More details on split between Bell, UF


More details emerged Monday on what went down between Florida and former cornerback commit Tre’ Bell (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep).

According to Derek Tyson of and several sources that gave the Sun the same account, there was more to the split than Bell not working out at Friday Night Lights.

Going into FNL, every member of Florida’s 2013 class had either camped at UF in the past or agreed to when their pledge was accepted by coach Will Muschamp. Four commits that hadn’t — receiver Marqui Hawkins, center Cameron Dillard, offensive guard Josh Outlaw and linebacker Daniel McMillan — all participated in the event. The rest of the commits in attendance were allowed to be spectators because of their previous workouts.

Then there was Bell.

Sources said his April 7 commitment was contingent on him camping this summer. The coaches couldn’t see him during their evaluation period because his school doesn’t practice in the spring. After missing Florida’s camps in June, Bell promised to come down for FNL and participate.

But when he arrived, Bell said his coach told him he couldn’t do any workouts after July 15 so he could be ready for football season. However, Bell was in Lake Buena Vista competing in Gridiron Kings the following day.

Sources told the Sun that when Florida contacted St. Peter’s Prep coach Rich Hansen to get an explanation, he said Bell wasn’t given those orders.

Hansen, who did not respond to the initial request for an interview, responded to the Sun on Tuesday and said his phone conversation with UF defensive coordinator Dan Quinn went differently.

“Danny called me and he said, ‘Rich I got to ask you this question, do you guys have a rule about participating?’ I told him we do,” Hansen said. “The rule is after July 15, you don’t work out for anybody. If you sprain an ankle it will be an issue for our team. It’s been my rule for 25 years. You can look it up and ask any player that’s ever played for me and they’ll give you the same rule. Now what happened after that is totally Tre’s fault, but that was my conversation with Danny.”

East Orange High School football coach Marion Bell, Tre’s father, also spoke with the Sun on Tuesday.

The elder Bell said Florida did not mention the call between Hansen and Quinn as an issue and was ultimately upset about Gridiron Kings. Although Bell admits his son made a mistake by working out in the 7-on-7 tournament, he said Tre’ would have done so at FNL if he knew it was mandatory.

“He broke his high school rule because he shouldn’t have worked out at Gridiron Kings and that was a mistake,” Bell said of his son. “He’s been punished for that. But as a 17-year-old kid — when you’re talking about a chance to play on national T.V. for the second time, get a bunch of gear and come back home to New Jersey to say what you did — it was a lifetime opportunity. He’s competed against the best recruits at The Opening and Gridiron Kings and he did a very good job, so he would’ve had no problem competing at Friday Night Lights. But they never told us we had to camp. If they had told us that, then we would have camped. That’s what caused all this.”

Florida is not allowed to comment on Bell’s recruitment per NCAA rules, but sources close to the football program told the Sun a different version of what happened.

At the end of the day, this whole situation seems to be best described by what Bell’s father called it: “one big miscommunication.”


  1. See ya Tre. Get a good education at Vandy. Get whupped by the Gators on game day.

    Get your s_it together before you graduate or your future emplyers will also cut you loose. Non one wants to work with a liar.

  2. That definetly makes a lot more sense, do you know the reason that he didnt want to camp? I thought he had been steadily rising in rankings cause he had been doing well at camps like the opening. Any explanation?

  3. wow……just a kid…. and being judged by men…… we all were kids at one point in our lives and up and learned and eventually grew up…. but to be judged by others twice their age…. actually it makes everyone …me included who sit their and judge a kid …. makes all of us look like IDIOTS… not them…. dishonest…. maybe….we dont know him… we dont know his problems…. we dont need to be judging him……

  4. This Kid needs to grow up! Being a man is about being honest. It’s true everyone makes mistakes but he had a least a second or third chance to come clean and still he was dishonest with the staff. I hope he has learn a very good lesson of life. Honesty is the best policy!

  5. @ human race – That’s the problem with society, these days – people like you, making excuses for the bad choices people make! If the adults aren’t suppose to make the call on such things, who should make them? Your comments are some of the most ridiculous that I have ever read. You must be a 12 year old kid, who doesn’t understand that there are consequences for one’s actions! Yes, you are being “judged” by an adult!

