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View Full Version : Wisconsin Recruit Lost b/c of Message Board Posts



zagfan07
05-26-2009, 12:51 PM
This week Wisconsin lost a commitment from a recruit because of some comments he read on their fan message board.

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/11776517

We should really think twice about what we post on here. The last thing any fan would want to do is to lose a recruit or make a player feel unwelcome because of something they said on a message board. The truth is, people do read these things and feelings (especially for a teenager) can get hurt.

GoZags
05-26-2009, 12:55 PM
LIZF linked this at the top of this board (Must Read). However -- that post is locked. Any comments can be made on this thread.

I completely agree that one should be very, very careful when discussing PSA's and/or Student Athletes.

These boards are read and digested by many people.

OZZag
05-26-2009, 04:51 PM
Yes people can voice thier opinions on these boards, but as this episode has shown, you may end up telling the subject directly how you feel.

I have been following this team (Madison Memorial) this year, they won the Wisconsin State championships behind Vander and Marquette bound Jeronne Maymon. Vander has one more year with his team, he and Canadian Sophomore wing Junior Lamomba (watch this kid!). I hope that he gets a bit more support from whoever he signs with and that posters on all boards take note that we are dealing with athletes as young as 14 and 15 years old.

75Zag
05-26-2009, 06:45 PM
I respectfully disagree with the underlying premise of this thread. In my opinion, a message board should contain a broad spectrum of ideas, including occasional criticism of players, coaches, etc. The fact that one kid withdrew from a LOI due to negative comments on a board (if indeed he did) does not prove a correlation between negative posts and recruiting failures. While there is no reason to be vindictive, obscene or irrational in making comments regarding players or coaches, I can't see how a team message board can be useful to anybody who is a true fan of amateur basketball without discussing all sides of the story.

That being said, there are probably a dozen posters on this board who are constantly negative, and who seem to thrive on critical or inappropriate comments. Perhaps tolerating those folks is a small price to pay for the 1000s of us who try not to speak or act foolishly?

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

wiszag
05-26-2009, 06:48 PM
Unfortunately, I can explain a lot of what happened. Tomorrow.

kclubfounder
05-26-2009, 09:03 PM
I'm waiting with bated breath.

MickMick
05-26-2009, 10:19 PM
These young men are choosing an an institution for higher education and the opportunity to play division one basketball. What is written on message boards should be the least influential factor in making such a life impacting decision.

Further, I prefer an individual with an "I'm gonna prove them all wrong" mentality. I'm sorry, but I can't sympathize with someone getting their feelings hurt to the point of decomitting....all due to what they read on a message board. Anyone with a lick of sense knows that message boards are commonly a cess pool of negativity. It is the last place I would look for validation.

webspinnre
05-27-2009, 06:09 AM
While its true that a recruit should probably try to ignore message board criticism, the point remains that as GU students/alums/fans, we're held to a higher standard. Critiquing play is fine, but we're all called to express charity towards our players.

CDC84
05-27-2009, 07:33 AM
I think this incident is a good reminder to all of us about making sure we word our viewpoints properly when it comes to PSA's. It also needs to be kept in mind that PSA's are not on the Gonzaga roster, and none of us - even people in the know - know these kids at the level that we know them once they become Zags and play in some games at the college level.

In short, there is a way of saying "I'm not so sure we should be looking at this guy for such and such a reason" without the discussion morphing into a character assassination. The latter happened on the previous board with a couple of people when it came to GU's recruitment of Jeremy Pargo. These individuals didn't know Jeremy whatsoever and never saw him play a game, and yet they treated him as if he had just gotten out of jail or something. The Gonzaga coaching staff knew that whatever background he came from, he would succeed at Gonzaga. The coaches proved to be right. More often than not, they are right.

gamagin
05-27-2009, 07:46 AM
I respectfully disagree with the underlying premise of this thread. In my opinion, a message board should contain a broad spectrum of ideas, including occasional criticism of players, coaches, etc. The fact that one kid withdrew from a LOI due to negative comments on a board (if indeed he did) does not prove a correlation between negative posts and recruiting failures. While there is no reason to be vindictive, obscene or irrational in making comments regarding players or coaches, I can't see how a team message board can be useful to anybody who is a true fan of amateur basketball without discussing all sides of the story.

