By Michael O'Brien

Roy Schmidt: It's Not Weber's Fault

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Recruiting analyst Roy Schmidt of the Illinois Prep Bulls-Eye Report sounds off on the Eric Gordon decision:

"None of this was [Illinois coach Bruce] Weber's fault," Schmidt said. "It's becoming quite clear to me that various people in the recruiting process are trying to run Weber out of town. That's just my opinion."

"I don't care what school Eric Gordon chooses," Schmidt said. "What I do care about is integrity. This sends the wrong message when it comes to how to recruit any student athlete. It says that verbal commitments are non-biding. It says you can go back on your word."

Schmidt, who has covered the recruiting world for 20 years, says the Gordon recruitment is the craziest situation he's seen.

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i would be willing to bet my salary for the next four years that gordon only plays one season for the hoosiers, recruiting violations will surface about him his dad and sampson, the same coach who brought tons of jc transfers to sooner country, go figure

I wouldnt blame BW either, it was a unique situation with a unique player. Nothing more, nothing less, thing changed at IU and the only way things change are if things change. Its that simple, best of luck to the U of I and BW............

Bleeding Hoosier Red in upstate ny

Verbal commitments are non-binding.

yes it is..If Bruce knew how to recruit this would not been a problem. He won off BILL SELF PLAYERS. This is going to be the first year he have his OWN PLAYERS.. Why would Eric go to U of I ? What top players they have to play along him? Look who he recruit.

"It says that verbal commitments are non-biding."

Um, Mr. Schmidt, verbal commitments are non-binding. When have they ever not been?

Part of this recruiting process is not Bruce Weber's fault, but he had the power to end this. We were hearing these stories for months, and most of us knew this would happen. Weber cried about Sampson's tactics, but he never fought Sampson about it. Bruce Weber is at fault at burning bridges between himself and high school coaches when their players wanted to play for Illinois, but Weber gave them the cold treatment.
Look at John Scheyer recruiting process. Weber's brother was Scheyer's coach. He reach out and invited him to the final four wearing blue and orange. Scheyer cheered for Illinois, but chose Duke. Scheyer's press conference, he stated that going to Duke was his dream. Weber needs to recruit the kids who wants to play for Illinois, and he needs to fight any coach who tries to take away any of his recruits.

This is why they recruited Demetri McCamey. I predict that Demetri will give them 4 great years in stead of one from Eric. They will be better off going with Demetri and will just fine.

It's not worth doing dirty things (like Sampson did) and having to pay the NCAA piper for it later. Weber has built the program the right way, with the right kinds of players. If Gordon wants to play for a dirty coach on a bad IU team for the one year that he's going to be there, then good luck. But the last time I checked, Weber had four players drafted, two of which were first rounders, and one of which was a top 5 pick. How many NBA guys has Sampson produced? Zero-which is the perfect number for him.

You need to check your facts on how many BW guys have gone to the NBA. It's the same as Sampson. 0 Those were Self's guys that went pro.

The point is that the Gordon's not only committed, but kept saying everything's "fine." Just a few weeks ago his Dad said, "why would he go anywhere else." Gordon committed almost a year ago and I bet you the Gordon's expected Weber to honor HIS committment to them. What if he was a #20 recruit, but the #1 recruit called and said I'd like to come to UI. Weber says, "sorry Eric, things changed." What would people say about Weber. Gordon and his father disguist me, not b/c he's going to IU. But, to lead Coach Weber and Ill on for all this time, they don't recruit anyone else and then 3 weeks before the signing date they bail! Amazing how some people can rationalize their decisions and live with themselves!!!

Last time I checked under self the boys that got drafted were not going anywhere. Luther Head was labeled as a trouble maker and Deron was an after thought of Devin Harris. Bruce Weber built this kid. I just graduated from high school and I wish that I could repeat my life and spend more time at basketball just so I could have the honor to be recruited by a coach like Bruce Weber. He is a great coach, a great leader, and most importantly a great person. Illini Pride for ever.

Sampson has no ethics. The Gordons' have no stand-up integrity. They were made for each other.

I love it when bloggers mention that Self recruited most of the Illinois Final Four team...completely ignoring that only one (Dee Brown) was a 5-star prospect. Weber mentioned that he was stunned that the Illini - when he first arrived - didn't even know basic things like reading screens! What has Self done with Roy Williams' players at KU? With his own players? I rest my case.

