As many know, Tom Whitehead was going to be playing at Creighton this season until he found out he did not “meet the expectations” which meant his scholarship wasn’t being renewed and skipped town. You can sort of follow the post I did earlier this fall on the former recruits in the “where they are now.” Basically he threw the Creighton coaching staff under the bus.
Well anyway, Mr. Whitehead did end up going to Dixie State to play out his basketball days and this past week “The Spectrum–Southern Utah’s #1 source for news and information” did an article on Tom Whitehead and his struggles since leaving Creighton. Once again he kind of blamed the Creighton coaching staff for his situation:
“From the day that I got there, I never felt any kind of connection with the coaching staff,” said Whitehead, who used up his redshirt year that season. “I don’t think the head coach said more than five words to me the entire time I was there. If he’s not talking to you, he’s not thinking about you.”
So he did not get to live out his dream of playing Division I basketball. Wah!! The article continues to say that Whitehead chose Creighton because of past success and received numerous calls from Division I programs, and made official visits to Creighton, Colorado State, Texas-San Antonio, Miami, Fla. and La. Tech. Now obviously something drew him to Creighton and Coach Altman must have seen something that said he might be able to contribute and at the same time wonder why he didn’t take Colorado St. which was closer to home or just what the deal was. Either way, it is a two-way street. If the coach isn’t talking to you, then obviously you should talk to the coach. When he came here originally, he had some high hopes:
“I know I’m going to get a good education, and the winning attitude really attracted me,” Whitehead said. “I’m a real competitive player, and I love to win. Coach (Dana) Altman has done nothing but win since he’s been there, and I don’t see that coming to an end any time soon. I want to play in the NCAA tournament, and they do that almost every year.”
“That facility is unbelievable and the support is top-notch,” he said. “I’ve never had a chance to play in front of that kind of a crowd, and I’m looking forward to it. Everything about Creighton just made sense to me that it was the place for me.”
Whitehead said Creighton’s coaches told him that he will probably play as a small forward, the same position that Korver played while starring four seasons for the Bluejays.
“I consider myself a slasher,” Whitehead said. “I like to get to the basket, but I can also shoot the 3. The thing I try to do more than anything is to be a complete player. Kyle Korver was that kind of player.”
Ok, the guy is 24 years old. At this point in his life after doing a mission and experiencing all of these “life experiences” that he would have a little more moxy to handle the situations he was in or at least seek assistance in figuring out what he needs to do to fix things. It just is all a screwy timeline of events:
- Looked at Weber St. to play ball, but it was determined that a college level biotechnology class he took as a senior at Dixie didn’t count toward the required science requirement, making him a non-qualifier.
- Took a 2-year mission trip and then enrolled at Yavapai College (Ariz.)
- Whitehead earned his associate’s degree in just one year, having taken 16 hours his first semester, 22 his second and eight more during the summer session. He graduated with honors but wasn’t eligible to accept a scholarship from a four-year school because of an NCAA rule that requires non-qualifiers to be full-time students for three semesters at a junior college.
- Whitehead appealed to the NCAA, saying that to attend another semester at a junior college would not further his educational development. The NCAA granted him an exemption, but the ruling came one day before school started at Louisiana Tech.
“At first, I wanted to go there, but I changed my mind,” Whitehead said. “I just did not feel comfortable.” Then heads to Creighton
- After a semester where “nobody talked” to him at Creighton he finds out he didn’t meet some expectations of the Creighton coaching staff and Mr. Whitehead feels convinced he is not wanted and jumps ship.
- Lands at Dixie State College to finish things out.
Now somewhere in there, there had to be someone to help guide him or give him some direction. I get the feeling he either wasn’t listening or just didn’t have a clue.
So now after shaking off an early season ankle injury, apparently Tom is a sparkplug off the bench. Well I guess good luck to him. It is just too bad that he has such a bad taste in his mouth about Creighton, though he can’t just blame the Creighton staff. It goes both ways.