March 24, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Florida Gators forward/center Patric Young (4) celebrates after a play against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half in the finals of the west region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewickel-US PRESSWIRE
With the decommitment of Orlando forward Schuyler Rimmer, Florida basketball could have a situation on its hands not unlike the Gators of the gridiron had with Tre Bell. Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun reports that Rimmer has reopened his recruitment after committing to Florida in early August, but the parts between the lines are really interesting.
On the surface, there's the weirdness that is Rimmer decommiting and saying this:
"The reasons I’ve decided to keep between myself, the coaches at UF and my family," Rimmer said.
Basketball recruits, to be frank, don't decommit from schools, programs, and coaches as good as Florida very often without some sort of shadiness on one side or another. But Rimmer, a four-star player, getting called a "walk-on" by Rivals' Eric Bossi is an indication that Florida might have told Rimmer it was going after bigger fish. Brockway didn't report or confirm that, but he did air it out on Twitter.
According to numerous reports, Florida pulled fully scholly offer to Rimmer and asked him to walk on to pursue another player. Ethical?— Kevin Brockway (@gatorhoops) September 18, 2012
If those names don't sound familiar, it's because they ended up not doing a heck of a lot in their collegiate careers: Painter ended up at N.C. State and will transfer to Old Dominion in 2012-13, while I believe the Gary Clark being referred to here was accused of sexual assault while at Wake Forest.
If this is what Florida did here, Billy Donovan's stealing a trick from his mentor, Rick Pitino, the master of scholarship games in college basketball. And, of course, it's in one of the gray areas of recruiting that is up to the individual person to interpret: Florida's within its rights to pull a scholarship offer if it hasn't been accompanied by a signed letter of intent, but Rimmer sure sounded like he was set on heading to Florida. He'll land somewhere, and Donovan may land a better recruit as a result, but this episode will feel scuzzy.
In other Florida basketball news: According to ESPN's Michael DiRocco, Patric Young is recovering from a bout with mononucleosis — or mono, or that thing that someone in sixth grade got that prompted your teacher to tell you about "the kissing disease."
Young's missed three weeks of workouts and such, but Donovan thinks he'll be fine by the Gators' October 15 start date for practices.
"I think he’s going to be fine, but there’s going to be some stamina issues with him because he hasn’t done anything for three weeks," Donovan said. "We’ve got plenty of time where we can get him back to that point."
This would certainly explain Pat's existential tweets from September 11:
Do i still play basketball?— Patric Young (@BigPatYoung4) September 11, 2012
Havent touched a basketball in forever— Patric Young (@BigPatYoung4) September 11, 2012
But I'm not buying Donovan's thinking that this is what will make it clear to Young that he needs to work on his conditioning: Pat's not dumb, and I'm sure he realizes that being in shape to play 40 minutes every night is something that is not only going to help him at Florida but will help him make millions in the NBA; a random occurrence like mono probably didn't make that sink in as much as it affected his ability to actually do that. In any case, it's a good thing the malady was diagnosed and treated at some point at which it won't leave a massive hole in the paint and in the hearts of Gators fans.
Get well soon, Pat, and get back to beasting.