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No Kidding?

There was an article today in today's Wall Street Journal looking at the recruitment of both Demar DeRozan and Lil' Romeo. Let me say this right up front I am not sure if the WSJ is a publication that could really understand the recruiting game in college sports. Yes, they know business and college sports is big business but I'm not sure that they understand this game.

[...] But next fall, the 18-year-old will suit up for the University of Southern California, a program in the tough Pac-10 conference. And he will receive a full basketball scholarship valued at $44,400 a year.

The scholarship, which is the talk of college recruiters, is a perfect L.A. story, intermingling money, show business and basketball. Besides being an average point guard, Mr. Miller is an actor and singer known as Lil' Romeo, and the son of a wealthy music mogul. Some question whether the Millers took advantage of their resources -- and their relationship with Demar DeRozan of Compton, Calif., one of the top high-school basketball players in America -- to win the scholarship over more talented and less privileged athletes.

No disagreement, but scholarships are given out at the judgment of the school it isn't a secret that Floyd/USC recruited Romeo for Demar. Not knowing the whole history about this I asked AO about it and gave me a clearer picture on the situation. Floyd had his eyes on DeRozan for a while, while he was "under the radar" of some other programs. When DeRozan started to get some notice Floyd knew the only way to secure DeRozan was to offer Romeo. Now he may have come to USC regardless but why take the chance? Like it or not, Floyd, with all the work he had put in over the years and the fact that Demar is uber-talented, wanted to make 100% sure he got Demar by any means necessary.

I don't think anyone with half a brain thinks that Romeo will stick it out at SC. Does he really have what it takes to cut it in the Pac-10 let alone a high-profile program like SC? Romeo simply has all he needs to live a comfortable life. As for weather or not anyone else seriously looking at Romeo, who knows and who really cares. Its so cutthroat out there I don't know who to believe.

The attention that USC is receiving on this isn't the best for the program but in securing DeRozan, who is one hell of a player who also has a chance at being a lottery pick after his 1st year, we stand to gain on the recruiting trail. If DeRozan goes that would give USC two lottery pick two years in a row (and a near 3 years in a row with Nick Young). That goes a long way to making some headway for other recruits that may not have looked at USC in the past.

The situation with Wetherell is unfortunate and mucks up the situation even more:

That doesn't sit well with Don Wetherell. His son Ryan, a 5-foot-11 guard, was one of the best high-school players in Canada and earned a walk-on spot at USC the last two seasons. Mr. Wetherell says he asked the USC staff how Mr. Miller's arrival would affect his son, who had been told that he had a "good shot" at a scholarship next year. He says they told him Ryan may still get the award -- and that Mr. Miller got his because of his relationship with Mr. DeRozan. (Mr. Floyd could not be reached for comment.) "We're learning a lot," says Mr. Wetherell, who owns a beverage company in Calgary.

Coach Floyd did have some reaction later on in the day though, via Wolf's blog:

[...] But Floyd bristled over the passage listed earlier today where the father of walk-on guard Ryan Wetherell's father said the coaching staff told him Romeo Miller got his scholarship because of his relationship with Demar DeRozan.

"Ryan Wetherell's never been promised a scholarship of any sort,'' Floyd said. "I never met the kid until he got onto campus.''

Wetherell's dad should know better than to air this out in a public forum. Ryan is a scrappy player but he is not starting and his dad questioning coach Floyd's motives or plans in public are a distraction to the team and doesn't help the situation.

Of course USC offered Romeo to get DeRozan, I'm not completely happy about it but it's not my call. It's not conventional but this is the world we are in. We don't have the luxury of a pedigree like UNC, Duke or ucla so we need to get unconventional. People who don't understand this either have some sense of entitlement and think they are above it all or they are walking around blind without a cane.