They’re only in it for the money.

I don’t think Chip Towers’ post on Georgia’s reaction to the new NCAA recruiting rules is unreasonable in its logic, but that doesn’t mean it’s unquestionable.  For one thing, he makes an assumption that hasn’t played out yet.

Bylaw on “non-coaching staff members” expressly forbids people in positions such as Steele from analyzing video of prospects or interacting with prospects or current players in any on-field coaching capacity. Yes, the new proposals allow them to communicate with prospects by mail, email, text or phone call. But all indications are those proposals are going to be overturned by schools by the end of the override period, which is March 20th. Then what are these new hires going to do?

I haven’t seen anything yet that suggests all the proposals are going to be overturned in their entirety.  I do think the most expensive stuff – the unlimited mailings, for example – isn’t likely to survive.  But the non-coaching staff issue?  I’m far from sure about that, because there are already a lot of schools invested in that area.  Including, as Towers points out in his very next paragraph, Georgia:

Besides, a closer look reveals that Georgia is pretty well-stocked as it is when it comes to “non-coaching personnel” in the athletic department. A quick check of the Bulldogs’ administrative directory shows that UGA already has a director of football operations (Brad Hutcherson), a director of player development (John Eason), a director of player welfare (Dave Van Halanger), a director of on-campus recruiting (Darryl Jones), a recruiting program coordinator (Connie Connelly), a program coordinator (Bryant Gantt) and a recruiting assistant (Ben Bradenburg). That doesn’t count Josh Brooks, whose responsibilities as assistant AD for internal operations have mostly to do with football; Mike Cavan, a former major college head football coach who primarily works as an athletics fundraiser but is also a de facto football consultant for Athletic Director Greg McGarity; and several graduate assistant coaches and video coordinators.

As these are people already there, there’s no expense issue in adapting to the new rules.  It’s more a matter of how much additional on-campus recruiting responsibilities are placed on those folks as part of their job descriptions.

Towers concludes by asking a question that infers there’s little to be achieved from this – I mean, how many people do you need to oversee 100 players and sign 25 prospects a year to scholarships? – but here’s what I wonder.  If there’s nothing to be gained from it, why did Nick Saban hire Kevin Steele in the first place?  And why is Greg McGarity fighting so hard to overturn the change?


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting

15 responses to “They’re only in it for the money.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Saban hired Kevin Steele because of dog licking balls theory, because Alabama has noney to burn, and because no advantage is too small to grab.


  2. The other Doug

    I thought Eason and Van Halager were given those jobs to ease them into retirement?


  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    Or….maybe hiring Steele back(?) was just a part of the process….there are many hidden corners in the process…things that only The Boss (the real boss, not last decade’s Bob Dylan) understands.

    Nick…sitting on his deck up at the lake….”Hmm, lemme see now, hiring Steele got Greg all stirred up…boy that was easy….how about if I hire…oh, I don’t know….Phil Fulmer? to manage something….”


  4. Cojones

    So of the 9 admin athletic supporters it appears that 4 are for recruiting straight forward and the other 5 dabble in it unevenly. That about it? There were 3 more positions there that were news to me. Overall, what we have working now can keep us in the game until the rules have ben cleared and, unless IP people have to be hired to help support the computer inept (akin to my problem), then panic certainly is not in the cards.

    Your inference taken from Tower’s question of nothing to be gained from those people on staff is off the mark. I think he references the upcoming arms race if the purged recruiting rules aren’t overridden. I agree with Chip that they will be overridden and some people will be moving out of Bama’s admin. Chip’s research was informative to me and doesn’t lead me to want to beat up on an AJC writer that gets it nearly correct every once in a while……..

    I’m with Mac on this one in that we should back away from what dropping these rules can lead to: the buying of 17 yr old CFB players. If differing language persuasion tactics can be researched by psychologists and crafted to individuals in such a manner that those selfsame people will be able to recruit and mesmerize 17 yr olds, recruiting can become a semantics free-for-all that could tie recruiting up in the courts. If you think those words couldn’t contain subtle schemes for enriching all the kids monetarily if they come to your school then you could be more naive than I am. Home visits could become long brainwashing sessions shared by the recruit’s girlfriends, buddies and parents since there are no restrictions on communications, whether directly toward the player or tangentially toward those in the recruit’s emotional circle. Do the rules prevent a pressured kid from signing a LOI at any time instead of giving a verbal?


