Wed Sep 02 12:24pm EDT
Three years ago, a talented young man named Ryan Boatright attended a basketball camp at the University of Southern California. Tim Floyd was that team's coach. Boatright performed well enough at the camp -- which really serve as sanctioned recruiting vehicles anyway -- that Tim Floyd was immediately enamored of him. Floyd offered Boatright a scholarship. Boatright accepted and verbally committed to USC. All was well.
Just kidding. No it wasn't. Because three years ago Ryan Boatright was 13, and it's not really cool to recruit 13-year-olds, let alone offer them scholarships. That's weird and naughty and it makes me feel very uncomfortable, as it should you.
At the time, of course, Floyd brushed it off as being competitive. He told reporters that he wasn't going to sit around and wait for Duke or Kentucky to do the same thing, that he had to get his kids signed when he could. This practice has since been overtly demonized by the National Association of College Basketball Coaches and coaches have largely stopped recruiting sub-freshmen, at least publicly. (Who knows what goes on in private. Let's not think about it right now.)
Now, though, Ryan Boatright -- who is a 16-year-old junior -- is getting a second brush-off from USC. First, they take him out of the recruiting picture early, before he really knows what's going on. Now that Tim Floyd has resigned under suspicion of recruiting violations, USC has decided they aren't really interested in Boatright's services anymore. They haven't contacted him since Floyd left, and they aren't planning on signing him to a letter of intent. Awesome, USC.
Fortunately for Boatright, he's now at the age when he can begin an actual recruitment process, and not be forced to decide which college he wants to attend between games of "Pa Rappa the Rapper." Or whatever the kids are playing these days. (Just joking. I know they're playing Call of Duty. Their little pre-pubescent voices invade my TV on a regular basis.)
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