August 24, 2010
As the Joseph Young saga reached its inevitable conclusion Monday with the talented incoming freshman enrolling at the University of Houston, the only question remaining is which side came off looking worse?
Is it Providence for forcing Young to sit out a year and lose a year of eligibility with its spiteful refusal to let him out of his letter of intent? Or is it Young and his father for resorting to name-calling after Providence wouldn't buy the family's flimsy excuse that he wanted to attend college closer to his Houston home to spend time with his sick aunt?
To refresh your memory, Young was originally the centerpiece of Providence's 2010 recruiting class. The 6-foot-3 combo guard led Yates High to an undefeated record and a Texas state championship last season, averaging 27.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 4.4 steals per game.
Young originally opted not to sign with hometown Houston, where his father was an assistant coach, because the uncertainty surrounding former coach Tom Penders' future left the family unsure it would be a good situation. Once the situation at Providence began crumbling and newly hired Houston coach James Dickey appointed Michael Young as director of basketball operations, the family apparently decided Joseph would be better off at his hometown school.
There's nothing wrong with Joseph Young changing his mind and wanting to play for his father, but it would be a lot easier to muster some sympathy for the family if they were honest about that playing a role in his decision to transfer. As for Providence coach Keno Davis, it's easy to see why he would be frustrated about losing a prized recruit and would want to punish Houston for potentially tampering, but that's no excuse for holding a 18-year-old hostage for a full year.
If Young wants to be closer to his ailing aunt, Providence should release him. If Young is concerned about the direction of the program under Davis, Providence should release him. And if Young simply wants to play for Dickey and his father at Houston, Providence has made its point about the potential tampering and it should still release him.
Instead of being the bigger man here and letting Young play for his father without any penalty, Davis has escalated the situation to the point where everyone involved comes off looking bad.