that illustrate my ambivalence about the practice:
First, here’s one from the LSU blog And The Valley Shook.
… Because if the SEC was truly abusive and the players were being taken advantage of: kids would stop signing with SEC schools. The elephant in the room is: why aren’t these kids flocking to the Big Ten, with its more restrictive rules on oversigning? High school recruits hold almost all the power during their recruitment period, so why are they going to the schools which are being so publicly derided as being hostile to their interests?
Now, before you tell me I’m being naïve about what these kids understand, perhaps you ought to start by explaining your own naiveté about the level of negative recruiting that goes on chasing in this day and age.
That being said, it’s the practice of how slots open up for these kids that may not pass the smell test. And Year2 hits on a good point about one such method.
… There are other ways of doing investigation. Take, for example, the Wall Street Journal‘s inspection of the use of medical hardships and how Alabama gives out more of them than any other program. I know that rebuttals to that piece have come from all over the Alabama blogosphere, many of which came to the conclusion that the medical hardship scholarships were fair and justified.
If that’s true, then why not investigate what it is about Alabama’s program that causes more players to become medically unfit to play football than most programs? Or is it just that Alabama’s standards are different? Are the coaches and doctors there more in tune with medical research into when to sit a player down for good? Or are the coaches just more willing to give out medical hardships than other coaches?
I don’t have all the answers to this, which is why I hesitate to issue a blanket condemnation. I’d sure like to know more, though.
Via David Pollack’s Twitter feed, here’s a pic of the newest #47 to don the red and black:
Montana has taken notice of Georgia’s 2011 commitment list.
Something to tide you over until the Ray Drew announcement –
This should raise a few eyebrows.
… If you do the math, Georgia is only putting 25.8% of their football revenue back into the program. Meanwhile, the 2009 National Champion, Alabama, was putting 43.3% back into their program, and the 2010 National Champion, Auburn, invested 42.2 percent. Is there perhaps a correlation between this and results on the field? Georgia went 7-5 in 2009 and just 6-6 in 2010. Comparing Georgia to Texas, who is the only school with bigger profits from football, the two are spending at about the same rate, with Texas putting 26.7% back into their program. However, Texas is spending $25,112,331 to Georgia’s $18,308,654.
I’ll also note that Georgia is second in the SEC in terms of overall athletic department profit at $11.7 million. Alabama, who posted the highest profits for its athletic department, is an outlier with a $44 million profit (more to come on that in a later post). Ole Miss presented a balanced sheet, so they show no profit in the athletic department. However, the other 10 schools posted an average profit of $5.4 million, putting Georgia’s athletic department at more than twice the average profit.
About that correlation question – it’s hard to say without knowing what that extra spending is going into, so it would be interesting to see a school-by-school breakdown. But, yeah, it’s hard not to have a nagging feeling that making money has occupied a higher priority for the people running the athletic department (or, more accurately, the person to whom those people answer to) than spending the money to allow the program to succeed at its highest level.
Especially when it’s the continuation of a trend.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting a bullish Tom Lemming:
“If they get those guys they will finish somewhere like third, fourth or fifth, maybe higher,” said Lemming, who has Drew and Rome No. 1 at their respective positions and Crowell number four. “Alabama, who is already No. 1, is going to be tough to beat, especially if they end up getting Jadeveon Clowney. Texas already has a great class, even though they recently lost their best player to Auburn. Florida State and LSU have good classes. Then there’s USC, who was supposed to be limited with 15 scholarships but is loading up because of their NCAA appeal. But Georgia’s going to be in that mix.”
The Bulldogs’ class currently ranks No. 8 by Scout.com, No. 9 by Rivals and 11 by ESPNU/Scouts Inc.
“A lot of it has to do with Mark Richt,” Lemming said. “He probably doesn’t get enough credit for being a great recruiter. And it’s Georgia itself. It’s the state school. I’ve been driving through there for 32 years and kids grow up wanting to be Bulldogs, no matter what the situation is.”
I got a chuckle out of this line from Andy Staples:
… Last year, I asked college football recruits to be more careful about what they posted on Facebook. What happens in the rural Mississippi strip club on an official visit probably should stay in the rural Mississippi strip club.
Words to live by, there.