NCAA Rules are now being followed, Chris Jones

Come on man. I mean for real? We’re under investigation by the NCAA for recruiting violations and your going to get mad because the new coach won’t break the rules to come see you earlier?

University of Tennessee Signee Chris Jones is demanding his release from his letter of intent. The article is written by the Memphis Commercial Appeal and sites a phone interview with Jones.

“I was very disappointed,” Jones said. “If I’m his top recruit and everybody is relying on me, he didn’t take out the time to come and see me. I just feel like, well, he put me on hold. So at this point I just want my release. He just made it easier for me.”

Jones and his coach from Melrose high school in Memphis Jermaine Johnson say that they have been trying to call coach Martin and athletic director Mike Hamilton for three days now to no avail.

“He’s going to give four years to the university and this coach who his future relies on, and there’s got to be a trust factor,” Johnson said. “There’s gotta be a relationship established if he’s going to feel comfortable and be successful in that environment.”

So your probably sitting here right now saying whats the problem with Coach Martin? Why is he not going to see our top recruit? You may be mad that he is screwing up on the recruiting trail with a top 40 player and the true point guard we have been missing since CJ Watson left.

The problem lies in the fact that if Coach Martin were to travel to Memphis this week to see Jones he would be directly breaking an NCAA rule restricting coaches contact with recruits until after the Final Four this weekend.

Martin cannot be on the road talking to recruits until April 7th. He can’t visit you Chris. He isn’t going to make a dumb mistake his first week on the job heading into a NCAA hearing in two months about recruiting violations! It just isn’t going to happen.

Now I can understand being upset about the phone situation. The fact of the matter is that Hamilton and Martin both should have been in communication with the signee over that form of communication. That is fact. The thing we don’t know is why did they not call back, or did they and it was missed and conveniently left out of the report, just like the dead period was.

We don’t know the particulars of the situation. We do know a recruit is mad and wants released and frankly I don’t blame him. The coach he committed to got fired, and he is emotional. If he doesn’t want to abide by the agreement he, Hamilton and Martin came up with, yes they all agreed that Jones and Martin would meet next week at which time if Jones still wanted release he would get it, then I don’t want him here.

He has academic issues, having to leave Melrose High School after his junior year for Oak Ridge Military Academy in North Carolina. He was dismissed from school after an altercation with a teacher and a couple of weeks later enrolled at a school in Charlotte, North Carolina. Martin will clean up the Vols program just like Dooley is doing with football and to be honest Jones doesn’t seem like the type of player we want here if that is the case.

There is no doubt that he has talent, but I for one am willing to prolong our return a year or two in order to get out of the national spotlight, and being made fun of in the media by our teams antics, be it drugs, weapons or any other bad publicity. Jones is the 39th best player in the country according to Rivals.com and the 10th best point guard. He has been committed to the University of Tennessee since January 25th, 2010.  He averaged 22.5 points, five rebounds and five assists at Oak Ridge (N.C.) Military Academy.

Should Jones not be granted release, if he chooses not to attend UT he will have to sit out a year at the school of his choice. The Vols second signee, Kevin Ware, has been released from his letter of intent on Thursday and is still considering the Vols pending a meeting with Coach Martin next week. I for one would venture to guess that the method in which each prospect asked for release has something to do with it but then again I do not know. Both have been verbal to the media, as for whats going on behind the curtain no one is for sure. Ware is the 56th best player according to Rivals.com and the 14th best shooting guard.

Bottom line: Martin was hired a WEEK ago. He schedule a face to face meeting with you at the earliest it is allowed. Don’t demand a release citing a stupid reason that can be ripped to shreds. If you want a release fine. But don’t be dumb about it.


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About Steven Harris

Steven Harris is a fifth year senior at the University of Tennessee. Majoring in sports journalism, this blog provides an outlet for Harris to share his thoughts on the state of the University of Tennessee's athletic department''s Volunteer teams. View all posts by Steven Harris

One response to “NCAA Rules are now being followed, Chris Jones

  • Clay

    I kind of had a feeling that there had to be a rule that prevented Martin from meeting with Jones otherwise I believe he would have been on a plane right after his presser. But of course with all the NCAA rules I wasn’t completely sure but thanks for clearing it up!

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