Tennessee's 2010 basketball class took a huge blow this weekend, as Josh Selby - a 6'1" Baltimore PG ranked second in the nation at that position and as the seventh best player overall by Rivals - has decommitted from UT.
Selby committed back during the Tennessee-Florida football game ten months ago, and was the centerpiece of a once-promising class that has now lost two guards, Selby and Aaron Craft (who is now an Ohio State commit).
The story from Rivals ($) quotes his mother as saying he rushed his commitment, only considering the Vols and Louisville. It seems apparent that as more schools showed interest, Selby returned the favor.
However, word from VolQuest (UT's Rivals affiliate) implies a much more complex story.
Volquest writer Rob Lewis added fuel to an already-growing fire ($) on the message boards there: that Selby's decommitment has more to do with Nike and adidas than anyone is comfortable with.
The implication, veiled or otherwise, is that as Selby's status has grown, his thoughts of the NBA have as well. If the conclusion many Vol fans (including ghost at 3SIB) are jumping to this morning is true, we've entered a disturbing phase of college basketball recruiting...because many are buying in to the idea that somehow, the folks at Nike have made it known to Selby that if he signs with a Nike-sponsored school, he'll have a better chance of landing a Nike endorsement once he lands in the NBA.
Nike owns the NBA - see LeBron and Kobe, and don't forget, Jordan - and adidas, who's had a relationship with Tennessee since 1997, has no real foothold in professional basketball.
Obviously, there are no facts or statements to verify this...but Rob Lewis called him a "lock" to go to a Nike school, and mentioned Kentucky as a major player. If that's true, and if he lands at UK...well, Selby would easily be the most hated opposing player in UT basketball history from day one, and we've got an unfortunate case study for how disturbing the recruiting system truly is.
If these implications play out further, so will this story...but for now, either way UT's basketball future has taken a blow.