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Sports briefs for June 6, 2014

By Staff and Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Husson’s Merrill gains New England honor

Husson University softball standout Kayla Merrill has been named to the 2014 ECAC Division III New England All-Star First Team.

Merrill was recognized at third base on the first team, and was the only representative of the North Atlantic Conference selected.

Merrill helped lead the Eagles to their sixth straight North Atlantic Conference title and a berth to the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament.

She was also named the North Atlantic Conference Player of the Year after ranking among the league’s best in most offensive categories, including a league-high five home runs, 22 runs scored, and six stolen bases. She also recorded three shutouts.

Scarborough softball player named state’s Gatorade Player of Year

Scarborough High School senior pitcher-first baseman Alyssa Williamson has been named the state’s Gatorade (Player of the Year in softball.

Lefty Williamson, who will attend Drexel University in Philadelphia in the fall, was 6-0 with a 1.32 earned-run average and had 63 strikeouts in 47 ⅔ innings. She also hit .468 with five homers and 28 runs batted in.

Williamson led the Red Storm to a 16-0 record and the top seed in Western Maine Class A.

McCants claims he took bogus classes at UNC

University of North Carolina’s academic fraud scandal has turned toward the basketball program with claims made by former star Rashad McCants telling ESPN that he took bogus courses, rarely went to classes and tutors wrote his term papers.

McCants said the extra help kept him eligible during the 2004-05 season when the Tar Heels won the NCAA championship.

McCants discussed the “paper-class” system at North Carolina, which allowed students to write a term paper instead of actually attending courses. Also, McCants was on the Dean’s List in the spring of 2005 even though he did not go to class.

McCants claimed that coach Roy Williams and the athletic department knew about the fraud, including the “paper-class” system.

“I remained eligible to finish out and win the championship, his first championship, and everything was peaches and cream,” McCants said.

The school’s academic fraud scandal has been in the news since 2011, though it mainly involved the football team until McCants’ accusations. The scandal has centered on its African-American Studies program. McCants took 18 AFAM classes, according to McCants’ academic transcript that was obtained by ESPN.

North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham responded to McCants’ claims via a statement.

Jazz to select Snyder as coach

Quin Snyder is expected to become the next coach of the Utah Jazz, according to multiple reports Friday.

Snyder, an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks, is set to sign a three-year contarct with a team option for a fourth year. Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsay worked with Snyder while both were with the San Antonio Spurs’ organization.

Snyder has not been a head coach in the NBA but has worked as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers before going to the Hawks last season.

After Snyder left Missouri in the shadow of an NCAA investigation, he served as coach of the Spurs’ NBA Development League team. Snyder gained additional experience as an assistant for CSKA Moscow, a European power coached by legendary Ettore Messina.

Snyder, who replaces Tyrone Corbin, is expected to hire Messina as an assistant with the Jazz.

Among the finalists for the Utah job were Los Angeles Clippers lead assistant Alvin Gentry and Chicago Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin, according to ESPN.


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