Archie Goodwin is a highly touted recruit. He chose to play basketball at Kentucky. In and of itself, this is neither unusual nor controversial.
Arkansas fans might not agree. After all, Goodwin is the best recruit from his home state of Arkansas. Razorback basketball fans are entering a new era: Mike Anderson is back, a highly touted class is arriving this fall, and Nolan Richardson's old "40 Minutes of Hell" system is about to wake up the mid-90s echoes once more. (At least, that's the plan.) At the time of his commitment, ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep asked Goodwin what he would say to disappointed fans in his own neck of the woods. To Goodwin, picking UK was nothing more than good business:
"That's one thing that is the toughest," Goodwin said Wednesday. "Growing up here and with so many expectations to go there, it's been a lot of pressure. Arkansas is a great school and I love Coach [Mike] Anderson and his staff. I love my state, but it's a business decision and this is best for my career and my family."
You can see what Goodwin means; Kentucky coach John Calipari sends a prodigious quantity of players to the NBA seemingly every year. In terms of exposure and national title opportunities, UK was the much safer choice.
That doesn't mean Arkansas fans are all that pleased with the explanation -- and they've been informing Goodwin of their displeasure on Twitter. (Ah, Twitter, where you can pester a high school senior for reasons why he didn't choose to attend your preferred school. Technology sure is great!) Goodwin's response was likewise filtered through the tweet tubes:
Ill always rep ARK. I got it tatted on my chest!! But I had to do what i Had to do. Point Blank Period
Has that squashed the beef? Not quite. Though the folks at Arkansas Expats understand (they would), some of their commenters don't. And judging by some of Goodwin's Twitter work in recent days, it seems like Arkansas fans are still being a little too uproarious on the Internet.
Eventually, that will die down -- at least until Goodwin takes the court against his home state's beloved team. Until then, as Goodwin wrote Wednesday, it's "Shoulder shrugs To the haters" [sic].