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Monday, June 21, 2010
High school coach calls out Ball State

By Diamond Leung

Ball State coach Billy Taylor couldn't have been thrilled to see that the high school coach of one of his formerly signed recruits put the program on blast last week in the Peoria Journal Star.

Marvin Jordan, a 5-foot-11 point guard from Peoria, was denied admission at Ball State in April despite being an NCAA qualifier who signed a national letter of intent last November.

His high school coach, Derrick Booth, told the paper that Ball State's coaches "weren't ethical" because Jordan had met the academic benchmarks the coaches had set for him. Booth indicated his belief that Jordan was denied admission because the Ball State coaches wanted out of the national letter of intent.

Here's what Booth had to say to the Journal Star:
"They hung a 17-year-old kid out to dry all season as far as other schools being able to recruit him," he said. "I was never worried about Marvin because I knew he would land on his feet somewhere else. But I hate that (Ball State) does business like this.

"My brother, David (a DePaul assistant coach), told me that this kind of thing is really frowned upon in college basketball. I would also tell any of my high school coaching colleagues to beware when Ball State comes into your gym because of what I've seen with Marvin Jordan."

A few days after denying Jordan, Ball State signed another guard, Tyrae Robinson of Gary, Ind., to fill the scholarship opening.

"If they had another kid they liked better, don't say Marvin was denied admission," Booth said. "Tell us straight up."

Jordan has since committed to Niagara, but it will be interesting to see if Ball State comes out of this unscathed due to Booth's comments. After all, it's never good for a program when a high school coach warns against associating with you.

Taylor, who told the Journal Star that Jordan was denied admission based on his grades up until April, realizes this and lamented that it all could have an effect on Illinois recruiting.

According to The Star Press:
Taylor declined to partake in a verbal joust with Booth, though he voiced his frustration with the article and its potential impact on his recruiting in Illinois.

"I was disappointed," Taylor said. "It's a state that's important to us in our recruiting efforts. Obviously Indiana has been the core of our recruiting efforts, but you don't really want those things to be said about you and your program."