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Another Virginia Tech Defection

Josh Barr has already handled this in the Recruiting Insider, but it's interesting enough to mention in multiple places, I think.

Earlier in the month, Barr reported that Va. Tech basketball recruit Augustus Gilchrist requested a release from his letter-of-intent because of the shootings.

"I want to send my condolences to the families and the victims. It's a terrible situation that happened," Gilchrist said. "I'm not mentally prepared to go there for this [coming] year. I think the campus needs time to heal. The campus needs time to mourn the first year. I don't know if I'm prepared to do that next year."

Bloggers, such as The Big Lead, were not impressed. And Hokies Coach Seth Greenberg said he wouldn't be surprised if rival coaches were using the tragedy to recruit against Tech:

"For someone to stoop to that measure is sad," Greenberg said. "I think all of America is pulling for Virginia Tech to heal and to bring back their spirit. But is that a harsh reality of (recruiting)? Without a doubt."

And now tight end Brandon Barden is leaving Virginia Tech, with his mom citing the shootings as one of the reasons in a Nashville City Paper story:

Partly due to being shaken by the April shooting spree on the Virginia Tech campus, Hokies football player Brandon Barden is attempting to transfer to Vanderbilt, the player's mother said....

Barden lived at Ambler Johnston Hall, where two students were shot dead. Soon after, he decided to transfer to another school.

"I know that had an impact, and I know it bothered him, but I don't know if that's all of it," Becky Barden said.

And this being sports, people are now hinting that Barden is attempting to use the shootings as an excuse to transfer without having to sit out a year. I sort of thought there would be a window of like a year or so before nastiness like this would bubble up. Guess not.

Virginia Tech Tight End Might Transfer to VU (Nashville City Paper)
Hokies Recruit Withdraws (Daily Press)
Gilchrist Says He Won't Play For Hokies (WaPo)

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 23, 2007; 3:59 PM ET
Categories:  College Football  
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