Two other high-profile kids who ran afoul of the NCAA last season because of agent-related issues wound up as the third and fourth picks in the draft.
Doesn’t exactly put the fear of God into student-athletes, does it? Not that the NFL gives a rat’s ass about that.
It’s a common fallacy repeated on message boards and blogs ad nauseam: recruiting ratings are worthless because this two-star prospect succeeded and that five-star kid was a flop. I call it the micro approach to recruiting.
It’s the bigger picture that’s far more relevant, though. Talking about this year’s NFL draft, Matt Hinton observes,
… Six of the top 10 were accorded five-star status as recruits, which is even more impressive when you consider just how few players make up the upper crust in recruiting rankings. Using Rivals’ ratings, five-star players make up a little more than one percent of all Division I-A signees every year, and four-star players less than 12 percent; a full 87 percent of incoming players are rated three stars or lower. (In Rivals’ system, all DI-A signees are automatically granted two-star status; walk-ons are usually unranked.) But that group produced a grand total of 13 picks Thursday night from a cast of more than 10,000 last year.
Missing out on a particular kid tells you nothing about a program’s talent level. Signing decent numbers of four and five-star recruits on a consistent basis, on the other hand, is an indication of success. As Hinton summarizes how the math works out, “The four and five-star players, a group that makes up a little under 13 percent of the entire population of college players, accounts for just shy of 60 percent of first-rounders.” I’ll take my chances with a program that steadily cranks out first-round draftees, thank you very much.
Brian Cook takes a look at the NCAA’s decision not to reverse course on the Todd McNair appeal and games out what that might mean for Ohio State and Jim Tressel. Cook thinks there’s a decent chance Ohio State decides to stand by their man.
I don’t know how likely it is that a school takes a gamble on a head coach who’s prohibited from recruiting for an entire year, though.
There’s a bigger question about Cook’s reasoning, though, one that’s highlighted over at Conquest Chronicles. The NCAA’s D1 Board of Directors has issued new rules for its infractions folks, including one that sounds like it comes straight out of Bush v. Gore:
Remind the membership in LSDBi and in committee policies and procedures that Committee on Infractions and Infractions Appeals Committee reports in prior cases are not binding in future cases. The reports do not reflect all of the facts and circumstances considered by a committee, rules may have changed, committee members have likely changed and no two set of facts are exactly the same. Those appearing before the committees should focus on the conduct involved in the actual matter pending before the committees, not on prior cases.
Precedent means zilch. Every case is unique. Blah, blah, blah. In other words, rules? The NCAA don’t have to show you any stinkin’ rules.
That may make things easier for the organization in terms of passing judgment, but it’s not so conducive to encouraging your member institutions to avoid certain forms of behavior. Not to mention maintaining respect for the enforcement procedure itself. But then we’ve all known that consistency isn’t one of the NCAA’s strong suits.