There are no newspaper articles about the coaches who recruit a star, only to see them gain 10 lbs, straddle the line of academic eligibility lowering the team GPA, taking every chance to miss practice and milk the training room, never hit their times in training, often fail to complete workouts, yet the coach keeps them on scholarhip trying everything to motivate them to performance and attitude change.
Is this what is expected? Once you are given a scholarship out of HS, you just have to meet the barest of minimums and the scholarship is "guaranteed?"
How long does that coach keep their job for being "ethical" yet not producing? Or being "ethical" yet getting the reputation in state for being the place "where stars go to die." Because the parents and HS coaches surely aren't blaming the kid, they will blame the college coach.
I'm not saying this is what happened at Tennessee. I'm not saying the way UT handled is it right. I am saying that there is no "black and white clear cut single answer."
In this case the coach made a decision she didn't want some kids. If she felt they were going to be real STARS she wouldn't have cut them. She felt they were overscholarshipped by the previous administration.
She is honoring the scholarship for the year, which is mandated by the NCAA, but she is making it clear she would like them to leave at semester by not allowing them to practice with the team or use athletic facilities and telling them if they do stay for the year they will not compete.
The other alternative was what? Tell the kid in the first 2 weeks that given all that she has seen of them and knowing their scholarship, in her professional expert opinion they are going to have a hard time earning that level of scholarship for future years. She could encourage them to look for and would help them find a new place to go at semester, or they can compete and use a year of eligiblity and they will be having the same discussion at the end of the year. That might have been the nicest way to do it. But the kid likely still would have called home crying, the parents and club coaches would have been pissed, but likely no newspaper articles would have been generated.
Or it could happen like it usually happens. The coach just waits until the conference meet where the kid scores well below the scholarship, and then they bring them in at the end of the year and say, we are reducing or cancelling your aid because you failed to meet performance expectations. Informs them of their right to appeal, then goes to the appeal and shows data that says that an 80% scholarship means you must be a top 3 performer in the conference or else the team can't mathmatically win a confernce championship. Just like an academic award, you can study all you want and be great to the professors, but if you don't maintain a certain GPA the academic scholarship is cut or removed. The appeal is denied, and the athlete is crying, the parents and HS coaches are pissed and now it is June and the options for transfer are FAR FEWER than they are in October when you have an entire year to prepare.
lots of variables, but I understand the outcry.