NCAA rules prevent Kevin Ware from signing LOI with Central Florida

Kevin Ware 2

Kevin Ware is technically a "free agent" until he attends his first day of college classes (Photo by adidas)

It is true that Kevin Ware is leaving on a trip for Louisville on Wednesday.

It is true that the letter-of-intent that Ware signed with Central Florida was denied.

It is true that Ware is still eligible to pick another college other than UCF.

However, it’s not what it seems like with Ware, the 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School who selected Central Florida over Louisville and UGA on Monday.

“There are a few rumors out there, some with good reason, but the bottom line is that Kevin is still going to play college basketball at Central Florida,” Ware’s stepfather, Wesley Junior, told the AJC.

What about the trip to Louisville? That’s not an official visit with the Cardinals and Rick Pitino, but to play in the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic all-star game.

“Some UCF fans are worried about the situation because they think the Louisville recruits also playing in the game will tell Kevin ‘Hey, come on and play with us,’” Junior said. “They probably will. Then there are a couple of autograph sessions with all the players and they think the Louisville fans will say ‘come play here at Louisville.’ They probably will.

“But there is nothing to be worried about because recruiting is over. Kevin is part of the Central Florida basketball family. It’s a done deal.”

What about the letter-of-intent (LOI)? That’s where it gets really interesting. NCAA rules prohibit prospective student-athletes (PSA) from signing two LOIs in the same signing year. Ware signed with Tennessee in last November’s early period but was granted a release by the Volunteers after the firing of Bruce Pearl.

On Tuesday, Ware signed another LOI and athletic-aid agreement with Central Florida on Tuesday but the LOI was denied. Meanwhile, the athletics-aid agreement was accepted and binds Central Florida to honoring the basketball scholarship to Ware. But not vice versa.

NCAA officials were kind enough to explain the situation to the AJC:

If a PSA receives a complete release, he is not permitted to sign another NLI in the same signing year. In this case, the second NLI would not be valid. The PSA could only sign an athletics aid agreement. The athletics aid agreement is only binding on the institution. Thus, the PSA could change his mind and attend another institution and not be subject to any penalty.

In other words, Ware won’t “officially” be attached to Central Florida until he attends his first day of college classes in June. Technically, Ware is still a free agent.

Will Ware keep looking around? “No chance,” Junior said.

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com —- Note: Inappropriate comments will not be tolerated

Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC

66 comments Add your comment

juvenal

April 20th, 2011
9:41 am

juvenal

April 20th, 2011
9:42 am

seems like a 1 & done…….

JB

April 20th, 2011
9:43 am

Fox STILL needs to get more than ONE ALL AMERICAN 5 star types to come to Athens. If he could get just 2 a year, in four years we would have 8 of the best players in America in Athens and going to the dance EVERY year. Of course we are a football school and can’t get all the cream to Athens.

DawginLex

April 20th, 2011
9:43 am

The Louisville fans almost scared him away from competing in the Derby classic. They twittered a bunch of threats and crap and he almost decided to not go.

Not surprising from the Tardinal fan base.

There is a reason it is known as Loserville.

Dirty Dawg

April 20th, 2011
10:00 am

You’ve got to ask yourself why this kid would pick Central Fla over a Big East or SEC school. My take is that since he’s just planning on being a ‘one-and-done’ guy, why not do it in the sunshine and near the beach? After all, all he’s gonna do is work on his ‘game’ so why not do it in a relaxed environment…all this hard work and competitive stuff doesn’t really matter when it comes to ‘killing a year’ before the NBA comes a callin’, does it?

WHAT?

April 20th, 2011
10:00 am

JB, if we get 2 all americans a year, in 4 years we will have 2 all americans in athens. They don’t stay around for there full 4 years in college, none of em.

GTBob

April 20th, 2011
10:18 am

Why are people calling him a one and done? He is a 4 star player and ranked 56th in the country. That isn’t really one and done pedigree. He could be if he has a great season but that remains to be seen.

