Friday, October 13, 2006

Undoing a Mistake Before It's Too Late

According to the Chicago Tribune, top-ranked high school senior Eric Gordon is opting out of his verbal commitment to come to Indiana.

Now, the Cryin’ Illini will bark that Coach Sampson has broken an unwritten rule about (verbally) committed players, but I would suggest to you that this is the exception. Gordon is from Indianapolis, and has always said he wanted to play for Indiana. However, when the UAB coach failed to recruit him, he looked elsewhere, and that elsewhere was Illinois.

Now that Indiana has a new coach, it was Gordon, by all accounts, that first showed interest in IU. Then the dance began. The dance that ended with today’s announcement.

If nothing else, it will rekindle the rivalry that was largely dormant (outside of my family) since Henson and Knight were on the sidelines.

My favorite Henson quote from that period:

Well, what do you expect out of Knight? What do you expect out of him? I mean, he's a classic bully. I was in the -- I was in the locker room, and he jumped on me. I wanted him to come outside. He's a classic bully, I'll tell you. But he comes in and rapes our state, takes our players, then comes back in and treats the people of Illinois like he's treating them. I think he runs over everybody in his path.

Probably true, and stronger than anything you will read in the aftermath of this. Maybe. Here’s a quote from Coach Weber:

“In football, it's always been known to be open game, but that hasn't been the case with us," Weber said this summer when Gordon was getting attention from Indiana. "If you have a kid [verbally] committed, then for that eight or nine months you don't recruit anyone else. So you lose all that time recruiting other kids, because you have one committed. Ask 98 percent of the coaches, and they'll tell you that they stop calling kids once they [verbally commit]. We do. Most do it."


Maybe Gordon got the letter from the Illinois faculty ripping the Chief…

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