Yesterday, TwistNHook mentioned a story about Cal recruit D.J. Seeley, who was shocked by the news of Ben Braun’s firing, and said that he was going to have to reconsider his commitment to Cal. (FYI, Seeley has signed a National Letter of Intent, but schools often let players out of such commitments after a coach has been fired if the player feels they will no longer be happy at the school.)
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised, then, when I read this today:
Top Cal basketball recruit D.J. Seeley got a call from ousted coach Ben Braun encouraging him to stay committed to the Golden Bears, and the Modesto Christian High School star said he’s just curious to meet his new coach.
Braun didn’t have to do that; he doesn’t owe Cal anything, and no one would have noticed if he’d simply decided to move on and let Cal deal with any wayward recruits on its own. But that’s not the kind of guy Braun is. It’s the sort of move that speaks of class, integrity, character; of a guy who really cares about his recruits development not just as basketball players, but as human beings. Cal may indeed find a more successful basketball coach than Braun, but they won’t find a better man.
And Seeley? Well, he’s doing the smart thing in continuing to look out for his own interests. If I were in the same situation, that’s what I’d do. Hopefully Cal’s next coach can work with Seeley to maximize his talents, making him feel comfortable at Berkeley, but if not, it’s probably best that D.J. moves on. After all, you’d hate for a guy to come to Cal, only to transfer in a year or two after he discovers that he still isn’t comfortable. It’s better for everyone involved if he finds out what he’ll be getting into before he heads to campus.