Coaches & prep seniors hold the power
I write a lot about how college coaches (basketball in this case) hold all the power, while players have virtually none.
Coaches, who have supposedly-legal contracts, jump schools whenever it suits them, with no penalty other than lost honor. But players, who have only one-year contracts (scholarship agreements), can’t transfer without the penalty of sitting out.
But there is one group of players who have forged their little power structure: high school seniors. The guys who have signed with schools that then lose their coaches can ask for a release of their letter of intent, and schools have resigned themselves to granting the release, knowing the NCAA is likely to rule in favor of the players if they appeal.
Which means blue-chip players become even more valuable, since in the spring, the pool of difference-maker recruits is so much smaller.
We saw that switch with Scottie Reynolds (Villanova), Damion James (Texas) and Jeremy Mayfield (UAB) bolting OU after Kelvin Sampson left, and we see it again now that Putnam City’s Xavier Henry, who signed with Memphis but now says he won’t honor that letter, since coach John Calipari bolted for Kentucky.
Bully for these high school seniors. It’s time someone besides coaches looked out for themselves.
Now, if we can get some power and liberty for the already-on-campus players, this will be a more equitable sport.
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