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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Andre Drummond is now both a future lottery pick and a walk-on

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Andre Drummond

When Michael Bradley surrendered his scholarship in September to make room for the late addition of future lottery pick Andre Drummond, it inspired a heated national debate over whether it was appropriate for UConn to ask the sophomore center to make that sacrifice.

Turns out Drummond was on the side of those who thought it wasn't.

Drummond told the New London Day on Tuesday that he relinquished his scholarship in early November when UConn's compliance department discovered that a recruited player can pay his own way as long as any financial aid he receives is non-institutional. Upon learning that, Drummond and his family insisted he become a walk-on so that Bradley could have his scholarship back.

"I'm thankful for what Mike was trying to do for me," Drummond told the Day. "I told Mike, 'Don't do that, man. I'll pay my way and take a scholarship next year. You don't have to give up a scholarship for me.'

"It was my decision. That's not fair to him. He worked hard to get that scholarship. I'm not going to take something from somebody that's not mine. It was my decision to come late."

What initially made Bradley the obvious choice to make the one-year sacrifice was that he qualified for other financial aid because he grew up in a poor section of Chattanooga and spent seven years living in children's home.

Critics of UConn noted it didn't seem right for UConn to skirt scholarship penalties from its academic woes and NCAA rules violations or for Bradley to have to give up his scholarship at a time of year when it was too late to transfer. Others pointed out almost every program in the nation would have found a way to make room for a player of Drummond's caliber.

It's a testament to the character of Drummond and his family that they volunteered to come off scholarship once they learned that was feasible under NCAA rules. They surely knew the UConn staff wouldn't make them do it, yet they offered to do it anyway because it was the right thing to do.

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