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Marial Shayok And A Very Stupid Mistake

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I don't know who made the mistake, but someone made it.

"Hey, buddy, you wanna go to school here?"
"Hey, buddy, you wanna go to school here?"
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (10:30 am): According to Evan Daniels of Scout.com, Marial Shayok has received a release from his letter of intent.  Daniels phrases it as "just received" as of 9:49 am this morning, which makes things still slightly interesting regarding the timing of what's detailed in the post below.  Marquette University has still not announced Shayok's release as of this update.

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Last night, Blair (NJ) Academy head boys' basketball coach Joe Mantegna took to Twitter to pass along information about what his kids are up to lately. One kid is visiting a college, former Blair star Royal Ivey stopped by to visit, current Marquette signee Marial Shayok got a scholarship offer from Indiana...

Wait, what?

Shayok, like Sandy Cohen, Ahmed Hill, and Satchel Pierce, is signed to a national letter of intent to attend Marquette in the fall. I have a lot of problems with the NLI system, but one of the few benefits it is supposed to provide to a player is that once they sign, they are not supposed to be contacted by other institutions. Now, I understand that Shayok's status is slightly up in the air, as if he wants to ask for his release from Marquette, he'll likely be granted it due to the coaching change. But until which point we hear an official announcement from MU that Shayok or any other recruit is released from his NLI, there is not supposed to be any contact with the recruits from other schools or coaches.

Now, I'm not naive enough to think that when there's a coaching change at a high major school like Marquette that the high school coaches and AAU coaches of their recruits aren't getting bombed with phone calls. I'm sure it happens, and I'm not going to even try to pretend that Marquette hasn't done it in the past.

But there's a difference between "Hey, Joe, if Marial gets his release, let me know, Coach Crean would like to talk to him," and "Marial, Tom Crean here, I'm glad to talk to you, and I'd like to offer you a scholarship." As should be the case for anything, if you're not talking to the guy in charge, that means that the offer isn't legitimate, so you really can't say "there's a scholarship offer" unless the head coach talked directly to the recruit.

As close as I can figure, one of the following things has happened:

  1. Marquette has released Marial Shayok and forgot to tell anyone.
  2. Joe Mantegna shot his mouth off based on a preliminary discussion with an Indiana assistant coach.
  3. Joe Mantegna shot his mouth off based on a preliminary conversation with Indiana head coach Tom Crean
  4. Indiana head coach Tom Crean violated NCAA recruiting rules by making contact with a signed recruit before he was released and offered Shayok a scholarship contingent on his release and then Joe Mantegna actually told people about said improper contact and offer.

I really don't think it's #1, because given the coaching change, I would figure that Marquette would be pretty on the ball to let everyone know if recruits have been released just so everything can be above board. Regardless of that, all of these are mistakes on someone's part, and regardless of who exactly made the mistake, it's a pretty stupid mistake. I don't know about you, but I definitely know which option here is the funniest one.