When Devonte Graham signed his letter of intent with Appalachian State, it went largely unnoticed in the media. At the time, Graham wasn’t a highly heralded recruit and Appalachian State is not exactly what one might call a power conference.
Since then though, Graham went to prep school for an extra year before college and rose his profile dramatically. There have been reports that schools like Pitt, UConn and Creighton have had interest in the young player. While that may be true, Graham is legally binded to Appalachian State unless the school chooses to release him.
As reported by CBS, Appalachian State will not release Graham from his letter of intent. The media has grilled the school for refusing to release Graham from the letter. The argument is that they are holding Graham hostage because the school believes that they have been tampered with in the past.
While the letter of intent may not be a great concept, it is part of the NCAA regulations and Graham signed it. Just because he had a good year and raised his profile, Graham willfully chose to sign for Appalachian State knowing full well what that meant. Why do people feel the need to attack the school for choosing to keep a player they legally recruited.
A statement released by the school mirrored those thoughts.
With his family’s blessing and support, Devonte Graham willingly and excitedly chose to sign a National Letter of Intent with Appalachian State last November after having the opportunity to be recruited by 351 NCAA Division I programs.
Furthermore, if he thought that a more desirable situation might arise in the future, he also had the option to wait until the late signing period in April to make his college choice. Since he chose to sign a binding Letter of Intent with Appalachian State, we stopped recruiting a large number of student-athletes at his position in his class who would have been grateful for the opportunity to receive a full scholarship to attend and play basketball at our great institution.
If Graham does not want to play for Appalachian State, he will have to sit out the entire year in order to transfer to another school.