Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Jason Terry earns UA degree

May 18, 2014 12:00 am

Arizona Daily Star sports columnist Greg Hansen offers his opinion on recent sports news of interest to Southern Arizonans.

1of 14
  • At 36, after being paid $97.8 million in the NBA, Jason Terry last week earned an undergraduate degree in Social Behavior and Human Understanding from his alma mater.

    Terry, the father of four daughters, was so determined to get his University of Arizona degree that among his final academic credits was an online class in Spanish from Pima College.

    That should square the books, don’t you think?

    Fourteen years after the old Pac-10 president’s council declared him ineligible to enter the UA Sports Hall of Fame and have his jersey put on display at McKale Center, Terry has done his time.

    He repaid the $45,463 in TV money Arizona forfeited from the 1999 NCAA tournament. He admitted he accepted $11,500 from agents Larry Fox and Ndidi Opia while playing for Arizona, and that he broke an NCAA rule by leaving game tickets for Opia under an assumed name during the 1998-99 season.

    Yet the Pac-12 has not yet budged on allowing Arizona to put Terry’s jersey No. 31 on display at McKale, or put him in its Hall of Fame. The UA is quietly working to get those long-ago sanctions abolished. All of the Pac-10 presidents who voted to ban Terry 14 years ago are no longer in the league.

    The Pac-10 was never consistent with Terry’s punishment. It did not remove his name from the conference record book, as the 1998-99 Player of the Year. What’s more, the league continues to block Terry’s induction into the Pac-12 basketball Hall of Honor, even though that group includes Terry’s UA teammate, Miles Simon, who once (unsuccessfully) sued the University of Arizona for $1 million, claiming it leaked his academic transcripts to a Kansas City newspaper.

    A new generation of Pac-12 presidents and Larry Scott’s new league administration should be sensible enough to review Terry’s case and set him free.

  • When Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis finally hires a basketball coach, it isn’t apt to be Arizona assistant coach Damon Stoudamire.

    The way it works, especially at long-suffering OSU, is that De Carolis’ priorities will be 1) win the press conference and 2) protect himself.

    It will be much safer for De Carolis to hire Montana coach Wayne Tinkle, a Big Sky winner who comes from the West’s “Cradle of Coaches,” Montana, a school that has produced Mike MontgomeryLarry Krystkowiak and Stew Morrill. Plus, Tinkle has Pac-12 blood; he grew up near Pullman, Washington, and his daughter played volleyball at Stanford.

    Tinkle, 48, will win the press conference. He has the bearing (he is 6 feet 8 inches tall) and pedigree: he played in the EuroLeague for 12 years. Collegebasketballinsider.com this season named him the “Sexiest Man in College Basketball.”

    De Carolis’ official job posting said the next Beavers basketball coach must have 30 percent supervision/teaching skills; 20 percent vision/leadership; 10 percent budgetary oversight; 10 percent equipment management; 10 percent fundraising ability.

    I don’t doubt that Tinkle, or Stoudamire, needs all of those skills. But De Carolis missed it on one item. He lists recruiting ability at “20 percent.”

    The real number is that recruiting ability is 75 percent, minimum, and all the others are secondary. It’s like the old Yogi Berra line that baseball is “90 percent pitching and 50 percent hitting.” Or something like that.

  • When Ka’Deem Carey reported to the Chicago Bears training camp Friday, he was introduced to Skip Peete, the club’s running backs coach. Ring a bell? Peete was an All-City receiver at Sahuaro High School in 1980 and a letterman at Arizona in 1981 and 1982 before finishing his career at Kansas. He is the son of Willie Peete, a four-year UA letterman (1956-59) who then became one of the school’s most endearing assistant coaches from 1971-82. Skip can tell Carey a bit about high expectations: His younger brother, Rodney Peete, was probably the highest-ranked prep QB ever to play football in Tucson. 

  • Think Steve Kerr might have difficulty making his feelings known to the high-profile millionaires for his new club, the Golden State Warriors? At the end of Kerr’s freshman season at Arizona, 1983-84, he visited the White House with his mother, Ann Kerr, who was a longtime friend of then-Vice President George Bush. During the visit, Bush took Steve and his mother into the office of President Ronald Reagan. The president said, “I understand you play basketball for Arizona State.” Kerr didn’t just shrug it off. “Don’t say that — I’m at Arizona,” he said. 

  • When Dick Tomey was putting together his successful “Back Attack” in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, a key piece of the offense was walk-on fullback Mike Streidnig, a tough guy from New Jersey who was part of the identity of Tomey’s Arizona years. He called them “a bunch of guys named Joe.” Streidnig, who gained 396 yards at Arizona, might’ve been Joe himself. Sadly, he died last week in Las Vegas. Causes of his death have not been made public. He was only 45. His life will be celebrated at a memorial Mass on Monday, 10 a.m., at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 1375 S. Camino Seco.

