Late last month, Garrison Brooks requested his release from the Letter of Intent he signed with Mississippi State during the early signing period in 2016. Jeff Borzello of ESPN reported earlier today what Mississippi State decided to do about that request.
Four-star center Garrison Brooks told ESPN that Mississippi State has denied his release from LOI. "Coach Howland doesn't want me to leave."— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 11, 2017
The recruitment of Garrison Brooks is a unique one. He is the son of Mississippi State Assistant Coach George Brooks, and many assumed the talented big would be an easy get for the Bulldogs.
What makes it unique is the stuff beneath the surface that is the talk of message board fodder. Supposedly, the mother of Brooks has a very contentious relationship with his father. Garrison’s mother was never on board with her son going to play with his dad. So much so, she did not attend his signing day ceremony at Auburn High School in Alabama.
The school granted Malik Newman’s request to transfer with zero restrictions, so this could be seen as a departure from the beliefs of Scott Stricklin to the beliefs of John Cohen. Or, if you choose to speculate (and I choose to do so), it could mean something else entirely.
If the rumors about the frictions between Garrison’s parents are true, and I believe they are, then Ben Howland and John Cohen have denied this request because they don’t believe Brooks truly wants to attend another university. They must believe this is the son trying to make his mom happy. Whatever is the reason for the request of a release in the first place and the reason Mississippi State denied it, we probably won’t ever hear it.
This doesn’t mean the Bulldogs are guaranteed to have Brooks on their roster next season. Garrison Brooks could opt to enroll in a JUCO program and then sign with whatever school he wants in two years. It’s also possible the school will receive serious backlash from this decision in the coming weeks, and then they decide to grant the request. The only thing certain at this point is that this story has not reached its final conclusion.
UPDATE: Since this article was posted, MSU has released Brooks from his NLI