Current count -- Sampson players in the NBA - 1. Weber players in the NBA - 5.

Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said it himself this summer, "Illinois kids arrive NBA-ready". Is there any question why he has 3 former Illini on his preseason roster?

This looks worse on the Gordons for not decommitting earlier. But this too will pass. Weber lost a great prep player, but he gained tremendous respect by many in the game.

When my girlfriend became my fiancee by answering "YES" when I popped the question...her answer was non-binding.

So I guess it wouldn't have been unethical for my friend or neighbor to keep asking her out?

If they had, I would have been ticked off. And so would everyone here if taht happened to them. And THAT is what Sampson did. So to excuse him because it was non-binding is ridiculous. He is sleazy. There is no question about that.


Much respect for your comments. U are so right about the make up of Illni players once they get to the NBA. Im expecting big things from the Jazz because of the roster of former blue and orange. I really do not understand the shoe wars and there grip on who goes where. Instead of thinking about what shoe the university wears, the recruits should think of what coach is going to instill in them the necessary skills that will make them a success at the next level. Also, B10 coaches, continue to maintain the respect of each others verbals, do not allow for one bad apple to ruin what you have built for years: QUALITY PROGRAMS.

I'm convinced the old saying "water seeks its own level" applies here. What goes around comes around and Sampson and the Gordons will get what they deserve for their low level of honesty, integrity and honor. BW and the Illini deserve more and will be better off without the prima donna who doesn't want to learn and grow with them. There is no I in TEAM.

First, if Sampson had been at IU sooner-Illinois would not have been in the picture. Davis already cost us May,Oden, and Conley but we do not whine like you guys. Second, maybe the reason Gordon did not "open" his recruitment officially is because BAM asked him not to. Third, Scheyer going to Duke and the lack of a Chicago pipeline are much bigger issues than an Indiana kid living his dream.Fourth, kids are dying in Iraq and you guys on the Illini board and writers act like little babies.Shame on you. Fifth, Sampson only did want the Gordon's concurred with doing.

Years ago, more than I usually remember, I was taught that a man's word was his bond. I also learned that a handshake was binding (few contracts in those days).
While it is true that Mr. Gordon and his son may go to Indiana, they will someday realize that betrayal of trust, or the failure to honor onesa commitment are not wash and wear; they are like a tattoo, you can't wash them off.
Coach Weber, is probably one of the two or three best "X" and "O" coaches in America; Sampson and all his double dealing can not hold a candle to him.
I agree with an earlier poster, Sampson is on borrowed time, and when Mr. Brant (Ez of Indiana) leaves the post he currently enjoys with the NCAA, the NCAA might finally get down to business of proper punishment for cheaters; then then, and only then, will the playing field be level.

I live in California but have followed the Illini program for many years. Bruce Weber's ncaa finals team was one of the best and most enjoyable teams I have witnessed in 20 years. While it would be nice to see him coach up Gordon. I am more interested in seeing him coach and inspire the kids who want to be there. Weber is a blessing to the program. His integrity is wonderful to witness. And his teams play with an intelligence and passion that should make all fans proud. It is interesting how many so called top prospects end up being mediocre in college. Not to say that is what I envision for Gordon. Just we may make too much of those things. I prefer a kid that stays and works on his game and the fruits are born with their entry into the next level. Go Bruce!!! I wouldn't trade you for anyone.

I was surprised when Eric Gordon gave his verbal to us because I can not name one Indiana player that has made an impact on Illinois basketball in the last twenty years. It would have been a great fit he is a tremendous talent and a sensational coach. Coach Weber will move forward with what he does best teaching the game of basketball.

A year is almost too early for any HS young man to comit hisself and remain loyal, with all the pressures and people in his ear. Self was the only coach almost that recruited from Illinois and the Chicago Area. That mistake will cost Weber his job, if he cannot recover from it.

Have any of you figured out that Purdue's basketball program started to fall apart at the same time Weber left for SIU? Don't try telling me that he doesn't know how to coach or recruit - he's the one who got Head,Williams, and Brown to become the players they are now. We lost Gordon - yes, Sampson is a scumbag - but it's over and last I remember, a team is made up of 7-10 players. How many championships did Sampson's teams play in at OU? Weber has won in the past and he will continue to win, and guess what, he will start getting the premium HS players.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael O'Brien published on October 13, 2006 12:43 PM.

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