Alex Pegram,

2017 Berkmar (GA) guard Al Durham asks for release from Indiana

Indiana 2017 signee Al Durham of Berkmar (GA) has asked for his release from Indiana, his father tells, but a new IU coach would have a chance to re-recruit him.

Indiana 2017 signee Al Durham of Berkmar (GA) has asked for his release from is letter of intent to Indiana, his father tells

Colleges normally grant releases in the event of a coaching change.

A 6-foot-4 three-star guard with nearly a 6-foot-10 wingspan, Durham had 30-point games during his senior season in addition to his notable defense.

Durham committed to IU and coach Tom Crean, who was fired on Thursday, along with his staff that includes Chuck Martin.

Al Durham Sr. and Martin were close from their New York ties.

“With the whole coaching change, Al was devastated when they fired him. 99.9 percent of the reason we were going there was Crean. We love Indiana. We love the history and the school,” Durham Sr. said.

“But Crean and Chuck, those guys with what they do and what they do for their players, that was it. They run a great ship.

“Unfortunately, they had a bad year. But it’s been two years since he committed early. They had a plan in place. We were ready to arrive on campus June 16. When the firing happened, he was hurt.

“I told him to just let the dust settle. Indiana reached out. They said, ‘Hold tight. Let’s see who we’re going to hire. We still want Al. As soon as we hire somebody, you’ll be the first people we call.’

“But being in this, being a coach, I know how it goes. Anybody they bring in, they’ll have recruits committed to them that will ask for their release and try to go with that coach

“You don’t know the philosophy, the style of play, if they’ll like him as a player. Ultimately, he sat back and said, ‘I’d still consider Indiana, but I want to open it up. I may not like the coach. He may not like me. It may not fit.’ We didn’t want to wait until the last minute.”

Durham Sr. said Indiana will still be an option.

“Yes, Indiana is still an option. Whoever the new coach is will have to kind of rush recruit him. But the players, they’ve been hitting him up, talking to him. The new recruits, they all talk daily. They have a text group about what they did in the summer or in high school, congratulate each other on accolades. It was hard. It was like a family and we hadn’t even gotten there yet.

“If Indiana is it, Indiana is it, and we’ll be there June 16. The fans have been great. The school has been great, but the coaching staff is gone.”

Durham quite likely will be pretty strong demand.

“We just put this out, and my phone is going crazy as I’m talking to you right now,” Durham Sr. said. Top Stories