Archive for April, 2011

Central Florida used convicted felon with agent ties to recruit Kevin Ware, alleges report (UPDATED)

Kevin Ware 2

Central Florida violated NCAA rules in the recruitment of Kevin Ware, alleges the New York Times. What's Ware's reaction? His family confirmed to the AJC on Friday night that they had read the article and declined to comment, other than to text, "We appreciate those who have shown support." (Special)

Kevin Ware called the AJC on Thursday night to announce abruptly that he was de-committing from Central Florida because of reasons he would not fully disclose.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on right now, personal stuff that I don’t really want to speak about right now,” said Ware, the 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School who is ranked as the No. 56 college basketball prospect in the nation by Rivals.

Now we now what the “personal stuff” was.

The New York Times released an article on Friday that alleges Kenneth Caldwell, who has a criminal record and ties to a sport agency, assisted with the recruitment of basketball and football recruits to UCF, including Ware.

Ware’s …

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North Carolina 6-10 center commits to UGA over Northwestern and UNC

Big

What a week for Mark Fox. Big raise and commitment from a big man (AJC photo)

UGA basketball coach Mark Fox picked up No. 5 for his 2011 recruiting class on Saturday.

John Cannon, a 6-foot-10, 225-pound center from Burnsville, N.C., committed to Georgia over North Carolina and Northwestern. He said he will sign the letter of intent with Bulldogs as soon as possible.

Back up: Did we hear that right? Did a kid from North Carolina really pick UGA over the Tar Heels? Technically “yes” but there’s a story behind it. We’ll let his mother Audrey tell it:

“It was a really, really tough decision for John with him being from North Carolina, and his heart has always been at North Carolina,” she told the AJC. “When it came down to it, he went with the logical decision. He’s got a chance to lift Georgia basketball up, and he wants to do it with the rest of the guys.”

What was that about North Carolina again? “It was as a preferred walk-on with the chance to earn a basketball scholarship,” …

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Georgia Tech’s ‘mystery recruit’ not released from scholarship pending further investigation

Georgia Tech officials told the AJC on Friday that basketball recruit Bobby Parks Jr. has not been released from his letter of intent because the ACC school is investigating further.

The 6-foot-4 guard is dubbed the “mystery recruit” and Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory has said it’s “the most bizarre recruiting situation that I have ever seen.”

Gregory told the AJC that he would grant a release to Parks, if requested, along with making some more interesting comments. It was requested by Parks but it hasn’t been granted yet and its future status is unknown. A Georgia Tech spokesman on Friday:

“At this time, Georgia Tech has not released Bobby Parks, Jr., from his national letter-of-intent. We would like to investigate further his interest in attending Georgia Tech, and also his eligibility status according to ACC and NCAA rules. To this end, we need to speak directly with Bobby and his family in order to get the information we need. At that time, we will be able to make a …

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Georgia basketball star Kevin Ware de-commits from Central Florida

Kevin Ware 2

(Breaking news: Georgia Tech’s “mystery recruit” not released from scholarship pending further investigation)

Kevin Ware told the AJC that he de-committed to Central Florida on Thursday night.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on right now, personal stuff that I don’t really want to speak about right now,” Ware said. “I spoke with my family about everything, and I decided it was time to back off on UCF.”

The last couple of months have been a recruiting whirlwind for the 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School who is ranked as the nation’s No. 56 college basketball prospect by Rivals.

Ware signed with Tennessee in last November’s early period but requested and was granted a release following the firing of Bruce Pearl on March 31. He committed to Central Florida last week, one day after Louisville coach Rick Pitino had traveled to Georgia for an in-home visit. He said he also considered UGA.

Fast forward to Thursday: Ware said he was no longer committed to Central Florida …

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Georgia Tech basketball recruit Bobby Parks Jr. requests for release from Jackets (UPDATED)

Bobby Parks Jr. says he will meet with new Georgia Tech Brian Gregory (AJC photo)

Georgia Tech basketball coach Brian Gregory (AJC photo)

Georgia Tech basketball recruit Bobby Parks Jr. has requested a release from his letter of intent with Yellow Jackets, according to the player’s father.

“[Bobby] really likes Georgia Tech a lot, but we haven’t spoken with the new coach yet,” wrote Bobby Parks Sr. in an email to the AJC on Thursday.

“He was recruited by [ex-Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt] and built a relationship with him. Hewitt has also seen him play and thought he would fit into the system. The reason we wanted the release is so he could open his recruitment again, which means he would get a chance to build a relationship with the new coach. I’m going to call him today.”

Earlier this week, new Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said that it was “the most bizarre recruiting situation that I have ever seen.” Gregory  labeled the communication between Georgia Tech and the Parks family as “very sporadic” and “very one-sided” and — most surprisingly — …

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Dodge County LB Leonard Floyd commits to UGA over Alabama and Florida

Which of one of Georgia’s six 2012 commits are you most excited about?