JB

April 20th, 2011
10:24 am

WHAT………….you are correct. Allowing the guys one and done status has ruined the college game.
And I don’t know how the NBA stays in Business. I’d rather do community service than watch a NBA game. All the games look just alike.

Big Dawg

April 20th, 2011
10:30 am

UCF has tons of hot chicks!! TONS!!

JB

April 20th, 2011
10:40 am

So does Athens

juvenal

April 20th, 2011
10:44 am

most of Tech’s one & dones should not have been at GT to begin with, for academic reasons, something people(rightfully) give us grief for……

RRTDawgs

April 20th, 2011
10:47 am

UGA has offered Marcus Hunt has been recruiting him from the beginning .

Poopdawg

April 20th, 2011
10:57 am

Big Dawg , Athens has hot chicks and they don’t weigh a ton.

collegeballfan

April 20th, 2011
10:59 am

Good job Carvell. I learned something about recruiting I did not know.

With these rules a player gets to be in charge for a change.

RRTDawgs

April 20th, 2011
11:03 am

Poopdawg obviously you have not been to UGA campus i have the the women at UGA look real fine there has even been one that was in Play Boy mag .

GTJoe

April 20th, 2011
11:10 am

You need to clarify something in your article…..it is not a CALENDAR year that the NCAA has rules against….it is a SIGNING year….

If it were indeed a calendar year, than Ware would be fine, b/c November was in 2010, and April is in 2011….different calendar years….

You do quote the rule later, which makes it clear….but your writing has the incorrect information….

Interesting article, however….

RRTDawgs

April 20th, 2011
11:22 am

Now if think about it it probably good that GT or UGA did not get Kevin Ware because seems like this kid wants attention and also would not be a good thing with his step dad involved UGA will be fine with Caldwell Pope and Marcus Thornton .

Michael Carvell

April 20th, 2011
11:30 am

@GTJoe, thanks for your post.

DawginLex

April 20th, 2011
11:33 am

there are 3 spots open at Kentucky now.

Liggins, Knight and Jones all just declared for the draft but didn’t hire an agent.

oldeagle

April 20th, 2011
11:35 am

I thought that once you signed a letter of intent, even if later your granted a release, you have to sit out a year. Is this not correct?

TheWhizKid

April 20th, 2011
11:35 am

So what’s your point RRT? UCF had a playboy centerfold last July…

For all the fans from other schools trying to diss UCF for getting a good pickup…keep it up…keep overlooking UCF…just like UGA did in the liberty bowl…shut down your 30+ offense to 6 points…not even a touchdown.

meanwhile, we’ll keep moving on up…grabbing your recruits…keeping you silent on the sidelines

KevinM

April 20th, 2011
11:35 am

Why the anger towards a kid who had to find another school? Doesn’t make sense. Ware made a choice that was best for him. Why play for Pitino? He will just recruit over you next year if he can. Its all about Rick in Louisville.
I think the kid could have been a difference maker under Fox, but there must be something he doesn’t like…and this was the 2nd opportunity for Fox. Hmmm, wonder if its being in the shadow of the football team? I am sure the basketball team gets nowhere close the attention/privileges that the basketball team gets.

Fox will see shortly how difficult it is to get the big dogs to play in his little gym.

Must be tough to be a UL fan. Is that you Bradley?

CrazyUKFan

April 20th, 2011
11:35 am

If a recruit did that to us at UK, he might have some crosses burning in his yard. You either play or the court or get out of the state.

Michael Carvell

April 20th, 2011
11:39 am

@juvenal, one-and-done? No chance. Zero. Has to learn how to play PG, shoot better from outside and improve on ball-handling. With that said, unlimited potential. Good kid, too.

