WHAT I DID FOR SUMMER VACATION, by the Creighton Bluejays
1. Joined the Big East
2. Saw my best player became a walk-on
And that’s just this week.
On Monday, Creighton officially began life as a member of the new-look, basketball-first Big East. Which was expected.
But Tuesday’s news wasn’t.
Senior wing guard Grant Gibbs, who’d begun his collegiate career at Gonzaga in 2009, was given a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. The announcement came to school officials via a voicemail, which was then replayed for Gibbs’ pleasure. The reaction was filmed by a Jays staffer and posted on YouTube today:
But here’s where things get really interesting. Creighton was full up on its 13-scholarship limit and didn’t expect to have Gibbs — a 6-foot-5 quintuple threat who’d averaged 8.5 points per game last season while battling knee problems — as part of the count.
Which is where Dougie Fresh steps in.
Creighton’s star forward, Doug McDermott, has agreed to be off of scholarship for his senior season and play as a walk-on in 2013-14, according to a Jays official.
That means the McDermotts could be on the hook for between $30,000-40,000 this winter as far as Dougie’s tuition. And it’s not as if they can’t afford it: Greg McDermott, Doug’s coach and dad, is entering Year No. 4 of a reported 10-year deal in Omaha that’s believed to pay roughly $1 million per season.
But it also means that one of the best players in the country — Doug McDermott is competing with Team USA at the World University Games July 7-16 — will head into the fall while having to pay his own way to play. Which also means the preseason first-team All-American lists are going to feature something rare:
A walk-on. And a senior walk-on, at that.
You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at email@example.com