Friday, April 22, 2011

Probable 2011 target Kevin Ware (Conyers, GA 6-5 180 SG)

Recruiting NCAA rules prevent Kevin Ware from signing LOI with Central Florida

9:30 am April 20, 2011, by Michael Carvell
AJC College Sports

It is true that Kevin Ware is leaving on a trip for Louisville on Wednesday.

It is true that the letter-of-intent that Ware signed with Central Florida was denied.

It is true that Ware is still eligible to pick another college other than UCF.

However, it’s not what it seems like with Ware, the 6-foot-4 guard from Rockdale County High School who selected Central Florida over Louisville and UGA on Monday.

“There are a few rumors out there, some with good reason, but the bottom line is that Kevin is still going to play college basketball at Central Florida,” Ware’s stepfather, Wesley Junior, told the AJC.

What about the trip to Louisville? That’s not an official visit with the Cardinals and Rick Pitino, but to play in the Kentucky Derby Festival Classic all-star game.

“Some UCF fans are worried about the situation because they think the Louisville recruits also playing in the game will tell Kevin ‘Hey, come on and play with us,’” Junior said. “They probably will. Then there are a couple of autograph sessions with all the players and they think the Louisville fans will say ‘come play here at Louisville.’ They probably will.

“But there is nothing to be worried about because recruiting is over. Kevin is part of the Central Florida basketball family. It’s a done deal.”

What about the letter-of-intent (LOI)? That’s where it gets really interesting. NCAA rules prohibit prospective student-athletes (PSA) from signing two LOIs in the same signing year. Ware signed with Tennessee in last November’s early period but was granted a release by the Volunteers after the firing of Bruce Pearl.

On Tuesday, Ware signed another LOI and athletic-aid agreement with Central Florida on Tuesday but the LOI was denied. Meanwhile, the athletics-aid agreement was accepted and binds Central Florida to honoring the basketball scholarship to Ware. But not vice versa.

NCAA officials were kind enough to explain the situation to the AJC:

If a PSA receives a complete release, he is not permitted to sign another NLI in the same signing year. In this case, the second NLI would not be valid. The PSA could only sign an athletics aid agreement. The athletics aid agreement is only binding on the institution. Thus, the PSA could change his mind and attend another institution and not be subject to any penalty.

In other words, Ware won’t “officially” be attached to Central Florida until he attends his first day of college classes in June. Technically, Ware is still a free agent.

Will Ware keep looking around? “No chance,” Junior said.

For more on Kevin Ware and other UCLA recruits, check out right sidebar.

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