On the Josh Pastner Q&A

Josh Pastner isn’t going to budge on certain things. It’s his greatest strength and most pronounced weakness.

That’s one takeaway from a Q & A with the Memphis Tigers head coach that you can read in its entirety here.

Pastner speaks on many subjects: from Austin Nichols’ transfer to his thoughts about how he is sometimes portrayed in the local media.

He responds to Tiger Nation’s loud displeasure over the university’s initial plan to honor John Calipari, and talks about being compared to Calipari’s best four years at Memphis.

Pastner also recalls the unique way in which he was hired and says he will always take the positive view on things, even though he says he has sometimes been “burned” by doing so.

You can also read shorter versions of in the interview in the print copy of The Daily News and the weekly Memphis News.

– Don Wade

Memphis releases 2015-16 basketball schedule

The University of Memphis basketball team face 11 opponents that played in the 2015 postseason and will play Ole Miss for the first time since meeting in the 2010 NIT and 2006 regular season.
uofmlogoThe Rebels come to FedExForum Dec. 18; it is one of seven home December games. The Tigers play 11 of the first 12 games at home, with a Nov. 27 neutral site game vs. Ohio State.
Memphis opens with a Nov. 6 exhibition game against LeMoyne-Owen. The season opener is at home vs. Southern Miss, and three days later Oklahoma’s Sooners come to FedExForum. Oklahoma could be a preseason Top 10 team.
Other opponents listed in early preseason rankings include American Athletic Conference foes SMU, Connecticut and Cincinnati. The Tigers play the Huskies and Bearcats at FedExForum on Feb. 4 and 6, respectively.
The AAC postseason tournament will be March 10-13 in Orlando, Fla.

Here’s the entire schedule, including which network(s) will televise each game.

– Don Wade

Memphis Football Players Suspended for BYU Brawl

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

An Important Look at Philanthropy and the Urban Child Institute

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 picks new head chef, adds Saturday brunch

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.