Oh, the perils of misspelling.
Back when North Carolina signee P.J. Hairston had yet to decide on his college future, he, like so many other highly touted recruits, fielded letters and offers from schools big, small and everywhere in between. He considered said schools. He narrowed those considerations down. Eventually, Hairston had a manageable list: Florida, Georgetown, Wake Forest, UNC and, yes, Duke.
So how did he make his call? What combination of factors led to his decision? Hairston liked North Carolina's proximity to his hometown of Greensboro, N.C., and Roy Williams' uptempo, open-floor style, among other things. But it certainly didn't help that Duke -- get this -- misspelled Hairston's name more than once on recruiting letters it sent to the prospect's home.
“The thing about Duke was, every time they sent me a letter, they wouldn’t spell my name right,” Hairston said. “They would have ‘T.J. Harrison’ or something like that. And I’m like, ‘OK. How can I go here? You can’t even spell my name right.’ It’s only two letters and HAIR and STON. I’m trying to figure out how that’s so hard.”
We all are, P.J. We all are.
Hairston made clear that wasn't the only reason the No. 3-ranked shooting guard in the class of 2011 decided to take his talents to the Tar Heels. He also said he didn't see himself playing in Duke's "mechanical" style. But, no, I'm sure seeing his named misspelled in recruiting materials more than once wasn't exactly encouraging, either. It's hard to imagine this happening at a place like Duke -- which would seem to be a well-oiled recruiting machine these days -- but apparently that's not always the case.
In other words, recruiters, take note: Bad spelling doesn't just devalue otherwise solid blog posts in the eyes of angry commenters ready to pounce on your every typo'd word. It also derails high-level recruitments.