Blue: "I am no longer verbally committed"

With rumors swirling the past week about Madison Memorial junior Vander Blue's commitment to Wisconsin, Blue broke his silence Tuesday. With his 'inner circle' surrounding him, Blue, who committed in April 2008, announced that he is no longer committed to the Badgers and will re-open his recruitment, although UW still remain high on his list.

MADISON - Vander Blue has decided to re-open his commitment, look at his other options and no longer be a verbal commit to Wisconsin.

"This has been going through my head for awhile now," Blue said at a packed press conference at the Genesis Development Center. "This is what I am deciding right now. Right now is what matters and I am deciding to do this."

Blue did not list any specific schools of who he is looking at: "I am open to everybody."

The news of Blue's de-commitment first started circling with the junior guard mentioned on his Facebook page that he, "made a big decision for me today ... now I'm going to really take in this recruiting process..." He did not specify what that decision was, but he elaborated on that Tuesday.

"I change my status every two minutes at home because I am bored," Blue said about the facebook message. "If you write a story based off facebook, that's bad. I feel that the facebook thing is totally a joke, but now I know my reputation that everybody is watching me."

Blue, his mother, Wisconsin coaches Bo Ryan and Howard Moore and academic advisers from both Madison Memorial and Wisconsin met a week ago the coaching staff a week ago Monday.

According to Blue, his mother and his AAU Coach, academics are not an issue with Blue getting into Wisconsin.

"I am not a 4.0 student, but I do go to class," Blue said. "I am a student athlete. I can be a kid now. I can have a fun summer, not go to summer school and just slow down."

Rita Blue, Vander's mother, did not elaborate on the meeting due to Rob Schultz, the writer from the Capital Times, being present at the meeting.

Blue's mother called the press conference after she was outraged by the two articles in the Capital Times written by Schultz that were, 'hurtful to the family and to Vander.'

"As a parent, I am very upset with how people (treated) him," she said. "They did not come to the source. I am the source for Vander Blue. Nobody else. I wanted the truth to come out. This is my baby and as a parent, it's not job to protect him. This (calling a press conference) is the right way of doing things."

As reported previously, the Wisconsin coaches have not been told by Blue that he was de-committing, reopening his recruitment or taking other visits. One person within the program said, "As far as I am concerned, Vander Blue is still committed to Wisconsin."

According to Blue, he didn't inform Moore until 90 minutes before his press conference that he was de-committing.

"I am still being recruited by (UW) and if all goes right, I can end up right back here at home with them," Blue said. "I would still like to play for the Badgers."

"Howard Moore is my boy and he told me that he is going to recruit me ever harder now," he added. "That's a quote. If I feel that home is where I need to be, you'll see me back here at a press conference signing a letter of intent to play for Bo Ryan."

Blue also outlined the inappropriate comments made on Wisconsin message boards and blogs about how he was a 'terrible person' and 'no longer wanted him.' Blue did state that those comments were not the main reason he changed his mind.

"To see what those so-called Wisconsin fans say on those blogs really second guessed if I wanted to be here," Blue said. "They should be ‘wanting' to help me, not hurt me. I felt like I was in a small corner and trapped and couldn't get out. Thousands of people (were) throwing me under the bus. It just made me feel so bad, like I was worthless."

After averaging 12.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as a sophomore for Madison Memorial, Blue one upped his game his junior year, averaging 17 points per game and leading his team to a 26-1 record and the WIAA Division 1 State Title.

Blue was named the first team All-State by the Associated Press and the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association.

The earliest Blue can take an official visit is September (when colleges are back in session). As for making a decision, the 16 year old gave a simple answer.

"It's not going to be any time soon," Blue said. "I just want to enjoy the summer and play ball."

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