What happens when a big time college coach offers a scholarship to a high school player, then decides months later that said baller isn’t all that? The Dallas Morning News’ Kate Hariopoulous explains how Texas Tech’s Bobby Knight handles such a situation.
Rockwall senior Michael Godwin rarely left the house without donning a red-and-black shirt or hat. For Christmas, he received more gear bearing the logo of Texas Tech, the college for which he signed in November to play basketball next season.
But recently the Godwin family learned that coach Bob Knight was skeptical the 6-8 swingman would succeed at Tech.
As a result, the Godwins requested that Tech release Michael (above) from the scholarship, and the school has done so.
“We were whole-hog Tech,” Michael’s father, Charlie Godwin, said. “All of a sudden, Knight didn’t want him.”
Texas Tech officials did not respond to phone calls, but the athletic department put a statement on its Web site Friday afternoon. The statement read, in part, that coaches were concerned Godwin was “a completely different player” than he was when they scouted him on his summer-league team.
“The coaching staff was very concerned he would enroll at Texas Tech, would not be able to play at the Big 12 level, and Texas Tech would not be in a position to renew the scholarship award the following year,” the statement read.
On its Web site, Tech said it wanted to make the Godwins aware of the coaches’ evaluation “while he had ample time to consider what was best for him and his future.”
Charlie Godwin said he didn’t consider Tech’s actions in his son’s best welfare.
“They have hurt my son emotionally,” he said. “If they had concerns, why did they make the offer? They should have looked at him to sign in the late period?”
Tech’s Internet statement includes text from a letter Knight wrote to Godwin, a letter the family said it was awaiting but hadn’t received as of Friday afternoon.
“Your decision will have to be based on how much more effective you think you can be than you have shown thus far in the high school season,” Knight says in the letter. “If you feel you are playing at your best, I simply think it would be a mistake for you to come to Tech. However, the final decision is up to you and your folks and we will go along with whatever you decide.”
Tech assistant coaches have attended several of Godwin’s recent games. Knight attended Rockwall’s 44-41 loss Dec. 20 to state-ranked Tyler John Tyler, in which Godwin scored 13 points.
Godwin, rated the No. 35 senior in the state by TexasHoops .com, is averaging 8.3 points a game for Rockwall (15-4). He scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds and eight assists in Tuesday’s victory over Mesquite Horn. Godwin averaged 7.7 points and 7.4 rebounds as a junior.
Charlie Godwin said his son is the same caliber player as when Tech noticed him during the summer with Texas Top Prospects. He is handling the ball more in Rockwall’s offense than he did with the summer team.
“No, he’s not a 30 points per game scorer,” Charlie Godwin said. “That’s not his style. They knew full well. … Against John Tyler, he played all positions. They might want to see who had all the assists.”