Kevin Panzer is not coming to Penn

We've got a multitude of reports coming out right now that Penn basketball prospect Kevin Panzer will not be heading to Penn this fall. Instead, an NBC affiliate out of Northern Nevada has confirmed that Panzer will sign to the University of Nevada (the Wolf Pack) very soon. The report has since been picked up by KOLO-TV, out of Reno.

A classmate of recruit Casey James, who is expected to come to Penn, Panzer initially announced his verbal recruitment to Penn in August. But after the Quakers, under coach Glen Miller, had already lost four straight games, Panzer decommitted. About two weeks later, Miller was dismissed from his contract, and Jerome Allen took his spot.

Though several recruits thought Panzer was going to commit to Penn, he was courted by both Nevada and Iowa in the last month. Panzer took an official visit to Nevada last weekend; it appears that caused him to seal the deal.

Leibovitz leaves Hartford, possibly for Penn

The University of Hartford announced this evening that head coach Dan Leibovitz has resigned his position. Though Leibovitz signed a contract that would have kept him at Hartford until 2013-14, ESPN.com's Andy Katz reports that Leibovitz said he expects to be an assistant at Penn, replacing John Gallagher, who departed for Boston College to work under former Cornell coach Steve Donanhue (look for more on that in tomorrow's DP).

For those of you who have been following this blog, you'll know that Leibovitz told us in March that he was not interested in the Penn head coaching position and endorsed his friend Jerome Allen for the job. But he said nothing about returning to campus as one of Jerome Allen's new assistants.

We'll be updating this post as we get more information.

Big event for a new era

The DP ran two columns today. One written by Cal Silcox about Steve Donahue's new position at Boston College, and one that I wrote about what I perceived as a missed opportunity to publicize the press conference.

It turns out those topics were far more related than either of us realized.

It looks like Donahue will be getting quite the warm welcome at Boston College. This splash page (I'll add a screenshot after the jump for those of you who will see this after the press conference) is a giant announcement of the kind of event that I was talking about.It even features the words "a new era in BC basketball." And if the prizes (season tickets! flight vouchers!) weren't enough to motivate students, the fact there's an actual event being publicized here can't be underestimated.

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Leibovitz has not interviewed for position

Rumors have been buzzing around message boards and on campus that University of Hartford coach Dan Leibovitz was in Penn last weekend to interview for the men's basketball coaching position.

But Leibovitz told The Daily Pennsylvanian there was no truth to the "ludicrous rumor." Not only did he not interview for the position, but he threw his endorsement behind interim coach Jerome Allen.

"I want Jerome to get the job," he said, adding "me interviewing for the job was the furthest thing to happen that weekend."

Apparently, Leibovitz came to campus to spend time with assistant coaches John Gallagher (who was one of his assistants at Hartford) and Mike Martin. While waiting for Gallagher to meet him at campus, he was spotted around Weightman Hall--and that's where the buzz began.

Possible Hoops coach candidate has “not been contacted”

Earlier this month, Adam Zagoria reported that Robert Morris assistant coach Andy Toole was a (if not the) leading candidate for the Penn coaching job. But it looks as if we can put those rumors to rest.

Toole told The Daily Pennsylvanian today that he has not yet been contacted by anyone about the Penn coaching position -- nor does he "plan on being contacted by anyone."

"As far as I know,  Jerome is still the coach," Toole said. And Toole thinks that should Allen's position be made permanent, the interim coach would do a "terrific job" in large part because of his ability to manage players, assistants and to handle the enthusiasm of the Penn community.

Still, Toole expressed his interest in the position should it be given to him. "When the opportunity to coach your alma mater is presented to you," he said, "I think a lot of people would be interested."

Presidential picks

Last year, for the first time, we were successful in getting Penn president Amy Gutmann's NCAA bracket. And this year, we've managed to repeat the feat.

I've had this since Thursday afternoon but wanted to wait until the first round was over to evaluate Dr. Gutmann's picks. The Penn prez clearly has some Philly pride (with Villanova heading to the Final Four), but after yesterday's Cornell upset, perhaps some Ivy League camaraderie would have been a better choice. Then again, it's entirely possible she put faith in a statistic that a certain former DP writer has been touting for a week.

Since I know that many of our readers will be asking, yes, there are similarities between Dr. Gutmann's bracket and the picks made by a certain other President earlier this week. But I don't think either of them had anything truly revolutionary, and I think that the Penn President took a few more risks, particularly her choices of ODU in the first round and Purdue in the Elite Eight (full disclosure: I attended Indiana University for a year prior to transferring to Penn, so my bias in this selection is pretty clear).

I know that it wouldn't be fair to subject Amy Gutmann's bracket to such scrutiny without letting you look at mine, so here it is.

Could Penn Take It To The Beach?

After a vote at the 2010 NCAA convention, it's possible that Penn could expand its recent volleyball domination to the Jersey Shore.

One of the particularly contentious issues going into last week's convention was a movement by many schools to strike "sand volleyball" (also known as beach volleyball to many) from a list of emerging women's sports that would have fasttracked the sport to Division I play.

The vote on this failed, and sand volleyball will be added to the list of emerging sports for women in August 2011. This means mixed things for Penn.

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In case you missed it…

Just a quick post in case you missed our recent online updates. Both were posted on thedp.com earlier this week. We've also been posting our breaking news updates on our Twitter--which is perhaps more easily followed in an RSS feed than our homepage.

First, longtime field hockey coach Val Cloud has announced her retirement. Following fifteen years as an assistant coach, Cloud stepped up to the head coach job in 1995. In her tenure, she racked up 115 wins for the program, including an Ivy title in 2004. (We are still waiting to hear back from Cloud and from members of the Penn field hockey team; the article will be updated again once we conduct those interviews).

In a municipal court hearing on Dec. 17, an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition hearing was scheduled on Dec. 23 for the three wrestlers facing misdemeanor charges. ARD hearings give probationary sentences to certain first-time offenders.

A quick break from Miller news

In the buzz surrounding Miller's departure from Penn, our article on this morning's hearing for the three Penn wrestlers suspended earlier this semester may have gotten lost in the shuffle.

This morning's preliminary hearing resulted in a reduction of the charges brought against Cesar Grajales, Rollie Peterkin and Matt Dragon. The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office agreed to drop charges of alleged aggravated assault (a felony charge) against the wrestlers, though each still faces one count of simple assault and one count of recklessly endangering another person. The Athletic Department has not released a statement as to whether this will alter their suspensions from the team.

The wrestlers are scheduled to appear before municipal court Judge Teresa Carr Deni at 9 a.m. on Thursday.