Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Help me care about Matthew Thomas

This is muddy water. Here's what I know:
  • Matthew Thomas is a talented young man in terms of tackling football carriers.
  • He signed a letter of intent with FSU.
  • Since then he has decided he doesn't want to go to Tallahassee. He'd rather go to UGA or USC.
  • Coach Jimbo has (smartly) refused to let the young man out of his commitment (an actual commitment that is binding).
  • ...well, that's about it for me. Add whatever I've missed in the comments.
And here's what I think. Should the young man appeal, the NCAA should stick to its guns like Jimbo. If Thomas wants out he can sit out in Southern California or Athens for a year before regaining his eligibility. If he'd prefer to play right away, stay in Tallahassee or transfer to a smaller divisional school.

Thomas is too good (according to what I've read) to sit out. It sucks that he has changed his mind, or the mind of his mother depending on the actual circumstances. But the recruiting process is set up well for young men (even those as young as 17 or 18) to make an informed decision about where they'd like to attend college and play football. He didn't have to sign the letter. Could've taken more time that he evidently needed. How many times have you made a purchase you later came to regret? How many times have you wanted out of a tv contract shortly after the repairman finished installing your new remote control and the equipment stopped working?

Sure, DirecTV once bought my way out of a shitty Dish Network deal. I didn't have to pay the penalty. Maybe UGA or USC are willing to take on the scholarship for Mr. Thomas here. I would guess they are. But what happens when the next kid is unhappy about the thought of coming to Athens? The shoe's not so comfortable on the other foot.

Lastly, I don't think UGA is as much in play here as we're being made out to be. No inside knowledge on that statement. Just a hunch. Thomas had a chance to visit back in February and chose not to come to Athens, for whatever reason there may have been. Suddenly circumstances have changed. To me it smells more like the coaches at USC meddling around and stirring things up. Regardless of the details that are unbeknownst to me, I hope Thomas sticks with his commitment and has a great career at FSU. I think that's what is best for all involved.

If I'm wrong, help me understand.