Westcoasthoopsreport.com has a very interesting article on recent Griz recruit Vaughn Autry today. The story also involves former Montana Grizzly head basketball coach and current Utah State coach Stew Morrill, and it is not to flattering of Morrill and his staff. He does though have some very nice things to say about Montana Coach Wayne Tinkle, as well as the current Griz players and staff. Here is an excerpt:
…had Utah State not bungled their recruitment of Autry he might not have ended up at Montana at all.
According to Autry’s father, Steve Autry, Utah State called and offered Vaughn a scholarship in July after the Best of the Summer tournament.
“They said he was going to start,” Steve said. “I told him he has to earn it.
“They were really high on it, they told him they were going to bring him in to replace the previous point guard.”
The 6-2 Vaughn decided that was a great offer, so he orally committed to Utah State before he ever visited the school.
The coaching staff wanted him to visit during the weekend the football team played their first home game on Sept. 26 so Steve took the steps to fill out the proper paperwork for the compliance officers.
But in the weeks leading up to Vaughn’s visit, both father and son said the coaches stopped returning phone calls and weren’t reachable, indicating to both of them that something was fishy.
“I kind of realized before it happened because they stopped e-mailing me and I called just to check periodically, like once a week and they didn’t answer my phone calls or call me back,” said Vaughn, who was named to the all-C.I.F. and the Daily Breeze’s all-area team as a junior. “From there, my dad handled it.”
After numerous attempts, Steve said he finally reached one of the assistant coaches, who infuriated him further by saying he never offered Vaughn a scholarship.
“I said, you’re a liar,” Steve recalled. “Just tell me you had other plans.
“I was talking to him for a month and a half and how were we going to commit somewhere if we didn’t have an offer?”
Unable to get an honest answer from Utah State, Steve reached out to others he knew in the basketball community and found out that the Aggies dumped Vaughn to pursue a junior college player instead.
Later, Steve said Utah State head coach Stew Morrill finally called and apologized.
“He said, I’m sorry, we’re going in another direction, going after a junior college kid,” Steve said. “I told them to stop offering so many guys.”
Steve claims Morrill accepted some of the blame and said that he had already told his assistants to stop offering 15 kids.
“He told me, we didn’t mean to hurt Vaughn,” Steve said. “I told him, it’s the principle of the whole thing, of being honest.
“I understand they want to get the best player, but they should’ve been honest with us.”
To read the whole article you can go here. Westcoacthoopsreport.com is a free site, but you do need to register to view its material.