I am paid to come on here and give you guys my opinion on all things Iowa State but today I am stuck. If I am Iowa State and Steve Prohm, I don’t know what I would do in this Darius McNeill situation.
McNeill committed to and signed a National Letter of Intent with Iowa State last November. As is the case with any recruit, Iowa State spent a lot of time and money on the young man, only for him to de-commit on May 19 – a mere two weeks before he is supposed to arrive on campus to begin school and start preparing for the 2017-18 season?
Regardless of the scenario and what went on behind-the-scenes, that is a disrespectful thing to do. Especially to a man like Prohm, who I will personally go on the record for saying he is as loyal, honest and “father-like” to his players as any coach I have ever been around (in any sport).
Most of the time I look at these situations in the following way: He is a teenager making the biggest decision of his life. He has a right to change his mind. Lord knows I changed my mind every five minutes when I was that age.
On the other hand: The young man made a commitment and signed his name to it. That has to mean something, doesn’t it? I know that it certainly does in the “real world.”
There is this kicker as well: McNeill or any player could go to a school where the head coach that he committed his future to could turn around and leave for a rival at the drop of a hat with no penalty at all. Yet the student-athlete – the “kid” – is the one who is restricted? How fair is that?
When it comes to transfers, I am usually of the mindset that the player should be given a free slate of schools to go to if it isn’t in the conference or on the next year’s schedule. But as Jay Bilas pointed out last week, that kind of reads like a non-compete doesn’t it? These guys aren’t employees, are they?
Restricting Cam Johnson’s transfer is the same as a non-compete provision in an employment contract. Pitt athletes: students or employees? pic.twitter.com/YQkpDZAA9i
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) May 21, 2017
Again, If I’m Iowa State, I have no idea what I would do in this situation.
Gun to my head (without knowing all of the details), I would lean toward giving McNeill a full release only because it is somewhat taking the high road in a bad situation and couldn’t be used against you in future recruiting scenarios.
But is tampering involved? What led to this poorly timed break-up? Those factors are important as well.
Stay tuned as this story is just developing.