The Sad Saga Of Troynell Adams

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By Roy & Harv Schmidt

In our 25 years of being in the basketball scouting business, we have seen plenty of sleazy activity when it comes to recruiting. However, what the men's basketball staff at Carl Albert State College in Poteau, OK recently pulled in their attempt to lure Troynell Adams away from Farragut Career Academy absolutely takes the cake. It paints a sad picture when it comes to the public perception of junior college basketball and is yet another example of why we cover the JUCO ranks as little as possible.

For those who don't already know, the men's basketball coaching staff at Carl Albert recently made news by convincing Adams, a 6'4 class of 2009 prospect, to drop out of Farragut and enroll immediately at the Oklahoma-based junior college in order to get his GED. He then would have been eligible to play basketball at Carl Albert once the second semester began this month.

Adams was actually at Carl Albert for two weeks. However, the National Junior College Association then received word of the shady doings of the Carl Albert coaching staff and after also being besieged by phone calls from newspapers as well as the Chicago Public League Athletics Office, the coaches then agreed to send Adams home and he returned to Chicago this past weekend.

Simply put, the actions of the men's basketball coaches at Carl Albert border on criminal and they should be ashamed of themselves. Unfortunately, we can guarantee that they are not. Instead, they are simply embarrassed over the fact that they weren't able to pull a fast one. Therefore there are a couple of questions that continue to loom. The biggest of which is "what the heck were these guys thinking?" And who in their right mind would convince any high school athlete to drop out of high school and for what purpose?

While it is impossible to answer the first question, having been around the block a time or two when it comes to the recruiting business, we are willing to bet that we can accurately answer the second question. The bottom line is that when it comes to men's basketball at the junior college level, there are too many coaches who care about nothing more than winning games, to the point where they give no regard to a player's education whatsoever. Needless to say, the coaching staff at Carl Albert fits this description to a tee.

To compound the problem, junior colleges already suffer from a negative perception with respect to the quality of education (or lack thereof) that they provide to their student athletes. Before we go any further, we must emphasize that not all JUCOs are guilty of this educational negligence, as there are some that place academics ahead of athletics. The problem is that those schools are the exception rather than the rule.

In order to explain further, it is necessary to break down the demographics as they relate to junior college basketball. Schools that are members of the National Junior College Association fall into three classifications with respect to men's basketball--division 1, division 2 and division 3. Most of the JUCOs that are considered to be your annual basketball powerhouses are division 1 schools and generally speaking they are able to assemble a greater degree of talent than schools at the D2 or D3 level.

What is sad is that the division 1 JUCOs also attract a higher percentage of "problem" kids--players who have off-the court issues or severe academic shortcomings. Having been in the basketball scouting business for 25 years, we have seen far too many instances, especially at the D1 JUCO level, in which it is quite clear that basketball players are there solely to play basketball and therefore no penalties are given when they fail to attend class. The argument can even be made that for all practical purposes many JUCOs serve solely as minor league facilities for players with professional aspirations.

With all of this being said we believe that a junior college becomes a viable option for a basketball player once he has exhausted all of his educational possibilities. With Adams, however, that was not the case. In fact, prior to dropping out he was on pace to graduate from Farragut in June. Instead, he is now a full semester behind and will not be allowed to go back to Farragut. All of which once again leads us to ask why the men's basketball coaches at Carl Albert convinced Adams that his high school education at Farragut didn't matter and persuaded him to leave. Was it solely because they thought they would be able to win a few more games? If so, then that is truly pathetic.

You also wonder where Adams' parents were throughout this mess and why they didn't have a say in the matter. Which makes it quite apparent to us that the parents weren't in the picture and that the coaching staff at Carl Albert was well aware of this, which is why their actions are even more despicable. Kudos to Farragut head coach William Nelson, who says that he is not finished when it comes to dealing with this situation and to Chicago Public League boy's basketball coordinator Cyrus McGinnis, who was instrumental in bringing the matter to the attention of the National Junior College Association.

