CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Here’s a bit of advice for soon-to-be-former Marshall point guard Kareem Canty. He can take it or leave it, because goodness knows he’s received enough of it from more than enough sources over the past few weeks.
Back away from the Twitter. And the Facebook. Ditto for Instagram. Don’t even log onto Farmville, no matter how much your cows need milked. Disconnect your computer from the Internet and use it only for typing term papers and playing mahjong.
Let the next time you include the public in on the decision-making process for your future home come after you’ve finally made the decision. Silence, at this point, is golden.
Canty — the Conference USA all-freshman and third-team all-conference point guard who on April 11 received his scholarship release from Marshall — had the Auburn faithful smiling Saturday night when he was quoted by two Auburn recruiting sites as having verbally committed to the Tigers. That joy lasted until about mid-morning Sunday, when he tweeted out that enjoyed his trip to Alabama but, in fact, would take at least one more recruiting trip, to the University of South Florida.
That course reversal led Canty’s former AAU coach Abdu Allah Torrence to tell SNY.tv that what Canty was quoted as saying wasn’t what he said.
“Somebody asked him if he loved it and he said, ‘I really love it. I really like the school. I can see myself here,’” Torrence told the website.
What Torrence said was Canty’s response was quite different than the response reported by the two recruiting sites. Compare the above quote to these two below.
AuburnSports.com, the Auburn Rivals site, quoting Canty: “I have some great news. I’m playing the rest of my career at Auburn.”
AuburnUndercover.com, the Auburn 247Sports site, quoting Canty: “It feels good to be a War Eagle.”
That’s not a small discrepancy. And that’s not a difference that comes from hearing someone wrong. Here’s the statement that came via Canty’s Twitter feed:
“I wanna thank Auburn for a great time but I wanna make sure I’m 110% sure my next move is my best one and take the rest of my visits !”
Now there’s nothing wrong with changing one’s mind. Canty told ESPN on Sunday he did just that. Here’s the problem. Canty tells one website he’s changed his mind. Another member of his camp tells another website that reporters misrepresented him. It doesn’t behoove a basketball player looking for a new home to let mixed messages disperse through the media.
What Canty wrote Sunday was absolutely correct. He needs to make his next move his best one. And he probably walked into Auburn’s spring game, saw 70,000 people in the stands watching an intrasquad scrimmage, got caught up in the moment and told some Auburn reporters that he’d be a Tiger. Then, after things calmed down, he realized he should weigh his options and changed his mind.
Does that make him a bad kid? Absolutely not. It does remind us, though, that he’s a kid, a star basketball player who just turned 21 and is grappling with a major life decision. He just needs to grapple with it behind the scenes.
It’s that public back and forth that soured part of the Marshall fan base. He’d tweet during this past 11-22 season that he wanted to transfer, then delete it. That happened more than once, including the day former coach Tom Herrion resigned.
On the day of the appeal hearing for his scholarship release, he told Marshall’s student newspaper he wanted to be around his dad and family and be around a winning tradition. The Harlem, N.Y., native’s two contenders are in Auburn, Ala., and Tampa, Fla. Combined, those two basketball teams have been to three NCAA tournaments since the turn of the millennium and just one since 2003, and neither team won more than 14 games this past season.
Then his verbal commitment to one of them lasts all of one overnight. If, after he visits USF and he decides he wants to be a Bull, should new coach Orlando Antigua reserve his full joy until Canty actually signs on the line which is dotted?
Canty and his people need to eliminate the static. The only voice from now on making any pronouncements should be his, and it shouldn’t speak publicly again until after careful deliberation and a final decision.
Then he can plug back into the World Wide Web. Because, let’s face it, one can only go so long without looking at funny Vine videos.