A few years back, I wrote an article regarding a recruit who accepted a Division I basketball scholarship offer before he played his first game of high school basketball (click here for the entire article). After excelling as a freshman, there were many questions regarding his improvement and his ability to get better on the court. In-state players passed him overall as well as a number of other out-of-state athletes.
So on the day that the article posted (it had been written in advance), word leaked that the coaches at the college and the athlete decided to part ways. While I doubt that I will ever hear the true story of what exactly happened (if I do, I’ll let readers know because I bet it is interesting), I feel that it is important to talk about the breakup, why it happened, my overall thoughts on early offers, and more.
Here is what the recruit said when he initially committed to State University:
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“I really feel that Coach is the kind of coach I want to play for. He’s a great coach, has a great staff, and I feel I can realize my goals playing at State University.”
This is what the recruit said if schools like North Carolina and Duke came to the table with scholarship offers:
“I know one thing. It just feels right at State University, so I guess I’d just have to tell them I’m a man of my word and I’m going to State University.”
The men who were not of their word unfortunately were the coaching staff at State University. Here is what the high school coach said following his decommitment:
“State University had greater expectations of the athlete when it came to his commitment to basketball and that’s understandable.”
That is understandable? If anything, I have to admit I am a little surprised that the high school coach is not furious about this. Regardless of what this athlete does, it the school extended a scholarship that early in the process, I really believe deep down that they should have to take him. If there was concern about the work ethic and his commitment to basketball from day one, then why exactly did extend the offer?
These coaches were worried that a bigger school would swoop in when he was a junior, extend him an offer, and take him out of state. They took a chance by offering him early, were not pleased with how he was doing, and pulled the offer. What is shocking is that these coaches have not received for backlash and bad publicity for pulling this garbage than they already have.
This school has continued to offer prospects earlier and earlier. Last year, they offered one athlete while he was in junior high and the other right after his eighth grade summer started. That is ridiculous that they can do this, and if they get a commitment, they can just pull the scholarship of they are not pleased with how the athlete is doing.
As I wrote about in the original article, there were major questions about this basketball player. But if a school steps up that early in the recruiting process to beat the Dukes and North Carolinas of the world for this recruit, then they should have to stick by the early offer. It is sick that they are getting out and everyone seems fine with it.
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