Hey, kid, why don’t you pick on somebody your own size?

The NCAA’s multi-year scholarship proposal makes people dumber.  I have proof:

“I see coaches starting to play games with this,” Hickman says. “You might offer your blue-chip kid a four-year scholarship. But then your other kids, you say, ‘Well, let’s give them a two-year deal. We’ll redshirt them the first year, play them the second year, see how it works out.’

“It puts us into an atmosphere of now negotiating a contract, so to speak, for a scholarship with a prospect, which is no real difference from what professionals do with the players they sign.”

“What this legislation does,” Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti echoes, “is essentially put schools into contract negotiations with 15- to 17-year-old kids.”

You read that correctly.  These are gentlemen responsible for running multi-million dollar athletic departments who are afraid they’ll come out on the losing end haggling with a seventeen-year old.  No wonder these guys don’t stand a chance with the Jimmy Sextons of the world.

If I were a school president today, I’d call my AD into my office and ask him or her if Pernetti’s fear was valid.  Any one who agreed would be fired unceremoniously on the spot.

Of course, I have to admit the possibility exists that Hickman and Pernetti are simply being disingenuous assholes indulging in a bit of fear-mongering by overstating their case.   They do sound like a pair of weasels.  It’s just that them being unnerved by a legion of suddenly empowered adolescents who don’t even have their high school diplomas yet is an equally believable possibility.

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UPDATE:  This is why schools don’t want to negotiate.

So much for the concern about “coaches playing games”.

26 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

26 responses to “Hey, kid, why don’t you pick on somebody your own size?

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    On the surface you have a point there. But I see the negotiations being with the parents. Have you been around many fathers of decent football or baseball prospects? The worst ones are some of the grossest creatures this side of Jabba the Hutt. And that’s before you get to the Cecil Newtons of the world.

  2. I’m hoping that they are just overstating their case, I’m really hoping that’s what it is, Senator. The folks who fall for these “it’s not fair to us” sympathy plays from the school baffle me. Everyone of them gets paid to do a job, they spend so much time trying to make it “we might lose” proof they lose time they oughta be bettering themselves at the job itself.

  3. God forbid one of these guys screws up and accidentally gives someone an “extra” year of free education, because that would be THE WORST THING THAT COULD POSSIBLY EVER HAPPEN IN THE WORLD.

  4. RoswellDawg

    I think you may be missing the point of what they are saying here just a little bit.
    In sure no coach is “scared” of having to negotiate with a 17 year old. However, the fact remains that this is just one more thing that the coach will have to “sell” to mostly irrational teenagers and parents.
    Scholarships are worth money. 4 years cost more than 2. It is a negotiation and that is that point. Most of these coaches want to see college sports kept as pure as possible. And the more “money” you throw at a kid the less pure it gets.

    • Most of these coaches want to see college sports kept as pure as possible.

      If by that you mean control every aspect of their programs to the nth degree, you’re spot on.

      • RoswellDawg

        My point here is that these kids have no business negotiating for 2 or 4 year scholarships.
        Personally, I detest the idea of scholarships given anyway. My idea would be to make kids pay for their own education. (crazy, I know).
        Offer the kids set cash bonuses in reward for achievements made on the field. (the least the university could do for the millions made).

        • Luther Campbell

          “Offer the kids set cash bonuses in reward for achievements made on the field.”

          You’re preaching to the choir, buddy.

        • DawgPhan

          Lulz…your solution to maintain the purity of the sport is to start paying the players?

    • Go Dawgs!

      If you think college coaches and athletic administrators with their multi-million dollar salaries and budgets and television contracts and shoe deals and endorsement contracts are concerned about the “purity” of the sport, I’d just encourage you to re-evaluate your opinion on the matter.

      No, the schools have all of the power if they keep granting one year scholarships. They can cut loose a player as soon as that player stops producing. Multiyear scholarship grants would inevitably result in some athletes being on scholarship after he turns out to be a “bust” or becomes injured (most players in most places retain their scholarships after injury, granted). No, this is no different than pro sports owners trying to fight against granting free agency to player unions. It’s about retaining control and the ability to manage rosters, nothing more.

    • 81Dog

      Nick Saban just threw up in his mouth a little bit after he read this.

  5. HK

    If this passes, they at least have to allow more paid coaches on staff. There’s no arguing that this wouldn’t drum up a ton of extra work for these coaches who are already spread pretty thin.

    • HK

      Along with allowing more contact with recruits.

      Negotiating takes time, particularly when you’re bidding upwards of 60 contracts at once (if you’re on the conservative end), with each of the parties you’re dealing with pitting you against several other suitors in a bidding war.

