New details on Florida’s messy, messy situation with ex-football recruit

New details on a messy situation with an ex-Florida Gators recruit (AP)

Did the Florida Gators accept a commitment with the contingency that he work out for the team this summer? It's disputed by both sides (AP)

The University of Florida’s recruiting relationship with onetime commit Tre Bell – and the ending of it – has turned into a big PR mess for the Gators.

The cornerback from New Jersey had been committed to Florida since last April. According to ESPN’s Derek Tyson, Bell’s commitment to the Gators was accepted with the contingency of him working out at one of Florida’s summer camps so they could evaluate him because his high school did not have spring football practices.

This is where it gets confusing.

Bell showed up at Florida’s Friday Night Lights football camp a few weeks ago but did not participate because he said his high school coach did not allow camps after July 15. However, Bell competed the next day in a national 7-on-7 tournament, which apparently upset Florida coach Will Muschamp and started a chain of events to led to Bell and the Gators parting ways – and Bell committing to Vanderbilt this past weekend.

The Gainesville Sun’s Zach Alboverdi wrote on Monday that Bell was dropped for “dishonesty” reasons:

Understandably bothered by what happened, Florida contacted St. Peter’s Prep coach Rich Hansen to get an explanation and discovered that Hansen never gave Bell those orders. When confronted about the situation, Bell continued to be dishonest with staff — and that’s why he is no longer a Gator.

Muschamp, and other college coaches, are not allowed to comment on prospective student-athletes, per NCAA rules.

But everybody else is. And they have, over the past couple of days, in reaction to the “dishonesty” allegations.

Bell told 247sports.com’s Barton Simmons that Florida “never made it mandatory that I had to work out” at Friday Night Lights. After the 7-on-7 camp, Bell said, “I found out that Coach (Will) Muschamp was really mad. I called him up to see what he had to say and he wasn’t happy at all …”

On Tuesday, Bell’s coach finally spoke to the Gainesville Sun and said his phone conversation with Florida’s coaches went in another direction than reported (click here for full story):

“[Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn] called me and he said, ‘Rich I got to ask you this question, do you guys have a rule about participating?’ I told him we do,” Hansen said. “The rule is after July 15, you don’t work out for anybody. If you sprain an ankle it will be an issue for our team. It’s been my rule for 25 years. You can look it up and ask any player that’s ever played for me and they’ll give you the same rule. Now what happened after that is totally Tre’s fault, but that was my conversation with Danny.”

Tre Bell

Ex-Florida recruit Tre Bell counters claims by Gators: “They never made it mandatory that I had to work out” this summer (247sports)

Bell’s father also spoke to the Sun, saying his son “made a mistake” by breaking his high school rules by working out at the 7-on-7 tournament. However, the elder Bell said Florida “never told us we had to camp. If they had told us that, then we would have camped. That’s what caused all this.”

The Florida newspaper also finished the updated story by saying, “Sources close to the football program told the Sun a different version of what happened.”

What are your thoughts? Which side do you believe? What is right and what is wrong? Please post below.

What do we think? It’s not just happening at Florida. It’s a growing trend for colleges to “accept commitments with contingencies” and, in the majority of cases, is an awful idea. What could go wrong? Lots of things. It can lead to a lot of confusion, a destroyed level of trust between the two parties, and — most importantly – a heap of bad PR for the participating college that could damage other recruiting efforts. Surely, rival SEC recruiters will be using Bell’s fallout against the Florida Gators with the “Can you trust them?” lines in the living rooms of recruits. If colleges want to do something like that, then why not simply make “conditional offers”? Why the rush to publicly accept a commitment if there’s a chance it’s going to be revoked? Lots of issues here.

THIS JUST IN …

BECAUSE WE MISS THE OLYMPICS

MORE RECRUITING

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

Please Follow me on Twitter @RecruitingAJC + Please be my Facebook friend here

157 comments Add your comment

Fleischman in Chi Towns Bed

August 15th, 2012
12:14 pm

First (and not banned)!

