Nov 2, 2021

Kofi Cockburn suspension shows NCAA is still playing games

Kofi Cockburn suspension shows NCAA is still playing games

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Good morning, frents!

It was a great day for one of the stars from last year's Illinois basketball team, not so much for another.

We'll dive into that in just a second, but first ...


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Monday's results
Bulls 128, Celtics 114
Hawks 5, Senators 1

Today's schedule
No games

Cockburn suspension a silly one

Thought the NCAA was done hassling its student-athletes now that NIL rights are the law of the land?

Heh. Think again.

The biggest drag in sports announced on Monday that Kofi Cockburn will be suspended for the Illini's first three games this month.

The big star's offense? Selling some of his Illini-issued gear just before the name, image and likeness legislation was made official.

The exact details of the sales on The Players Trunk website are unclear. But a school-issued statement quoted coach Brad Underwood as saying the slip-up — if you can even call it that — happened on sometime between Cockburn pulling out of the NBA draft and deciding to return to Champaign.

Had Cockburn posted his old gear a few weeks later, he would've been in the clear under Illinois' NIL bill, which went into effect on July 1.

Seems like the sort of thing the NCAA might be able to overlook now that any college athlete with a social media account and a little bit of drive is hustling to make a little bit of beer and burrito money, right?

Nope. Cockburn will miss next Wednesday's opener against Jackson State and games with Arkansas State and at Marquette. He can return for the Nov. 22 game against Cincinnati.

It's nothing that's going to derail the season of the 11th-ranked Illini or the year that the preseason All-American will have.

But it's also just stupid.

As more than one person pointed out on Monday, Cockburn received a bigger suspension than the one regular-season game that Gonzaga coach Mark Few got for a DUI over Labor Day weekend!

That case is a little different in that Few was suspended by his university. Still, would it kill the NCAA to read the room here?

May Cockburn come up with a clever t-shirt to protest this silliness and make a bundle off it now that the NCAA can't say anything about it.

News and results

Ayo Dosunmu
(USA Today Sports)

Bulls: What a comeback in Boston!

Better get on this bandwagon before there's no room left. Down 19 points in the third, the Bulls turned it up and seized a 128-114 win on the road. They're now 6-1 for the season.

  • DeMar DeRozan (37 points) and Zach LaVine (26) scored their share, but Ayo Dosunmu might've stolen the show. The rookie guard went 6-for-6 for 14 points and four rebounds in 22 minutes.
  • Dosunmu's three-pointer with 6:53 left put the Bulls ahead 106-105 after trailing by 103-89 to start the quarter.
  • The team's defense was stout in the fourth; the Bulls outscored the Celtics 39-11 in the period.
  • Said DeRozan: "It was very gratifying to see we kept the fight. We were down big on the road, tough place to play, we didn't get rattled."

Bottom line: The Bulls played team basketball on a night to overcome a night where they committed twice as many turnovers as the Celtics (18-9) and watched Boston go 15-of-33 from three-point land. This team is very much for real so far.

Next: The Bulls are in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Hawks: Kane's hat trick keys season's first win

Patrick Kane scored the seventh hat trick of his career after missing four games with COVID, passing Steve Larmer (406) on the team's all-time goals list in the process.

  • The 5-1 victory over Ottawa ended a franchise-record nine-game winless streak to start the season.
  • The game was far from a sellout with an announced attendance of 15,946, the smallest crowd in almost 14 years.
  • Kane took the time to backtrack on his criticized comments in the wake of the Jenner report. "I feel bad about the last time I talked. I put my personal experience with management ahead of the way Kyle [Beach] was treated by them... It takes incredible courage and pride for him to come forward. We're all thinking about him."

Next: The Hurricanes come to the United Center on Wednesday. Carolina beat the Hawks 6-3 last Friday.


Can you name the last University of Illinois player to appear in a game for the Bulls before Dosunmu?

1. Adam Hoge runs down every Bears' trade possibility ahead of today's trade deadline. NBC Sports Chicago

2. Ben Pope on how the Hawks and NHL screwed up in 2020 and 2021, not just 2010. Sun-Times

3. The Bulls' new City Edition uniforms are sweet and full of references to generations past. NBC Sports Chicago

4. Keep your eyes peeled for the special CTA train honoring the Sky championship team. Transit Chicago

5. Luis Robert now owns a glow-in-the-dark car. TMZ

Trivia answer: Frank Williams played in nine games for the 2004-05 team, one year after Kendall Gill's lone year with the Bulls.

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