You will excuse DeSoto High School (Dallas) defensive back Myron Turner if he doesn’t root for Washington State for, well, the rest of his life. According to the Dallas Morning News, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound safety took an official football recruiting visit to WSU last weekend and re-affirmed his intention to sign with the Cougars on national signing day Feb. 6.
In fact, Turner was committed to head coach Mike Leach since October and spurned all other scholarship offers.
But after Turner returned home from Pullman, he received a call informing him that Washington State was no longer going to honor its offer. Instead, the scholarship originally earmarked for Turner would go to a larger safety, probably Montrel Meander (6-3, 185) of Palo Duro High in Amarillo.
DeSoto head coach Claude Mathis said he was infuriated that Leach jerked Turner’s scholarship.
“You just don’t do a kid like that,” Mathis told The Morning News. “Washington State isn’t welcome at DeSoto any longer.”
Mathis also told the newspaper that he understood that pulling offers happens, but that it shouldn’t occur two weeks away from signing day, especially when Turner had been steadfast in his commitment and so few other FBS options were still on the table. What made Mathis even more unhappy was that Leach took a visit to DeSoto last week, sitting in Mathis’ office and not once mentioning that Turner’s offer might be at risk.
“He didn’t say a thing,” Mathis said.
Of Turner, Mathis said, “He’s really hurt right now.”
NCAA rules forbid coaches to discuss recruiting before signing day. We’re sure Leach will have a ready, colorful explanation then.
I do believe that The Pirate couged it this time. Even worse than Lame did a couple weeks ago.
I think there are always two sides to every story, and you are just hearing one of them here.
Schtuff happens kid. It’s a big world out there.
Anyone who thinks this isn’t common in college football is naive. Turner held no offers from any other Pac-12 schools. WSU’s record the past five years has been horrific because they’ve given scholarships to high schoolers incapable of competing successfully at the Pac-12 level. This won’t hurt Leach’s recruiting efforts going forward.
Adam, I have a couple of questions: Did he hold no other offers from Pac-12 schools because he had already committed to Washington State, or did he hold no offers because he really wasn’t a Pac-12 player? And if he wasn’t a Pac-12 player, why did WSU offer him a scholarship in the first place?
Because perhaps he arguably was the next best thing. We will find out. From the way his coach is bitching, it does not sound like the kid had many other options.
It’s true that pulling offers for scholarships has been much a part of college football tradition as anonymous boosters paying off the pregnant girlfriends of players. But the fact that Leach recruited a kid under-qualified for the Pac-12 and then dumped him without the courtesy heads-up that helps keep recruiting bridges from being burned is a red flag.
The issue is not whether this episode hurts Cougars recruiting; no one can know. it’s whether the player, his coach and school were treated fairly and honestly by Leach. I look forward to his response on signing day.
Should players then have the same responsibility to keep a school updated before backing out of a verbal pledge on signing day? I can understand why Turner’s coach felt his player received a bad hand, but I just am not sure whether its grounds to criticize a coaching staff for pulling a kid’s offer before he ever signs. Athletic scholarships are renewed annually. IMO what Leach did beats giving up on a guy midway through his education by ripping away a scholarship because he falls too far on the depth chart. In the end, don’t you think this type of an occurrence is more indicative of a broken system rather than a sleazy recruiting tactic? I mean, Texas A&M is about to sign more than 34 guys. Isn’t bringing a player to school and then just dropping him a more unjust philosophy?
Actually, they do the same thing in law school. They admit more than they have spaces, knowing that they will drum a certain number out during the first year. It is the way of the world, and also the higher education system. If you can not beat the sharks, you are not deserving of being a shark. Oh, wait, I did not mean to say that.
Have you ever been bumped on an overbooked flight? I have. Overbooking is not the issue here. It’s the accusation of misleading a recruit who made a commitment and had no indication he was going to be pushed off the cliff.
I am waiting for the day I am bumped from a flight. I already have got the fit I am going to throw planned out. LOL. And, with regard to the recruit, what are they supposed to do now? Give him a pity scholarship?
Certainly, it’s the system. The system promotes sleaze, cheating and other unfairness. By citing a worse example of player mistreatment to justify a milder one makes the case even stronger that in the American corrupt culture rankings, big time NCAA sports is second only to Wall Street.
There is unfortunately a murky nature to this entire story simply because you won’t hear Leach comment on why he pulled the scholarship since Turner hasn’t signed anywhere. To answer your first question: Turner held no offers because he wasn’t really a Pac-12 player. Rarely in the world of recruiting does a high schooler’s verbal pledge dissuade other schools from offering scholarships. The fact that Turner holds only one offer from a small FBS school two weeks before signing day speaks volumes about his talent level.
Thanks for that clarification, Adam. We appreciate it.
The harder question to figure out a logical answer to is why WSU offered him in the first place. My only theory would be that they viewed him as a project player who might eventually contribute 3-4 years down the road. That would suggest they felt comfortable with having Taylor Taliulu at safety alongside Bucannon for the next two years. When they saw that Meander became available — a guy analysts project could contribute in 1-2 years — they jumped at the opportunity to sign him.
The most damning thing here is Leach’s failure to disclose to Turner his bubble status during the visit to his school two weeks ago. That constitutes a lie of omission; this is a very poor reflection on Leach’s integrity. The Coug apologists here need to take a step back; they would be livid if their own sons were treated this way.
I am all for Leach’s iron rod on the backside approach to coaching, as well as his running off malcontents and other such ilk, but this does not seem quite right. Still, I wonder if there is something more to the story. Maybe Leach found something out about the kid and, frankly, is just doing him a favor by rescinding the scholarship offer and not saying more.
Rules prohibit Leach from saying anything until signing day. And you’re right, there could be more to the story. But why would the HS coach unload publicly on Leach if he knew there was a deal-breaker with the kid?
What a bonus! Leach is providing paragraphs of new meaning for “Couging it”.
It’s all risky business. Tough life lesson for the kid.
I wonder if the kid may already have had some tough life lessons. It is not part of the NCAA charter to provide lessons in life-altering undercuts.
NCAA is about money, charter be damned. Making large amounts of money (winning) off kids who are poorly compensated is the mark of success. Put away your raccoon coat and don’t swallow the gold fish. NCAA football is big business. However, a face to face meeting with the kid should have happened. I like Adam Lewis perspective. Thanks for the reply.
You’re talking out of both sides, Big.
I see both sides. No one feels good about being cut. We’ll never know if he could have made the team. This Leach recruit class will have it’s cuts, injuries and walk offs and it appears the competion begins before signing day. I need to here Leaches voice.
I suspect this is much hot air and wounded pride on the part of Coach Mathis. No high school football coach in Texas should be shocked that things don’t always go the way you think they should.
I’m SURE Coach Mathis was totally unaware that his own district hired a superintendent who was involved in school cheating scandals in Atlanta before she took her job at DeSoto in 2011…WHILE THE INVESTIGATION WAS GOING ON. She ended up getting let go, but not before she was paid $188,000 for one day’s worth of work. And this guy’s upset because one of his players didn’t get a scholarship?