Former Knicks coach/president Isiah Thomas might’ve moved on to the head coaching position at FIU, but he’d have to relocate to another solar system to escape the watchful eye of the New York tabloids. The Post’s Marc Berman reports Thomas has enraged high school coaches in Florida after personally failing to call a number of FIU recruits whose scholarship offers he wanted to rescind.
Wolfson High coach Greg Rosebrock threatened to close the door for Thomas to recruit at his Jacksonville school because of how his player, Chris Rozier (above), was treated.
“From Jacksonville, to Orlando to Pensacola, there’s a lot of coaches in Florida not happy with him right now,” Rosebrock told The Post. “He’s not making friends here. I understand not wanting him but place a phone call and do it in a professional way.”
Rozier, of Jacksonville, had a verbal commitment from FIU. One day before Thomas’ press conference on April 15 — the day of the late signing period — FIU assistant Heath Glick called Rosebrock to tell him Thomas would call afterward to let him know what was going on. The call never came.
An assistant coach called two days later to tell Grosbeck they would not be mailing the letter of intent.
“He was recruited like crazy by that school,” Rosebrock said. “Just give him a call. He’s a kid who just had his world turned upside down.” (Rozier landed on his feet, signing last week with Jacksonville State).
According to a person familiar with the Thomas’ thinking, Thomas did not call the kids because he was under the impression he would be under NCAA violation. Thomas just took his compliance tests and thought he was not allowed to speak to high school students.
The source said that is why Thomas signed earlier this week three JUCO players, including Brooklyn’s Marvin Roberts, touted by FIU as the leading junior college scorer in the nation this past season, averaging nearly 30 points per game. A source said Roberts was close to heading to Seton Hall. According to the NCAA, however, Thomas is allowed to talk to high school players because now is a dead period.