When last we saw the University of Memphis football team in action they were winning the Miami Beach Bowl and then fighting on the field afterward with Brigham Young University players.
It was an ugly scene, with plenty of blame to go around though BYU apparently isn’t going to hand out any real punishment until after playing at Nebraska in the first game of the season. Convenient.
The Tigers open this Saturday at home against Missouri State (not exactly Nebraska), but several players will miss time.
Memphis head coach Justin Fuente announced at his weekly press luncheon on Monday, Aug. 31, that linebacker Leonard Pegues would miss the Missouri State game and the first half of the Sept. 12 game at Kansas. Defensive lineman Isadore Outing also will miss the Missouri State game.
Four players will miss the first half of the Missouri State game: offensive linemen Nick Thomas, Michael Stannard and Trevon Tate, and cornerback Chauncey Lanier. Linebacker Noah Robinson had to fulfill additional requirements but was not suspended. Combined, the affected players also did more than 300 hours of community service, according to Fuente.
The suspensions were determined in coordination with the American Athletic Conference.
“This was not an incident that I was proud of or we were proud of,” Fuente said in announcing the punishments. “Our kids have done a great job of owning it, standing up to it, understanding that it’s not what we represent.”
– Don Wade
Our friends at The Memphis Flyer did a really interesting, important story on the meaning of philanthropy, focused most pointedly on the Urban Child Institute. It’s definitely worth a read.
“TUCI itself has the means to affect some of the changes it so specifically defines each year. The tiny Memphis nonprofit organization sits on a gold mine — more than $148 million in investment assets….”
And for reference, take a look at Memphis Magazine’s breakdown of giving and spending at a range of Memphis non-profits:
Celtic Crossing Irish Pub and Restaurant has a new head chef.
He’s Will Renick, whose first initiative was the expansion of Celtic’s brunch to Saturdays. That kicked off Aug. 8 to coincide with the start of the English Premier League soccer season.
Renick joined the Celtic team in 2012 as sous chef.
Although a date has not yet been set, the University of Memphis men’s basketball team will have a 2015-16 preseason Fan Appreciation Day instead of a Midnight Madness-style event.
Coach Josh Pastner confirmed the switch after the Wednesday, Aug. 19, press conference in which university officials announced the start of the public phase of a $40 million capital campaign for new football and men’s basketball practice facilities.
“It’s not that we’re not having Memphis Madness,” Pastner told reporters. “We’re not having a Memphis Madness as it has been in my past six years as a head coach. What we’re doing is having a Fan Appreciation Day, a fan fest.”
Pastner said the event would allow fans to have more interaction with players and a better chance to get autographs. Going away from the Midnight Madness-style event had been widely speculated in media due to a concern that turnout would be low after a disappointing 2014-15 season and the recent transfer of hometown recruit and leading scorer Austin Nichols to Virginia.
Asked if a potentially higher-profile event such as Memphis Madness was needed to stir enthusiasm, Pastner said: “I don’t think we need any rah-rah. What we need is to go get the job done on the floor. And that’s what Tiger Nation wants.”
– Don Wade
The Memphis Grizzlies have announced their 2015 preseason schedule, including exhibition contests against three of the four teams that advanced to this past season’s conference finals. The Grizzlies will play a total of seven preseason games.
Memphis will tip-off preseason action at FedExForum against the Houston Rockets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6. The Grizzlies will host three additional preseason games against Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Basketball Super League (Thursday, Oct. 8), the Oklahoma City Thunder (Friday, Oct. 16) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (Sunday, Oct. 18).
The Grizzlies also will travel to point guard Mike Conley’s alma mater in Columbus, Ohio, to play the Cleveland Cavaliers (Monday, Oct. 12) at Value City Arena at The Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.
They also have road preseason contests against the Atlanta Hawks (Wednesday, Oct. 21) and Orlando Magic (Friday, Oct. 23).
Single game tickets for all Grizzlies preseason and regular season home games will go on sale at a later date to be announced. Tickets for these contests will be available for purchase by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX, at all Ticketmaster locations, Ticketmaster.com, the FedExForum box office or grizzlies.com.
– Don Wade