Mike Brey has a reputation for being one of the most stand-up people in college basketball.
One of the gentlemen’s agreements in college hoops is that once a player is committed to a school, he’s off-limits. This isn’t college football. A verbal commitment isn’t exactly binding — it’s not until a player signs a National Letter of Intent that they become legally-bound to a school — but it is supposed to carry with it a measure of respect from opposing coaches.
Which is why Jeff Borzello’s story from Tuesday morning is so surprising.
Not only did a Big East coach steal a player away from a MAC school three days after the player committed, it was Brey offering a scholarship to, and accepting a commitment from, Austin Torres, who was a new member of Keno Davis’ 2013 class at Central Michigan.
This stuff happens — as one coach told Borzello, “once a kid commits, now you know who you have to beat out.” Trey Lyles, a top ten recruit in the Class of 2014, decommitted from Indiana back in August, a move that many believe was the result of being recruited away by other programs. Every Illinois fan will tell you that Eric Gordon was recruited away from the Illini by Kelvin Sampson and Indiana. It happens, and I’m sure it sucks for the coaches on the wrong end.
Like Keno Davis.
But I don’t feel bad for Keno Davis. Not one bit.
For starters, Torres and Notre Dame were a unique fit. For starters, the day before he committed to Notre Dame, one of Torres’ AAU teammates, top 25 recruit Demetrius Jackson, had committed to the Fighting Irish. Was one of his stipulations for pledging to Brey that Brey offer his friend and teammate?
Torres also has familial ties to the University. His mom played soccer there. His dad played football there. His grandfather went to school there. Central Michigan wasn’t where Torres wanted to go; it’s where he settled on because he didn’t think his “dream” would give him the chance.
But that’s not the biggest reason I don’t feel bad — not one bit — for Davis.
Remember the name Joseph Young?
He was a Providence-signee back in the summer of 2010, but with that program falling on hard times — and with his father retaining a job on the new coaching staff with the Houston Cougars — Young decided he wanted to back out of his NLI and play for pops in front of friends and family back home in Texas. Davis, the classy guy that he is, decided not to allow Young out of his NLI and forced him to sit out the 2010-2011 season.
Karma’s a beesting, ain’t she?
(Photo credit: Central Michigan)
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.