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Purdue pulls scholarship offer from Armwood’s King

Posted Jan 31, 2011 by Bill Ward

Updated Jan 31, 2011 at 03:14 PM

Fearful of the type of knee surgery performed on Armwood’s A.J. King last year, Purdue University has withdrawn its scholarship offer to the senior wide receiver, Hawks coach Sean Callahan confirmed Monday.

According to Callahan, Purdue notified him it was pulling the offer last month during the Hawks’ playoff run to the Class 4A state championships. Callahan said the reason given was that King had a surgery to repair his torn knee ligament that is similar to four Purdue players, who later re-injured their knees. One of those players was former Plant High quarterback Robert Marve. The surgery, Callahan said, is one that uses the ligament of a cadaver, and he says Purdue is now leery of potential signees who have had this type of knee repair.

King, the Hawks’ leading receiver last season, initially injured the knee in a preseason game against Middleton in late August. Despite wearing a custom-fitted brace, Callahan said the knee “shifted” when King went to make a cut running downfield in the first quarter against Wharton in late September.

After being notified by Purdue it was pulling the offer, Callahan said he met with head coach Danny Hope at Armwood. Hope eventually offered King a gray shirt scholarship, but Callahan said that was not fair to King, whom he says “did everything the school told him to do” during rehabilitation of the injured knee. King also took an official visit to Purdue in early December, where Callahan said they continued to express their desire to sign him to a full scholarship.

Callahan said he is so upset with how Purdue has treated King, he has banned the Boilermakers from recruiting on the campus of the two-time state champion Hawks.

“They flew A.J. up there to Purdue, everybody wowed him, told him they loved him and all that,” Callahan said. “Then, after he came home, they pulled him, without ever talking to our doctors, without ever talking to our trainers.

“It’s completely unprofessional. In all my years as a coach, I’ve never, ever have seen something done to a kid like this.”

Callahan said he was then hoping to get King a gray shirt scholarship to Iowa State, but was informed by the Cyclones’ coaching staff this morning they were not going to make the offer.

Now, two days before National Signing Day, King is considering offers from Toledo, Kent State and Ball State, but he may not be signing with any of those schools Wednesday.