Graham Couch of the Kalamazoo Gazette interviewed Steve Hawkins about Laval Jordan’s short stay at Western Michigan and quick departure to Michigan. Hawkins is not happy an rips off a number of scathing quotes:
“Tampering — that’s what this is,” Hawkins said. “It’s the same thing if you come in on a verbal commitment (made by a recruit).
“This isn’t something I plan on staying real quiet about. It think it’s just wrong. He’d been on campus (for about a week). We introduced him to the players.”
Hawkins says he doesn’t blame Jordan, adding that he “knew it’d be tough for LaVall to turn down a $50,000 raise.”
“I think highly of him, obviously highly enough to hire him,” Hawkins said. “I think he’s a rising star in our profession.”
What bothers Hawkins is the breach, as he sees it, of an unwritten code between coaches — committed, no less, by the man who sits as chairman of the men’s basketball ethics committee.
“I don’t feel good about the way it was handled by the University of Michigan,” Hawkins said. “Is it legal? Yes. Did it cross an ethical line? Yes, I think so. And I’m not happy about it.”
More quotes in the full article. I can’t say I blame Hawkins for being upset and it sucks that he has to hire another assistant but it’s Western Michigan versus Michigan. I would imagine this kind of “plucking” happens quite often and you have to chalk it up to a better opportunity. As Hawkins said, we are talking about a $50k raise — there’s a food chain here. Also, let’s not forget that Michigan did just lose a coach 24 hours earlier to a conference rival… I didn’t see any statements from Beilein, regardless of what he might have been feeling.