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 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.”
Back to the NY Times — Here’s an excerpt of the article (click here to read full article):
Central Florida, it turns out, had an ally in its recruitment of Ware: Kenneth Caldwell, a Chicago man with a substantial criminal record and apparent ties to a prominent sports agency. Ware said Caldwell called him repeatedly to talk up Central Florida, traveled to Atlanta to meet with his family and even arranged joint phone conversations with the university’s basketball coach, Donnie Jones, and his staff — contact prohibited by the N.C.A.A.
“He was pushing for U.C.F.,” Ware said of Caldwell in a telephone interview Thursday.
Informed of Caldwell’s background, Ware on Thursday said he would not attend Central Florida.
Ware is one of three highly regarded recruits who had some dealings with Caldwell and who then decided in recent months to commit to Central Florida, a degree of recruiting success that baffled many people involved in college sports.
Then there’s reaction from Central Florida, reported by the Orlando Sentinel (click here for full article)
Joe Hornstein, UCF associate athletic director for communication, reiterated the school’s statement to the New York Times when asked about the potential recruiting violations highlighted in the newspaper’s report.
“NCAA rules identify permissible recruiters,” Hornstein said in a statement released by UCF Athletics. “If there is information that indicates that other individuals are involved in recruiting activities, we will take corrective action.”
UCF was on probation from 2008 through 2010 for recruiting violations in the football program.
Then on Sunday, there was more reaction from Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi (click here for full column):
Here’s the question: Are [UCF coach Donnie Jones] and his staff in violation of NCAA rules or are the big boys jealous that this upstart coach at this wannabe program is beating them at their own dirty game? If Jones is guilty of blatant cheating, he should be reprimanded or fired. If he’s simply angling in the same murky cesspool as the BCS schools and pulling out his legal share of big fish then he should get a raise.
Back to Ware: On Thursday, after de-committing from Central Florida, Ware said he was interested in any program that was interested in him. He listed Louisville and UGA as his frontrunners. However, Ware said did not know if either school had reciprocal interest. (Go here to read more)
Check back for updates.
RELATED: Georgia Tech has its own recruiting soap opera — the ACC school said Friday it did not release “mystery basketball recruit Bobby Parks Jr., pending further investigation (Click here to read the full article)
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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