The UConn Recruiting Violations

UConn's head coach Jim Calhoun has (unsurprisingly) become embroiled in a pretty big NCAA recruiting violation scandal, and most Terp fans are basking in it. With good reason, too.

See, this violation was only for Nate Miles, a 3 star recruit who attended 5 high schools in 4 years. Recently, Ater Majok's name has popped up in the scandal, but no details have leaded out on that front. But that doesn't mean that's all Calhoun did. Sadly, some of his most questionable cases were also Maryland targets.

First was Rudy Gay. Gay, a five star, top 10 kind of player out of HS, was very high on Maryland both early and late in the process. He would've been a huge get for the program. A lot of signs were pointing to Maryland actually nabbing him. But then, Calhoun organized a "scrimmage" of the Huskies against an AAU team made up mostly of former college and JUCO players. Calhoun paid $22,000 to the Cecil Kirk Athletic Council, who "owned" that team. They also owned Gay's AAU team. Days later, Gay committed to UConn. Coincidence? Fat chance.

Granted, at the time, that was legal. This, however, was the one thing that made the NCAA make it illegal. It was so incredibly blatant that the NCAA couldn't just stand by and let it happen again - quite an achievement given the NCAA's track record when it comes to this stuff. Of course, they decided not to enforce the rule retroactively.

This scrimmage wasn't the only thing, either, in all likelihood. In the "Missed Shots" three part series by the WaPo, Gary implied a few times that UConn definitely did some extra stuff in that recruitment. You can bet it was against the rules.

That web is obviously tangled, but not nearly as much as this one's: Ater Majok. Majok is a strange case. Born in Cameroon, he attained Australian citizen and came on to the recruiting scene a bit late. Recruiting services didn't pay him much attention for awhile, but he ended up as a 5 star on Rivals.

He quickly latched on to the same exact guys who handled Mills. If that doesn't set off alarms, nothing will. Anyway, originally committed to Baylor, he ended up reopening his recruitment. He visited Maryland, and supposedly wanted to commit right then and there. "Something" must have held him back, though, and he had to "ask his family for permission." I don't know, but what exactly are Cameroonian parents living in Australia who have probably never been to the US going to say when he asks them if Maryland is okay? They aren't exactly educated in the recruiting process or in the schools themselves.

Not too long after, he ended up with UConn. There wasn't a big thing like the AAU game to make it obvious; Maryland just sort of dissolved a few weeks later and other schools rose up: UConn, Cincinnati, Kansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Georgetown, and others. I never saw anything on the parents turning down Maryland, nor any reason for him to delay his recruitment. He ultimately ended up in Storrs. If this handler, Josh Nochimson, truly exerted influence on Majok - which is near certain - then it's no surprise that's where he ended up. Gary has a reputation of not paying handlers, which means bad news for Nochimson. People in the business have called Majok's circle one of the shadiest they've ever been around; it's pretty clear to most that something went down to get Majok to commit to UConn.

If you're counting, that's two recruits Calhoun has "stolen away" from Maryland. It's not a gigantic deal to me personally, but it's good to see UConn in some hot water, especially because Maryland's past few years might've turned out so much differently had these recruits come through. Anyway, that should explain why Terp fans feel so good about Calhoun finally getting busted.

(BTW, it's been a long time since the Gay recruitment, and I never followed Majok too closely. If I made a mistake here, feel free to let me know.)

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