The biggest part of the problem is that because the National Junior College Association is its own governing body it is not bound to the same set of recruiting regulations that pertain to NCAA schools. The rules are much more lax when it comes to JUCOs. What this means is that junior college coaches can contact recruits virtually any time they want to and there are no "dead" periods in which recruits are off-limits, which in our opinion increases the temptation and likelihood for sleazy activity such as what we saw with Adams to occur at the JUCO level. Therefore, why not bind junior college coaches to the same rules and regulations pertaining to recruiting that govern NCAA coaches? What is really scary is that had it not been for Nelson and McGinnis, the coaches at Carl Albert may very well have gotten away with their antics.

There is no doubt that the only person who truly ended up getting hurt in this ordeal was Adams himself. At the present time, nobody really knows what the future holds in store for him with respect to his education. Will he attend another Chicago public high school? Or will he simply head to another junior college and get his GED? We do know what the future should hold in store for the men's basketball coaches at Carl Albert--they should be stripped of their jobs and never be allowed to coach again collegiately. Then again, there may be coaching positions available for them in a prison league somewhere.


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7 Comments

Whoa doggies!! An awful lot of ink is being spilled and internet space taken up in coverage of the Troynell Adams morality play. Unfortunately, the coverage is doing little to actually inform the public as to what transpired.

The following information would be very useful:
1. What percentage of CPS students who enter high school as freshmen graduate with a diploma? Put another way, what is the CPS high school dropout rate?
2. How many of those CPS dropouts earn their GED?
3. How old is Troynell Adams? Is he a legal minor or is he an adult making his own decisions?
4. What was the opinion of Adams' parent(s)/family members about his move to Oklahoma?
5. Who initiated contact between Troynell Adams and Carl Albert State College?
6. Was Adams truly on schedule to graduate from Farragut in May or June with the class of 2009? Is 2009 Adams' original graduating class or has he been held back?
7. Isn't Adams now being denied both the opportunity to graduate from Farragut and the opportunity to earn his GED from Carl Albert State College? How is this fair to him?

Here's how the situation appears to me: Chicago has a bad public school system and Adams decided to bail from it and earn his GED instead. Whose idea that was is unclear. It is also unclear who initiated contact with Carl Albert State College. Where was Adams' family in this? Why did Adams want to leave Farragut?

Please don't accuse me of defending Carl Albert State College, because I am not. But let's please drop the moralizing and presents the hard facts of what happened here.

Thank you.


Roy & Harv Respond:

We presented plenty of hard facts in this blog. What did you have trouble understanding? If it makes it simpler, here are the answers to your questions:

1) Not relevant to this specific situation.
2) Not relevant to this specific situation.
3) Troynell Adams is now 18 years old. However, he was NOT 18 at the time of the first contact between him and Carl Albert State College.
4) Don't know. We asked the same question in our blog. It seems to us that his parents didn't have an opinion because they weren't in the picture.
5) Now what do you think? Do you truly believe that Adams himself would have initiated contact with a junior college he had probably never even heard of? We will bet the house that the first contact was initiated by Carl Albert.
6) Depends on who you want to believe. We choose to believe William Nelson because he has no reason to lie. People need to understand that even though Adams in all likelihood still wouldn't have qualified under NCAA guidelines, he still could have received enough credits to earn a high school diploma, which in our world still means something. Apparently it doesn't mean much in the eyes of others such as the Carl Albert coaching staff.
7) The answer to this is probably "yes". However, the situation is completely fair and he now has to live with the consequences. The sad part is that we don't believe he made the decision on his own accord. He was brainwashed into believing that a high school education doesn't matter and he fell for it.

One final point: we will never stop the moralizing in situations such as these. The bottom line is that the Carl Albert coaching staff was wrong to convince a young man to drop out of high school and they should be penalized for their actions. Unfortunately, they probably won't be, while Adams is the one who will end up paying the price for his bad decision.

