You’ll probably recall a time when Devan Ebanks and Terrell Holloway were signed to play for Indiana.
You’ll definitely recall what happened next: Kelvin Sampson was bought out for committing major NCAA violations, and the Hoosiers imploded.
Ebanks and Holloway slipped out the back door, invoking a clause they had convinced Indiana to insert into their letters of intent that made them effectively null and void if Sampson, for whatever reason, wasn’t the coach of the Hoosiers anymore.
Well, as of today, schools may no longer make adjustments to the letter of intent, according to the Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy.
The National Letter of Intent Policy and Review Committee sent a memo to member schools Thursday announcing that “institutions should be aware they are prohibited from establishing any additional conditions associated with the NLI agreement in advance of a prospective student-athlete signing the NLI.”
First thought? More hypocrisy from the NCAA, which claims to want to protect the “student-athlete.” Coaches, of course, are free to come and go as they please. Players, meanwhile, are offered no protection. They could end up playing for a coach they don’t know whose system they don’t fit into.
Obviously, Indiana is the most extreme of extreme examples. Still, you can see clearly how unfair it would have been to have asked Ebanks or Holloway to honor their letters. Indiana was no longer the Indiana they’d signed with.
Of course the NCAA wants its “student-athletes” to pick a school, not a coach. Which is nice, but unrealistic. College coaches are the faces of their programs; their personalities are always a major factor in recruiting.