Judging by the results of the "Are You Happy Bryce Brown Chose UT" poll, there are many amongst our fanbase (and probably a few lurking bammeroids) who think we'd be better off without the #1 player in the country. I'm assuming the majority of voters are basing this opinion on some of the negative press Brown has received.
Kevin Scott of VSPN Radio (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/VSPN) managed to develop a 'friendship' with Bryce Brown after having him on his show. He immediately began to realize that Brown had been portrayed falsely. Here are a few of his remarks about Brown.
One day, out of nowhere, I get a message. "Bryce Brown is interested in doing your show if you want him". At that time, there'd been only rumors that he may visit UT, but nothing had been concrete. He'd done no interviews with anyone. I called Bryce several times, who'd gotten a reputation for being a prima donna, surrounded by drama, before the interview to talk, get acquainted, and learned quickly the young man was anything but that.
It was clear to me early on that Bryce was a kid that had a very strong faith. He was educated. Very well spoken and thought before he talked. He's young enough to say things that can come out wrong, but when you get past the mainstream media's view of this young man like I did, then you know what he means.
In that first interview, Bryce confirmed the visit to UT and gladly answered every question I posed to him. He was very open, honest and an unbelievably nice kid to deal with.
Since that time, I have talked to Bryce several times. I have asked for updates, talked about his recruitment, the media's views of him and many other subjects. A lot of what we've talked about, I haven't told a soul.
The reason, the entire reason, for this post is this. I've learned a lot from Bryce Brown. I've learned that you can't always judge someone based on what you hear or see at arm's length.
There is more I could go out and find and paste that Kevin has said, but I think this paints the picture. Kevin has been nothing but complementary of Bryce's character all along. Our biggest beef with Brown is that he didn't sign on the day that those of us following his recruitment decide is the best day to sign. What we forget is that he's not picking a school to please us; he's making a single decision that will have huge implications on his future. If the NCAA is OK with him taking the amount of time he took to make the decision, then that's all that matters. We like to lambast these recruits for liking attention, but many of us (myself included) shell out $10/month to follow their every move.
Also, Kevin has said that, as far as he knows (and he probably would), our coaches never had any contact with Butler. Even if Butler is up to something shady (in my opinon, I do not think he is), it is extremely unlikely that UT has done anything wrong. Coach O identified Bryce Brown's champion, and that champion is his parents. Bryce was allowed to make his own decision, but everyone wants their parents' blessing. We were the first to recruit him through his parents, and we are the ones who he signed with. Kevin has also said that Butler has never spoken FOR Brown, meaning Bryce was making his own decisions throughout the whole process.
So chill out, folks. Actually, don't chill out. Enjoy the fact that after being assembled for about 3 weeks, our coaching staff got the ear of the #1 player in the nation, and about two months later, he decided that he wanted to be a Tennessee Vol.