In a report that tickles me pink by hinting Miami is "back" enough to afford such moves, AP writer Tim Reynolds reports that Miami is sick of Bryce Brown's "commitment:"
Unless Bryce Brown makes a decision Wednesday, the nation's top-ranked recruit will be going somewhere other than Miami. The national letter of intent Brown was offered by Miami expires Wednesday, and a person involved in recruiting the running back from Wichita, Kansas told The Associated Press the Hurricanes will not reissue the scholarship offer.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither Brown's representatives nor Miami could authorize him to speak publicly.
"Miami will not give him another letter," the person said.
Brown's own personal mishandler, Brian Butler, told the AP that he was "unaware" scholarship offers expired. (Gee, lemme sign up my as-yet-unfertilized eggs! This guy may book up!)
Butler has posted an update to his website, which I will repost in its entirety so none of you have to sully yourselves by visiting:
The nation's #1 player, Bryce Brown has decided!
Where he will be taking his last visits. "I will be going to LSU on an unofficial visit and my final official visit will be to the University of Miami."
The trip to LSU will be Feb. 27-28th. Miami's official visits will be March 3-5th. Bryce talked about what he is looking for in both visits.
LSU-"I want to see the offensive game plan, meet the people and get a feel for the city of Baton Rouge."
Miami-"They'll be in spring ball, so I want to see how the coaches interact with the players at practice and look at how the new offense is coming along. And most importantly spend some time with my brother."
Bryce will be signing on Monday, March 16th at the Kansas Hall of Fame.
Kid, you're not in that Hall yet. Also, March 16 > Expiration Day. "Not until then," said Butler, who handles all of Brown's dealings with media and coaches. "If there's no letter here from Miami on March 16, then I'll get on the phone. So that's up to Miami. Bryce has his timeline set. We're not changing it at all." [note: except, apparently, how they just changed it from the 13th to 16th] Maybe he could make up a few fake Miami offers to cover his losses once the younger Brown signs while he's at it. Oh, sorted.
Anyway, it'd be easy to write off Tim Reynolds as a "who?" but The Miami Herald's Manny Hernandez reports today that he was told the same thing late last week, and got on the phone with Butler. Butler declined to comment on "rumors," preferring to just invent them, and says everything is kosher with Miami and Bryce can't wait to see "how the offense is doing" on his March visit.
But that isn't all. Hernandez then exchanged texts with a UM source who replied, "That may be their plan. But it ain't ours." Oh, snap!
It has been reported in Coral Gables that, while not condemning it publicly, Randy Shannon is uneasy with the Butler involvement. He hinted as much while speaking to WQAM on signing day, referring in general terms to "street agents" and expressing a desire to cut ties with kids who come with their or anyone else's hands out (whether for heaping amounts of extra patience and time, or otherwise, I presume). It's also seemingly true that the Brown parents and older brother Arthur are generally well-respected, and as such, diplomacy has been spread thickly over the whole affair.
However, it's also no secret that Randy Shannon doesn't fuck around - he's dedicated nearly his entire life to this U - and for his program to suffer the whims of a flighty kid from Kansas and his shady street agent is probably a bit much. The HNIC will be nobody's cuckold.
Speaking from a position of absolutely zero inside knowledge or insight, it really does appear young Brown is either genuinely confused (or misled), or really has no intention at all of moving to south Florida. Bryce has had every chance to come to Miami, and has so far turned those opportunities down. He graduated in December, yet declined to early enroll as previously planned. He passed up making his commitment good on signing day to make more visits and publicly criticize the well-respected new OC Mark Whipple, who drove five hours to meet with him fresh from the NFL while Bryce vacationed in the middle of one of those horrible flat states (and those comments about Whipple, according to Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post, are what set off shock waves in the athletic office - and, according to Rivals, found their way up to the Trustee level - don't THEY have better things to worry about?). He has visited Miami, and his brother, on multiple occasions over two years and knows the program as well as anyone off the field, yet finds it still necessary to evaluate. None of these individually amount to much, but as a whole they create a situation in which few would blame Miami for calling his bluff and moving on from the whole affair with Mike James and Lamar Miller.
Confusion in the face of an important choice is understandable, as is hesitation at hurting a family member by signing elsewhere...but I can also say at this late hour, if the reports are true and Randy Shannon turns toward Kansas tomorrow, points to Greentree Practice Field, and says, "My team is on the floor," I will adore the ever-living hell out of it.