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The Real Reason BOTH Dior Johnson AND Zion Cruz Left Oak Hill Academy

I have faith in Dior Johnson. I believe he’s coming to Syracuse & big things will be happening when he gets here. Now, you may want to take my statement with a grain of salt. I got Bazleyed (like we all did), but my issues run much deeper. In fact, I still believe in the Great Pumpkin. Soo…just sayin’. Rather than sit in the pumpkin patch with me, let’s intelligently speculate a little bit.

This much we do know. There is clearly more to the story than is being reported – regarding Johnson leaving Oak Hill. Seeing Cruz leave also is our first clue that there is much more going on here. Double departures of star players who wanted to play together aren’t caused because one of them had bad grades. So I’m not buying that poor grades are the reason BOTH players left.

Could it just be crazy circumstances related to the pandemic?? One thing this year has taught us is that ANYTHING can happen. I suppose the pandemic is a wild card event & it produces wild-card circumstances. Let’s put that in the pumkin-patch for a moment though because remember, I suggested we should intelligently speculate – didn’t I?!

Was there more to the situation – like a relationship gone haywire? Two big fish in a small pond can easily turn out poorly – especially if they don’t share the frogs. Well, neither player is talking— which could be because of their emotions & not wanting to reveal they had some sort of relationship ending event. In fact, Dior seems to have potentially had a major temper tantrum that continues to burn, as evidenced by him withdrawing & refusing to comment – then on to him spurning offers from other respected HS programs. This idea seems to be far fetched though. The two players like each other. So I’m ruling this one out.

Now, we are talking about high school sophomores here. SOMETHING went drastically wrong with their whole, "lets play together" plan. We, as savvy adults, get this. At some point, the story will break. Speculation currently is that Johnson’s grades are not in order. Is that just the tip of the iceberg regarding the messy Oak-Hill double departure? More than likely, the answer is yes.

Dior has had some time to get his head straight after whatever really happened. If grades are also involved in this issue, then he’ll have to handle his business. Now let’s consider his injury for a moment. Stress fractures are considered potentially serious. If they aren’t taken care of properly, a player can be at risk for recurring fractures. The pain can be indredible – even moving to other areas like your spine or legs. But is this the reason BOTH players left? Again, it doesn’t add up.

What if Both Cruz AND Johnson somehow each made Oak Hill’s Academically Ineligible list? As in, if his grades didn’t improve, his family would be hit with a big tuition bill but in the meantime – fellas, you can’t actually suit up until you read As I Lay Dying (Lord, I HATED that novel). I doubt this issue would strike for both players, coming from completely different & un-related academic backgrounds. In fact, if these issues did exist, I doubt BOTH players would have transferred in to begin with. So, we can rule bad grades as the main reason for this Double-Departure out. Can’t we now? Well, let’s peel back the onion a bit here – as again, we promised to speculate intelligently, like proud alumni should!

It’s important to note that Prep Schools do not give out scholarship or financial aid based on athletics, but soley based on NEED. A player can be recruited by a coach but ultimately the Admissions department and Director of Finacial Aid are the ones who make the final decision on which students receive financial aid, and how much. Coaches or teams do not have their own budget to hand out scholarship money like a DI college. The Admissions department will ask a coach who their #1 recruit is or who they want the most financial help with, but that is about it. Finacial Aid is given out to families that need it the most. Please note that coaches do not decide who gets accepted into the school either. That is all up to admissions and how strong of a well rounded candidate the athlete is. It doesn’t appear that a lack of tuition assistance was the issue because it’s unlikely that two incoming players would be simultaneously affected by this same issue. Which begs the next logical question:

Did Johnson and or Cruz get suspended or…were they in the process of being kicked out? Hard to say, but I do know this: The rules involving a student-athlete getting kicked out depends on the school and on the action. Some schools are one strike and you are gone. Some are two strikes. Some schools will give students several chances depending on the incident. It all depends on which school you are referring to and what the student did wrong. For example, Cheating. Many schools have a zero tolerance policy with this, other do not. I have personally seen students hand in other kids work and get suspended while at another school they were immediately expelled. Each school has their own policy. The one main rule I have seen which is immediately expulsion in every school is Open Flame inside a dorm or building.

Is there a chance Johnson & Cruz were caught smoking weed in their dorm? THAT’s an angle NOBODY is even considering – but it certainly this could account for TWO student athlete’s mysteriously bailing out. Smoking in your room, or at a small party where witnesses were present — well. That would do it. This would account for two players who wanted to play together, one of them being injured, BOTH electing to transfer out.

Is there a chance I like to smoke weed & sit in the pumpkin patch on Halloween night. Nope. None. Don’t care for the stuff but how do I know this. Hmmmm. I may have tried it a few times back in college, like most kids do.

I do drink pumpkin ale on Halloween though. But i’m already out of the stuff & I couldn’t find any last time out shopping dammit.

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