Delvon Simmons wants out of UNC-CH LOI (Baker Prong update)

Today brought the big news that all-world, bazillion-star defensive lineman Delvon Simmons is asking out of his UNC-CH letter of intent.  The circumstances of Simmons’ recruitment raised a lot of eyebrows on signing day – his late switch to UNC-CH was considered to be one of the biggest late surprises nationally.  The role of former UNC-CH defensive line coach Brian Baker’s abrupt departure from UNC-CH (after less than a month on the job)  in Delvon’s decision to ask out of UNC will certainly be the subject of speculation.  It will be interesting to see if Delvon’s de-commitment (and the possible role Baker’s departure played in it) is covered by the local media with the same vigor as was his signing day surprise.

Alert readers will remember that Delvon opted for UNC-CH having never taken an official visit to Chapel Hill and having previously eliminated UNC-CH from his final list of schools.  John Blake replacement Brian Baker was widely credited with landing Simmons, as WRAL noted at the time:

Many are crediting Baker with landing the upset signing-day commitment of Delvon Simmons, a five-star defensive tackle that had previously eliminated Carolina from his list of finalists.

It seems logical that Baker’s sudden post-signing-day departure from UNC-CH probably played a role in Simmons’ decision to leave UNC-CH.

The story of Brian Baker’s employment with UNC-CH is bizarre in itself.  Baker, who was the Panthers’ defensive line coach last season, was announced as the new UNC-CH defensive line coach on January 10th.  On February 8th, just after signing day, Baker officially took a job with the Dallas Cowboys.  Adding to the oddness of these circumstances was the crazy February 9th announcement from UNC-CH that Baker never actually signed a contract with them.  We covered this story in detail at the time, partially piggy-backing on an excellent Frumpzilla piece.  

If someone can make sense of all this please let us know, because we sure can’t.

I will end with this murky quote from Delvon Simmons’ high school coach, made on the eve of signing day, regarding the very late addition of UNC-CH to the mix of schools in play for Delvon’s services:

“I can tell you that UNC has been added. We had a meeting behind closed doors, and that is all I can say. The rest stays there.”

UNC Scandal

15 Responses to Delvon Simmons wants out of UNC-CH LOI (Baker Prong update)

  1. packalum44 03/08/2011 at 11:56 PM #

    Yet another thing that makes you go “hmmmm”…

  2. PackerInRussia 03/09/2011 at 12:27 AM #

    As some have pointed out, an eventual decision by the NCAA may not come for some time (years maybe). So, perhaps UNC is taking the position that, since they’re going to get hit anyway, they are going to try to accomplish as much as they can any way they can between now and then.

  3. nav 03/09/2011 at 8:18 AM #

    I couldn’t resist clicking on the link and reading some of the material on the frBD free forums. Classic stuff. Everyone points out Coach Baker has ruining everything and being “bush league” but no one, I mean no one ever mentions anything about BD. Once again they assume he knew absolutly nothing about Baker before hand and was poor innocent BD all over again. BD gets more free rides then a hooker at a Poison concert.

  4. Mike 03/09/2011 at 9:06 AM #

    Last minute signing to a school that he had never taken an official visit (OK, he was from NC so he was aware of the school and what they had to offer – I get that). Surprise announcement after a meeting behind closed doors. What else happened behind those closed doors?

  5. albunde6 03/09/2011 at 9:41 AM #

    Simmons should have been released from his LOI the day Baker anounced he was going to Dallas. I said when this was first released that it would be the honorable thing to do. However, did not think that UNX or BD would do what was right for Simmons.

    Second, TOB should be on the phone to Simmons, his parents, their realtor, his jeweler, and his agent.

  6. backnine 03/09/2011 at 9:45 AM #

    You ask a great question in your write-up, which is, “what will the local news media do with this development? With the ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournaments upon us, my guess is, NOTHING! They will let the story die on the vine choosing instead to focus all energies on covering hoops. Most likely it will take another Yahoo Sports piece to delve into these items. And nationally, with Ohio State and Oregon’s shennanigans, UNC will likely count on their wrongdoing to be pushed down the page, making it easier to just ignore it altogether. That’s where the local news media “should” come into play. But we know they won’t!. They can’t afford to jeopardize any subcriptions and/or ratings that might come from poking more sticks at the UNC fanbase by investigating any of this.

  7. AirWolf 03/09/2011 at 10:06 AM #

    Excellent PR move to disclose this during ACCT week. The local MSM wouldn’t give it much play anyhow. The locals have to be embarrassed into doing their job.

  8. Hungwolf 03/09/2011 at 10:51 AM #

    No surprise on this one. We got everything from gifts of jewelry to a high school coach paying for air fare for a UNC recruit to a coach on Davis staff getting paid by a Big Time NFL agent.

    All this while the media is all over the happenings at Ohio State and the coach getting a two game suspension. I asked some OSU also Cleveland Brown fans what was the difference between violations at OSU/Tressel and UNC/Butch Davis. They all said No one expects any ethical conduct from Butch Davis, but they did from Jim Tressel. Very interesting observation from those outside the local media and this area.

  9. bradleyb123 03/09/2011 at 10:55 AM #

    The local media sure is covering the Ohio State stuff, though.

    That’s a very interesting quote from Simmons’ high school coach about that meeting “behind closed doors” and that’s all he could say about it. With Carolina (supposedly) under a microscope, it seems they would want openness, not shady, back-door deals behind closed doors.

    Stuff like this makes me wonder what else is staying behind closed doors since they were allowed by the NCAA to investigate themselves.

  10. rtpack24 03/09/2011 at 3:12 PM #

    The same Brandon Willis that left school when the NCAA began their investigation, the same Brandon Willis who’s teammate posted on facebook that John Blake offered him girls and money to come to UNC. Wow!

  11. turfpack 03/09/2011 at 10:22 PM #

    Move along……nothing to see hear……kid wants out ….that’s all..
    it was behind closed doors….the carolina way

  12. Pack05 03/10/2011 at 4:25 PM #

    It must be nice to have most of the high powered lawyers in the state rallying around the hill doing pro bono work for anyone associated with the scandal to keep info and transparency at a minimum.

  13. Pack78 03/10/2011 at 6:46 PM #

    Interesting comments from Simmons’ HS coach in this update…

    http://espn.go.com/blog/acc/post/_/id/22887/uncs-situation-with-delvon-simmons-muddled

  14. Wolf74 03/10/2011 at 7:23 PM #

    UNC-CHeats won’t let him out of his LOI. Scammed him into signing and now holding him to it.

    That is the trashiest athletic program in the NCAA. Boy do I wish the NCAA would come in and give them the death penalty – in all sports. I know it won’t happen but it would be justice!

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