The Wolverine

August 2015 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 173 of 177

A s recruitments go, Tyus Battle did everything right. Seemingly mature beyond his years, the 6-6 five-star basketball recruit out of Gladstone, N.J., appeared to know ex- actly what he was doing when he was evaluating schools, developing a list of criteria that com- bined great basketball with superior academics — and unlike some who just talk the talk about the latter, he's a good student who actually meant it. Battle took visits — first unofficial trips, then officials to Duke and Louisville, and then to Michigan. He was slated to see Syracuse in June, but when he left the U-M campus, he couldn't shake the feeling that Michi- gan had everything he was looking for. "I really want to be a Wolverine," he told his parents. His father and mother advised him to sleep on it, even though he knew he wasn't going to change his mind. And despite the pressure his father, Gary Battle, undoubtedly felt from some who wanted to see his son elsewhere, he never wavered in making sure ev- eryone knew, "it's Tyus' decision." Until it wasn't. A month later, Battle decided to take that visit to Syracuse, noting his "whole family just wanted to look at other schools and other options." He still really liked Michigan a lot, he said — much more than his mother and father did, apparently, for whatever reason. It became clear then that the kid his high school coach, Mergin Sina at Gill St. Bernard School, called "very humble and down to earth," was being pulled in a different direction, and that it might end badly for Michigan — and it did, with Battle deciding to attend Syra- cuse. U-M coaches had already told five- star Joshua Langford of Madison, Ala., they had no room for him, and watched him commit to Michigan State, of all places. Make no mistake — the Wolverines would have had a great shot with Langford. Here's the question we just can't answer — why not Michigan? At Syra- cuse, Battle will join a program that self-reported violations dating back to 2001, including academic misconduct, extra benefits, the failure to follow its drug testing policy and impermis- INSIDE MICHIGAN   CHRIS BALAS Losing Battle Won't Cost U-M The War Shooting guard Tyus Battle, the No. 21 player in the senior class, committed to Michigan in mid-May, decommitted a month later and then picked Syracuse on July 13. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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