|ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation||[Print without images]|
When Bradley was 11 years old, the tension between him and his mother, Jacqueline Phinazee, had reached a boiling point. Phinazee had trouble keeping a job and providing for her son (Bradley’s father was never a part of his life, and he is now deceased).
"My mom wasn't too stable, job-wise and financially," Bradley said. "She wasn't too stable to take care of me."
The financial stresses on the household caused Bradley to lash out. He never got into any serious trouble, but he started talking back to his mother, flouting her authority, and began lagging behind in his schoolwork. Phinazee eventually decided to send her son to the Tennessee Baptist Children's Home.
It's a pretty terrific gesture on Bradley's part. I've been told by those close to him that he has been willing to do it from the start, so long as everything works out financially, and that he didn't feel forced into doing it.
Still, the whole situation makes me a little uncomfortable. Why should a kid who obviously has come from a tough background have to forfeit his scholarship to a kid who didn't even decide he'd be attending college until a few days before classes started? And I'm not blaming Drummond here, either. He's 18 years old, after all -- he's allowed to be a bit indecisive, especially when you consider all the various pressures on him to finally make a choice.
I blame a system that allows these types of things to happen.