Peter Segall brings me the most confusing story of the day, involving a high school offensive lineman committing to a school that didn’t recruit him. Or possibly not actually doing that. Or someone recruited him while posing as…look, you’ll have to read it:
Students, television and newsprint reporters packed the gym at Fernley (Nev.) High School to hear offensive lineman Kevin Hart give a verbal commitment to play football at the University of California. He chose Cal over Oregon.
“They really sold me,” Hart said, according to USA Today. “Coach [Jeff] Tedford (above) and I talked a lot, and the fact that the head coach did most of the recruiting of me kind of gave me the real personal experience.”
The only problem ¦ neither Cal nor Oregon recruited Hart.
Now, it’s a “law enforcement investigation,” said Fernley football coach Mark Hodges, according to the newspaper.
“This is involving law enforcement and may involve other departments, other than the NCAA, that are bigger than local,” Hodges told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “I would love to tell you everything I know, but I can’t at this time and I’m not even sure what I know.”
It was unclear whether Hart was duped by persons impersonating recruiters or if he was staging a hoax himself.
In a blog for the Reno newspaper, reporter Chris Gabel wrote: “But, I am told, the ending is not going to be pretty. Not for the kid, coach, school or town.”
There’s more from the Gazette-Journal here, including the revelation that Hart has not been on a recruiting visit to any school. This reminds me of the time that no one came to my press conference when I announced that I’d be attending DIII history-and-literature powerhouse Pomona College and not playing a varsity sport there. Peter is similarly embittered: “This is straight bollocks,” he writes. “I fill out the paperwork to enter the NBA draft and all I get is dinner with Isiah Thomas.” You know that isn’t right.