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Thursday, January 31, 2013
No recruiting ban for top USC signee

By Dave Telep

When the USC Trojans fired basketball coach Kevin O’Neill on Jan. 14, the move left USC's five Class of 2013 signees tied to a school without the head coach who recruited them there.

At least one of the signees has taken measures to get out of his national letter of intent.

ESPN 100 guard Kendal Yancy-Harris (Richardson, Texas/Berkner) has found common ground with the Trojans and received a conditional release from USC, according to his uncle.

Kendal Harris
ESPN 100 point guard and Texas native Kendal Harris is the top recruit signed to USC in the Class of 2013.
“There’s no recruiting ban on Kendal,” Yancy-Harris’ uncle, Cardell Smith, told ESPN. “The athletic director, Pat Haden, said he was open to take visits and talk to whatever schools want to recruit him.

“(Initially) they wanted him to wait until they hired a new head coach," Smith added. "Pat said that would be the end of February. He asked Kendal to wait until then to make a final decision.”

What USC did for Yancy-Harris is the next-best thing a recruit can ask for without being granted an unconditional release. The Trojans lifted the recruiting ban on the nation’s No. 77 overall senior.

In layman’s terms, it means schools are free to contact and evaluate him as if he’s unsigned, but the difference is that Yancy-Harris remains a USC signee for the time being. Haden asked him to evaluate the new coach but will release him fully if he ultimately decides not to attend USC.

In my opinion, this is an extremely equitable agreement for both parties. Yancy-Harris now has the ability to seek other options and is no longer beholden to USC, the program that pulled the plug on the coach he committed to. Instead of USC retaining all the authority with the recruit, the school has now empowered him to pursue the best decision he can make for his future, independent of the Trojans' final decision. In return, all USC asks for is a chance to make a pitch.

Yancy-Harris, who essentially becomes the No. 2 available point guard in the 2013 class behind Philly’s Rysheed Jordan with this move, has four official visits remaining and will have plenty of suitors.

Creighton, a finalist from Yancy-Harris' first go-round with the recruiting process, is interested and requested a release from USC. UConn, Texas, Texas A&M, Auburn, Virginia, San Diego State, Arizona State, Texas Tech and TCU have also requested to contact him.

“He’s just waiting to see who (USC hires) as a head coach, but his recruiting is wide open,” Smith said.

Yancy-Harris is the brother of former Miami Heat guard Terrel Harris.