RRTDawgs

April 20th, 2011
11:50 am

The Whiz Kid we will see who who is better Caldwell Pope or Ware is going to be in the shadow of Jordan big wow you one the Liberty bowl our 2 Sugar Bowl wins trump a crappy Liberty win .

baloney

April 20th, 2011
11:52 am

If UGA has offered Marcus Hunt, does that mean they won’t offer Mike Hunt?

Joshy

April 20th, 2011
11:53 am

Kevin Ware is NOT a 1 and done candidate. He’ll be at UCF for a few years.

Tdawg

April 20th, 2011
11:58 am

KevinM what doesn’t make sense is the kid going to UCF. No direspect intended but any sane person who thinks that he has a lick of talent will chose a school in a known conference. UCF may very well be a great school, but so is Harvard but you don’t see top highschool talent beating down their doors. Having said that, I think the kid is an idiot and will soon regret his stupidity.

Alex

April 20th, 2011
12:07 pm

People always ask why UCF they are not a “big conference school” ummm I don’t think it matters, literally every sport we have besides men’s golf and women’s volleyball were ranked in the top 25 this year, so I don’t think it matters. You can always go to an unranked “big conference school” or you can go to the 2nd largest university in the Untied States, live in beautiful Florida, and be part of the growth towards the obvious growing athletics

AfghanHoundDawg

April 20th, 2011
12:08 pm

RRTDawgs…I guess Crowell wasn’t looking for attention at his signing when he played the game with his litte pooch.

GTBob

April 20th, 2011
12:24 pm

Tdawg, you are awfully judge mental on his decision. He isn’t even the top rated recruit for UCF. Michael Chandler turned down Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana to play at UCF. It isn’t as unheard of as you think. Adjehi Baru is rated much higher then Ware and he is going to Charleston. He picked them over UNC and Ohio State. Picking UCF over Louisville isn’t that huge of a stretch and it seems to be what he wants, so just be happy for him.

tater tot

April 20th, 2011
12:26 pm

Who really cares about any of this anyway. Thats his business and no one else’s. Time to get back to work and earn a living unlike some of the clowns that sit here on the msg boards all day with nothing better to do. Have a great day !

TheWhizKid

April 20th, 2011
12:29 pm

RRT…big deal…that has nothing to do with your guy’s performance in their most recent season…capped by a shutout by such a “lesser” UCF team.

Tdawg…true…we may not be big time like a Kentucky or Duke/UNC…but these kids get to campus at UCF and constantly talk about how shocked they are that our facilities, players, and coaching staff wow them compared to other big time schools.

Whathappenedtodadawgs

April 20th, 2011
12:36 pm

Isn’t he doing what almost every stud basketball player from the state of Georgia does?

Not go to Georgia!

RRTDawgs

April 20th, 2011
12:37 pm

TheWhizKid the score of the game UCF 10 UGA 6 not exactly a shut out or a blow out yes you guys beat us UGA was in a down year anyway congrats on the Liberty Bowl win .

RRTDawgs

April 20th, 2011
12:41 pm

whathappenedtodadawgs UGA did get a couple stud basketball players from Georgia 5 star K. Caldwell Pope and Marcus Thornton .

coach1

April 20th, 2011
12:41 pm

he is long way ftom a one and done! he is weak, no handles, and need to learn the game

McDawg

April 20th, 2011
12:44 pm

i think the bball players get free cut in line passes at magic kingdom

mj

April 20th, 2011
1:09 pm

Why does it matter to anyone where a kid decides to play other than he and his family? It amazes me that Louisville loves on a kid until he makes a decision that doesn’t include them and then he is a piece of dirt – ala DeMarcus Smith. Louisville made life a living hell for this kid until they got their way. These are VERY young men – let them make their own decisions and give them respect for doing what they want to do. I welcome you to UCF, Kevn Ware.

Recruiting | MrSEC.com

April 20th, 2011
1:10 pm

[...] UCF when school starts, but he’s taking a trip to Louisville just the same.For the details, check out Michael Carvell’s work at The [...]