That being said, there are probably a dozen posters on this board who are constantly negative, and who seem to thrive on critical or inappropriate comments. Perhaps tolerating those folks is a small price to pay for the 1000s of us who try not to speak or act foolishly?

Go Bulldogs! Get Bigger!

I am positive there is/was more to this kid's story, too. And discussion is healthy.

And omnipresent a$$holes will be themselves: seeking perfection and acceptance between themselves but in front of others. That's why we have the ignore function.

Go TEAM Zags !

cjm720
05-27-2009, 08:05 AM
That's why we have the ignore function.

Go TEAM Zags !

How/where does the ignore function work? I don't see it anywhere. Thx in advance.

go zags!!

lothar98zag
05-27-2009, 08:16 AM
How/where does the ignore function work? I don't see it anywhere. Thx in advance.

go zags!!
In the top left of the screen - click "User CP"

Near the bottom of the Control Panel list - click "Buddy / Ignore Lists"

wiszag
05-27-2009, 09:32 AM
Vander committed to Wisconsin very early, I think it was in his sophomore year. The commitment came before his stock really took off in the summer before his junior year. He's a VERY talented player.

Marquette has a pretty good pipeline of Madison Memorial talent, Wes Matthews and Jeronne Maymon, who I'm sure have had discussions with Vander. Whether those discussions have had any effect on Vander's decision to de-commit to Wisconsin, I don't know.

I have a pretty good relationship with a D1 recruit who told me about 6 weeks ago that Vander was backing out of his Wisconsin commitment. At that time I hadn't heard any grumblings about him not honoring his commitment.

A couple of weeks ago, Rob Schultz, a local reporter, wrote an article which contained details of a meeting that Vander, his mother, UW admissions officials, and the UW coaches all attended. The article was so detailed that someone from the meeting was obviously talking to Schulz. The article started numerous discussions on the Wisconsin board, some of which were ugly. I'm sure the leaking of the details of the meeting and the subsequent message board speculation upset the Blue family.

My feeling is that Vander made a decision about his choice of schools way too early and was wavering in his commitment long before the meeting, article and message board discussions.

I find no fault in a high school senior revisiting a hasty decision he made as a 15 or 16 year old. I think it's smart of him to take his recruiting visits, listen to the coaches and sit down with his family and figure out where he'll spend the next 4 years of his life.

gamagin
05-27-2009, 10:15 AM
Vander committed to Wisconsin very early, I think it was in his sophomore year. The commitment came before his stock really took off in the summer before his junior year. He's a VERY talented player.

Marquette has a pretty good pipeline of Madison Memorial talent, Wes Matthews and Jeronne Maymon, who I'm sure have had discussions with Vander. Whether those discussions have had any effect on Vander's decision to de-commit to Wisconsin, I don't know.

I have a pretty good relationship with a D1 recruit who told me about 6 weeks ago that Vander was backing out of his Wisconsin commitment. At that time I hadn't heard any grumblings about him not honoring his commitment.

A couple of weeks ago, Rob Schultz, a local reporter, wrote an article which contained details of a meeting that Vander, his mother, UW admissions officials, and the UW coaches all attended. The article was so detailed that someone from the meeting was obviously talking to Schulz. The article started numerous discussions on the Wisconsin board, some of which were ugly. I'm sure the leaking of the details of the meeting and the subsequent message board speculation upset the Blue family.

My feeling is that Vander made a decision about his choice of schools way too early and was wavering in his commitment long before the meeting, article and message board discussions.

I find no fault in a high school senior revisiting a hasty decision he made as a 15 or 16 year old. I think it's smart of him to take his recruiting visits, listen to the coaches and sit down with his family and figure out where he'll spend the next 4 years of his life.

makes sense. thanks for posting.

LongIslandZagFan
05-27-2009, 11:29 AM
....
My feeling is that Vander made a decision about his choice of schools way too early and was wavering in his commitment long before the meeting, article and message board discussions.

I find no fault in a high school senior revisiting a hasty decision he made as a 15 or 16 year old. I think it's smart of him to take his recruiting visits, listen to the coaches and sit down with his family and figure out where he'll spend the next 4 years of his life.

I can see that. But IMHO it does not excuse the behavior of the people on the message boards. If anything, they may have helped solidify his already wavering opinions. Tough to know what was in the kid's head.

