Oh boy. After a summer filled with good news and renewed hope for the UConn men's baskeball team, that bump in the road up ahead could turn into the type of pothole that derails seasons and back-to-back national title aspirations.
Andre Drummond, the nation's top high school recruit last year, committed to the Huskies this summer. He enrolled in school last month and is expected to be a huge part of UConn's success during the 2011-12 season. Except there's a slight chance he might not play at all.
According to the Norwich Bulletin, Drummond appeared in video promoting a new Adidas basketball shoe with New London High School senior Kris Dunn (a one-time Huskies recruit headed to Providence). Dunn is being investigated by the state’s high school governing body.
Details via the Bulletin:
New London Athletic Director Jeff Larson said he has been contacted by the CIAC and talked with Dunn. Larson said he is awaiting further instructions from the organization.
The video, which was on www.stacktv.stack.com, features both players at a recent summer camp in Houston, sponsored by the shoe manufacturer. There are seven other videos in which high school basketball players, including some of the top recruits in the country, provide testimonials and praise for the adiCrazy Zero Light shoe.
UConn issued a statement saying it “was made aware of the video in question late (Wednesday) afternoon and has reviewed it. Our compliance staff is comfortable that the video was made in advance of Andre’s enrollment at UConn. Our next step is to simply follow up with the website on which it is posted and ask that it be removed, which we have already done.”
In the video, Dunn, while holding a shoe, says “I like to run up and down the court and with these shoes I’d probably run faster, make better decisions out there. If you get more speed, you can see things quicker.” Drummond then says, “I want them.”
It's unclear if either player accepted payment for their participation.
The Bulletin reports that, per NCAA bylaws, Drummond’s eligibility isn't in question if the infraction took place before he enrolled at UConn, and he either retracts permission to use his name and image and ceases any remuneration for his appearance.
Coach Jim Calhoun was out of town and not available for comment.
"The video in itself is not a violation," Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference director of information Matt Fischer said. "We have to find out the circumstances around it."