In what could have been precedent setting news, Daniel Smith, a DB from Boise, ID has settled with the University of Hawaii after Hawaii welched on its verbal offer to him on Signing Day.
Smith, a defensive back from Boise, Idaho, said he committed to the Warriors, who offered him a scholarship, told him to refuse other offers and then reneged on their promise, leaving him without a scholarship on national letter of intent day in 2008.
A lawsuit was filed soon after and the parties reached a settlement agreement in 2010, nearly 2 1⁄2 years after the case began, in which UH paid Smith $41,500 "in order to avoid further controversy and the time, expense, risks and costs inherent in litigation," according to documents released by the school under the state's open records law. According to the settlement, "this agreement shall not be construed as an admission of liability."
This is potentially BIG news for oversigning lovers and haters everywhere. Just about everyone can agree something's wrong when a prospective LSU defensive tackle, Elliot Porter, had his LOI revoked in August after enrolling in school. This didn't even go that far. Verbal commitments are often thought of as not being binding to anyone (no matter how badly some people may want them to be), but Hawaii decided to settle in a case where there wasn't even a paper trail yet! What happens if Elliot Porter decides to go to court? This guy thinks it would have set a precedent:
The case had drawn some national attention because of the possibility it might have set a precedent in the area of athletic scholarship offers had it gone to trial and Smith prevailed. Tim Davis, a law professor at Wake Forest University who specializes in sports issues and was a witness in the case, said, "I think it would have set an important precedent. To my knowledge it would have been the first one (to have gone to trial)."
HT: Dr Saturday