The Pitt basketball program took another punch to the gut on Sunday as once again they lost out on an elite recruit.
After dragging his decision out and turning the end of his recruitment into a circus, five-star center Efton Reid made the announcement on Sunday that he’ll be playing for Will Wade and LSU. The announcement was not what Jeff Capel was hoping to hear but in the back of his mind, it’s probably not a total surprise.
What happened Sunday is yet another glaring example of what a corrupt and slimy business college basketball is, and there doesn’t appear to be anything that’s going to change things.
I’m going to start off by addressing the elephant in the room and that’s Wade. The fact that he’s still employed is all you need to know about how corrupt and scandalous college basketball is. In case you forgot, here’s the type of person Wade is and likely a reason LSU has been so successful recruiting during his tenure.
Remind me again how Will Wade still has a job? pic.twitter.com/exk8czsgeu
— Cory Kinsinger (@CoryKinsinger) May 9, 2021
Wade shouldn’t be coaching college basketball, and while there’s no evidence that Wade has compensated another player “better than the rookie minimum,” the fact that he hasn’t been punished for that sentence puts doubt into every part of the process.
The disheartening thing for programs like Pitt is that their are other programs in the country enjoying this nice run in recruiting like Wade and LSU. Think about it, aside from the handful of blue bloods, what schools do you hear involved with nearly every high level high school recruit or high level transfer? None of Arizona, Auburn, Louisville, Miami, Oklahoma State, South Carolina and USC seem worse off for their involvement in the Adidas pay-for-play scandal last decade. Sean Miller got fired at Arizona, but not until the results on the floor started to slip. The message there is clear: cheat, even get caught, but don’t dare lose.
When will the FBI or the NCAA have any onions and really go after the other slime programs in college basketball? There are plenty of them.
Sunday’s news was no doubt a blow for Pitt, because Reid would’ve filled a major need. But Capel shouldn’t get any criticism from Pitt fans for failing to land Reid. Capel and Milan Brown did everything they could to land Reid and that’s all that can be expected.
If I’m a Pitt fan, the only thing that I’d worry about it how long it takes for Capel to get frustrated with the current environment of college basketball recruiting and not being able to pull in elite recruits, something he’s been used to doing while at Duke. The discouraging aspect for Pitt fans is that Capel is an elite recruiter and someone that players are drawn to, his long history as a successful recruiter proves that.
If he isn’t able to be the guy to bring high level recruits to Pitt, is it even possible to do so?
While at Pitt, Capel will run a clean program and try and get recruits the right way but you have to start wondering if he’s fighting a losing battle.