THE POINT IS THAT THIS YOUNG MAN WAS USED LIKE AN OLD
DISH RAG, DON'T BLAME THE CPS FOR THIS MESS, I'M TALKING
TO AWR WHO WROTE ALL OF THAT GARBAGE IN THE PREVIOUS
BLOG!
THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS DID THEMSELVES A DISSERVICE
BY GETTING AWAY FROM NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS YEARS AGO, NOW
THE CPS IS STUCK ON CHARTER SCHOOLS, ANOTHER WAY TO GET
AWAY FROM NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS!
IF YOU THINK THERE AREN'T GREAT TEACHERS IN THE CPS
SYSTEM, YOU ARE DEAD WRONG!
ALL SCHOOLS SHOULD BE THE SAME, BUT WHEN YOU PUT ONE
SCHOOL ON A PEDESTAL, HOW DO YOU THINK OTHERS FEEL WHEN
THEY DON'T GET IN THAT PARTICULAR SCHOOL!
TO TROYNELL ADAMS, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND NEVER FEEL
INFERIOR TO ANYONE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, AND NEXT TIME
GO TO COACH NELSON FOR GUIDANCE, HE HAS COACHED SOME GREAT
PLAYERS, THOSE GUYS AT THIS JUCO WERE OUT FOR THEMSELVES,
YOU HAPPENED TO BE THE PAWN IN THE GAME!
IF COACH NELSON WASN'T A GREAT PERSON, KEVIN GARNETT
WOULDN'T STILL BE ASSOCIATED WITH HIM, IF YOU NOTICE
EVERYTIME THE BULLS PLAY THE CELTICS, COACH NELSON SITS
RIGHT NEXT TO THE BOSTON BENCH FOR ALL THE GAMES, THAT
IS RESPECT, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, WE CAN ALL LEARN FROM THIS
MESS, AND PRAY IT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN!

Roy & Harv Respond:

Phil,

You are on a roll! Beautifully stated!

you guys will be in for a rude awakeing in just a little while once the god's honest truth comes out....apology's to everybody involved will be greatly appreciated

Roy & Harv Respond:

We agree whole-heartedly. The Carl Albert coaching staff should be apologizing and on their hands and knees asking for forgiveness as we speak.

Everyone seems to think that all of this is alright. But know one is takiing into consideration about Troynell.
1. What is the real truth behind all of this?
2. Did anyone bother to interview Troynell about the alligation that has been made against him?
3. Did you all bother to look into CPS to make sure he was actually schedule to graduate on time?
4. Seems to me that you all only have one side of the story and you need to investigate this matter a little further before things are printed.
5. What does Mr. Nelson get out of all this? because as we can see Troynell gets nothing. He doesn't get a high school diploma because he will have to attend night school and summer school in order to graduated on time. He is unable to receive a GED from a JUCO because of all the attention this has bought on.

It does not appear that after returning back to Farrgut that he will be able to finish the basketball season.

So tell me who has been HURT the most????


Roy & Harv Respond:


Most of what you are saying is correct, but you are forgetting the most important thing of all. Yes, Troynell Adams is the one who ended up getting hurt (as we said in the blog) but it the result of a decision that HE made (with a lot of pressure from the coaches at Carl Albert). Therefore, he has to live with the consequences. As for interviewing Troynell, he made himself unavailable for comment, which should tell you something. Coach Nelson gets nothing out of this whatsoever except the loss of a good high school basketball player. And why couldn't Troynell still get a GED at another junior college? We see no reason why he can't.

THE REAL TRUTH IS THE YOUNG MAN CAN NO LONGER PLAY FOR
HIS TEAM OR GRADUATE WITH HIS CLASS!
THE REAL TRUTH IS A JUNIOR COLLEGE TEAM WITH NO ETHICS
WHATSOEVER DECIDED WHAT'S BEST FOR A TEEN-AGER, THAT ONLY
BENEFITTED THEIR SCHOOL, NOT THE STUDENT!
ANOTHER FACT IS IF COACH NELSON AND MR. MCGINNIS HAD NOT
RAISED A FUSS ABOUT THIS ENTIRE SITUATION, THE YOUNG MAN
WOULD BE IN OKLAHOMA RIGHT NOW, AND ONLY GOD KNOWS WHAT
WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO HIM IN THE FUTURE!
TO FINISH- SOME OF YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT MR. NELSON THE
COACH AT FARRAGUT HAS SENT PLAYERS TO DIVISION 1 SCHOOLS
AS WELL AS TO THE PROS RIGHT AFTER GRADUATION, THE
PROBLEM ISN'T WITH COACH NELSON, HE HAS
BEEN A TEACHER AND A COACH, AND HE HAS DONE IT WITH CLASS!

