Friday, October 24, 2003
NASHVILLE --- On April 15, 2003, TSU began a new era in men's basketball when it hired Cy Alexander III to be the new head coach of the men's basketball program. Today with the release of the NCAA findings and its resolution of the infractions pending against TSU, the institution can move forward to the next chapter. The penalties imposed against TSU include probation for 3 years, loss of one grant-in-aid for two years, and a decreased number of official visits for recruits. Former head men's basketball coach Nolan Richardson III, who resigned from TSU on Jan. 9, 2003, pending a termination hearing, received a "show cause provision," which would require any NCAA member institution wishing to employ him in an athletically related position to appear before the NCAA. This will be in effect for three years. "We accept the findings and resolutions of the NCAA infractions committee," said TSU president James A. Hefner, "and look forward to the continued growth and development of our athletics program." TSU athletics director Teresa Phillips said, "We are relieved and pleased that this experience is behind us. We welcome a new era of men's basketball at TSU with our new leader Cy Alexander. We are excited about the future!" In recent years, TSU has won two OVC championships in men's basketball and two in women's basketball. TSU has won four OVC championships in women's track, thus maintaining the winning tradition of the Tigerbelles, under the direction of Chandra Cheeseborough, former Tigerbelle and Olympic gold medalist, who has been named OVC coach of the year twice. In 1991, TSU had the lowest graduation rate in the nation in NCAA Division I-AA. Today, TSU has the highest graduation rate, 63 percent in the Tennessee Board of Regents system and among historically black colleges and universities. TSU recently won the OVC academic banner for the achievements of its athletes in the classroom. TSU has a long and rich athletics tradition, sending more than 100 student-athletes to professional football teams and winning national championships in men's basketball in 1957, 1958 and 1959 under Coach John McLendon. Fifty-eight track-and-field athletes have participated in the Olympics, capturing 30 medals: 16 gold, eight silver and six bronze.