Late Tuesday we told you that top UNC-CH recruit Delvon Simmons had asked out of his letter of intent – and that this move seemed possibly connected to former UNC-CH coach Brian Baker’s quick exit after signing day. Today the press is getting around to covering this story and causing interesting (and incongruous) facts to surface.
For example, before today we did not know that Butch and three UNC-CH assistants recently flew in to visit Simmons, who remained steadfast in his desire to not play for UNC-CH. The Pittsburgh paper today had a story with this and other details:
University of North Carolina football coach Butch Davis and three of his assistant coaches came to McKeesport last Friday and met with recruit Delvon Simmons and McKeesport coach Jim Ward, but Simmons still doesn’t want to play for the Tar Heels.
Ward also said one of the reasons Simmons had a change of heart about the Tar Heels was because Brian Baker left to become an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys.
We know that Butch did not visit Simmons prior to signing with UNC-CH and that Simmons never took an official visit to UNC-CH. But now Butch visits Simmons (for the first time?) AFTER Simmons signs, and Simmons wants out. Do I have that right?
The News and Observer story on this subject contains this hilarious exchange:
McKeesport coach Jim Ward said Simmons, ranked as the 15th-best prospect in the country by Scout.com, said the 6-5, 265-pound defensive tackle asked for a release from his Letter of Intent almost a month ago.
A UNC spokesman said Wednesday the school has not received Simmons’ official request.
“That’s not accurate,” Ward said. “Technically he asked for his release three and a half weeks ago.”
What? How dare someone question the position of the great Wizard!! Obviously Coach Ward does not know what the local media and clones in the Carolina army know — you do not question or challenge the ‘reality’ that is mandated from the all powerful UNC-Chapel Hill!!! Shame on Coach Ward!!!
On Thursday afternoon, ESPN’s Heather Dinich further confused me with this blog entry, in which she explains UNC-CH’s side of the story – that Baker really didn’t recruit Simmons that much after all:
Three important facts to remember, according to a source at UNC:
- Former defensive line coach Brian Baker, who was on the coaching staff on signing day but left after one month to return to the NFL, never met Simmons. They only spoke by phone.
- Simmons never took an official visit to UNC, and the staff never made a home visit.
- North Carolina has never said it won’t release Simmons. In fact, Ward told me Simmons will be released
Considering the lack of contact between the UNC staff and Simmons, it’s surprising Simmons committed to Carolina in the first place, and it doesn’t make sense that his reasoning would be Baker’s departure.
“That’s all I can really say at the time. I don’t want to get into why. … I’m not the kind of coach who favors these kind of things, when kids get out of their commitments. I don’t even want them out of verbal commitments, but it’s justifiable, very justifiable him wanting to get the release and I support him.”