Roy and Harv,I totally agree that this is a very unfortunate situation. However, it is just as unfortunate that your criticisms are of the coaches at this particular school versus the modern-day system of basketball in this country. We teach these children, in particular black inner-city children, that their holy grail in life is to secure a basketball scholarship. From the time these children are in fifth grade we watch so called responsible adults 'barnstorm' these kids around the country from early spring througout the summer doing nothing but playing basketball. They stay in hotels, keep very late hours, eat fast food and sometimes play seven to ten games in a weekend. All of this is done at the expense of the normal social peer interaction and academic preparation necessary for them to function properly in college and beyond; keeping in mind that the vast and overwhelming majority of them will not play basketball professionally. What kind of message do you think it sends to these children when adults sanction this type of behavior/lifestyle?

Sadly, we don't see that this 'institution' is out of control and these children's minds are being corrupted at a very early age. They are type-cast into believing that playing basketball and earning that scholarship is all that they are worth. They are surrounded by way too many indivduals with dubious interests and backgrounds that have absolutely no business around kids i.e. AAU coaches/street agents. Simply put, these kids have too many improper influences in their lives to be expected to make good decisions.

In the end, whereas I am in total aggrement with the concerns raised in your article, I just wish the criticisms were of the conditions that produced Carl Albert State and Troynell Adams. Hopefully, we will start to see that this situation is a symptom of larger problem.

Roy & Harv Respond:

You are right on with most all of your points and we agree with everything that you say. However, conditions and the system didn't produce the mindset of the coaches at Carl Albert State. Again, who in their right mind would tell any young man (or woman) to drop out of high school? The answer is only someone who has no sense of values and doesn't value the quality of an education. And that is why the bulk of the criticism in this situation deserves to be directed at the men's basketball coaches at Carl Albert State and nobody else.

GUYS,

I HAVE LIVED IN TEXAS FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS, AND I MUST ADMIT THAT I'VE BEEN 'OUT OF THE LOOP' AS FAR AS FOLLOWING CPS HOOPS GOES. THIS, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, IS THE MOST BLATENT AND SELFISH ACT EVER COMMITTED BY A COLLEGE IN ITS' DEALINGS WITH A STUDENT ATHLETE! I AM APPALED THAT SOME COACH (OR COACHES) WOULD BE SO CALLOUSED TO TOTALLY DISREGARD THE ADVERSE EFFECT (OR CONFLICTING MESSAGE) SUCH AN IRRESPONSIBLE ACTION WOULD HAVE ON THE YOUNG MAN'S LIFE.

I AM NOT NAIVE ENOUGH TO THINK THAT ALL COLLEGES EVEN CARE ABOUT THE KIDS WHO PLAY AT THEIR SCHOOLS, BUT AT LEAST THE EXCHANGE FOR SERVICES RENDERED IS A POTENTIAL COLLEGE EDUCATION. IF THEY WOULD MAKE SUCH AN OFFER TO A KID STILL ENROLLED N HIGH SCHOOL, YOU KNOW THEY HAVE NO PLANS TO EDUCATE HIM!

THIS SENDS A FRIGHTENING MESSAGE TO US ALL. THAT THE INTERESTS OF THE ATHLETES' WELL BEING TAKES A VERY DISTANT SECOND (OR EVEN THIRD) PLACE TO THE NEEDS OF THE COLLEGE AND THE COACHING STAFF. THE ENTIRE COACHING STAFF SHOULD BE FIRED, ALONG WITH THE SCHOOLS' ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR ALLOWING SUCH SCANDALOUS BEHAVIOR TO OCCUR ON HIS (OR HER) WATCH.

Roy & Harv Respond:

Dwayne,


Beautifully stated and good to hear from you. Hope you are doing well and enjoying everything in Texas.

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This page contains a single entry by Roy & Harv Schmidt published on January 14, 2009 6:48 PM.

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