BY DON HOHLER
Another college coach leaves for greener pastures and another area recruit uses his option to go elsewhere.
Plymouth’s All-Ohio basketball player, Brook Turson was signed, sealed and delivered to Robert Morris outside of Pittsburgh until coach Mike Rice, along with an assistant on that staff, made the decision to take positions at Rutgers.
“When Brook heard this, he asked out of his national letter of intent and it was granted,” said his father, Brad Turson during the state track and field championships at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus. He was there watching Brook’s run as a member of the school’s 1600-meter relay team.
“Even more current on this is the fact that Brook committed to Central Michigan on Thursday,” Turson said. “Central was always his second choice. He was very fortunate that a recruit opening remained there.”
Turson explained that his son chose Robert Morris because of the school’s recent success and the relationship he built with Jimmy Martelli, his recruiter.
But, when Martelli left for Rutgers and Brook Turson’s AAU teammate, Brad Piehl from New Knoxville, Ohio transferred from Robert Morris to Findlay University, it was time to seek other opportunities.
“The reasons just were not there any more,” Brad Turson said.
Brook Turson is also a close personal friend of Willard alum Jimmy Langhurst, who is at Robert Morris.
“Jimmy talked to Brook and advised him to make sure he was comfortable with his decision,” Brad Turson said. “And with a Robert Morris assistant taking the head job and players like Piehl leaving, there might be some question Robert Morris will have the success in the coming years it has had in the past.
“Keith Noftz, an assistant at Central Michigan and the brother of Greg who was my assistant at Plymouth at one time, stayed in contact with me this past season and when Brook re-contacted them, Keith said he still wanted him,” Turson added.
Central Michigan has a great recruiting class coming in, one that ranks in the top 25 in the country. It includes the son of head coach Ernie Ziegler, a Top 50 player.
“Things happen for a reason and that’s why Brook ended up there,” Turson said. “I certainly wanted to play for Coach Rice at Robert Morris. But, I sure could not blame him for accepting a position at Rutgers that will pay him as I understand $3.5-million over six years.
“On top of that, he takes with him the assistant coach that recruited me. I knew the assistant that got the head job but not nearly as well. Not being certain, I decided to opt out,’’ he added.
Brook Turson quickly contacted Central Michigan and that school still wanted him. He reports Aug. 24.
CMU has road games this winter in Hawaii, at LSU and in Las Vegas over the holidays. The Chippewas will be playing in an arena that is presently being remodeled.