What’s the old line in politics? When you’re having to explain yourself, you’re losing.
Seth Emerson provides the transcript.
A day after Toneil Carter’s very public de-commitment, which his family said was the result of Georgia pulling the scholarship offer, head coach Kirby Smart was given a chance to respond.
There are limits to what Smart could say, as NCAA rules prevent coaches from commenting about recruits until they’ve signed. Still, Smart was asked to respond to the Houston tailback’s family saying that UGA pulled the offer, and the Smart didn’t tell them that himself.
Smart did not address the second point. He implied that the first one was incorrect.
“First of all, I’m not allowed to talk about that situation at all. But I will say that my philosophy, our philosophy has always been we’re not going to drop kids in recruiting. OK?” Smart said. “We may defer enrollment. We may say that you may enroll at a later date. But we are not going to drop kids in recruiting. OK? That’s not what – again, I can’t comment on this situation, I can comment on philosophically how we feel and how conversations happen. But I can’t comment on his specific situation.”
Smart was asked if deferring enrollment could entail grayshirting – when a player sits out the season and then enrolls in January. Smart said he meant deferring from early enrolling to coming in the summer…
Now, as Seth goes on to remind us, Carter was willing to abandon his decision to enroll early. [ed. note: see comments; I may be misinterpreting the meaning of “midyear’.] Since he’s not at Georgia, either what Carter’s brother said was untrue, or Smart isn’t telling the whole story. “He said, he said” isn’t the kind of recruiting narrative you want circulating now.
As to who is telling the more complete tale here, I have no idea. But I will say this: nothing stopped Kirby Smart from personally relaying his philosophy to Carter and Carter’s family — or making at least an oblique reference today to having made that sort of personal effort to do so.
Somebody had a complete change of heart on Toneil Carter enrolling at Georgia in a very short time. I leave it to you and Occam’s Razor to decide which of the two sides was more motivated to switch.
UPDATE: More from Carter’s high school coach.
After graduating from Langham Creek High School in Houston Friday, Carter was notified Saturday that his standing with Georgia might be in trouble. By Sunday, Georgia made it known to Carter there wouldn’t be room in this year’s recruiting class for him. He announced his decommitment Monday, stating there were issues with numbers and the fact there were problems with enrolling early.
But Carter’s high school head coach at Langham Creek, Todd Thompson, said Georgia made it known the four-star running back wasn’t welcome anymore in this year’s class.
Um… that’s an awkward timetable there. Graduation on Friday and no room at the inn on Sunday. I can understand why the family didn’t want to take any chances, assuming there were even chances to take at that point.