  6. Human Race – by the time you’re 18 you should appreciate the importance of telling the truth. If you don’t, what else haven’t you learned and what other mistakes are you likely to make during your college career. If the coaches can’t believe what you say how do you build a relationship based on trust?. Good lesson for the other kids, both recruits and existing team members. Time for everyone to stop making excuses for these kids, it is not helping them. Tough lessons are sometimes the best ones.

  7. I mostly agree with Human Race, and with most of the rest of you, but I think the harshness of most of the approaches is the concern of Human Race as well as myself. “Need to grow up and a man is suppose to be this” those are all correct statements, but if you look at it from my perspective the kid is “growing up”, I don’t know any of your ages and it not important but everyone of you guys are still making mistakes as you travel through life. His was a mistake of dishonesty, so you pound on him because it’s an appearance of arragance. I’m not condoning his mistake but the attacks are a bit harsh. I wouldn’t want him on the team with the character as we have seen it to this point, but allow him to “grow up” and correct his mistakes as well as lean from the mistakes of others. Remember the Janoris Jenkins incident(S), he obviously changed his path after leaving Florida and now he is well on his was to a pro football career. Remember some people take longer to mature than others. I know ALL of you guys have not told a big dishonest like since you were 17 years old that’s why you can’t relate to a kid making a “STUPID” mistake. GO GATORS!!!!

  8. The kid needs to grow up. I don’t think it is too harsh to ask a kid to grow up. It’s true he is just a kid and I hope he learns his lesson. But criticism should be put on the kid for what he did here; that’s the only way, IMO that he will understand what he did was wrong. He doesn’t need to be coddled and pampered and told he is just a kid. He needs to be told he made a mistake, there is no honor in lying and there are consequences when you do. It would be one thing if he were still in elementary school or even middle school but he is about to start his senior year of high school. You either learn it now or you go through life thinking it’s ok to lie to get your way.

  9. I think the damage has already been done. I doubt this revision will be posted in the Atlanta Journal Consitution’s recruiting section like the original story was. Sometimes it is better to get the whole story as opposed to trying to be the first one to get it out there.

  10. There is truth in everything being said , there is also the fact that UF has offered scholarships to particular players and then later responded with we need to see how your senior year goes this was the case with leon mcquaylll,reggie davis,and taj williams there is deception on both sides. Depending on what is at stake,let it play out on both sides, no loi has been signed so there is no loss for either side. Just process the information and watch and monitor.

  11. If someone, no matter what age, says something they believe to be true, when, in fact, it is not, that is a mistake. When someone lies, no matter what age, that is, in fact, an intentional lie, not a mistake.
    I remember a few years ago when another FL recruit commit told Urban Meyer, his high school coach, his principal and a reporter a lie. He wound up at Tennessee. Anyone remember what the end result of his time at Tennessee was? It would have been a mistake for FL to have fallen for an intentional lie again or to have been sloppy in their thought process and called it as mistake. Sloppy thinking leads to sloppy results.

  12. On the Subject of UF Recruiting: OL is and has been positions of need. UF has not been a complete bust recruiting these positions but do you have any opinion on why UF has failed to land so many of the best Florida HS OL recruits, such as Avery Young, John Theus (sp.) and this year, Tunsil. How come? Any opinions?

  13. It is obvious that Bell was having second thoughts about his commitment. Did he handle this the right way? No, but it is also clear that he didn’t ask for any assistance from an adult when he planned his actions.

    The real issue here is asking a high school student to make a decision on a college so early. It seems every year, more and more students are committing earlier and earlier. This is a recipe for disaster. There is a long time until signing day, why do you want to force a kid to make a decision so early. The atmosphere surrounding these commitments has gotten out of control. Commitments shouldn’t be televised, and they shouldn’t be announced to the mass media before signing day.

  14. @Gbreaker1 – I completely agree with you. But the only way to ensure no one gets burned is to extend the same number of offers as you have spots in your class i.e. 23 spots 23 offers. We wouldn’t get very far with that reasoning, I think WM has been about as honest he can be with the recruits. They all know where each other is on the recruiting board. I think a lot of this stems from the class damn near filling up before the end of July. Its not often a school has 2 or 3 remaining spots and has to be selective in mid-August.

