_12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 15, 1999
Recker latest to bolt
from Indiana hoops
Ditka sees Williams'
potential, do Browns?
AUBURN, Ind. (AP) - Luke
decker, Indiana's leading scorer last
season, said today he would transfer to
another college because he was not sat-
isfied with his development as a play-
The 6-foot-6 sophomore swingman
is the third Hoosiers starter to leave in
'the past two years.
"This is the toughest decision I have
ever made," Recker said in a faxed
statement. "I love the state of Indiana,
'and playing for IU was always my life-
Recker had given coach Bob Knight
one of his earliest commitments, say-
ng even before his junior year at
DeKalb High School that he would
%lay for the Hoosiers. He started 30 of
3 games and averaged 12.8 points a
game as a freshman, then started 33 of
34 games last season, averaging 16.1
points a game.
The former Indiana high school Mr.
B'asketball, who played both guard and
forward for the Hoosiers, said he has
not decided where he will transfer. He
Will have to sit out one season and then
have two years of eligibility remaining.
"It is not easy to leave my friends,
iny family and my home state," Recker
said. "I love to play basketball, and the
thought of sitting out a year kills me.'
Guard Neil Reed left Indiana after
thi 1997 season, accusing Knight of
physical and verbal abuse, and later
enrolled at Southern Mississippi,
where his father is an assistant coach.
In December 1997, center Jason
Collier quit the team, saying he no
longer could take Knight's constant
criticism, and enrolled at Georgia Tech,
where his father played in the 1970s.
Recker, however, indicated his deci-
sion was not because of Knight.
"I appreciate the opportunity given
to me by coach Knight;" he said.
"However, I have not been satisfied
with my development as a player. I
blame no one but myself for this and
believe my development will best be
served in another program."
Rumors that Recker was considering
a transfer began to pick up during a
slump in his play in January. He was
held to a single point in a loss to
Michigan State and didn't start the next
game, when he managed only seven
points off the bench in an overtime loss
at Minnesota. Knight didn't say why
Recker did not start, although earlier in
the Big Ten season he benched Recker
because of his defensive lapses.
Knight was out of town on a fishing
trip and could not be reached for com-
ment. Team spokesman Gregg Elkin
said he had no indication Recker was
planning to leave.
"There are rumors every year about
somebody," Elkin said. "He had been
going through our off-season condi-
tioning program, and if you're going to
transfer, why do that?"
Indiana forward Luke Recker becomes the third starter in two years to transfer
from coach Bobby Knight's Hoosiers. Recker has yet to announce what school he
will transfer to.
The Los Angeles Times
SAN DIEGO - The scrutiny has
You take a generation of stopwatch-
toting football types educated in the
'50s, and they want to know how that
diamond stud is planted into Ricky
Williams' nose and if their organization
will be liable for it should some oppos-
ing linebacker knock the snot out of
And, anyway, just how does that thing
stay in there?
So they gather from all parts of the
country to watch Ricky Williams, the
Texas running back with the perpetual
bad hair day, his dreadlocks respectful-
ly pulled back in a pigtail, and, by
George Halas, if he's going to play for
any of these guys, he'911 have to cut
They all know this is the curious
upstart who hired Master P to be his
agent, and is he that Prince guy who
keeps changing his name, or what?
They know Master P is no Leigh
Steinberg, that's for sure, and that's
another red flag, like the 20 pounds
Williams put on after the season.
The diamond earring in the left ear,
of course, is almost required gear now
in NFL locker rooms, and it's under-
stood by everyone that when he gets his
signing bonus, he'll be able to decorate
the right side too.
But about this ring thing. This tongue
thing. Stuck right through the middle of
the tongue. You surround Ricky
Williams with more than 100 NFL
codgers, and if he's got that tongue
thing in there, they're all leaving asking
the authorities for'his rap sheet.
The thing is, though, you don't have
to stick your tongue out at Mike Ditka
- he knows a tough guy when he sees
Ditka knows a football player. Sure,
he's never met a quarterback, but tough,
gritty, explosive football players, that's
his forte. And Ditka wants this guy
Williams, while the rest of the NFL isn't
They'd like to see him run around
orange cones like a mouse trapped in a
maze. They'd like him to do the broad
jump, run 40-yard dashes, as if any
NFL team is going to let Carl Lewis set
himself in the blocks, wait until he's
ready to go and then take off unimped-
ed. They'd like to see something more
out of Ricky Williams.
This is no generation gap - this is
simply idiotic. Ricky Williams has
already run for more yards than anyone
in college, flashed the speed to race past
. intimidated defenders and shown th
first-class moves to don the jers v
football great Doak Walker for a
game after Walker's skiing accident an
Can everyone else in the NFL.b
wrong and Ditka right? That's scarie
than any tongue ring, rapper agent o
"We're willing to trade the whol
orchard for one apple tree," Ditka 'sai
the other day on TV, "because this is
pretty good apple tree."
Ditka and the New Orleans te
have made it known they will &
almost anything, including bread pud-
ding for a year at the Commander'
Palace, for the opportunity to empld
Williams in their backfield. And if yo
employed the quarterbacks the Saint
now have, you'd want to hand the bal
off as quickly as they would.
But there's more to it than that. Ditke
sees Williams as the best player ,
Saturdays NFL draft, while evei
else has gone draft stupid.
And so the Saints have offered thei
entire draft for the opportunity to move
from the 12th position in Round l for-
ward to pick Williams. They have als
offered choices from next year's draft
and almost anybody off their present
Unfortunately, it's probably going
take more than Billy Joe Tolliver to
court the Cleveland Browns' for,
although the Browns, the newestUr
on the block, look lost.
They have had the No. 1 pick since
last year when they were awarded dan
expansion team,, and they still don't
know whom they are going to take.
They liked Kentucky quarterback- i
Couch, but then they took notice of
Oregon quarterback Akili Smith. The
locals made mention of Jim BroW
running back who dominated forie
Browns, and so they thought that was
an interesting piece of information and
took a gander at Williams.
Back to Couch. And then Smith.
They brought in Williams for a chat
after going across the country to work
him out. Back to Couch.
"It will go right into Saturday morn-
ing until minutes before the draft
opens," said Chris Palmer, coach ofthe
Here's a historical footnote to inde
in Cleveland Brown lore as they begin
again in the NFL: They could have bad
But they' will probably go for the
passer. What do you think of that, Ryan
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