Jack Sullivan heard those words no recruit wants to hear: You might want to look somewhere else.
The recent Albertus Magnus graduate made his college decision last fall, choosing UMass Lowell, a program set to move up to Division I. Sullivan said his scholarship was still set when Greg Herenda left Lowell to become the head coach at Fairleigh Dickinson in April. The school contacted Sullivan and another recruit in late June to alert them they would honor the scholarship, but the new staff suggested they look elsewhere.
“I felt like everything was set, everything was in order,” said Sullivan, the reigning Rockland County player of the year. “Now, all of a sudden, six or seven months after I committed, I had to go do the same things I was doing in the fall all over again.”
Quickly, the 6-foot guard landed at Division II Assumption. It was one of three serious options he considered before making the decision earlier this month.
Sullivan connected with Assumption through the McLaughlin family, who have had several athletes play at Tappan Zee High School and in North Jersey. He also connected with the staff at Southern Connecticut through former Pearl River star Kevin Houston, whose son, Luke Houston, plays there, and with FDU through Herenda.
“I didn’t think there were going to be any options for me,” he said. “It was such a relief to hear that t hey wanted you.”
Sullivan had offers from all three schools, but he received a welcome reception at Assumption and, he hopes, an opportunity to earn minutes soon in a backcourt depleted by graduation.
“I went up to visit in the middle of the summer and the head coach, both assistants and a director of admission were all there to meet me,” Sullivan said. “It was a great fit academic wise and they were giving me everything they could to show that they wanted me to go there. I felt like they wanted me.”