COLUMBIA — Aaron Scales, a 6-foot-9-inch power forward who verbally committed to Missouri in July, announced this morning that he will be opting out of that verbal commitment.
Scales, who graduated from High Point Christian Academy in High Point, N.C., in 2011, has been training with coach John Jordan at the American Basketball Institute in Charlotte, N.C.
A news release sent out by Jordan on Monday cited the uncertain Frank Haith situation as a concern for Scales and his family. Haith was implicated in a Yahoo Sports report of numerous NCAA violations at the University of Miami. The NCAA is investigating and has yet to rule.
"With the NCAA yet to rule on Coach Haith's role in events that allegedly took place while he was head coach at Miami, we just could not gamble Aaron's future on what the NCAA and/or Missouri might or might not do," Jordan said in the news release.
Jordan said that his only knowledge of the investigation is that "stuff we've read."
"I've sent 26 kids to division 1 schools, I'm pretty well-connected in these kinds of things," Jordan said.
"This isn't about not liking Coach Haith. We like Coach Haith a lot, we just don't want Aaron to be stuck in a situation where another coach might have to be brought in."
Scales has now opened his recruitment back up, and Jordan said he already received about "eight calls this morning."
Scales could be valuable to Missouri, who will lose forwards Ricardo Ratliffe and Steve Moore at the end of the season. Scales is graded as a two-star recruit on ESPN's basketball recruiting page. Two other power forwards who have verbally committed to Missouri — Ryan Rosburg and Stefan Jankovic — are graded as three-star recruits.
Chad Moller, Missouri athletics media director, said that nobody in the program can discuss recruits until they have signed a national letter of intent per NCAA rules.
Missouri assistant coach Tim Fuller said that losing recruits because of the investigation has not been something the coaching staff is concerned about. He points out that seven players have already verbally committed to sign with Missouri.
Still, nobody is ruling out the possibility of Scales ending up at Missouri.
"If Coach Haith is cleared and Missouri still wants Aaron in the late period, don't be surprised to see him in Columbia after all," Jordan said in the release.
Jordan is a longtime coach at the professional and college level. He served under former Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors head coach Eric Musselman in the early 1990s.
The American Basketball Institute, which he started, is in its first year of operation. There are already players from five countries and six states, Jordan said.