Seton Hall Removes Doubt about Grant's Choice

Malcolm Grant, the 6-foot-0, 170 pound point guard who had committed and signed a scholarship letter with Seton Hall, reopened his recruiting last month when the status of Seton Hall head coach Louis Orr became a question mark. Earlier this week he announced his decision (Villanova) and Seton Hall announced their's on Friday.

A player's choice of a school is frequently determined by who the coach will be, as was true for Grant. He wanted to play for Coach Orr, and to insure all his options would be open, didn't sign a National Letter of Intent.

If he had, Grant would now be attempting to get a release from that NLI. As the point guard said earlier, "We wanted to know he would be there. He's a really good man and I liked him. But I had to go where I knew what I was getting into. I knew I had to go where I would be happy."

Since the letter he signed didn't bind him the way the NLI does, Grant was able to reopen and conclude his recruiting within a couple months. Villanova was the winner, even though the Wildcats don't have scholarship available for this season.

Grant has agreed to take a post-grad prep school year. Academics is not the reason. The Brooklyn native is choosing to do it so he can play where and for whom he wants. And Grant seems more than ready to make the most of the situation.

Orr was 80-69, 37-41 in the Big East, in five years at Seton Hall and 18-12 this past season. The Pirates lost, 86-66, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to a Sweet Sixteen surprise team, Wichita State.

From the school's prepared statement: "Seton Hall will fulfill the remaining terms of Orr's contract."

Obtaining an NLI release has been simplified. Implemented last season, the school makes the decision. If the player doesn't agree, he can file an appeal with the NLI.

Because Grant is heading to a prep school, if he had signed an NLI this past fall, it would eventually be void. But without a release, Grant wouldn't have been able to talk to any other schools until the next academic year was completed.

The NLI still contains a provision (#19) that specifies a coaching change will not invalidate the "contract."

The process was established to protect both the player and the school. If the policy remains unchanged, recruits are likely to continue staying away from the NLI in the fall.

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