The evolution of a bug into a feature

And if the coach breaks a few secondary rules along the way, so what? Did anyone make him stop recruiting those players? He knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s pushing the envelope to its limits and until the NCAA pushes back harder than a slap on the wrist, he knows the Vols will get their recruit more times than not.

from “Kiffin is crazy — like a fox”, Mark Wiedmer, Chattanooga Times Free Press, February 19, 2009.

I really am amazed at how quickly this whole contempt for secondary recruiting violations thing has taken off.   And it’s certainly not just a creation of Junior’s, either.

But this Andy Staples’ column indicates that we’re already entering into the next stage, one in which secondary violations aren’t merely ignored, but are embraced:

… The secondary violation has become one of the best recruiting tools in a coach’s arsenal because, thanks to an insatiable media, every secondary violation that comes to light offers a massive publicity boost. Auburn, a program most of the nation ignored after coach Gene Chizik‘s offseason hiring, got a small bump from its completely legal tactic of sending assistant coaches to high schools in stretch limos during the spring evaluation period. But after Big Cat Weekend and the potential violations that have kept the story alive, Auburn is getting name-checked across the country.

Unless the NCAA stiffens the penalties for these violations, it may behoove programs in need of buzz to commit them. [Emphasis added.]

Holy Mother of Crap, that’s twisted.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around the concept that deliberate rule breaking – in some cases, on a repeated basis – is somehow something positive for a football program to project.

If that’s really the current state of affairs, I don’t see how the NCAA can’t step in and put some teeth into enforcement.


Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

15 responses to “The evolution of a bug into a feature

  1. MontgomeryAlDawg

    Amen…twisted and…much more than pushing the envelope by incessant text messaging, this will call for NCAA re-evaluation and thickening an already ridiculous rule book,
    recruit with character and get character, recruit like this, make a splash and run your program through the mud and invite poor character that will continue to do the same once in your town.


  2. Nothing wrong with being old fashioned. I know schools break rules, but if programs are going to start “adapting” to this level of brashness…then the NCAA needs to get up to snuff in a Darwinian way.

    Just sayin’.


  3. I’m not down with the deliberate rule-breaking, and I’m not going to apologize for the idiocy of doing this with ESPN cameras rolling. However, while I haven’t got my handy dandy tally sheet here, I believe this means that since Kiffin took over, both Georgia and Tennessee have reported six each.


  4. Mike In Valdosta

    This is the same way the rationalize marrying their cousins.

    I know we all circle signing day every year, but I am starting to think an early signing period, a la basketball, may be the tonic here. Not just from a “good of the game” stand point, but to ease some of the pressure/hype off of these young recruits.


  5. I wasn’t intending to incite a riot or make it look like I’m apologizing for Kiffin. These secondary violations drive me crazy, and I don’t agree with breaking rules just to get publicity. If that’s what this is, I think it was a mistake by Kiffin. You just got ten minutes on ESPN devoted to you, why do you need to get more publicity? If anything, his doing this screwed up any goodwill he could have built in this segment because no one is talking about ANYTHING other than this stupid violation.

    Georgia football has three, none involving Richt. Apologies for misrepresenting the violations. Honestly, I had just read something over the weekend about Georgia having six and was tossing it out there.


  6. And one thing I can’t stand is the whole inbred/cousin/bestiality thing thrown out there by everyone in the south in weak attempts to insult each other. This makes the second time in the past week that I have visited another site (which I greatly respect) to have an insult thrown out there like that. It adds nothing constructive to the dialogue and is an antiquated stereotype which in reality, only happened in remote parts of all of our states and even then, seldomly. I know it happens sometimes at our place by our commenters too, but that doesn’t mean it is right over there either.


    • Mike In Valdosta

      Just good natured ribbing, Oskie. If it were a rampant, or even noticeable problem, I could understand your sensitivity to it. Lord knows, there are few insults we can hurl at any Southern state that do not apply to all Southern states, with the exception of those states that wear their home football jerseys to pick up trash on the side of the road.

      Quite frankly, I visit the football blogs to escape all of the serious problems facing our society. Unfortunately, real issues are hard to avoid these days.


      • I hear ya, and I’ve seen you comment around here enough to know you don’t really mean it. The only reason I mentioned it is because this has happened a lot lately.


      • NCT

        “… there are few insults we can hurl at any Southern state …”

        Most of the stereotype insults that fit this category could also very easily apply to those states in the Big 10 and Big 12 footprints. They are largely based in features of rural life. Hell, I’ve met folks from Alaska, Oregon, and New Mexico that, on a “redneck scale”, could hold their own with any Elizabethton local.


  7. Macallanlover

    The NCAA needs to count secondary violations as cumulative, like demerits, and have a specific number that equates to a “major”. Having rules that are sneered at is worse than having no rule at all. Of course, this is the same organization that is unable to issue sanctions for the Reggie Bush/USC affair after 4-5 years.

    As for UT, this is the same program that gave a running back a FOURTH strike after three failed drug tests two years ago. They seem to be oblivious to how lack of discipline brought down the previous regime. Young people are very much attuned to how authority figures react to violations and most will push the limits. So nothing seems to have changed in Knoxville, except Junior is more annoying and less classy in the way the he goes about excusing bad behavior, or handling public relations. (Hard to believe they scoured the country thoroughly enough to find someone who could make Phat Phil look smooth!)


  8. Dog in Fla

    Global War on Lane (GWOL) Crisis of the Day (COD) Piece, Green Zone, Knoxville, 8 June 2009:

    Lane decides to attack the enemy correspondents ridiculing the talking point that the chaos and confusion of the Lane regime is all part of an elaborate master battle plan dreamed well up in advance by Hamilton as part of the job description and thereafter implemented with precision by Lane.

    Lane asks Layla Two if she can take dictation and she says of course she can. He tells her to get her steno pad and fires off:

    “Send all of your Secondary Violations unto me. I can handle them. I am a man. I’m almost forty! I have withstood and survived the rigorous NCAA investigations of the Reggie Bush USC era. I have withstood and survived the wrath, fury and confusion of old man Al Davis. I have conquered Pahokee. Ergo, I can withstand anything that the crackers down here throw at me. I shall be unscathed. I am invincible!”

    Layla Two reminds Lane that it’s one thing being a banty rooster raised to be a small domestic game bird and a banty rooster raised to be a cockfighter.

    She suggests that he may want to stop crowing and strutting his stuff until after he’s played a game against any of The Head Coaches of the SEC.

    Lane asks Layla Two what’s a banty rooster and how does she know so much. Layla Two tells Lane that he has inspired her to think about changing her major at UT from Whatever to Pre-Vet so, ergo, she knows a lot about bantys.

    Lane disregards her wise counsel and says,

    “An enemy correspondent is calling the so-called alleged secondary violations to be the “Evolution of a Bug into a Feature.’

    Take down the dictation exactly as I said it, and entitle it the ‘Evolution of a Banty Rooster’ for immediate release to the press.”

    Layla Two shrugs, smiles and says, “Whatever.”


    • Macallanlover

      Dog in Florida, that is a very slight variation of what my first question to Layla Two would be.