaha. “It gives us an idea where the rest of the world is, and where we need to be to be in the mix.”

    Right now, not a single American male is No. 1 in the world in any of the 13 individual events that will be contested in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August. Of course, none of the top Americans have competed on full rest yet in 2016, so that assuredly will change after the U.S. trials. For now, though, at

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  • The most confusing hires of the college basketball coaching carousel

    Just seven of the 65 basketball coaching jobs in power-five football conferences have come open in 2016, a low number. Most of the replacements made sense.

    At Oklahoma State, Travis Ford was replaced by Stephen F. Austin coach Brad Underwood. His 89-14 record in three seasons, including two NCAA tournament victories, pretty much demanded an upgrade.

    At Rutgers, Eddie Jordan was replaced by Stony Brook’s Steve Pikiell. Any change is good at the State University of New Jersey, which lunged at Jordan as a stop-the-bleeding hire after the Mike Rice Jr. fiasco. Pikiell, with five straight 20-win seasons and a ’16 NCAA tournament berth, should improve the miserable product immediately.Georgia Tech announced Josh Pastner as its new head coach on April 8. (AP)Georgia Tech announced Josh Pastner as its new head coach on April 8. (AP)

    At TCU, they hit an alma-mater home run with the hiring of Jamie Dixon away from Pittsburgh. This is instant credibility for a program that had very little.

    And then there is the temporary insanity that seems to have gripped the Atlantic Coast Conference – specifically Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. The hires

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  • Louisville imposes more sanctions on basketball team in wake of escort scandal

    Louisville is self-imposing more sanctions on its men's basketball team.

    The school will announce Wednesday that it is stripping itself of two scholarships and two official visits in the coming years. The scholarship reductions, from the NCAA maximum of 13, will be one apiece for 2017-18 and 2018-19. The official visit reductions will be one apiece this year and in 2016-17.

    Louisville and coach Rick Pitino had already received a self-imposed postseason ban for this season. (AP)Louisville and coach Rick Pitino had already received a self-imposed postseason ban for this season. (AP)Louisville will also reduce its recruiting days by 30 this year – missing 24 this month and the remaining six in July. That is an approximate 24 percent reduction in recruiting opportunities for the season.

    "After much deliberation, the University believes that self-imposing these penalties is appropriate," outside legal counsel Steve Thompson said in a Louisville release issued Wednesday. "While the University could elect to wait until the infractions process is complete, those consulted agree that these penalties are consistent with NCAA legislation, and imposing these penalties now is the right thing to do and

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  • How Villanova's Kris Jenkins delivered the most thrilling national title ever


    HOUSTON – Kris Jenkins had the national championship trophy in his hands. National championship hat on his head. National championship net threaded through the back of the hat.

    As NRG Stadium still buzzed with the aftershocks from the greatest ending the NCAA tournament has ever seen, Jenkins stood on the podium and faced the stadium big screen. He was waiting for the show every college basketball player dreams of starring in.

    The music started, and he sucked in his lips. “One Shining Moment” played. Kris Jenkins watched – still in something of a dream state – and shook his head. Like he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

    When the video montage of the 2016 tournament came to its final scene – Jenkins swishing the buzzer-beating 3-pointer that lifted Villanova past North Carolina, 77-74, a climactic shot that pushes Lorenzo Charles, Keith Smart, Mario Chalmers, Christian Laettner and every other hero down a notch in March Madness lore – Jenkins nodded.

    Making the shot? He could

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  • Approaching retirement age, UNC's Roy Williams as feisty and thin-skinned as ever

    HOUSTON – Roy Williams lives at a conflicted intersection. He fancies himself a fighter but has an emotional glass jaw.

    He will say he doesn't care about the critical things that are occasionally said and written about him, but some of them still seem to crawl inside his self-acknowledged thin skin and take root. After beating Syracuse on Saturday night, Williams said he was looking for a couple of Orange fans he heard taunt him pregame about losing in the 2003 national title game.

    At his core, Williams badly wants to be liked and respected despite working in a business where enemies are made all the time. The Appalachian kid who was raised poor by a single parent seems to crave being embraced and understood. Yet basketball coaches are booed and misunderstood routinely.

    It's a nearly impossible balance he's been trying to achieve for all these years.

    Roy Williams is seeking his third national championship. (AP)Roy Williams is seeking his third national championship. (AP)Even now, at age 65 and worth millions, the leader of the North Carolina Tar Heels seems to vacillate between hard feelings and hurt

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