Quincy Vasser, or how HUNH has come to Georgia’s recruiting

Once upon a time, Mark Richt was known for a deliberate approach to his program’s recruiting.  Talent had to be properly evaluated.  Handing out offers like candy was an approach for other schools to take on the recruiting trail.  Thoughtfulness was the watchword.

“The biggest problem I see is trying to see the entire pool of athletes at any one position before you start targeting them. Let’s say there are ten out there at a certain position. You might have enough time to evaluate the first five and you think all those guys are worthy of an offer because you think they can all get the job done, but you haven’t seen the other five yet. Sometimes you can get a bunch of guys committed before you see the pool. When we do offer a young man this time of year, I’ll tell the staff let’s be certain that if we offer this young man and he commits that we are going to be excited about it.We are not throwing out as many offers as some other schools because we do want to see the pool. There are some guys who we feel strongly enough about to offer early. You don’t want to offer until you feel very confident that he is the type of player, person and student that you want.”

The problem for Richt became apparent over time:  for many schools, the shotgun approach worked and that meant Georgia was missing out on kids it was making offers to later in the game.  Richt adapted to the changing conditions by bringing more resources to play (better recruiters on the staff, bringing in Daryl Jones as director of on-campus recruiting, for example) which enabled him to pick up the pace on offering recruits.

But Georgia’s gone to warp speed with Quincy Vasser.

Quincy Vasser, a defensive end out of a Texas junior college, tweeted on Thursday night that he had committed to UGA. The news spread quickly on Twitter, and was reported by many recruiting websites.

There was some confusion because traditionally at UGA, recruits have to talk over the phone or meet with Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt first before the commitment is officially accepted. Vasser hasn’t talked to Richt, and the New York native has never been to Georgia.

That’s, um, fast.  Breakneck fast.  And you’d best be hoping Kevin Sherrer’s done his homework.

UGA’s courtship of Vasser, if it sticks, was fast and furious — and did not follow the same procedure of most other commitments under Richt. Vasser has never been to Georgia, has never talked to Richt on the phone, and has never met any Georgia coaches in person. There’s really not much of an existing relationship between Vasser and UGA, other than a few phone calls with Sherrer and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker.

At least he’s talked to somebody.

Taking my tongue out of my cheek, I’m not opposed to breaking out offers this rapidly, if – and it’s a big if – you’ve got a staff that’s very confident and accurate with its player evaluations.  Because your competitors are moving fast, too.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder said he committed to Georgia over an offer from Maryland, and also had interest from Pitt, Ole Miss, and Florida State. He said he got an email from Alabama on Thursday night within 30 minutes of his UGA tweet.

I’m guessing this is another lesson Pruitt and Sherrer learned and brought in with them.  It’s definitely a different way from how things were done in Athens.  (Should I lay out a McGarity-esque “time will tell” now?)

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“FSU does not tolerate sexual assault. Even one sexual assault is a problem.”

That’s from the school’s official response to the New York Times article on the Winston investigation.

I can see how it’s a problem, alright.

… In January, Florida State conducted a sexual assault inquiry, in which two of Winston’s teammates were found to have violated the student code of conduct for their role in the incident.

But a lawyer for the woman who said she was raped by Winston said Thursday that he was informed the school suspended its investigation, at least in part, because of Winston’s unwillingness to cooperate. As a result, Baine Kerr, a high-profile Title IX attorney representing the woman, told USA TODAY Sports he wrote a letter to FSU earlier this month stating his objections to their investigation and calling for Winston to be charged under the school’s code of conduct policy.

“The university took the position that since he refused to respond to questions, they could not make any Title IX findings,” Kerr said. “We have objected to that as impermissible reason to delay or terminate a Title IX sexual assault investigation because that would permit any charged party to thwart an investigation simply by refusing to answer questions.”

Well, you know, Winston’s been busy and all, with baseball and spring practice, so he probably just couldn’t find the time for him and his attorney to sit down with the school and put the matter to rest.  And if FSU can’t sit down with its star, it’s not unreasonable to throw in the towel on the investigation, is it?