In the end, it isn't necessarily about Vander but rather that childishness of the people on the message boards who felt it was OK to attack a PSA.... whether its Vander, Jeremy Pargo (because it DID happen here), or an existing player (Josh).

dpouley
05-27-2009, 12:02 PM
These young men are choosing an an institution for higher education and the opportunity to play division one basketball. What is written on message boards should be the least influential factor in making such a life impacting decision.


I could not agree more. In addition to that, if they are preparing to play division one basketball in the Big 10 then a PSA better be ready to deal with an entire arena of angry, loud and aggressive fans cheering for him or her to fail. If that PSA can not "take" what someone wrote about them on a message board then I am not sure that they have what it takes to play the Div. 1 game.

That being said. There are still the rules of human decency and appropriateness. BTW, I am totally unaware of what was written about this PSA.

wiszag
05-27-2009, 07:36 PM
he's a kid. He made probably the most impactful decision of his life when he was 15. No one doubts his ability to play D1 ball, the question is about which school he'll attend. To speculate whether he can withstand the rigors of D1 basketball misses the point, afterall he led his school to a state championship, the kid has second thoughts about where he's going to spend the next four years of his life.

Being 15 was tough, remember?

NJZag
06-15-2009, 06:55 AM
Some of the "story" regarding Vander Blue is found at these links:

http://www.badgerbeat.com/news/article/id/451052

5/13/09

The source said a plan was laid out that would help him qualify academically. It included understanding what would be accepted at UW and the options for him at Memorial, including summer school and the plan for next fall and next spring.

The source said everyone at the meeting spoke confidently about Blue’s potential as a student. It was, ‘All right this is where we’re at. We can’t control the past but we can control the present and the future,’ ” the source said.

But Blue wasn’t thrilled to hear about all the work he needed to do to become academically eligible to play at UW. At one point in the meeting Blue kept his head down and appeared frustrated.

What has confused Blue this academic year is the constant overtures by teammate Jeronne Maymon to join him at Marquette, the source said. Maymon, a senior, will play for the Golden Eagles starting next fall if he meets that school’s academic requirements. Former Marquette guard Wesley Matthews, a Memorial alum, also has talked to Blue about playing at Marquette, according to the source.

http://www.badgerbeat.com/blog/blog/id/451188

5/14/09


Here's an update on the Vander Blue situation:

First, I wrote in Thursday’s story in the Wisconsin State Journal and Badgerbeat.com that a source said that University of Wisconsin director of admissions Rob Seltzer was in attendance at a meeting involving Blue and his mother Monday night. That is incorrect. Associate director of admissions Tom Reason was at the meeting.

Second, Reason was helpful from what I’ve learned about that meeting, which was set up to help guide Blue academically so he won’t have trouble qualifying to play for the UW men’s basketball team. Blue, a junior guard at Madison Memorial, made an oral commitment last spring to play for the Badgers.

The meeting included administrators from Madison Memorial and the UW as well as UW head coach Bo Ryan and assistant coach Howard Moore. The feedback I’ve received from readers about that meeting made it sound like it was some sort of intervention for a poor student.

That wasn’t the case. I mentioned in Thursday’s story in the Wisconsin State Journal and BadgerBeat.com that it was a positive meeting and that everyone in attendance showed nothing but confidence in Blue in the classroom. The meeting was called to help Blue make sure that nothing slipped through the cracks academically in his goal of playing for the Badgers.

The only bit of bad news in it for Blue was the possibility of having to attend summer school. Few would enjoy hearing that, especially when the plan was to play lots of basketball. He then painted himself into a corner after the meeting when he commented on his Facebook page that he made a big decision about his recruiting. That comment made it look like he was backing out of his commitment to Wisconsin and some Internet sites even reported he was, indeed, backing out.



http://www.badgerbeat.com/blog/blog/id/451718

5/19/09


Vander Blue has scheduled a press conference for 5:30 Tuesday to discuss his future regarding where he'll play college basketball, according to wissports.net.

Blue, a junior at Madison Memorial who is considered by some recruiting analysts to be one of the top 50 high school players in the nation, has made an oral commitment to play basketball at the University of Wisconsin. But last week he made a vague comment on his Facebook page that some believe indicated that he was backing out of that commitment.

