When Madison Memorial guard Vander Blue officially backed out of his verbal commitment to the Wisconsin Badgers Tuesday, it became clear that a second story had developed in this recruiting saga.
A 17-year old boy was clearly hurt by the way he was treated by his hometown fans when stories first surfaced about the possibility of Blue reopening his recruiting.
When a story detailed an academic-focused meeting between Blue's family and UW, messages boards everywhere attacked Blue's intelligence. Badger fans bashed Blue, his family and Bo Ryan for his inability to recruit.
That all sounds pretty counterproductive to me. Blue hadn't even officially decommitted yet and fans across Wisconsin were only giving him even more reason to get out of the state and play elsewhere.
By no means is Blue completely innocent in this saga. The message he posted on his Facebook page last week exclaiming he had made "a big decision" regarding his recruiting was a huge mistake. His decision not to comment for a week didn't help either. Recruits shouldn't have to continually update the media on their recruiting process, but if they are making vague, public announcements on the internet then they need to clarify those comments or they will be subject to non-stop speculation and scrutiny.
But it's the level of scrutiny by Badger fans that is alarming. Comments all over the internet were so harsh that they could never be reprinted again. I don't care what mistakes Blue made last week, that doesn't give anyone with a keyboard the right to attack Blue's intelligence, especially when curse words and racist comments are involved.
As it turns out, Blue has not eliminated the Wisconsin Badgers from consideration. Badger fans should be thankful for that after the way they acted in the last 10 days. Obviously Blue already had reasons to reopen his recruiting, but now he has even more reasons to second guess the idea of playing college basketball in Madison.
Fans across Wisconsin need to refocus their anger and give Blue some support.
So, to quote Will Ferrell in "Old School": "You're my boy Blue! You're my boy!"