With Hoosier Hysteria just two (!) nights away, expect basketball coverage to ramp up dramatically over the next few weeks. As Inside the Hall and others note, there now is a scandal brewing in Waco that may have implications for Indiana, either positive or negative. Hanner Perea, a top 25 recruit from the class of 2012 who is high on both IU and Baylor. Perea currently is a student at LaLumiere Academy in LaPorte County, in northwest Indiana. La Lumiere is the opposite of the stereotypical "basketball factory" prep school--it's well-regarded academically and counts U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts among its alumni--but it isn't cheap. As the article notes, this is an excessive texting scandal, so it has some similarity to the Kelvin Sampson affair at IU, but what's more interesting in the Baylor story isn't that the text messages occurred, but what one of them says. I'll let you click through to ITH for all the details, but one of the texts sent by a Baylor assistant to La Lumiere's coach read:
"I guarantee u if he does [commit to another school] he will be in Colombia for the spring and summer and next year. Don’t forget it."
This is going to get very interesting, and it seems to me that it could cut either way. On one hand, if Baylor gets into hot water, it is less likely that Perea would commit to Baylor and more likely that he would commit to IU. It’s also possible that Baylor’s administration would order the coaching staff to stop recruiting Perea because he is at the center of what apparently will become an NCAA investigation. On the other hand, if Baylor is in a position to yank Perea’s financial aid, then might the source of that aid be such that Perea’s eligibility will be threatened? I don’t know, but it’s something of a concern.
Scott Drew is an interesting case. Obviously, after the horrible scandal involving the murder of one of its players by another player, Baylor had every incentive to hire a squeaky clean coach. Drew enjoys that reputation superficially. While I don’t wish to traffic in rumors, it’s long been true that many people who follow recruiting "on the ground" have a very, very low opinion of Scott Drew’s character. This story perhaps provides a glimpse of why that’s the case.