Opinion: Smart recruited Mack to Texas on VCU’s dime/time
Former VCU commit Tevin Mack just announced his commitment to the Longhorns of Texas, the school now coached by former Rams head honcho, Shaka Smart.
The Dreher High School product became the Rams’ top target for their 2015 class, a prospect that made huge news as the 6’7 top-60 wing become one of the biggest commitments in VCU history, all-be-it a short-lived commitment of roughly five months.
Upon the hiring of Will Wade to replace Smart, Mack was granted his release from his Letter of Intent to join the Rams so he could reopen his recruitment, a recruitment that lasted all of one month and resulted in Mack recommitting to Smart at Texas.
Mack visited Texas before committing but by that point most of the work had been done, the years of evaluation, recruitment and relationship building effectively paid for by VCU Athletics resulting in a major victory for the No.1 wealthiest athletic department in the land, Texas, a school who generated $165.7 million dollars in 2013 (the most recent data available) according to date collected by USA Today.
I am of the opinion that that should stop.
While the NCAA is busy adopting new rules I would recommend putting in a transfer stipulation that players who commit to a coach at one school should not be allowed to recommit to that coach the following season elsewhere.
I don’t know exactly when Texas hit Shaka’s radar, but I do know this: Texas fired former head coach Rick Barnes on March 29th of this year. Three days later Shaka Smart was Texas’ new head coach. Following the hire Smart said he had done his research on Patterson and the Longhorns, but armed with the knowledge of that incredibly brief timetable, one has to either assume Smart’s research resembled my type of crammed research when putting together an undergrad term paper or that the research had begun long before news of his official offer had hit, which would surprise me from what I’ve read on Smart and would surprise me even more knowing how major of a life decision this was (remember, “you don’t run from happiness”).
I’ve talked to both Shaka Smart and Tevin Mack and think the two are legitimately good people operating within the rules of the system that governs this crazy thing called college athletics, but that said, I do think in situations like this the rules might require a second look.