Experts say Winston declining to answer questions is not sufficient to absolve the school of its responsibilities to investigate sexual assaults, which are considered a form of sexual harassment under Title IX. They suggested although it would be possible for the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to intervene in the adjudication of a case, it would be unlikely.

“The law is not supposed to operate in a way to reward people who don’t cooperate with either criminal or civil investigations,” said Erin Buzuvis, a professor of law at Western New England University and a Title IX expert. “It’s just bizarre to think that would result in, ‘Oh, I guess we just can’t do anything.’ Who would ever cooperate with anything?”

The reality is that Winston’s attorney has advised his client not to cooperate.  Given the way things have been handled to date, that looks like good advice.  But it doesn’t excuse FSU’s pathetic response.


Filed under Crime and Punishment

The dark side of Chantastic

This is so sad that I can’t even bring myself to mockery.

Way to go, genius.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football

When Nick Saban adds a PGA player to his staff next season, you’ll know why.

Look who turned up at the Masters and bumped into 5-star recruit Rashad Roundtree.


Filed under Recruiting

An outbreak of common sense?

I’m shocked – not in the Captain Renault sense, either – that the NBA is considering a tradeoff like this:

In the dispute over what should be done about age limits for players coming out of college basketball and entering the draft, expect the NBA’s D-League to become a major battlefield.

According to multiple sources, a proposed plan that is circulating now would see the age limit extended from its current position — one year after high school graduation — to three years, essentially barring most players from entering the NBA until they are 20 or 21…

The sources said that, in order to pave the way for raising the age limit, the league would be willing to expand salaries in the D-League, giving each team a salary cap and allowing executives with each team to sign players as they wish. Not only would that allow D-League teams to sign good young players, it would allow NBA clubs to size up young executives and player evaluators…

The idea behind the potential change is that, while the NBA wants to keep out players who are viewed as too young, it does not want to deny them the chance to make a living…

Logical and fair.  Which probably means it has zippo chance of becoming reality.  But, damn, if I were the NCAA, I’d be getting behind this proposal quick and hard.  It’s a golden opportunity to drain some of the hypocrisy out of the amateurism swamp.


UPDATE:  Not so fast, says John Infante.

There’s two ways to look at college athletics: as private enterprise or a government program. Either way, changes to professional draft rules do very little to help the NCAA justify its position. As private enterprise, it still needs to establish why antitrust law should not apply, especially to an activity easily categorized as price fixing, not to mention the moral arguments raised both for and against amateurism. As a government program, college athletics should continue held to the even higher standard of fulfilling an important function and doing so in a fair way to the maximum number of people. The NBA offering a different route to even hundreds of players does little to help the NCAA in either case.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Eh, what’s in a name?

I appreciate that the Chick-fil-A Bowl is bringing “Peach” back to the name, but c’mon, guys, this?

“It got down to what is our history, what is our heritage, what is our tradition and how can we pay homage to that in our name,” Stokan said.

“We undertook research to find out what is the best name and how it fits with the bowl. That’s how we got back to Peach. We felt it was important to the fans, to the staff and to the volunteers who have committed to the bowl through the years. So we paid homage to the history and the tradition of the bowl.”

Seriously, if you had to spend more than, oh, ten seconds on that research, you were wasting your time.  It’s the only other name the game has ever had.

The real reason for the move wasn’t homage paying.  It was, as happens in so many ways these days, more corporate and commercial in nature.

The change back to Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl stems from last April’s decision by College Football Playoff organizers to make the Atlanta bowl one of six rotating sites of national semifinal games.

The playoff organizers stipulated that the Atlanta bowl’s name would have to become more in sync with the other five in the semifinal rotation, all of which include a traditional moniker as well as a corporate sponsor: Allstate Sugar Bowl, Discover Orange Bowl, AT&T Cotton Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Rose Bowl Presented by Vizio.

Thanks, though.  Can’t wait for the peach milkshake, presented by Chick-fil-A.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Just Bidness

Seriously, how does Mark Emmert have a job?

The NCAA is here for you, student-athletes.

And is sensitive to your concerns.

(By the way, the median salary in the CFL is $83,000, Mark.)

When he’s not denigrating them, Emmert writes checks with his mouth that his ass can’t cash.

And that’s just from this morning.  Jeebus, what a putz.


Filed under The NCAA