    • Dog in Fla

      “giving a verbal” will be all worth it for the usual recruit suspects as soon as The Great Deregulation unsequesters Tennessee Hostess-like recruiting squadrons throughout this great country of ours. God Bless America! And remember to tip your hostesses


  5. mdcgtp

    I think there are two types of employees here. those with responsibilities related to recruiting and those who provide some type of support for the coaching staff.

    Here are some of the by laws…
    In basketball, football and women’s
    volleyball, off-campus, in-person scouting of opponents is prohibited, except as provided in Bylaw

    here is the full rule towers cited Noncoaching Activities. Institutional staff members involved in noncoaching activities
    (e.g., administrative assistants, academic counselors) do not count in the institution’s coaching
    limitations, provided such individuals are not identified as coaches, do not engage in any on- or off-field
    coaching activities (e.g., attending meetings involving coaching activities, analyzing video involving the
    institution’s or an opponent’s team), and are not involved in any off-campus recruitment of prospective
    student-athletes or scouting of opponents. Exception—Noncoaching Staff Member with Sport-Specific Responsibilities.
    A noncoaching staff member with sport-specific responsibilities (e.g., director of operations,
    administrative assistant) may participate in organized activities involving only the coaching
    staff or may perform administrative duties (e.g., attend meetings involving coaching activities,
    analyze video of the institution’s or an opponent’s team, track statistics during practice or competition).
    However, such an individual is prohibited from participating in instructional activities
    with student-athletes and any on-court or on-field activities (e.g., assist with drills, throw batting
    practice), and is prohibited from participating with or observing student-athletes in the staff member’s
    sport who are engaged in nonorganized voluntary athletically related activities (e.g., pick-up
    games). (Adopted: 1/16/10)

    It would seem to me that the “exception” to the rule basically allows all a program to build a support staff that is in fact capable of breaking down film, participating in game planning, and there is NOTHING about the change in rules that really applies to this.

    Again, it would seem to me that an early signing period would render a lot of these issues moot.


  6. Harry Balzack...

    This week alone….
    Former Ashland University defensive backs coach Joe Palcic has joined the Alabama staff.

    Also former Northwestern State tight ends / special teams coordinator / assistant head coach Brendan Farrell and former Jacksonville State offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Ronnie Letson have accepted quality control type of positions at Alabama this week…


    • Dog in Fla

      “Germany Prepares to Invade Poland, Part Deux!” starring Nick, Sandra Bullock, Kirby, Mal, Paul, the dead Bear, Pat Dye, Pat Dye Jr., Shug and Kristi Malzahn. Co-Produced by the Acme and Golden Flake Potatoe Chip Companies and Nick. Directed by Nick.


      • JG Shellnutt

        With it being Nick, would a more apt comparison not be Napoleon?


        • Dog in Fla

          Apt indeed. So apt that it requires a last-minute cast change

          “Napoleon Invades Poland, Part Un!” Starring Nick, Sandra Bullock, Lech Walesa, the Flying Wallendas, Tommy Tubberville and Frenchy Fuqua


  7. BCDawg97

    Sure a lot of these people already on staff can be given additional roles. My issue is that it seems that the new rules allow for an expanded staff and that’s where others are taking advantage of with new hirings like Bama and AU that UGA is not (assuming that we don’t once we find out whether the rules get rescinded or not)


  8. Always Someone Else's Fault

    You could argue that Alabama’s building a bloated bureaucracy around Saban that will collapse under its own weight when he leaves. You could also argue that they are building an organization with a culture that will survive his eventual departure. Programs usually crater when a highly successful coach hangs it up, simply because the identify of the program becomes so invested in a single personality. Alabama’s already learned that lesson once.

    McGarity’s approach makes perfect sense if Georgia Football is relatively immune to on-field performance – and given Georgia’s lone presence in the state as a major football program, you could argue that it is relatively immune. Alabama’s revenue and image, on the other hand, seems highly sensitive to the W-L record. As much as we like to think Saban is calling all of these shots, I have to think Mal is spending more time worrying about 2023, and McGarity much less, than we might think.