Fleischman in Chi Towns Bed

August 15th, 2012
12:14 pm

Respect LORD SABAN

RTR22

August 15th, 2012
12:23 pm

MC is a hack. Alabama on the front cover of Sports Illustrated this wk for the 21st time in their storied history. How about it doggies, gators, war turds… Show us your number, the 3 of you combined probably do not equal 21 lol….

Alabama fb is the pride of the South.

Urban Meyer

August 15th, 2012
12:28 pm

This would have NEVER happened under my watch! The Gators under Will Muschamp are turning into Ole Miss of the SEC East. What a joke.

Jacket Man

August 15th, 2012
12:28 pm

This ship has sail…time to move on.

Jacket Man

August 15th, 2012
12:29 pm

That should have read “sailed”… Dang auto fill

CPJ's manziere

August 15th, 2012
12:30 pm

Alabama treated Bill Curry bad. I don’t like them.

jim

August 15th, 2012
12:30 pm

@RTR22…Congrats for bragging on something you have absolutely nothing to do with. Make you feel better?

The Painful Truth

August 15th, 2012
12:31 pm

Recruits, you can’t trust Florida. You need to commit to Miami, FSU, or UGA.

HunkerDown!

August 15th, 2012
12:35 pm

LOL! Alabama is not the pride of the south. They are the defending national champions. They are on Sports Illustrated just as previous defending National Champions were.

[...] Visit link [...]

Paul in NH

August 15th, 2012
12:43 pm

The last paragraph has me confused. Colleges accepting “commitments with contingencies” is a terrible idea so they should make “conditional offers” instead.
Apart from the specific wording, what is the difference? Perhaps some of the people who closely follow the ins and outs of recruiting can explain this.

DS2001

August 15th, 2012
12:43 pm

I`m just glad Vanderbilt was the recipient of the Gator fiasco!

Captain Reality

August 15th, 2012
12:44 pm

So he ends up withan opportunity to earn a Vanderbilt degree.
Maybe a break his way.

Fleischman in Chi Towns Bed

August 15th, 2012
12:46 pm

If you type MC’s name into your comment, he will have you banned. They should change the title from College Recruiting to UGA #1 cheerleader.

RESPECT LORD SABAN

EH

August 15th, 2012
12:49 pm

Still waiting for you to track down Kyrin Priester to find out what happened with UGA decommitment

Tide Observer

August 15th, 2012
12:52 pm

I can’t wait until you big mouth Tide fans get exposed this season. No way you lose that much talent on defense and will be as good. And Lacy is no comparison to Richardson.

You bloggers will disappear again just like you did after LSU beat you last November.

10-2 this season, at best.

ga gator

August 15th, 2012
12:52 pm

Michael it sounds to me that you are just trying to stir the pot. I email back and forth with Zach Abolverdi (who wrote the article) as well as Pat Dooley and Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun and I believe what he wrote as factual. Why would Tre Bell be the ONLY recruit in Muschamps 2013 class to not be required to attend a camp, while even 5star commit Vernon Hargraves III was required?

Jake Snake

August 15th, 2012
1:05 pm

That terrorist looking coach at Vandy always talks about how much integrity his program has. His actions never match his words.

Cdore78

August 15th, 2012
1:11 pm

Comments libeling VU’s coach coming from a guy named “Snake.” Priceless.

McDawg

August 15th, 2012
1:20 pm

what would Saban have done

Fleischman in Chi Towns Bed

August 15th, 2012
1:34 pm

Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.

WTF

August 15th, 2012
1:50 pm

RTR22 you sister wants you to come to bed.

collegeballfan

August 15th, 2012
1:58 pm

The simple solution is to let the player sign a grant as soon as he academically completes his Junior year in high school.

Then maybe that would be the end of the “I’m committed to…” fiction.