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Dodge County linebacker Leonard Floyd committed to Georgia on Thursday.

The 6-foot-6, 221-pounder picked the Bulldogs over his other two finalists, SEC rivals Alabama and Florida. He is Georgia’s sixth commitment for its 2012 football recruiting class.

“He’s ecstatic about it,” said Dodge County assistant Ricky Collins. “He has been smiling at school all day. Everybody has been congratulating him on choosing Georgia. It really has been a great day for Leonard.”

Floyd made starts at tight end, wide reciever and defensive end at Dodge County last season. He will likely play linebacker at Georgia.

“I haven’t seen him play yet, so I don’t know much about him,” said Dodge County’s Rex Hodges, who started his new job as the team’s head coach last …

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Georgia’s No. 1 basketball prospect will play football, too

Shaq destroys another rim (AJC photo)

The 6-foot-8, 235-pound tight end destroys another basketball rim (AJC photo)

Shaq Goodwin, who is ranked among the top 15 college basketball prospects in the nation, says he will continue to play football as a senior at Southwest DeKalb High School.

“I’m definitely playing football,” Goodwin told the AJC. “I like playing football. I think it gives me the upper hand in basketball. It makes me stronger and more physical.”

What about college football? Well, Shaq is not so sure about that any longer.

He hasn’t made any final decisions about the two-sport thing, but told the AJC, “I know I am going to play basketball in college. I don’t know about football. I just don’t know about that.”

On the basketball court, Goodwin’s stock has risen so rapidly within the last 3-4 months that there was naturally speculation that he may give up football prior to his senior year of high school.

The 6-foot-8, 235-pounder puts the word “power” in power forward for Southwest DeKalb’s basketball …

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Stone Mountain LB Markuss Eligwe commits to FSU over UGA and Florida (UPDATED with video)

Stone Mountain’s football coach had his phone ringing off the hook on Wednesday morning after linebacker Markuss Eligwe committed to Florida State over UGA and Florida.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder, who has around 25 early scholarship offers, is considered to be the state’s top linebacker prospect by some.

“Sorry I couldn’t answer a few minutes ago,” Dante Ferguson said. “It was Florida. They wanted to know why Markuss picked Florida State over them. They said they aren’t going to give up on recruiting him.

“We’ll talk later on with [Eligwe]. I’m not going to try to talk him out of anything. If he’s happy with Florida State, then he made the right choice. I’m just going to let him know other schools are going to come after him. It’s not over. In fact, this might make even more schools come after him.”

Along with the football opportunities, Eligwe picked FSU because of its criminology program. He made his college choice on Wednesday because it was his 17th birthday.

“Great …

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More details on the recruiting mystery at Georgia Tech

Brian Gregory salvaged one of two of Tech's 2011 recruiting class (AJC photo)

Brian Gregory salvaged one of two members of Tech's 2011 recruiting class (AJC photo)

The recruiting mystery between Georgia Tech and basketball recruit Bobby Parks Jr. appears to be over.

New Tech coach Brian Gregory told the AJC on Tuesday night that “I do not foresee [Parks] coming to school at Georgia Tech next year.”

The 6-foot-4 guard was one of two players signed in last November’s early period by ex-Tech coach Paul Hewitt. Gregory convinced the other recruit, Milton High School power forward Julian Royal, to stick with the Yellow Jackets under the new regime.

Meanwhile, Gregory hasn’t really gotten anywhere with Parks, telling the AJC’s Ken Sugiura on Monday that it was “the most bizarre recruiting situation that I’ve ever have ever seen.” Parks, the son of former Hawks’ draft choice Bobby Parks Sr., lives in the Philippines with his father and Filipino mother.

On Tuesday, Gregory offered more details: “We’ve been in contact strictly via email. It has been very …

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UGA’s Mark Fox is no fan of high school all-star games

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UGA’s Mark Fox is quick to answer when asked about his opinion of the numerous high school all-star basketball games.

“I hate those games,” Fox told the AJC. “The hard thing about those all-star games is that so many times, the guy who rebounds the ball ends up shooting it. Well, he ends up shooting it or throwing it out of bounds to the cheerleaders.”

Fox paid close attention to the all-star games this year because his top recruit — Greenville High School’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — played in a couple.

In the McDonald’s All-America game, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard finished with 6 points on 2-of-6 shooting. He missed all three attempts from the 3-point line.

In the Jordan Brand Classic, Caldwell-Pope fouled out with 4 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

Mark Fox UGA

“Kentavious probably had a lot of fun playing in them,” Fox said. “But I don’t feel like he gets enough shots, or shots in the right …

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