According to James Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press, Western Michigan head basketball coach Steve Hawkins has accused his counterpart at the University of Michigan, John Beilein, of "tampering" during the hiring of LaVall Jordan, an assistant coach. Jordan, a former coach at the University of Iowa, had originally agreed to coach at Western Michigan before changing course and joining the Wolverines staff.
"Tampering - that's what this is," Hawkins told the Gazette. "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 did, however, admit that the situation was merely unethical rather than illegal to the Kalamazoo Gazette.
"I don't feel good about the way it was handled by the University of
Michigan," Hawkins told the Gazette. "Is it legal? Yes. Did it cross an ethical line? Yes, I think so. And I'm not happy about it."
Angelique S. Chengelis of the Detroit News writes that Beilein was surprised to hear of the charge.
"I thought we were on the same page," Beilein said. "Obviously, we have an unfortunate misunderstanding. After the call to Steve, I stepped away to allow LaVall and coach Hawkins to discuss his future. LaVall contacted me after he reached an understanding with coach Hawkins."
In a brief statement to the Detroit News, Jordan sounds happy as a clam.
"Returning to my home state, being closer to my family and working for Michigan is a tremendous honor," Jordan said in a statement.
Tampering is not a word that is thrown around lightly but, at this point, Hawkins' statement may simply amount to a case of extremely sour grapes.
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