The rumor that had been swirling for months finally became true this past week as heralded Badger recruit Vander Blue rescinded his verbal commitment to play for the Badgers.
I don't want to go into the details of that terribly inaccurate Rob Schultz article, but I will say this... I completely understand where Vander is coming from. Having known that I wanted to go to UW-Madison since I could ever remember, I didn't give it a second guess after I was accepted. But for a stud basketball player without that allegiance who is being tempted by some of the most storied programs in the history of college basketball, you'd have second thoughts about the relatively quick decision you made a year earlier too. While I hope he ultimately decides that his original choice was the right one and recommits to the Badgers, I think Badger fans who take basketball for what it is, a game, agree that Vander should choose the school that best fits his desires, whatever those may be. After reading the transcript from his press conference announcing the decommitment, there's no doubt in my mind that he has a good head on his shoulders and a great family environment to help him make that decision.
I only wish those that disparaged him after that article came out would realize there is more to life than winning a few basketball games. When I first read the article, the first thought I had was that I hope he pulls it together academically so that he can take advantage of his great ability to earn a degree. Unfortunately, a small number of people on the various message boards and the Badgerbeat comment section (mostly them) took this as an opportunity to verbally abuse Blue and/or the Badger program under cover of internet anonymity. This is the ugly side of sports that I just detest and wish was not part of the equation. Hopefully the positive comments that far outweighed the negative ones will help Vander know that he is indeed wanted at the University of Wisconsin and will be accepted with open arms should he decide to recommit. But until then, there is no joy in Madville.