On Tuesday, Amile Jefferson officially announced his intentions to attend Duke, leaving Devonta Pollard as the lone top 50 recruit that is uncommitted.
But that doesn’t mean that Pollard is the only talented recruit who is still trying to figure out where they will play their college ball.
Technically, Montrezl Harrell is still committed to Virginia Tech. Despite being recruited by Seth Greenberg, who was promptly fired by the university, Harrell — whose first name is pronounced like the ‘L’ is silent, obviously — has yet to be released from his Letter of Intent. Why?
Because Virginia Tech has a 30 day wait period they are allowed to utilize. Tech’s associate athletic director Tom Gabbard said he “doesn’t anticipate we won’t give [Harrell] a release. It just hasn’t happened formally yet because of the process.”
But in this case, the process is the problem.
As much as the NCAA hates to admit it, the majority of student athletes that sign a National Letter of Intent are signing with the coach, not the school. Sure, the agricultural program at Virginia Tech might be an added bonus, but I’m willing to bet that Harrell is much more concerned with the basketball program and whether its future under James Johnson is as bright as he thought it was under Greenberg.
And while others may take this opportunity to rip the NLI program or blast Virginia Tech for leaving Harrell twisting in the wind, I’m not. I’m going to take this time to, once again, remind each and every one of you Division I recruits that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN A LETTER OF INTENT!
Ask Robert Upshaw. He signed an aid agreement with Kansas State, and when Frank Martin left for South Carolina, Upshaw was able to up and leave for Fresno State. No questions asked. Why? Because a financial aid agreement binds the school to the player, but it doesn’t bind the player to the school. A letter of intent is, more or less, a contract, one that requires the school’s permission to break.
Harrell is finding this out the hard way.
He didn’t have to.
Image via high school hoop.