Gus Gilchrist: “Once I commit to something, I am committed.”Posted by rtmsf on May 14th, 2007
When we first saw the story that Augustus “Gus” Gilchrist was reneging on his LOI (login required) to Virginia Tech because of their shootings last month, stating that he was not “mentally prepared” for dealing with it, our initial reaction was probably like everyone else’s who is unfamiliar with the situation. “Poor kid doesn’t want to deal with the pressure of coming into a tough situation where everyone on campus is mourning.” “I can understand not wanting to feel like some kind of sports savior after what has gone on there.” Etc.
Unfortunately, the empathy with which we felt for Gilchrist, a 6’9 jumping jack out of Clinton, Maryland, who was the MVP of the Capital Classic, quickly gave way to skepticism and then, outright disdain for the kid’s rescission. When Gilchrist committed to the Hokies in November, he was pretty much a nobody on the recruiting lists; but after a strong senior campaign and excellent performances in the all-star games (supposedly playing Patrick Patterson to a standstill at the AAU Nationals), his stock has risen to the point where he is now considered a major sleeper in the class of 2007. We believe there’s more to this story here than meets the eye.
The way we see it, Gilchrist is pulling one of two stunts. Either a) he really is feeling conflicted over attending Virginia Tech after the tragedy there this spring, showing a degree of selfishiness and callousness that surprises even us (what kind of person avoids being part of a healing process?); or b) he is using the events of April 16 as a convenient pretext to get out of his commitment so he can trade up to another school, capitalizing on his “rising star” status. Either way this kid is a complete tool.
Huggins growing horns?
According to Josh Barr’s Washington Post blog, Gilchrist’s personal trainer – the fact that he has a personal trainer making statements for him is a red flag in itself – is saying that he will be attending a prep school next year instead of Virginia Tech. This makes absolutely no sense because Gilchrist is already academically eligible to play D1 next season, and prep schools are solely used for ineligibles. This is undoubtedly a leverage play to try to get Virginia Tech to release him from his LOI, so that he can go elsewhere. And rumors are swirling that the Man in Black, Bob Huggins, is somehow involved in this mess. If so, please remember to tip Lucifer on your way out of the stadium, WVU fans.
Update (June 2008): Gilchrist is on the move again, this time leaving Maryland before even playing a single game.