The Man

April 20th, 2011
1:25 pm

Not signing a LOI is a good thing for the kid. Signing the grant in aid puts them in the best possible position. If the coach decides to leave, then they can go wherever they want without any repurcussions. Give the young men some power, instead of the coaches having it all.

Jazzie Dee

April 20th, 2011
1:28 pm

RRTDawgs……”and also would not be a good thing with his step dad involved”

Are step parents not authorized or permitted to speak for their step children when they’re married to the child’s biological parent, live in the same household and have been involved with raising them? This question I pose not only applies to Kevin Ware and his stepfather, but to all step parents. I think your comment was way off and very insensitive to any and ALL step parents. Wow….the way some people think and their comments………..never ceases to amaze me…….

@ GTBob……”so just be happy for him.” Thank you!!! I so agree with you!!!

da banker

April 20th, 2011
1:30 pm

Sounds like somebody is going to be getting paid at UCF…..they must have cut a bigger check to Ware.

Hoopster

April 20th, 2011
4:47 pm

Caldwell is a one and done. I see Fox running into the same issues at UGa he did at Nevada. He did fine with Trent Johnson’s talent but once he needed to get his own, they spiraled down the drain. Same thing happening in Athens.

OTown Dawg

April 20th, 2011
4:51 pm

Central Florida has been getting a lot of hype recently in football and basketball, but there are a lot of whispers about some less than on the level activities going on down here. Word around these parts is that O’Leary and their new basketball coach is keeping their compliance office very busy. UCF is already on probabtion for major violations, so don’t be surprised if a few years from now the real reason Ware went to Central Florida come out.

Stop Hating

April 20th, 2011
4:53 pm

FYI, UCF’s 1st year head coach was Donovan’s lead assistant and head recruiter at UF for both of their National Champhionships. Also, his last year at Marshall, he had a one and done lottery pick. With the multi-million dollars UCF have dropped into athletics programs a facilities has alot to do with it plays into this. Lets not forget, Michael Jordan has a box because both of his sons are at UCF. Getting to hang with him a few times a year is not a bad thing.

Stop Hating

April 20th, 2011
5:01 pm

Otown Dawg, read a little more. They were over texting and phone calls from a non-coach that O’Leary himself turned in. They guy who did it was already gone (went to Tennessee) before the sanctions came down. God forgive any program improves they MUST be paying players. I bet Boise is paying all of their players. I wonder how much the Butler basketball team is making? Also, thanking for not offering to Bruce Miller.

Jason

April 20th, 2011
5:07 pm

I am from Ga. and I went to UCF for football and got recruited by UGA as well and I did NOT regret one day of it! I visited UGA on several occasions (Coach Bobo recruited me) and UCF was by far better! If you want to go somewhere with a storied history UGA is the place! But if you are like me and you want to MAKE history! UCF is the place to go and that’s why we are getting better and better each yr each sport!!!

The Sham

April 20th, 2011
7:01 pm

@Michael carvell: please forgive GtJoe and his condescending tone. He is obviously a techie and couldn’t help but restate the obvious…

@Jason: my dawgs are making history in Athens… 6-7 is quite a memorable feat. Thanks for doing your part to help make that happen and good luck in the future. Your embarrassment of us was the final slap in the face for the prima donnas on our team and think this year their focus will be much more where it needs to be.

Dan

April 20th, 2011
7:02 pm

GTBob — you are funny. Chandler was dropped by every school that previously recruited him and that he visited. The kid is a nutcase and will probably not pass to be eligible anyway. Yeah, great get for UCF — wait till he makes it and actually makes a difference on your team — then brag about him.

As to the Louisville fans making D. Smith’s life hell, that is BS. The kid lives there. He regretted his commitment almost from the minute he made it and has been saying he was not going there every since. He is trying to formally get out of attending and it has nothing to do with the fans in Louisville.