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Harrick Accused of Infractions

March 10, 2003|From Associated Press

Georgia Coach Jim Harrick refused to talk Sunday about allegations made by a former employee at Rhode Island that he had grades changed and arranged for boosters to pay players while he was coach of the Rams.

The accusations against Harrick come from a December deposition in a sexual harassment suit field by Christine King, who worked for him in 1997 and 1998, according to the Providence (R.I.) Journal.

"We have put this behind us. We are focusing on nothing but basketball," Harrick said after his 25th-ranked Bulldogs defeated South Carolina, 60-55, in overtime at Columbia, S.C. "We forgot the past, we're thinking about the future. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives."

In her sworn statement, King accused Harrick of successfully lobbying to have grades changed for Luther Clay and Lamar Odom, who now plays for the Clippers.

King also said Harrick arranged for players to get cars, housing and money from Rhode Island boosters. Team managers wrote term papers for several players that she would type, according to the deposition.

Rhode Island paid King $45,000 in exchange for her dropping her lawsuit. The school also admitted no guilt.

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Gary Buchanan hoped to end his career at Villanova with a trip to the NCAA tournament, but he might not even join his teammates at the Big East tournament. The senior guard was one of 12 players suspended by the school Saturday for allegedly making unauthorized telephone calls.

The suspensions, ranging from three to eight games, were staggered, allowing the Wildcats to field a seven-man team Sunday against No. 7 Pittsburgh. The same seven players will suit up for the first-round game against Georgetown on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

However, it's uncertain whether the suspended players will be allowed to travel with the team. The school will consult with the NCAA before making its decision, possibly today.

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