Just two days after the firing of head coach Mark Macon, the Binghamton University men’s basketball program felt the first of the decision’s effects.
On Wednesday, Haiishen McIntyre, Harrisburg High School star guard and one of Binghamton’s top potential recruits for the 2012-13 season, cancelled a press conference announcing his decision to sign his letter of intent with the University.
Harrisburg athletic director Kirk Smallwood said the decision had everything to do with Macon’s dismissal.
“You want to play for the guy who recruited you,” Smallwood said. “If you sign and then [they] bring in a new guy that you don’t know and he has a new style, I mean that’s not a good situation.”
Binghamton athletic director Patrick Elliott told Pipe Dream in an email that NCAA regulations prohibit the University’s athletic department from commenting on “any prospective student-athlete, prior to them signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI).”
Smallwood said that McIntyre will still consider playing at Binghamton, but much of his decision will have to do with who is chosen as Macon’s replacement. In the meantime, Smallwood said, the 6-foot-2-inch standout has begun to look at other schools.
“He has to,” Smallwood said. “He wants to go to school, he wants to play, so that’s where we are.”
According to Smallwood, however, McIntyre has already sent Binghamton his letter of intent and is now waiting to hear from the University’s athletic department.
“I know he signed his letter of intent and sent it in. What Binghamton does, I don’t know the logistics on their end,” he said.
But at the April 30 press conference announcing Macon’s dismissal, Elliott said that while several prospective student-athletes have shown interest, the University had not yet received any signed National Letters of Intent.
David Eagan, Binghamton’s associate director of athletics for compliance, said that the University — which in accordance with NCAA guidelines initiates the signing process — never sent McIntyre an NLI, and he therefore could not have sent one back.
“I would know first-hand if a letter went out and we definitely did not draft a letter for [McIntyre],” Eagan said.
McIntyre would have been the most prized recruit of the Macon era. He set the Harrisburg single-season records in scoring average (24.2 points per game) and points scored (634), finishing his career with 1,200 total points, sixth on Harrisburg’s all-time scoring list. The senior was named District III Most Outstanding Player and earned first team all-state. His season came to an early end last year after injuring his right knee.
The NCAA spring deadline for signing a National Letter of Intent is May 16.