  15. This isn’t about Tre’ Bell, or any other player who may or may not be ‘committed’ to Florida. This is about the Gators and the way Coach Muschamp wants to run his program. I’m glad that he sets standards and holds all recruits to those standards. If they want to accept them, fine. If they don’t want to accept them, that’s fine too. I don’t expect the Gators or any other program to ‘get’ every recruit that they target, but I think Coach Muschamp knows exactly what he’s doing.

  16. Zach, good article. Good of you to cite the ESPN piece. I can’t imagine being a reporter on the recruiting beat, where you’re dealing with the egos of high school kids and college coaches, and where deception and half-truths are common. Keep on digging.

  17. One should have learned about lying and consequences earlier than 18. However, there are consequences to being a liar, and nobody should expect to get away with lying because they are young (certainly no later than 4-6 years of age).

    Yes, this kid is still developing, but there is no escaping consequences when caught. That iws how youngsters learn to not lie. Take away the consequences…never develop the ability to tell thre truth, even when painful.

    Being judged by adults is one of the thing that helps boys turn into men. Live with it!

  18. This is an example of what integrity is. Kudos to the coach for putting character ahead of wanting this kid on the team. The reruit’s lack of honesty probably would show up as academic dishonesty as well. Just guessing on that one, but as an experienced educator, it’s a really good guess! I hope other programs follow this example.

  19. @ MrGator, I read your piece and then I reread the other post before yours. I don’t remember any poster saying that the kid should be coddled or pampered. I do agree with Gbreaker1 that games are played on both ends of the spectrum (the players and the coaches). As someone else mentioned there was no LOI signed, therfore he doesn’t owe us anything we owe him nothing. The REAL fact is most of us gets MAD at a kid if he decommits from our offer. Yes the kid “LIED” and like I said earlier I’m sure “NONE” of you adults have told a serious “LIE” since you were 17 Y.O. He lied and he’s gone. I also agree with DOUG that Muschamp has set some very good standards and he is holding people to them. Everyone keep saying “this kid needs to grow up” and I agree to an extent, but this incident may be the spot in his life where he realises that and this is his grow up moment. GO GATORS!!!!

  20. He knew he needed to camp. If every other recruit knew it, then he did too. He just put it off, then realized he had a conflict with his coaches orders about camping after July 15. He made the decision that it was more important to follow his current team’s rules. He made a mistake in not camping earlier, but a good conversation with the coaches would have probably smoothed it over.
    But then he made a SECOND decision. He decided that the media attention plus the swag at Gridiron Kings WAS worth breaking his team’s rule. THAT’S the BIG mistake. Now UF sees this and feels like they’ve been taken for a ride. They wash their hands of the kid.
    The upshot is that the kid didn’t know what side of the bread the butter was on. He thought the short term glory was more important than the long term commitment. He was wrong.
    At least he bounced back and got into Vandy. He won’t have the huge cheering crowds, or the great bowl trips, but he will still get to play D1 ball. It could have been much worse.
    Hope he learned a lesson from all this.

  21. So his father suggests because he was getting swag from Gridiron Kings is enough incentive for him to be swayed to workout? To me that is an obvious indication of someone who wants something for something and apparently a scholarship to a big time Program like UF is not a priority over t-shirts, hats, etc. My personal guess is that the UF Coaching Staff is thrilled to rid themselves of this premadonna and glad they found out the character of this kid before it was to late. Have fun at Vandy Tre, sure he is going there for the education??

  22. ‘More Details’, perhaps. But remember a ‘free’ press does not an informed reader make. At Random: We read that ‘Tyson and several sources have told the Sun. Perhaps more accurately it should read, ‘several unidentified sources’ The only first hand sources of these claims could only come from Bell, himself. Was he interviewed? Or from the UF coaching staff. A major NCAA ecruiting violation. Which was it? Or, is it simply ‘the several unidientifed sources’? This the tenor of the entire article. Just remember think as well as read!!

  23. I guess it will never be possible to quit dismissing everyone who either leaves or decommits with the inevitable–“Never wanted him any way” or “I heard he wasn’t that good anyway”, wouldn’t that make us appear pretty dumb for having either signed or recruited person in the first place.

  24. No need for Tre Bell to head to a school, where his head couch will be fired within 2years time (speculation)…I have known Tre since he was 10 years old and He is a great kid. He comes from a great family upbringing, and has plenty of character. It is very sad to see grown adults, speak terrible of young kids, learning how to become men.