May 5, 2009
Word Of God's John Wall dunks on an ally-oop against St. Raymonds during the third day of the GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational Tournament at Broughton High School Monday, December 29, 2008. Photo by Jeffrey A. Camarati
The news that John Wall was charged with breaking and entering came as a surprise to anyone in the media who has been following his recruitment.
There are plenty of allegations, judgments and generalizations that have been thrown around since WRAL broke the story this morning, but the majority of these people know nothing about Wall and his situation.
Wall is not a bad person. This single incident - a very minor one, I might add - is not reflective of how he has conducted himself in the past.
Dave Telep, the national director of recruiting for Scout.com, joined Tim Hall on 99.9 FM The Fan this afternoon for "The Sports Lunch," and Telep, who has covered Wall for more than three years now, said the charge was out of character.
"I wouldn't jump to conclusions," said Telep. "It's a misdemeanor. It could be nothing more than a mistake."
That's likely what it was - a mistake. And I don't think it's anything to get too excited about.
According to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, there were 17,834 charges for breaking and entering statewide in 2007. How many of those did you hear about? Probably not may.
The only reason we are hearing about this case is because Wall is a major prospect.
A simple misdemeanor - which he has not been convicted of, by the way - will not keep him out of college. And why should it? Would a misdemeanor keep a normal student out of college?
Let's review the facts here. Assuming the charges are correct, Wall entered an abandoned house, did not force his way in, and didn't take anything from the residence. The report doesn't state anything about drugs, alcohol, weapons, or any other illegal activity - so what?
I'm not alone in my beliefs. Telep said on The Fan that he had spoken to two college coaches of schools that are actively recruiting Wall, and that they didn't believe it would be an issue either.
Lastly, I've been reading message boards and comments today that are comparing Wall's charge to the recent arrest of a North Carolina football signee, Angelo Hadley.
I understand fans will be fans, and most of these comments are just meant to give their Duke friends a hard time, however there is no comparison there.
Hadley has been arrested twice in the last month, and he has been charged with two felony counts of lewd or lascivious battery, grand theft third degree, grand theft firearm, and armed burglary of a dwelling.
I'd say those are much more serious issues than a simple misdemeanor charge.
And by the way, I know "UNC isn't recruiting Wall," but let's be honest - Roy Williams called Wall, the nation's top point guard, from the Final Four. I know there is no official offer - at least not one we know of - but come on, how smart do you have to be to realize that there is interest there?
Back to the point, though - this situation, as it stands now, will not negatively impact Wall's recruiting process. In fact, I think this will blow over pretty quick.
He made a mistake, I'm sure he knows it, let's hope he learns from it, and now let's move on.