The University of Wisconsin basketball team may have lost a future recruit this week when Madison Memorial junior guard Vander Blue withdrew an earlier verbal committment to the Badgers. In doing so, Blue sounded like a normal confused 16 year old with a big decision looming over his head. Blue didn’t rule out an eventual signing with the Badgers, but published comments made by Blue earlier this week strongly suggest he was bothered by allegations posted on internet message boards regarding his academic standing, making it more unlikely he’ll land in Madison.
I’m of the opinion that, in this day and age, we ask our kids to grow up too soon; expecting them to read before they get to kindergarten and often to pick a career before high school. It’s difficult enough for a student to get through school under normal circumstances. Throw in the aspect of major college athletics and all the recruiting nonsense connected with it and the pressure on a teenager must increase ten-fold. Now, apparently, you also have to add anonymous fools with a computer to that mix.
Ironically, theses same overzealous “fans” probably cost the Badgers a player that could help the program. We often complained this past season about the Badgers lack of a “go-to” player on offense. Judging by his play in the most recent WIAA state tournament, Vander Blue potentially could have been just such a player. But the truly unfortunate part of all this is that, if he intends to succeed in Division I basketball, Blue is going to have to develop a much thicker skin.