  • Two of the leading Arizona baseball players of the Andy Lopez years, pitcher Jon Meloan and first baseman C.J. Ziegler, a CDO grad, are now opponents in the independent Atlantic League. Meloan, who has pitched for 13 minor league teams — and for the Dodgers, A’s and Indians — is pitching for the Long Island Ducks. He is 29. Ziegler, 28, who was last year’s American Association Player of the Year for the Wichita Wingnuts, is playing for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Small-world department: one of his Blue Crabs teammates is ex-Sahuaro High and Pima College infielder Jared McDonald. The Atlantic League is not affiliated with MLB. 

  • Since Pat Nugent resigned as Pima College’s football coach in December, he has returned to teaching, at Cienega High School. That will create much speculation that Nugent will replace Nemer Hassey, the Bobcats’ successful football coach, who said he will retire from coaching at the end of the 2014 season. 

  • Walden Grove High school swimmer Trey Cashion, who won state championships in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke in November, has made a recruiting commitment to swim for Rick DeMont at Arizona next season. Cashion is the brother of eight-time UA All-American swimmer Courtney Cashion

  • Sunnyside High grad Michael Smith, the seventh-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two years ago, was released by the Bucs last week. He missed the entire 2013 season with a foot injury, and played in just one game in 2012.

  • I laughed last week when new ASU athletic director Ray Anderson used Washington State’s Martin Stadium and the UA’s Arizona Stadium as examples of why the Pac-12 won’t take a chance on playing its football championship game at member school facilities. Instead, the Pac-12 will play its title game at the 49ers’ new park in Santa Clara, California. This news was greeted by yawns everywhere. There is absolutely no college football fever in the Bay area. Anderson told The Arizona Republic “you can’t really put on a first-class championship game (at Arizona and WSU) because you just don’t have the infrastructure.” I doubt Anderson, an attorney who has spent most of his career working in pro sports, has ever been to Tucson or Pullman. Both have spent in excess of $70 million in the last year redoing football facilities. 

  • The oft-bungling Arizona Interscholastic Association will stage the Canyon del Oro-Ironwood Ridge state championship softball game at Tempe’s Farrington Stadium on Monday night. It will be the fourth time the Dorados have driven to Phoenix in the playoffs. The AIA won’t move the game because it rented the ASU facility and has contracted with a webcaster to televise the game. So what else is new? On Saturday night, Sahuaro and Nogales played a state semifinal baseball game in Maryvale instead of, say, Hi Corbett Field, where they might’ve drawn 2,000 fans instead of about 250. Just once I’d like to see two Phoenix teams stuck playing a state softball or baseball title game in Tucson and see how the AIA would respond to those objections. The parents/family of CDO’s softball players who attend all the playoff games will each probably spend an estimated $500 on gasoline, meals and game tickets. To be fair, the AIA should schedule Hillenbrand Stadium and Kino Stadium for its softball/baseball playoffs every other year. 

  • Since Tucsonan Yewki Tomita won the 1996 Junior Olympics National All-Around gymnastics title, his father and Gymnastics World coach, Yoichi Tomita, steadily produced national contenders. But last week in Long Beach, Calif., at the Junior Nationals, Tomita’s gymnasts went a step beyond. He called their performance the best in his club’s 34 years in Tucson. Nathan Goff won the All-Around championship (Level 10, 17-year-olds), and Angel Leon won the All-Around gold medal (Level 9, 13-year-olds). Leon also won the championship in floor exercise, high bar and vault. Well done.

  • UA athletic director Greg Byrne and his staff have raised in excess of $1.5 million to begin renovations of Hillenbrand Stadium, and the first change will be a modern clubhouse and locker facilities.

    I suspect he will need at least $4 million to someday put in shade canopies and make the fan experience better. Somehow, Oregon won the Pac-12 and rose to No. 1 in college softball this year with perhaps the worst facility in the league, or close.

    The Ducks play in a once-deserted baseball stadium, Howe Field, that is 78 years old and has no modern toilet facilities. The lights are so bad that the Ducks can’t play night games unless they rent portable lights. And did I mention the seemingly endless drizzle in an Oregon spring?

    But the Ducks won because they have a star pitcher, Cheridan Hawkins, who is a game-changer.

    While Arizona awaits its upgrades at Hillenbrand, coach Mike Candrea will be keeping an eye on his much-coveted game-changer, junior lefty Taylor McQuillen of Mission Viejo (Calif.) High School, the nation’s No. 1-ranked softball team. McQuillen committed to play for Candrea a year ago; she was 21-0 to start the season with 231 strikeouts in 126 innings. She is a MaxPreps.com Player of the Year possibility.

    I watched a video of McQuillen. She, like Oregon’s Hawkins, pitches with force and an attitude. Alas, she won’t be eligible to pitch her first Arizona game until February 2016.

  • Galleries Button

1of 14

Latest Video

More videos

Burger King Considering Move to Canada

Burger King is in talks to buy doughnut chain Tim Hortons and create a new holding company headquartered in…

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...
View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...