      I don’t see anything wrong with allowing this whole thing, but it can’t just be some idealistic, “here now you have to do this because its for the children; no other rules are changed”. A whole lot of other rules have to change for it to be practical.

  6. HK

    Senator, what effect do you think this would have on parity between top tier and second rate teams.

    Does it give a team like Kentucky an upper hand because they can offer recruits something the stronger programs can’t, or does it backfire and cause them to get stuck with 4 year scholarship busts because they have to offer that to even have a chance with these kids while stronger programs can say “1 year, take it or leave it” and then evaluate annually?

    • HK

      Corrections: stronger programs of course could offer 4 year scholarships, they’d just be a lot less likely to on a borderline kid, while a program like UK would.

    • It’s a good question and I’m not sure.

      I don’t think it would have much of an effect on the top blue-chippers, but I wonder about the three-star kids and maybe the kicking specialists.

    • Hackerdog

      Increased competition almost always benefits the little guy (in this case, schools and kids). When Alabama is offering a one year scholarship and Kentucky is offering four years, several kids, and their parents, will certainly give Kentucky a second look.

      At this point in time, unless a kid follows recruiting blogs which have stories on oversigning and roster management, he’s probably fairly ignorant on the practice. Other coaches may negatively recruit and bring it up, but some kids may dismiss that as sour grapes and bias. But when Joker Phillips puts an offer in writing and Nick Saban starts hemming and hawing about 25 man limits and medial hardships, it may all come into focus for some of these kids.

  7. 81Dog

    Dont “minor sports” at most schools already do this? By dividing up X number of full scholarships among Y number of players (where X < Y)*, coaches have to give some guys more than others, dont they? SuperDuper Young Lefty Starter with MLB Draft Potential? Here, you get the full ride. Under 6 Foot Outfielder With Decent Speed and Hitting But No Real MLB Shot Out of HS? Well, we can maybe pay your tuition, but books and meals are on you.

    * I apologize for the Tech-like nature of introducing math concepts into the discussion, but it seemed appropriate, if perhaps a touch nerdish.

  8. stoopnagle

    Surprised? Hardly. Afterall, this is what “normal” students’ parents do with financial aid offices all the time.

  9. JG

    Isn’t this mainly about a recruit being able to say: “Well, this coach offered me four years, and you only offered me three.”?

    With scholarship limits in place, and every recruit wanting a maximum contract, so to speak, I’d think the coaches are worried about losing recruits to rivals offering more years, but not wanting to offer too many years to an untried athlete and possibly screwing themselves over re: future classes.

  10. Cojones

    Why not do what you have always done. If the kid screws up, he still would be held responsible for his part of the contract. If you mean that performance may not be what you thought you saw, then let the buyer beware because it’s on the coach. If he “dogs” it, that’s like a discipline problem and on the kid, but if he couldn’t perform to begin with, that’s on the coach. He suffers the consequence of his poor player evaluation.

    This is manufactured angst. The responsibilies of a scholarship cuts two ways. Giving a kid a trial scholarship is dumb. You takes what you gits.

  11. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The issue ought to be whether to make all NCAA D-IA football scholarships a 4 year contract or not. Giving some recruits a 4 year deal, some a 2 year deal and others a 1 year deal is worse than what we have now. The Sabans of the world will manipulate that situation to the power of infinity.

    • Disagree, Mayor. I think it’s a useful tool for the smaller programs to battle with Saban.

      • Hackerdog

        Exactly. Why should Saban or Spurrier, who will readily cull their rosters based on performance, get to pretend they’re offering the same level of commitment as Richt, who will only take a kid off scholarship for some major discipline/legal problems? Or the Rice coach who signed the kid who will never be medically cleared to play a down?

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          The Doctrine of Unintended Consequences at work here. Something we can’t see now will rise up to bite the unsuspecting. I would guess it would be something similar to what HK said above. Bama can offer kids 1 year scholarships and still get the guys they want while UK has to offer a 4 year ride to get them. When some of the kids inevitably are busts, Saban can just cull his whereas UK has to keep theirs using up space that could have gone to other, better players. More busts happen each year with less and less space on the UK team ending up with a significant portion of the team being busts. The differential between Bama and UK then grows even greater and greater each year. Sort of a recruiting death spiral for the UKs of the world.

  12. Coastal Dawg

    Two questions come to mind, Senator. First, if a kid asks a lawyer to compare the varies written offers he has received to evaluate them and help his decision, has he in essence retained an agent and thus broken the rules? Second, a kid gets a 2-year offer from one school signs stays for the 2 years but doesn’t get renewed for number 3. Does he have to sit a year to take a new offer from another school?