THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER-Q and A
What is an Institutional letter of intent and how is it different from a National letter?
Is Cortez Davis now committed to Rutgers or can he go to Memphis if a scholarship opens and basically stick it to Rutgers?
A National letter of intent can only be signed during specific periods of the year and it legally binds a student athlete to a school and the school to an athlete. The letter is filed with the NCAA. Breaking this obligation without a release by the school can amount to a one to two year penalty or loss of eligibility. The only way to get around it is to go to a preparatory school for an additional year or get a release from the school and have it Okayed by the NCAA. An institutional letter can be signed during the time period between the end of the May period and the start of a school year. It is binding to the school but not to the athlete.
Cortez Davis actually signed a National Letter. What happens is a student athlete may sign several letters prior to the end of a period and visit several schools and make up his mind after the signing period. The institution that he agrees to attend then submits the letter to the NCAA. Theoretically Cortez may have signed more than one letter prior to May 15, 2002, but only the letter given to Rutgers will be submitted to the NCAA and is binding.
How many schollies are left?
That is a real hard question to answer at this point in time. I am sure that Coach Waters will address this issue publicly in the next few weeks. Rutgers fans are writing me about counts and transfers and academic problems but the hard facts are fairly simple. If everyone stays eligible, there are at least nine scholarships that have promised for 2003-2004 basketball season. At least one or more additional players not counting walk-ons may be on the team. At least one of these players will be paying his way, be on an academic scholarship or be on the roster of another athletic team. This is what happened this past year with the transfers from Rutgers and California at UVA. North Carolina usually had at least one kid on academic scholarship or on the football team during Deans banner years. This is all legal and well within NCAA regulations.
To add a little wood to the fire, I still believe there will be at least one more addition to this roster for next year even if none of the present players leave. Greg Matura's column last Friday as well as Greg Tufaro's indicated how at least one scholarship would be freed up. Read it and you'll realize what I've been implying for weeks. The information is all out there. Since March I've stated that Daevon hasn't had the standardized tests. An informed source close to Daevon has told us this more than once. Two weeks ago I said in a column that nothing had changed.
The trickle down effect will be on next years recruiting and whether we have three or four scholarships available. We need two more inside players and at least one more guard/shooter. If the roster stays unchanged, the returning athletes will include the All H Team on the inside ( Herve, Harry and Hughes) plus Sean Axani. McCoy and Davis sharing time at the combo forward/small forward position and a bevy of guards.
What's happening at the Hall with Fight Club?
Lou Orr is going to be a good coach at some point in his career. He was a gifted player and a gifted assistant at Syracuse. This year he was left with Amaker's problems. The loss of Darius Lane and Ty Shine were in my humble opinion addition by subtraction. I'm not saying they were bad kids but something was wrong with chemistry for the last two years. The addition of transfer Andre Sweet and the point -guard from St. Anthony's will bring in two needed role players who will hustle their butts off. Seton Hall will improve this year because Lou will have a better idea how he should handle the troops. If they don't improve, SHU just might look toward the Isle of Manhattan for some help like in Bobby Gonzalez. Gonzalez a former Peter Gillen top assistant will be the next coach from a little New York school to make the jump to the big time. This guy can coach and he can recruit. He's got the words All Star written all over him.