Jason Higdon

August 15th, 2012
1:58 pm

Lots and lots of misguided people “trying” to cover this story so I will fill you in MC. The working out at FNL, while WM wanted Tre to do had ZERO to do with him not being in this class and everything to do with the repeated lies that were told. That’s it man. Very simple and it’s only “messy” if you dont know what you are talking about. Write about what Georgia is telling Laremy Tunsil regarding Trenton Brown. That would be an interesting story. There is nothing to see with this situation. Or you can talk to the multiple UGA commits that continue to stay in touch with the UF staff? There was NO contingency despite what you think……..

Paddy

August 15th, 2012
2:02 pm

Don’t know, don’t care unless he is a Dawg then I care.

OkieDawg

August 15th, 2012
2:04 pm

I think Muschamp has some anger issues. It was a luck day when CMR got off the hot seat, allowing Muschamp to go to Florida. Muschamp burned all bridges back to UGA when he said the Gators were his first love. That spoke volumes as to what he is all about.

Buzz Off

August 15th, 2012
2:12 pm

Best of luck to the young man but if he wasn’t supposed to Camp then he shouldn’t of participated in the 7 on 7. I don’t have a problem with UF pulling his offer for lying. Every coach in the nation wants kids that have a strong moral compass and a willingness to better themselves both on and off the field. Hopefully Tre will do well at Vandy and both parties will learn from this situation.

chazzo

August 15th, 2012
2:16 pm

Sounds to me like an excellent way to grey shirt someone without actually calling it that. UF may very well have another player lined up. Then again from a couple of other stories (hearsay granted), it sounds like Muschamp doesn’t tolerate much of anything attitude wise.

If there aren’t any violations, then Vandy gets a good player, end of story.

GeoffDawg

August 15th, 2012
2:16 pm

Paul in NH, I had the same question.

RxDawg

August 15th, 2012
2:17 pm

How is this bad PR? Sorry, I hate the Gators as much as the next Dawg, but I don’t see this as any kind of big deal at all.

Noles in ATL

August 15th, 2012
2:18 pm

@RxDawg, I’d say accepting the commitment of a kid, telling him he doesn’t have to work out at summer camp, then yanking his scholarship because he didn’t … is definitely bad for business. Muschamp lost integrity and trust with this shameful move.

Buzz Off

August 15th, 2012
2:19 pm

@ Jason Higdon: Tell us something we don’t know. WM better still be talking to UGA commits as MR better be talking to UF commits; that’s the game my friend. Nobody is solid until they sign on the dotted line in February. To take a cheap shot and pretend that you know what UGA has said to recruits is a little over the top, unless of course you were on the visit with Tunsil (highly doubt it). The media will twist conversations to make a story more attractive; that is what pays the bills.

Taco Meat

August 15th, 2012
2:41 pm

Jason Higdon

August 15th, 2012
1:58 pm

Lots and lots of misguided people “trying” to cover this story so I will fill you in MC. The working out at FNL, while WM wanted Tre to do had ZERO to do with him not being in this class and everything to do with the repeated lies that were told. That’s it man. Very simple and it’s only “messy” if you dont know what you are talking about. Write about what Georgia is telling Laremy Tunsil regarding Trenton Brown. That would be an interesting story. There is nothing to see with this situation. Or you can talk to the multiple UGA commits that continue to stay in touch with the UF staff? There was NO contingency despite what you think……..
——————————————————————————————————————

I find it laughable when losers who claim to be “in the know” get on their soapboxes on these articles. Recruiting is a dirty game so whatever one coach is doing or saying, I’d bet there’s 10 other coaches doing or saying much worse.

Mr. Hankey (Pankey)

August 15th, 2012
2:45 pm

Sounds like a good riddance for the hated Gators, but Muschamp is a Muschump and will be gone within 3 yrs, no bout adoubt it. Especially after UGA kicks his butt again.

B Red

August 15th, 2012
2:50 pm

Jason Higdon is the biggest UF homer in the business. The people around Gainesville always joke that Jason thinks he works for Muschamp rather than Scout.

