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How will Seton Hall handle the Jerron Wilbut situation?

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Chris Chambers

The outcome of Jerron Wilbut's arrest and subsequent charge of Class 2 felony robbery has finally become public. According to Pioneer Local, Wilbut plead guilty on June 3rd to aggravated robbery, a Class 1 felony, after entering a not guilty plea for the original Class 2 charge on April 1st. Jerron was sentenced to 180 days in jail and was put on probation for 2 years following the guilty plea. Wilbut, along with acquaintance L.J. Booth, who followed the same legal route since their arrest, were released from jail early and were not required to complete their entire 6-month sentences.

DuPage County State's Attorney spokesman Paul Darrah stated that all other charges against Wilbut were dropped.

Prior to this information going public, had reason to believe that Jerron did not come out of his bout with the law completely innocent. At the same time, we had also heard that the Seton Hall coaching staff was still seriously mulling over bringing Jerron aboard, assuming he were to be approved by the NCAA clearinghouse. A decision on Wilbut's eligibility by the NCAA clearinghouse was still pending as of Wednesday night, but we understand that Jerron has a very good chance of qualifying. Furthermore, there were even whispers of Seton Hall possibly taking both Jerron and Tom Maayan, who is in his own fight with the Israeli Defense Forces over returning to Seton Hall. For this to happen, someone on the team would have to be relegated to walk-on status as Seton Hall would have 14 scholarship players.

It's hard to believe that the Seton Hall coaching staff would knowingly accept a recruit who plead guilty to aggravated robbery, still a felony, after the close link between Seton Hall basketball and extra curricular activities in the past. See: Robert Mitchell & Kelly Whitney, Herb Pope after he graduated, Jeremy Hazell being shot in Harlem. The list goes on. Perhaps the staff wasn't fully aware of Jerron's legal situation. Maybe our information was incorrect.

On another note, this would be a tough public relations move for Seton Hall if they took Jerron. Whether its right or wrong to bring Wilbut aboard if Seton Hall technically (NCAA, legally) can is another conversation. With Seton Hall's less-than-stellar rap sheet off the court and sub-par track record on the court, I'm not so sure how this would fly in the court of public opinion, which we all know from the Mike Rice scandal can completely change programs. Remember: despite Kevin Willard's still rumored contract extension through 2020, the Seton Hall head coach is undeniable on the coaching hot seat going into the 2013-14 season. On the contrary, Seton Hall's lack of success on the court might actually help here as they are not in the national spotlight by any means and this situation is not in the same discussion as what happened at Rutgers. Then again, the original news of Jerron Wilbut's arrest was carried by multiple outlets, including Yahoo! Sports. Not a good look.

So, what do you think? As of late, the general consensus from Seton Hall fans was that the staff should accept Jerron Wilbut, who would certainly add to the Pirates' depth at guard. Now, with all the details on the table, I find it hard to believe that this opinion will hold steady.