Brad Underwood’s abrupt departure for Illinois leaves a lot hanging in the balance — perhaps nothing more important still in question is the recruits who had already signed up to play for him next season. The entire 2017 class has already signed its letter of intent, binding the school and the player. However circumstances (such as a coaching change, life event, etc.) many times will prompt the NCAA to release the student athlete from that commitment.
There have not been any decommitments from the class as we stand now. Most likely, there won’t be until the hire is made— it’s the coach-to-be’s job to sway those kids to stay signed up, one way or another. And right now, OSU point guard commitment Zack Dawson tells me he is still committed to Oklahoma State.
Dawson, the South Miami star guard, is a top-100 national recruit who was the first commitment under Brad Underwood. He has been committed to the school since June. But the news that Underwood is gone puts in question every recruit’s status, including Dawson’s. I get the feeling, just speculating, that he will likely wait and see what happens with the coaching hire. If they bring in a guy who can connect with him and talk him into staying, he’ll stay. But it’s a delicate situation … you’re asking a new coach to re-recruit a player and likely start from scratch on a new relationship.