Angelo Chol, UConn scholarship losses and dubious blog posts

Last night, a 2011 UConn recruit named Angelo Chol posted to his twitter feed that UConn was off his list of potential schools. When asked why, he tweeted (sic):

"they lost all there scholorships"

So yeah, that sounds bad, maybe. You see, UConn is supposed to respond to NCAA allegations by this Friday, either accepting the NCAA's version of events, contesting them, or doing a mix of both. The typical path in these things involves the school accepting most or all of what the NCAA says, imposing their own penalties, and then going before an NCAA board (in late October for UConn), to clear up the contested issues and hear judgment on if the self-imposed penalties are enough.

So if you want to take the Chol's tweet as gospel, then I guess the assumption is that UConn will announce that they are giving up three scholarships for the class of 2011 as a self-imposed penalty. Now, I don't have any evidence to contradict that (nor do I have any evidence to support it for that matter), but if I can, let me point out a few salient facts.

UConn, as currently comprised, has three open scholarships for 2011. Donnell Beverly and Charles Okwandu are both seniors and if Ater Majok decides to leave, that opens up one more, which, even if it was filled by Jonathan Mandeldove, would be open again for 2011. If Kemba Walker decides to leave, and with an NBA lockout looming, who knows, that bumps UConn to four, but again, that is an "if."

That means, if Chol is correct, that UConn will, later this week, announce that it will bring in no new recruits in 2011. Now, like I said, they very well may, but that would mean UConn has voluntarily decided to essentially kill a year of basketball development in Connecticut, which is about the most suicidal thing they could do. Especially since they could always decide to remove scholarships but spread it out over several years.

Furthermore, if you believe Chol, that means UConn made a decision not to recruit players for 2011, and then decided to tell one of those very players they could not recruit, so he could tell the world on Twitter a week before UConn is going to have to make a public statement about it anyway.

Again, all of that could be true, but it requires Jim Calhoun and UConn being a lot stupider than I think they are.

Now, as you'll notice, the headline mentions some dubious blog posts, specifically a somewhat-suspect theory about the possible departure of Ater Majok.

You remember SB Nation blog Casual Hoya right? They broke that national fake story about Calhoun and Okwandu getting into a physical altercation, which then resulted in Calhoun's leave of absence during the season.

Anyway, they are the ones that were on top of this business with Chol's twitter, and good for them, because it is a good, interesting story, especially if it turns out to be true (and again, if it is true, expect to hear a lot about it, because it means UConn got unfathomably stupid in the last few months).

However, Casual Hoya didn't just stop with the Chol bit, but also mentioned a post from Yukonnj's Blog. The gist of Yukonnj's post is that hey, what if instead of leaving of his own volition, Ater Majok was being forced out of UConn because of his connections to the current recruiting scandal (Majok has been connected to disgraced former-trainer/agent Josh Nochimson). Nice theory, but I find it hard to believe.

You see, the NCAA has already investigated the Nochimson business and released their findings. At this point, all UConn has to do is respond and then be penalized. A good amount of the NCAA report was redacted, and while some of it could be connected to Majok (most pointed pretty clearly to Nate Miles). If Majok was implicated in the original report, why would he wait until now to leave? He could have transferred somewhere else over the summer. Furthermore, if UConn wanted him gone, they could just revoke his scholarship because of the whole Nochimson mess, which everyone would understand. Creating an elaborate scenario under which he appears to leave on his own doesn't seem to offer any tangible benefit.

Furthermore, IF UConn actually did do something wrong recruiting Majok and have since discovered it, that would mean they found it after the NCAA investigation was complete and they appear to have gotten away with it. Not that I'd advocate wrongdoing, but if the NCAA couldn't find a problem (and wouldn't since they are done looking into this issue), why would UConn go out of their way to bring it to light. Showing Majok the door and pointing it out now would be akin to getting pulled over for a speeding ticket, then calling back the police officer as he was leaving your car to point out all the empty beer cans that he didn't seem to notice.

Reading Casual Hoya's post, its clear there is a lot of anti-UConn wishful thinking going on, and obviously everyone will know a whole lot more on Friday. The one thing that is clear now is that Chol isn't coming to UConn, and even that has its upside, as it only increases his chances of going to Georgetown. Judging by the grammar and spelling in his tweets, that is probably a good thing, especially if the professor who taught Patrick Ewing to read is still around.

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