Tag: Jason Capel

Appalachian State

Report: Appalachian State in negotiations to fill coaching vacancy

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Around midday on Friday, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported Jim Fox, a longtime assistant to Bob McKillop at Davidson who had recently been promoted to associate head coach, was in negotiations to be the next coach at Appalachian State. Nothing is done yet, as evidenced by any iteration of the coaching carousel, but talks must be serious since a leak like Goodman’s occurred.

Fox is an intriguing candidate, partly because he was listed by Pete Thamel (of Sports Illustrated) as a candidate who should land a head coaching job during this offseason. As McKillop’s assistant for years, he understands what it takes to build a program, and ensure lasting success, and that experience could serve him well, provided he lands the job, as the team makes the transition to the Sun Belt Conference.

If Fox is indeed the athletic administration’s choice, the fate of Devonte Graham will likely be one of his first coaching decisions. A quick back-story: Graham committed to Appalachian State under Jason Capel, but after Graham decided maybe the program wasn’t for him, the guard wasn’t granted a release and he enrolled at Brewster Academy for a year. Graham hasn’t been allowed to speak with any other Division I programs — he is essentially on an island at Brewster, a highly coveted recruit who doesn’t want to attend the school he initially committed to — and this scenario needs to be resolved for both parties, ASU and Graham. When Capel’s contract wasn’t renewed, it was unclear what that action meant for Graham, and whomever — Fox or another option — becomes coach will have to either release Graham or somehow sell him on the direction he intends to take the program and convince him to be a Mountaineer.

Report: Jason Capel fired as coach of Appalachian State

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To follow along with the 2014 Coaching Carousel, click here.

Jason Capel’s tenure as head coach at Appalachian State is over, according to a report from Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.

Capel was 53-70 in his four seasons with the Mountaineers. He failed to make an NCAA tournament and was just 9-21 this past season.

An interesting sidenote to this story will be to see what happens when Appalachian State signee Devonte Graham. Graham signed a letter of intent with the school back in September of 2012, but once bigger program started poking around, he asked out of his NLI.

Capel and Appalachian State wouldn’t release him because they believed there was tampering involved.

And Graham went to Brewster Academy for a prep year in 2013-2014 instead of going to what should have been his freshman year of college.

Will the new coach release him? Will Graham, who is a high level point guard recruit, have a chance to play his college ball somewhere other than the Sun Belt Conference?

If anything, this firing tells us all we need to know about why Capel wouldn’t release Graham. He was fighting to keep his job. Bringing in a talent like Graham would have made the Mountaineers better. That could have helped Capel keep the paychecks coming in. It’s a moot point now, and hopefully whoever gets hired does the right thing here.

If reports are true, it’s time for Jason Capel to release Devonte Graham

Jason Capel

By now, you should all know that the National Letter of Intent system is incredibly unfair for the athletes that are forced to sign it.

Devonte’ Graham is the latest example.

Graham is a point guard from Raliegh that played for the Garner Road AAU program and, last September, committed to go to Appalachian State. He signed a letter of intent during the early signing period, but after a successful high school season, a couple of bigger schools began poking around. So Graham asked out of his NLI, but Appalachian State head coach Jason Capel refused to give him a release, according to a report from Adam Zagoria.

Graham opted to go to prep school at Brewster Academy instead of enrolling at Appalachian State, and since he’s been there, he’s garnered interest from UConn, Pittsburgh, Creighton, Providence and Rhode Island. But he can’t get a release, so unless he wants to risk sitting out a season and losing a year of eligibility, Graham is in a bind.

If Capel, his head coach, had gotten some interest from a bigger program, he could have up and left without a moment’s notice, which is part of the reason that signing an NLI is so one-sided. It’s a legally binding document that is punitive only if the player decides to leave. Ask Richard Amardi. He signed an NLI with Iowa State, but when they ran out of scholarships, he was kicked to the curb.

The irony here?

If Capel had actually gotten a better job, Graham probably would have been granted a release by now.

Here’s what I don’t understand: why is Capel putting up this much of a fight? Why isn’t he letting Graham go off on his own way? He already forced the kid to delay his enrollment in college for a year by refusing to release him, now he’s going to try to cost the kid a year of eligibility and a redshirt season?

What’s he trying to accomplish? Does he want to burn bridges with Garner Road, one of the stronger AAU programs in the Mid-Atlantic? Is he really that ticked off that a player wants a chance to play in a bigger conference? Is it really worth the negative publicity? And if he eventually gets Graham to come to Appalachian State because he doesn’t want to lose that year, does he really think he’s going to be able to repair that relationship?

I get it, Jason.

You’re mad.

I’d be mad, too.

But it’s time to let it go.

Don’t try and hurt the kid’s career anymore because you feel like you got played. The ‘Vengeful Adult’ is not a role any coach should play.