Questions Raised From Purdue Target's Northwestern Visit

USA TODAY Sports

A visit to Northwestern from Purdue target Bryant McIntosh has raised questions about a potential NCAA violation, but not by who you'd expect.

Northwestern's Rivals.com affiliate had a detailed report Tuesday of the visit Bryant McIntosh, the Greensburg (IN) guard whom Purdue is heavily recruiting for the 2014 class after he decommitted from Indiana State prior to the summer AAU season, had on the Wildcat's campus over the weekend. From all accounts, the visit went extremely well; so well, in fact, that there seems to be a real possibility the guard will choose to play with the Wildcats - who have never made the NCAA Tournament -- over spending his college years in West Lafayette.

The highlight of the trip, it seems, was meeting former Duke star Jon Scheyer, who is now a "special assistant" for the Blue Devils. New Northwestern coach Chris Collins was an assistant at Duke before taking the new job in Evanston.

"He's a guy I always watched at Duke," said McIntosh. "He and Coach Collins walked through some film of him at Duke. Coach Collins think he can use me in a similar way. He thinks we have similar skills."

Northwestern is recruiting McIntosh as a lead guard, the same role that Scheyer played at Duke. It's not quite a point guard and not quite a shooting guard, and it's a role unlike any other school has talked to him about. -- WildcatReport.com

While it could be argued that Scheyer was used at Duke in much the same way Robbie Hummel was used at Purdue -- often bringing the ball up the court and either running the offense or making a play for himself -- the point of this article isn't to comment on the recruitment of McIntosh. Rather, the issue here is whether an NCAA violation occurred during this visit.

As stated earlier, Scheyer is currently a special assistant at Duke. That's not one of the three permissible assistants on the bench but rather something closer to what Gene Keady is at St. John's; a role where he doesn't have the full abilities as a coach.

One of the abilities Scheyer doesn't have at Duke is the ability to recruit off campus. Because you're not going to take a random blogger's word that Scheyer violated the rules, lets consult the experts:

Mcintosh_nw_medium

Conveniently enough, those Tweets were posted the morning after the WildcatReport.com article appeared. Surely that's not about McIntosh, however, because another way to break the NCAA rules would be to comment on a specific unsigned student athlete. So again, this is probably pure coincidence that that was Tweeted so soon after this happened. @BoilerBylaws is Purdue's official Twitter account for compliance, but they cannot comment officially comment on any potential recruit that has not signed with Purdue yet.

Anyway, Scheyer is not a countable coach, so he isn't allowed to engage in off-campus contact with a prospect, such as McIntosh.

This likely isn't even that big of an issue, because the way I understand it Scheyer works for Duke, so the Blue Devils would be the one that committed the violation, not Northwestern. Further, the Blue Devils aren't even recruiting McIntosh, so it's not likely to result in much more than a minor violation. It is still a violation nonetheless though, because while the Blue Devils may not be specifically recruiting McIntosh, he is still a prospect and he was still contacted by a non-countable coach off-campus.

The reason I'm writing this article, however, is the trend that is seeming to appear out there. It wasn't too long ago that Tom Crean couldn't figure out how to read a calendar and illegally visited Gary Harris at his high school during a dead period. That didn't pay off for the Hoosiers, as Harris ended up at Michigan State.

But that wasn't the first recruit Painter was going after to have some shady dealings with another school. Another incident not long ago was Tom Izzo paying Branden Dawson's AAU coach to come coach at his camp, another secondary violation. This one, however, worked out as I'm sure Izzo would gladly give up coaching one game against a scrub school for a high-profile recruit any time.

Obviously that one incident isn't what landed Dawson at Michigan State, and I'm not trying to make it seem that way. Rather, its just growing frustrating that as a Purdue fan other schools seem to be comfortable shrugging off an occasional secondary violation to gain an advantage. I'm usually not one to advocate cheating, but at some point you have to say, "What the hell, everyone else is doing it..." and try to gain an advantage.

In the end, we'll see if this even works out for Northwestern, but it has to raise some eyebrows that Collins hasn't even coached his first game for the Wildcats and he's already resorted to bending the rules to try to land a recruit. And it's unlikely McIntosh and his family even knew this was a violation, but if they find out how will they react? Will they be honored Northwestern values him enough to do this to try to get him? Or will they be put off by it?

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