- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Purdue's coaches have made no secret about their intention to focus the team's recruiting on the state of Florida.
But the Boilers' coaches won't be stopping by Armwood High School just outside Tampa any time soon.
Armwood coach Sean Callahan has prohibited Purdue from recruiting at the school after the Boilers pulled a scholarship offer from Armwood receiver A.J. King. The reason: According to Callahan, Purdue was concerned about the knee ligament surgery King underwent last year.
From The Tampa Tribune:
Callahan said the reason given was that King had surgery to repair his torn knee ligament that is similar to four Purdue players, who later re-injured their knees. One of those players is quarterback Robert Marve, who played at Plant High School in Tampa. The surgery, Callahan said, is one that uses the ligament of a cadaver, and he says Purdue is now leery of potential signees who have had this type of knee repair.
On the one hand, it's tough to blame Purdue for being leery of any situation involving knee surgery. The Boilers had a group of players undergo knee surgeries in 2010, including Marve, running back Ralph Bolden and receiver Keith Smith.
Both Marve and Bolden suffered their second ACL tears last year. Purdue also witnessed star basketball player Robbie Hummel re-tear his ACL in October.
No major conference school in the country has endured a more damaging series of knee injuries to key athletes than Purdue.
But the Boilers also aren't giving up on Marve, Bolden or Smith, all of whom are expected to return this season. Were they hypocritical to pull King's offer?
Callahan thinks so.
After being notified by Purdue it was pulling the offer, Callahan said he met with coach Danny Hope at Armwood. Hope eventually offered King a gray shirt scholarship, but Callahan said that was not fair to King, whom he says "did everything the school told him to do" during rehabilitation of the injured knee. King also took an official visit to Purdue in early December, when Callahan said coaches continued to express their desire to sign him to a full scholarship. ...
"They flew A.J. up there to Purdue, everybody wowed him, told him they loved him and all that," Callahan said. "Then, after he came home, they pulled [his scholarship], without ever talking to our doctors, without ever talking to our trainers. It's completely unprofessional. In all my years as a coach, I've never, ever seen something done to a kid like this."
This is certainly an unfortunate situation for King, whose options for signing day are now limited. It's also important to note that because Purdue coaches can't comment on specific recruits, we might not be getting the whole story just yet. It'll be interesting to see if Hope weighs in on this Wednesday.
Purdue isn't the only Big Ten school to face some criticism for pulling scholarships. Indiana's new coaching staff took some heat for their recruiting decisions involving Jalen Schachter and other prospects.
These cases certainly aren't confined to the Big Ten, but they're a hard aspect of the recruiting world.
10hSam Khan and Greg Ostendorf