And about the level of fan postings on the messageboards as these developments were reported -- which seem to have been along the lines of "not everyone is Badger Material."

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=193&f=2565&t=4354331


Parrish's take
jtrash37
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Posted: 5/22/2009 1:26 PM

Parrish's take

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Not that he's a genius, but it's a national take on what's transpired.


www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/11776517

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kropotkinWalk-On
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Posted: 5/22/2009 1:57 PM

Re: Parrish's take

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Parrish wrote: And yet dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of people -- some of whom are most certainly adults with children of their own -- have spent this week trashing Blue and everything about him to the point where it's reasonable to presume they've hurt the future recruitment of the prospect they once believed would lead the Badgers to Big Ten titles.
Sure, I get the larger point, but this statement is just ridiculous. There really wasn't anything that bad said about Blue. The Marquette board is making a big deal of it, but the best example they came up with had to do with a poster saying he'd boo Blue if he didn't sign with Wisconsin and he came with another team to play at the Kohl Center. Fans boo. It's part of fandom and sport; get over it. There may have been two posters total and then some other people who were making some dumb speculation.

Even Parrish's "dozens" comment is going overboard. There are probably fewer than 75 people that post regularly on the basketball board and I'm sure half of those didn't even comment on the situation. Even in the larger picture, this message board makes up a minority of UW basketball fans. Of all 12 of the guys (that are UW basketball fans) that I'm still in contact with from my freshman year in the dorms, I'm the only one that even uses UW-related message boards!

Here's my speculation: Some of Vander's friends were cruising the message board and either don't understand the (lack of) nuance and hyperbole of message boards or they were posting things that people didn't like and they, in turn, didn't like the responses that they got back.

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BmokenWalk-On
715 posts this site
Posted: 5/22/2009 2:40 PM

Re: Parrish's take

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Look, I don't know a thing about Vander or his decision-making process. For all I know, he's a great and sensitive kid. But it sure sounds like he decided that UW's style of play wasn't to his liking or that UW would be too tough academically, and then he fished around for a convenient rationalization for his decision. I just don't buy it that the message board(s) made him feel unwanted, unless he went looking for it. People had/have been clamoring for him to commit to UW.

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Warriorz4Life
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Posted: 5/22/2009 2:40 PM

Re: Parrish's take

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Didn't Fran post that Blue was not Badger material after the first Schultz article? I'm pretty certain there were other not so nice posts about Vander on this site also.

Other comments single out a poster named "Fran" for being the cause of the decommitment, but it looks like a lot was going on to prompt the PSA to do some rethinking. This post asked about Parrish having a Story Line in mind, and exaggerating.


BurlingtonBadgerFreshman
1221 posts this site
Posted: 5/23/2009 1:36 AM

Re: Parrish's take

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jtrash37 wrote: Not that he's a genius, but it's a national take on what's transpired.


www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/11776517
That article reads like a guy who has looked at the situation from a 50,000 foot perspective and formed a snap judgement to fit a narrative he wanted to publish. Hundreds or even thousands of people ganged up on Vander on message boards??? Good grief, there were barely "hundreds" of total posts to begin with (especially in that first week)!! Of that, how many in the first 24 hours of the Schultz story were in the "Good Riddance" or "Blue is a lousy student" category? 10%? 15%? 20% at most. And even that number dropped off as more news articles were written. I've gone back and reviewed the posts on numerous boards, folks. The posts making very negative comments about Blue's academics or stating that they were glad he was gone, were in the very decided minority. And the difference got even more pronounced after May 14th. In fact, the negativity switched quickly toward Schultz. While empathy for Vander having details of his academic business publicized, grew larger.

But no, that isn't a compelling enough assessment of the posts to make the preferred narrative stick. And the idea that this damage is going to "hurt" Vander's recruiting choices? What??? Yeah, a school typically determines the likelyhood of recruiting a player based upon the perception that some other's school's message board has of the kid! The initial list of suitors doesn't look like a group of sad sacks!

This pundit is taking crazy pills!

If anything, this story should be on how chatty and naive anonymous sources that don't concern themselves with student privacy and the media's influence on public perception, can hurt both a school and a student.

But hey, it reads like a great story! Too bad this guy's indignation regarding the UW fanbase doesn't match the details of the actual situation as it unfolded.