JayD

August 15th, 2012
2:53 pm

So basically – Florida is upset because he broke his coaches rules for someone else (7-on-7), and not for them at Friday Night Lights???? Understandable……… Not!

Alabammy

August 15th, 2012
2:54 pm

1980

•Failed U.S. Rescue Attempt to Save Hostages in Tehran
•John Lennon Assassinated
•Mount St. Helens Erupts
•Pac-Man Video Game Released
•Rubik’s Cube Becomes Popular
•Ted Turner Establishes CNN

tick…..tick…..tick

Alabammy

August 15th, 2012
2:55 pm

Kendell Jones,

Men landed on the moon a few years back…didn’t know if you were aware or not.

msd

August 15th, 2012
2:58 pm

Pretty amazing that you can write an entire column about other people writing columns, with no firsthand information whatsoever. I guess it gives you an opportunity to try to make the Gators look bad or spur web hits, but there is nothing here. I guess it boils down to who you believe – the coach that has recruited hundreds of players or the recruit that has only been in the process once. If there was a misunderstanding, I know which side I believe. Of course, the other issue is that coaches are not allowed to present their side of what happened.

They're all liars

August 15th, 2012
3:10 pm

That’s why you don’t offer until you’re ready to offer.
And how do you know the kids lying? He’s moving his lips.

The truth

August 15th, 2012
3:11 pm

Jason Higdon = Gator spokesperson

Dying here

August 15th, 2012
3:13 pm

Hahaha, Jason Higdon is the cockiest wannabe this side of Finebaum, all he does is throw out cryptic hints and hope something sticks close enough to spin it when something does happen. Guess there is a reason his Scout board subs and participation have dropped to about 1-15 posts a day, lol. Typical post by him is “Dont sleep on this big time news may be coming public in the next 48 hours!” 3 days later, its well, the plans fell thru and a top committed player from another team is calling Muschamp daily behind doors. REMEMBER, when and if this goes down you heard it here first!

And the 3rd OC in 3 years is going to magically light up the UF O this year, just his mere presence is going to amount to 10-12 more points a game (doesnt matter that the only 2 players that had a pulse last year, Demps and Rainey, are gone now) lol, guy kills me

jdog247

August 15th, 2012
3:32 pm

@taco meat and @buzz off….you do realize that JH covers the gators in recruiting and has spoken to tre bell for over a 1 1/2 years now? This writer hasn’t even called tre bell to get any facts straight. all he has done is piece together some other journalist articles…plagiarism at its best….i mean its ok when your in middle school….but come on. I guess thats the kind education we expect from you dawgs…

Please quit whining

August 15th, 2012
3:38 pm

Where is the great Tampa Gator when you need him?

Tim Davis

August 15th, 2012
3:43 pm

Why you wait until after you have accepted his pledge to you then want him to work out. Sound like sour grapes to me. Go DAWGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

seabass

August 15th, 2012
3:43 pm

Colleges don’t accept commits with conditions. His film should have been good enough to evaluate this kid. Florida got a little egg on their face and is trying to cover it up. They didn’t want the kid should not have offered to him.

Heisman

August 15th, 2012
3:54 pm

Jawga sucks….plain and simple. Lets see if you can make it 2 in a row for the first time in over a decade……fricken ball jacks!

AnnapolisDawg

August 15th, 2012
3:55 pm

@ jdog247: You’re killing me! My apologies, JH must be in the know if he is an esteemed reporter for the Gators (insert sarcasm here). For the record (and your own educational purposes), plagiarism is using another person’s words or thoughts without providing credit to the original source. You might want to check above and see that Michael had no problem citing the sources. Now that the education part is settled, you might want to call your friend JH and find out why your team will repeat another year of mediocrity.

Taco Meat

August 15th, 2012
3:59 pm

Thanks AnnapolisDawg, you beat me to the punch!