Howell Stays In SEC

Jordan Howell and his family learned the kind of lessons a lot of kids learn each season. On Wednesday, Howell decided which classroom he'll spend time in next season.

The Tennessee Volunteers have a commitment; check that, a signed letter of intent from Jordan Howell. The Alabama point guard and one-time Georgia signee, has been released from his obligations to Georgia and can play right away for the Volunteers.

Not surprisingly, it was a personal relationship with a coach that sealed it for Howell the second time around, according to his father. "He's excited, especially after he met Coach Peterson and went up and visited," Rex Howell said. "They just really hit it off. Jordan was crazy about him and felt comfortable with him. I think he was the big difference."

Howell had to petition Georgia and the steering committee in order to become eligible to play next season. Howell was a victim of a myth that says kids sign with a school. Folks, this is 2003. With all the talk about networking and relationship forming, the fact of the matter is that, at the highest level of Division I basketball, kids sign exclusively with coaches.

Obviously, Rex Howell learned a lot from their experience. "Don't ever sign the national letter of intent. Don't sign the national letter of intent. That thing's a nightmare for kids. It's a one-sided document.

"If a school's going to make you sign before they honor a scholarship then I wouldn't advise my son to sign during the early period."

Howell's situation just typifies the letter of intent situation. As a sport, we need to either do away with the early signing period that precedes all the coaching changes or let kids walk if the coach they sign with does the same.

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