In one succinct sentence, here’s why college football and the NCAA have something to worry about with the latest hot development in the world of high school football recruiting:
With Nike and Under Armour sponsoring teams and ESPNU providing coverage, seven-on-seven football, which is played with no helmets, pads or linemen, has grown quickly in the past three years.
Nice partners you got there, college football. Here’s what they’re empowering:
… A scene on the second day of the tryout offered a window into seven-on-seven’s power. One of Goetz’s assistants, Jon Drummond, put Miramar High cornerback Tracy Howard on the phone with assistant coaches at Miami and Florida. Howard is a junior, so college coaches cannot call him. But it is legal for Drummond to connect coaches with Howard, who is considered the country’s top cornerback prospect.
Asked if college coaches needed to court their seven-on-seven counterparts the way they talked to high school coaches, Drummond said, “They better.”
“I think it’s just as important as high school football,” Drummond said of seven-on-seven. “It makes recruiting easier. You don’t have to search for coaches; they search for you.”
Let your ringers do the talking.
You know, there may be one added benefit to this year’s “bigger, stronger and faster” regimen that no one has mentioned: the players have gotten so wrapped up worrying about the consequences of eating an order of french fries that nobody’s considered piling into Mudcat’s car to do something that would incur the wrath of the campus cops.
Jimmy Williamson probably has somebody researching the legality of football players eating at McDonald’s as we speak. Gotta keep the troops busy.
During his nine-year stint in Athens, I don’t remember Willie Martinez doing anything this dumb:
… According to documents obtained by the Tulsa World through open records laws, an unnamed student-athlete last July declined to sign a compliance department log documenting hours spent in voluntary offseason workouts. The student-athlete then asked to talk to a compliance director and played a recording during which Martinez asked why the student-athlete missed a voluntary workout.
“He didn’t record it,” the second source clarified. “What happened was (Martinez) left a message on his voicemail, and he kept the voicemail. That’s a big difference. It sounds sexier to print it like (it was recorded), but that’s not the way it happened.”
Trice was not named in the compliance department’s correspondence with the NCAA (the school redacts any student-athlete’s name before releasing documents to the media, but no student-athletes were named in these documents).
According to the documents, Martinez on the recording questioned an unnamed student-athlete about why he had missed a voluntary workout.
According to NCAA bylaws, members of the coaching staff are not allowed to monitor attendance or even inquire from members of the strength and conditioning staff about a players’ performance at voluntary workouts.
Leaving a voice mail recording of an NCAA violation – now there’s common sense at work. Maybe Willie thought the tape would self-destruct in five seconds, just like in Mission Impossible.