August 12, 2008

 gPrep Q&A With Kara Elofson & Her Dad Rod Elofson

In Their Own Words


Much has been said about the Ohio University scholarship controversy involving Hopkins’ incoming senior Kara Elofson. After verballing with the Bobcats in January, the Bobcats notified Elofson’s father this month that the scholarship offer was being revoked, despite an earlier promise that the full scholarship would be honored, regardless of a change in coaching staff. The Bobcat’s Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations told gPrep that Head Coach Semeka Randall could not comment on any specific recruit unless the player signed a national letter of intent, per NCAA rules. gPrep first broke the story August 1st, the day Rod Elofson learned about the Bobcats’ change of plans.  gPrep readers have emailed their thoughts and participated in two website polls. Now, Kara and her father tell what happened in their own words.
gPrep: When and what did the Ohio coaching staff say?

Mr. Elofson: “I will need to respond to the following because the Ohio coaching staff has still not spoken to Kara since they choose to take her scholarship offer away. On August 1st, Coach Randall called me to say they did not want Kara at Ohio.”

gPrep: Did she say why the scholarship was being revoked?

Mr. Elofson: “They did not feel she (Kara) could play up to their level.  She (Coach Randall) said you would not want her (Kara) to sit on the bench for four years, would you?”

gPrep: Did you have any prior heads up  that Kara’s status had changed?

Mr. Elofson: “No. In June while in Ohio visiting our older daughter, I called Coach Randall to see if she would have time, so I could drive to Athens to meet her. This meeting took place the 17th or 18th of June and nothing was said about any change. I also met 3 of her assistants and asked if any of them had watched Kara play. The answer was no, so I asked if they were going to be in Chicago and that was a yes. We did see an assistant in Chicago but did not see Coach Randall even though we were told she was in town. “

gPrep: When was the last time you spoke to the coaching staff prior to the scholarship being revoked?

Mr. Elofson: “Kara spoke with Coach Randall by phone in late June. It was just a general conversation. How are you doing and things like that. I said hello to Coach Hewitt in Bloomington in late July.”

gPrep: Had you been told Kara’s scholarship was safe… despite an apparent coaching change?

Mr. Elofson: “Yes.”

gPrep: By whom?

Mr. Elofson: “Coach Sylvia Crawley (outgoing Ohio University women’s head coach) and Coach Semeka Randall.”(new Ohio University women’s head coach)

gPrep: Did your parents talk to the university itself?

Mr. Elofson
: “No.”

gPrep: Kara, what was your response?

Kara: “I was shocked and in disbelief that the coached pulled my scholarship, that I was told would be mine unless I chose otherwise. I couldn't believe that she couldn't just tell me instead of my parents.”

gPrep: Any future actions planned?

Kara: “Now I’m just keeping all my options open and seeing where (a good place) I can go. “

gPrep: What have you learned?

Kara: “I have learned that no matter what, colleges and coaches can't be 100% trusted until things happen.”

gPrep: In hindsight, what would you have done differently?

Kara: “In hindsight, there's nothing that I really could have done because the former coaches told me to tell colleges that I had verballed so there was nothing that I would do different.”

gPrep: Any regrets?

Kara: “No. I have none. I didn't know it was going to happen like this, but I have nothing to regret.”

gPrep: Will what happened affect how or if you verbal in the future with colleges and universities?

Kara: “When I verbal in the future I will trust what the coaches are saying but in the back of my mind I will know and tell myself that until it happens I can’t fully believe everything.”

gPrep: Do you think the college recruiting system is flawed?

Kara: “Yes. I think it is flawed. If you have been given a scholarship and said that the coaches are going to stay by that, then they should.”

gPrep: What advice would you give other ballers in your position?

Kara: “Don't get down about it. Stay positive at all times and just trust that something better will come your way.”

gPrep: What are your plans to move forward?  Any new college or university prospects?

Kara: “My plans are to keep all of my options open, look at all the options that come to me and pick the best college for me.”

gPrep: Have you received any calls, letters or emails from other colleges?

Kara: “Yes I have had a few calls from colleges and a few letters.”


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