The situation surrounding the high profile basketball recruit is taking on the odor of the fish counter at Tony's. Highly touted big man J'Mison Morgan has been trying to get out of his commitment to LSU. His mother has made a lot of noise about how our new coach hasn't contacted Morgan for a couple of weeks now and is not feeling the love. So let me get this straight, Morgan commits to LSU, reaffirms his commitment after speaking with new coach Trent Johnson (mentioning the presence of Butch Pierre as influential as mentioned herein) and now all of the he doesn't want to be here. And Coach Johnson has just been ignoring his biggest signee. Riiiiiiiight. Oh, and by the way, it's a poorly kept secret that UCLA wants and needs him badly with the loss of their big man to the NBA. And it's another poorly kept secret that Morgan also loves UCLA. Something smells fishy.
This stinks. It's a shame that Johnson, and by extension equally new Athletic Director Alleva, has somewhat of a tough situation to deal with so soon. There's not a lot of positive that can come out of this. I hope that Johnson, Alleva and LSU stick to their guns and make the kid live up to his commitment. But it appears that won't be so. It's obvious that UCLA has been working on Morgan's mom and maybe even his aau coach to influence things since talking to Morgan directly is an egregious violation. It's a shame this will just slide by without notice from the NCAA. Hopefully Alleva and Johnson at least point this out to the power that be. Anyway, what goes around comes around. You hope.
As to keeping him or releasing him, on the one hand, why force a kid to play where he doesn't want to, against his will? You could say forcing him to do that would also bring negative recruiting. I don't think that's valid at all since there's going to be negative recruiting out there one way or another. So you release him right? Yeah, I guess.
LSU really needed a big man in the middle. One might criticize his stats as not all that impressive. But the mere presence of a decent scorer and rebound machine would've been a nice improvement for this squad. It certainly wouldn't have hurt.
My solution? You release him with the some kind of stipulation, if possible, that he can't sign with any SEC school, Texas school, Louisiana school and of course, UCLA. It appears it'll be a straight up release. If so, good on LSU for being the bigger people here. And if true, it would appear that Morgan's mother has done a poor job of raising her son in terms of honesty and accountability. Happy Mother's Day Ms. Morgan, heck of a job you're doing there.
Oh well, now to figure out what to do with the open scholarship so late in the game.