Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Marist sues former coach and current James Madison coach

Matt Brady coached the Marist Red Foxes from 2004-2008, where he had some success, including sending point guard Jared Jordan to the NBA Draft.

But Brady left for James Madison in March of 2008, bringing with him four guys he recruited to Marist - one had already signed an LOI (Julius Wells), two were orally committed (Andrey Semenov and Trevon Flores), and the fourth (Devon Moore) had been recruited heavily by Brady and his staff. Wells, Semenov, and Moore all played for JMU's 20 win team this season, while Flores will be enrolling this year.

Pretty standard stuff. These days players commit to coaches, not schools.

But Marist is suing Brady for bringing along those four recruits.

Why? How can they?

You see, every coach at Marist has a clause in their contract that says if the coach leaves Marist, they cannot continue to recruit the players they were recruiting at Marist.

Do I really need to say how ridiculous this is?

I am far from what you would call a legal expert, but I don't see any way that Marist can have any control over a third party (the recruits) when they sign a contract with a coach. Brady has obviously built a strong relationship with these four kids. When he left Marist, they decided that it was no longer where they wanted to go to school, because they wanted to play for Brady.

Is it really fair for Marist to provide any kind of resistance to these kids having the best experience possible while in college?

I understand why Marist has this clause. When a coach leaves, it can all but destroy an entire recruiting class (see Memphis for evidence). When you are a school like Marist, a mid-major that develops players over four years (as opposed to landing one or two talented players that stay for a year or two), losing a recruiting class can be so detrimental to your program's success. The clause is just an attempt to create a disincentive for coaches that leave to bring their recruits along.

But is this a road we really want to go down? Is it really a good idea to give one school any influence on where a kid can go to school? If you were a parent, would you want a coach saying he can't allow your kid to play for him because of a minor clause in the contract with his former school?

Its ludicrous and just another case of schools trying to hold too much power.

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