Daily Archives: February 21, 2009

Misdirection is fine for the triple option.

For some reason, this post about what it means to commit by Michael Carvell at the AJ-C’s recruiting blog was relinked yesterday on the paper’s sports page.  I had commented on it when it first appeared because I liked what Mark Richt said about how the program presents itself to its recruits, so I didn’t pay much attention about what Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson had to say.

But I couldn’t help but notice this comment by Johnson on the second go around.

… What did Paul Johnson say about what “commitment means?” He touched on it when discussing quarterback Dontae Aycock of Tampa, who had “secretly committed” to Tech in mid-January. However, less than a week away from signing day, Auburn entered the picture with a last-minute scholarship offer.

“I reiterated that to him: ‘Dontae, don’t get on that plane [to Auburn].’ His high school coach told him, ‘Dontae, don’t get on that plane,’” Johnson said. “When he chose to do that, he was telling me, in my mind, he didn’t want to come to Georgia Tech, and so we moved on [rescinding Aycock's scholarship offer from Tech].”

Johnson explained that Tech recruited Aycock for nearly a full year, which included visits by Aycock to Tech for spring practice last year and to a summer camp. During Aycock’s recruiting trip last month, Johnson said he explained “commitment” to the prized prospect.

“We talked about what that meant,” Johnson said. “That commitment means, especially two weeks before signing day, is that we’re through with the recruiting process. … I’m giving you my word you’ve got a scholarship. You’re giving your word you’re coming.”

Wait a minute… Aycock’s was a secret commitment?  Correct me if I’m wrong here, but a secret commitment means nobody but the kid (along with the kid’s high school coach in this case) and the school know it exists.  Its purpose is to mislead. Other schools don’t know that the recruit has pledged, so perhaps they devote resources to pursuing the kid that could be better spent elsewhere.  And, of course, other kids that Tech is recruiting don’t know the true numbers situation at the position that the silent recruitment is ticketed to play, or, for that matter, the total number of slots left that Johnson has to offer for signees.

So all this high falutin’ talk about “giving your word” is wrapped up in a veneer of obfuscation.  Hypocritical?  Sounds like it to me, so maybe Johnson shouldn’t be quite so huffy when the master plan goes awry.  Maybe if it had been public knowledge that Aycock had committed to Tech all along, he’d be making plans to pack for the Flats in a few months.

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football

Repetition on a theme

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating, this time by Tony Dungy in yesterday’s New York Times:

… With the progress that has been made in terms of diversity in politics, in other collegiate sports and in professional football — Edwards, Smith and Tomlin all got top jobs in the N.F.L. — why is college football hiring so far behind? At a seminar last spring in Indianapolis with other N.F.L. and college head coaches and university athletic directors, I asked that very question, and was enlightened by the responses of those directors. The biggest factor, they said, was the involvement of other people associated with the universities. It was not just the president and the athletic director who made the hiring decisions — alumni and boosters were involved, and the presidents often felt pressure to hire coaches the boosters would support. [Emphasis added.]

That appears to be the biggest difference between the N.F.L. and the N.C.A.A. in hiring practices. While a university president may have to appease alumni, Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, can hire someone like Tomlin without having to consult anyone else.

That’s out of the mouths of athletic directors, who, as a group, aren’t exactly the most courageous group of folks out there.

And that’s the reason college football needs to find a path like the Rooney Rule for itself.  Something is needed to acclimate boosters to the reality of today’s world and ADs need the support of a formal rule to rely on to offset the sort of resistance they face in the hiring process.  Not only because it’s fair, but also to avoid having a “solution” forced on it.

Again, look at all the attention being paid to the BCS in DC right now.  Is government involvement something that college football wants in the area of minority hiring, too?  And for those of you who don’t think it can happen, I have two words for you:  Title IX.

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Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

So how’s that whole “program on the rise” thing working out?

By now, I presume most of you have heard that Georgia signed its nineteenth member of the class of 2009 yesterday, defensive tackle Kwame Geathers.  Geathers comes from a distinguished football family and his older brother Robert started for Georgia in 2003.

Kwame has another older brother, Clifton, who plays for South Carolina currently.  Clifton, you may recall, was heavily recruited by Georgia’s staff before electing to matriculate to Columbia.  You may also recall that Clifton had some rather provocative comments about the Georgia and South Carolina programs when he signed.

… It’s just that he needs to learn one of life’s more valuable lessons: discretion is the better part of valor. You see, in announcing his decision, it evidently wasn’t enough to be excited about the future. It was also necessary to pee on where he’d been:

“Why USC? It’s a program on the rise,” Clifton said Wednesday. “The Georgia program is on the fall.”

Kwame by most reports eliminated South Carolina from consideration during the recruiting process a while back, so Clifton probably didn’t spend much time doing a sales job on his younger brother – which, based on the above comment, would have come off as fairly lame anyway.  But here’s hoping that Kwame gets to lay the smack hard and heavy at the Geathers’ Thanksgiving dinner table for many years to come.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football, Recruiting