Friday, January 20, 2012

Former Jasper Coach Sharp Fired at Kean

It's not always positive news we can pass along about individuals with past conference connections, and so it is with former Manhattan women's basketball coach Michele Sharp, who was just relieved of her duties at Division III program Kean University of New Jersey.

A story in the Newark Star-Ledger reports that Sharp's program at Kean has been charged with numerous NCAA violations in the last year, and she was forced to leave her coaching position an has been re-assigned within the athletic department. Her team, a perennial Division III power, was 15-3 overall prior to her re-assignment.

School officials declined comment, except to confirm that Sharp was fired as its coach.

The school, in September, received notice from the NCAA that it must answer to five violations uncovered by the infractions committee, four of which occurred within Sharp's program. Among them were providing "extra benefits" to players in connection with a team trip to Europe, changing grades for one of the team's top player, and awarding more than the allowed scholarship aid.

When reached by a Star-Ledger reporter for comment, Sharp was brusque and said, "You guys don't really want the truth, so I have nothing to say to you. No comment is my comment," and, then, she hung up.

Sharp had coached six seasons at Manhattan (1992-93 through 1997-98) where she compiled a 66-104 record before she was dismissed there.

In 14 and-a-half seasons at Kean, she built a strong program that went to three Division III Final Fours in the past eight seasons and had a 251-129 overall record.

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