CBK Roundup: NCAA clears North Carolina G McDonald to play

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North Carolina senior guard Leslie McDonald was cleared to play immediately by the NCAA on Wednesday after sitting out nine games because of a suspension for receiving improper benefits.

Teammate PJ Hairston, the team's leading scorer last season, remains suspended. The NCAA said it had not received any other reinstatement requests from North Carolina outside of Hairston's.

Yahoo! Sports reported that Hairston, who has not played this season, might leave school and declare his eligibility for the NBA Draft. Earlier this year, Hairston was involved in a series of incidents involving rental cars and improper benefits that connected the junior to Haydn "Fats" Thomas, a convicted felon.

McDonald was eligible to play for 14th-ranked North Carolina on Wednesday night against Texas.

As part of the NCAA ruling, McDonald must repay $1,783 to a charity of his choice before the Tar Heels' final regular-season game on March 8 against Duke. The impermissible benefits included luxury cars, payment of parking tickets, a cell phone and lodging.

The NCAA said it received a reinstatement request for McDonald from the university on Dec. 11. North Carolina reported that it uncovered the violations on Oct. 24. According to the report, McDonald accepted extra benefits from several individuals during the spring and summer of 2013.

 

---Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson's rant after Tuesday night's loss to Murray State -- during which he called his team "mama's boys," used off-colored language and criticized one player by name -- drew plenty of attention and reaction on Wednesday after it was posted online.

"I've got a bunch of mama's boys right now," Hinson said during his postgame news conference after the 63-65 loss dropped the Salukis' record this season to 2-8. "We just won't buck up and bow our necks. We've got to get through that. I'm tired of coaching a guy and having him roll his eyes or put his head down or feel sorry for himself. This is big time. People lose their jobs."

Southern Illinois athletic director Mario Moccia told ESPN that he understood the second-year coach's frustration and talked to him about it.

Hinson expressed remorse to ESPN.

"I'm not going to fake who I am," he said. "I'm an emotional guy and I love my players, but I was frustrated with their overall lack of effort. I felt bad about mentioning one of my player's names. That was a mistake."

Southern Illinois fans are getting used to Hinson's outbursts and his passion for the game.

"I know he's a good man," Moccia told ESPN. "But he can have these Yosemite Sam bombastic outbursts. He does use a lot of colorful language, but people understand. A vast majority of fans like Barry and his passion. He's bringing energy to the program and trying to turn it around."

Some of the colorful comments on Tuesday night included:

* "I've been telling my wife this for years: Size doesn't matter" after Southern Illinois was outrebounded.

* "My wife -- my wife! -- can score more than two buckets on 11 shots because I know my wife will at least shot-fake one time."

* "To me, when you've got a young team, it's a lot like house training a puppy dog. You know what, when the dog does something wrong, 'bad dog.' I'm not going to hit 'em. I'm not going to swat 'em, but bad dog, get on the treadmill."

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