Vandy pulls Thigpen's scholarship offer

Taylorsville, Miss. quarterback Kris Thigpen called Vanderbilt Monday to accept a scholarship offer, and his commitment was accepted by the Commodore coaching staff, according to Taylorsville coach Shannon White. But on Tuesday, Vandy coach Bobby Johnson called back to inform White and Thigpen that the commitment could not be accepted. Vanderbilt's admissions department felt that the 17 Thigpen had scored on the ACT test was insufficient to meet Vanderbilt's admissions standards.

Taylorsville, Miss. quarterback Kris Thigpen called Vanderbilt Monday to accept a scholarship offer, and his commitment was accepted by the Commodore coaching staff, according to Taylorsville coach Shannon White. But on Tuesday, head coach Bobby Johnson called back to inform White and Thigpen that the commitment could not be accepted. Vanderbilt's admissions department felt that the 17 Thigpen had scored on the ACT test was insufficient to meet Vanderbilt's admissions standards.

A disappointed White told TheInsiders.com he felt Vanderbilt had gone back on a promise, and that he and Thigpen had been misled by the Commodore coaching staff. "It's embarrassing," White said. "We put out a press release on Monday when he committed, and got calls from all over saying, congratulations. Kris talked to them Monday, and they were excited about him coming."

But Thigpen is no longer a Vanderbilt commitment.

"Kris had gotten the scholarship offer in the spring, and he had it tacked up on his refrigerator," White said. "He went to camp up there in June and nothing changed. They said, 'We still hope you commit to us', etc.

"Kris called them this Monday and committed to them. They said, 'Good! Come see us. Come to a ball game,' and all that stuff."

The next morning White received a call from Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson.

"They said their academic people felt like he wouldn't qualify for Vanderbilt. As the conversation went along, it was revealed to me that they had another quarterback that was interested in them, and they were interested in him, and Kris was the odd man out.

"Kris is qualified right now [for NCAA admission]. I question whether every student that comes to Vanderbilt has to have a 20 [on the ACT]. He'll have several more opportunities to make a 20. The bottom line is, they backed out on a promise.

"There is no valid excuse for it. You don't offer scholarships to kids and then pull them out from under them."

Thigpen, who was ranked the No. 9 quarterback in the nation by recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, has no other major scholarship offers at this point, White said.

"But he does get a shoebox full of mail weekly, so hopefully something will work out for him. He's a fine kid.

"I guess there's two ways of looking at it. He was excited about going to Vanderbilt. We thought they were excited about him coming there. But I guess the positive side is, he's certainly better off not being at Vanderbilt, with people who do business like that.

"They admitted to making a mistake, I'll say that for them. [Coach Johnson] was up-front with me, and we were up-front about how we felt about it. So we went our separate ways."

Vanderbilt left the door open for Thigpen to re-commit should he later score a 20 or higher on the ACT, White said. But White also indicated Thigpen would not be re-committing to the Commodore coaching staff after the incident.

College coaches are not permitted to comment on prospects. The Commodores have one other commitment from a quarterback, Mackenzi Adams of Tulsa, Okla.

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