Switching colleges from the one you committed to a new one is a tough situation for anyone — student-athlete or not — but that's the decision that Linton's Lincoln Hale decided to make for himself Wednesday.
Hale, who committed to ISU in January 2020, asked for and was granted his release from his Letter Of Intent to play basketball at Indiana State. Like so many other players, veterans and otherwise, Hale will be on the market, hoping to find a new home.
"I've had multiple discussions with my family, coaches, past coaches, AAU coaches that have connections, and the new ISU coach. We've all decided it was in my best interest to find a new home I fit better at," Hale said when contacted by the Tribune-Star on Wednesday.
Hale said that former ISU coach Greg Lansing was one of the big reasons he wanted to be a Sycamore. When it became official that Lansing's contract wouldn't be renewed on March 8, Hale knew he might have to find a new home.
"Coach Lansing made ISU feel like home. He wanted me there and that's where I felt I needed to go. I wanted to talk to the new coaching staff to see if it would still be my home, but we decided it would be better if I went somewhere else," Hale said.
Hale did speak with new ISU coach Josh Schertz. It was ultimately decided by both parties that Hale's future was best served being elsewhere.
"Coach Schertz seems like a great guy. I talked to him two or three times. He was a great coach at the [NCAA] Division II level. I hope he can steer Indiana State in the direction that coach Lansing had it going," Hale said.
Hale, a guard who can spread the floor and drive the lane, is Linton's all-time leading scorer and set the single-game record for points in a game with 48 during the 2021 season. During his four years at Linton, the Miners were 94-18.
Hale did not want to divulge which schools have been in-touch with him. When he committed to ISU in January 2020, he said that Central Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Ball State, Evansville, New Orleans, Belmont and Lipscomb were interested.
Hale said this process isn't fun. Though Hale isn't technically part of the NCAA transfer portal, he is among the now 1,000-plus players looking for a new home.
"I've had a lot of emotions, up and down. It's pretty stressful. I'll believe I'll end up where I'm supposed to be and it will make me very happy when that happens," Hale said. "I have to find someone who wants me just as much as [Lansing] did and has a relationship with me as well as he did."