Kent defends program;Sports;The former coach, who says he hasn’t been contacted about probe, claims
Byline: Bob Clark The Register-Guard
Ernie Kent and two of his assistants during the final two
seasons of his tenure as the Oregon men’s
basketball coach said Wednesday they
haven’t been contacted as part of the probe into the eligibility
ofplayers on Kent’s final two teams.
Kent, fired after last season, also offered a strong defense of
his program, saying it was “above reproach” in its standards
related toacademics and NCAA rules.
“I was at Oregon for 13 years,” Kent said. “I think my track
record speaks for itself.”
There has been no indication of any wrongdoing by coaches on the
previous or current staff, according to sources who spoke with The
In acknowledging through a release to the media that there was a
probe into the eligibility of players on the past two teams, Oregon
limited itself to stating there was a question about the
eligibility of”former players” and it had asked for Pac-10
assistance, “which in turn forwarded the information onto the NCAA
“I don’t know what they could be talking about,” said Yasir
Rosemond, a Kent assistant now in the same position at Seattle
University. “I guess they’ll investigate and we’ll see what
Asked if he had been contacted by Oregon, the Pac-10 or NCAA for
information on the matter, Rosemond said “nobody has talked to
Mark Hudson, dismissed by Kent when the head coach reorganized
hisstaff after the 2008-09 season, also said he’s had no contact
with anyone about the probe, and declined comment otherwise beyond
affirming he was unaware of any possible violations.
Mike Dunlap, the assistant hired for Kent’s final season after
Hudson was let go, didn’t respond to messages left for him.
He now works at St. John’s University in New York.
Kenny Payne, the other Kent assistant, is now at the University
ofKentucky, where a spokesman for the school responded to a
reporter’sattempt to contact Payne by citing the school policy that
“members of the basketball staff are not available for
Oregon has not identified any of the players who could be in
question, but a source told The Register-Guard that none of the
remaining nine scholarship players on the Ducks’ roster are under
While Oregon also hasn’t given any indication of why the
eligibility of the “former players” is under review, sources
indicated to The Register-Guard that Oregon’s probe started with
questions for MichaelDunigan about possible extra benefits he had
received, which would be an NCAA violation and likely make him
That, say the sources, is what prompted Dunigan to leave Oregon
and sign a contract with a professional team in Israel earlier this
Rosemond said making that connection was tenuous reasoning,
“I think Mike just decided to go overseas,” Rosemond said.
“Lots of guys go overseas to play.”