In light of all the stupidity out there (**cough** Finebaum **cough**) focused on the ability of coaches like Kiffin and Chizik to draw ohmygod!-type recruiting classes without waiting to see if it actually translates into success in the field, this outburst in response to Junior’s dismissal of UCLA’s recent success in pulling a few SoCal-area recruits away from USC is chock full of teh awesome.
First of all, when Kiffin was working at USC last time Karl Dorrell was the coach in Westwood and he allowed the Trojans to take their pick of top recruits in So Cal like they were Neil Patrick Harris walking into a brothel. This time around it’s Rick Neuheisel coaching the Bruins — someone who lives for recruiting and has no qualms about stealing your recruit nor your wife. In other words, times are completely different now and Kiffin’s words sound solely like sour grapes coming from a man who saw a few top recruits choose UCLA over USC — not the way it was supposed to be (or used to happen). I’m not about to gloat over UCLA winning a few recruiting battles. Only time will tell if those really were victories for the program because most of player development depends on coaching. Neuheisel and Chow have a pretty good track record of maximizing talent. Pete Carroll was legendary for his abilities. Ed Orgeron was a flop. Lane Kiffin? I have a good reason to believe his results will not match his mouth.
When Rodney Garner became Georgia’s recruiting coordinator in 1998, video clips of high school football prospects were not readily available on the Internet.
There were no comprehensive online recruiting sites such as Rivals.com and Scout.com, nor were players announcing their decisions by wearing various hats. Garner has evolved with these publicity-driven avenues in the recruiting process, but now Facebook.com and Twitter.com have entered the mix.
“I know you’ve got to embrace some of these things, but my job is already encompassing enough,” Garner said. “I’m not going down certain roads right now until I have to.”
Some of us don’t seem to have that problem, no matter where it may lead.
“A lot of things do get out of control,” Richt said. “I talked to a guy at lunch the other day who has a plane that looks like ours or has a ‘G’ on it, and he said every time he takes off and does business, there is a report that we’re going to get a certain coach or a certain player. He took some trips to Tuscaloosa and to Knoxville, and it was craziness.”
If Jakar Hamilton is right, though, it sounds like Garner is going to have to adapt.
“Facebook is like another life,” Hamilton said. “People spend at least three or four hours a day on it, probably more than that, and a lot of recruiting gets done through that. There will be a player that coaches are trying to get, and I will go and tell them, ‘Coach is trying to get in touch with you.’ Facebook really helps a lot if you’re trying to reach out to a player.”
Three or four hours a day? I guess I don’t feel so guilty about the time I spend on GTP now.
I don’t know how many of you have been following the Ed O’Bannion case in which he’s suing the NCAA for using his likeness in video games without compensating him, but he got a nice win in a court ruling the other day which has the potential to lead to the disclosure of some interesting information. In essence, the ruling leaves the NCAA’s licensing contracts – estimated to be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion – open to discovery.
Of course, be prepared for the hypocrisy charges to be laid out quite thickly. In this case, they’re deserved. But here’s the potentially ominous part for the suits:
… Michael McCann, a professor at Vermont Law School who specializes in sports law, called Monday’s ruling a “setback” for the N.C.A.A. He said that the case would probably be followed closely by members of Congress who were interested in the N.C.A.A.’s tax-exempt status.
Maybe it’s just more showboating grist for the political mill. But it sure sounds like another stick/carrot Congress can dangle out there if it’s serious about reforming the football postseason.
I’m sure if a deal like that is cut one day, concerns about the players will be front and center. After all, they’re from the NCAA and they’re here to help.
“And Georgia fans, don’t be turds. Enjoy this. Soak it up. It’s awesome. If you don’t win this year, it’s still not a failure. It’s a heck of a run. Back-to-back in the Playoff era hasn’t been done. So, to ask for a third I feel like it’s gluttonous. I feel like it’s not OK. But we’ll be in the mix.”-- David Pollack, On3.com, 5/9/23