After the firing of Boston College head coach Al Skinner, Kevin Noreen was provided a release from his signed letter of intent and has begun making the recruiting rounds again.
At this late stage of the recruiting process, the conundrum is one of supply and demand—there are only a few big men left, and there are many schools, like Arkansas, looking for a big man to step in right away.
Evidence Docket No. 1: Kevin Noreen has already received 40 offers since being released from his letter of intent less than a month ago.
Kevin Noreen is a 6'10", 190 lb power forward whose prolific scoring against Minnesota Class 1A teams merited him the title of 2010's "Mr. Basketball" for Minnesota. His 4.0 GPA is also good news for an Arkansas team that is trying to right its sinking APR ship.
North Carolina has been eyeing Noreen lustfully and has put a lot of effort into researching him, as they scramble to fill a hole left by the anticipated transfer of David and Travis Wear.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that UNC coaches have called Noreen's high school coaches and also asked to see a copy of Noreen's release from Boston College.
But there are rules roadblocks for ACC schools courting Noreen. ACC Associate Commissioner for Compliance Shane Lyons told the Winston Salem Journal that "even if you get a full release from the national letter-of-intent, you still can't go within the conference to another member institution (and receive financial aid), our rule indicates that if you leave, you lose one year of eligibility."
However, school officials would still have the option of appealing to the ACC to have the rule waived.
I am not sure whether there is any precedent for waivers being granted under this scenario, but here is what the ACC bylaws say about it (Article 6, Section 6-3):
"Waivers of the ACC rule must demonstrate objective evidence that proves the student-athlete’s extraordinary personal hardship merits a waiver of the normal application of the policy."
Going off just the language of the ACC eligibility rules, it is doubtful that a coaching change would qualify as an "extraordinary personal hardship."
And if that is the case, Noreen's list of top schools will most likely grow a little smaller.