It is never an easy time for a signed recruit when the coach he decided to play for gets fired by a school. After thinking that he has it all figured out, the recruit is left in a state of flux where it is obvious that he doesn’t have complete control of his future. Here is a look at what happens.
As one of the top junior college prospects in the country, Robert Goff selected the Oklahoma Sooners over a host of other top programs. A big reason why Goff selected the Sooners was his relationship with head coach Jeff Capel.
Capel obviously no longer will be the head coach of Oklahoma, and that has Goff having to answer a lot of questions in his own mind according to his mentor Jason Knight.
“Robert got a call from one of the assistants, so he talked with them, and Robert called me and we talked about everything,” said Knight of what Goff is going through. “This was before it became public. It’s tough on the kids because they have trust in the coach and obviously that is a big aspect of why they choose a program. That isn't the fault of the coaches, so there is anxiety and questioning what it means and wondering about what is next.”
He continued, “Unfortunately the schools and the kids don’t have the answers. There are really no answers you have to wait it out. You never want to make a rash decision. In this case there were a million different reasons why Robert chose Oklahoma. The unknown is the biggest concern for the kid.”
For Markus Crider it is much of the same. A small forward from Huber Heights (OH) Wayne High School he has a lot of questions and not too many answers. He chose to attend Providence to play for Keno Davis, but according to his high school coach Travis Trice Sr., he now has to take another look at everything.
“I know as soon as Markus heard he called me,” said Trice. “I don’t think that he’s terribly blown away, he’s kind of taking it all in. He fell in love with the area and he liked the coaches he was recruited by and he was comfortable with those guys.”
One thing that both Knight and Trice said is that there is almost no communication between people within the athletic administration and the recruits themselves to provide any info on what is next.
“I haven’t heard from any of them, and that doesn’t surprise me,” Knight explained of his conversations with any of the Oklahoma administrators. “They are admin people, all they can say is wait until they get the coach hired to talk to them. If there is any kind of question, just give that new coach a shot which is a fair thing to do. I would be shocked if I hear from administrative type of people.”
Trice also said that no information was given to Crider in terms of who or when to expect a new coach to be hired.
“That discussion didn’t come up,” said Trice. “They did make sure he knew his scholarship would be honored. The coach won’t have the option to take away his scholarship, but they haven’t gotten into that kind of discussion.”
Knight also added, “Any new basketball coach isn't going to want an athletic director giving their pitch for them. I would be shocked if I heard from them.”
For now Crider and Goff, like so many kids, are in a state of flux waiting to see what will happen, and what they will do in the future. There are currently a lot of questions and not too many answers out there, and as always uncertainty is always a tough thing to deal with.