Photo: AP Images
How great is that?Wake Forest head baseball coach Tom Walter donated his kidney to outfielder Kevin Jordan, the Charlotte Observer reports. Jordan isn’t a senior whose held a longtime relationship with the coach; he’s a freshman who’s yet to see a pitch for the Demon Deacons.
Not to downplay the extraordinary sacrifice the 42-year-old coach is making – because it is certainly the kind of good deed that gets overlooked too often – but it’s funny how quickly the focus shifted to recruiting.
“When we recruit our guys, we talk about family and making sacrifices for one another. It’s something we take very seriously,” Walter said, about helping Jordan.
And intended or not, Walter’s deed will be a selling point for the program. He will one day tell a 16-year-old future home run champ that this deed is just one example of Wake Forest’s devotion to its players.
More importantly for the short-term, it could reaffirm Jordan’s commitment to the coach and team. He was drafted in the 19th round by the Yankees, and obviously has his sights set on a big league career. Perhaps he’ll put that off longer than initially presumed to play for the coach that saved his life.
Yep, Jordan’s health was bad enough that his survival, and baseball playing future were in serious jeopardy. And again, Walter deserves all the praise for making the sacrifice. But in an era where high calibre student athletes solicit six-figure payouts for their commitment to a school, it is worth noting the recruiting implications.
It’s not Walter’s first run-in with team hardship: He became the head coach of the University of New Orleans in 2005: Five day before Hurricane Katrina hit. He later the team to two NCAA regionals, but the program eventually folded to due to budget problems.
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