Daily Archives: February 6, 2015

They lie.

Lots of hurt feelings today from ungrateful wretches kids who found out after they put their names on the dotted line that they were sold a bill of goods about their position coach.

Like Texas defensive line coach Chris Rumph, who’s now on his way to Florida… to replace a coach who’s now on his way to the NFL.

And then there’s Corch.

“There was a talk,” Meyer said. “I had a long conversation with him and so did Stan. We’ve got to move forward.”

Yes, I’m sure he does.

Kids, if you’re highly sought after recruits, here is some good advice you should consider.

Most of all, don’t rush.  Signing day isn’t a deadline.  As Roquan Smith’s coach knows, there’s plenty of time after signing day to pull the trigger.  If that makes ESPN unhappy or some fans antsy, tough shit for them.  You’ve only got your own lives to live.

It’s a corrupt process.  We just learn about bits and pieces of the sleaze because sometimes it’s hard to keep every loose end under wraps.  The bottom line is that recruits have little leverage in the process, because that’s how the system is gamed.  And it’s why I have less and less sympathy for those who fret that giving kids greater freedom to move from one program to another would damage the sport.  Like the status quo is something to cherish.

Plenty more on this at mgoblog.

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Filed under Recruiting

The fault is not in the stars.

Those of you who have pointed to the factoid of no former five-star recruits playing in the past Super Bowl as definitive evidence that recruiting rankings are overrated might want to take a look at where the four teams that appeared in the last CFP semi-finals finished in recruiting over the past four years.

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Filed under Recruiting

Getting started.

Believe it or not, Duke opens spring practice today.

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Filed under College Football

Friday morning buffet

Indulge yourself a little.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

Honesty in second-chance land

Well, I give Hugh Freeze a little credit about signing Chad “I’m going to go to my car and get my AK-47 and spray this place.” Kelly.  He’s not tap dancing around his decision much.

“I’m not gonna sugar-coat anything,” Freeze told FOX Sports on Wednesday. “I’m not extremely confident that I can do that (say that Kelly isn’t gonna embarrass the Ole Miss program.) I’m not going to sit here and make promises. I know this: I believe kids certainly have value and deserve second and even third chances. I like the kid. I know that he has struggled with decisions in the social realm of things. I do think I have a gift for that. I’m not saying I can change him, but I sure think it’s worth the risk.

“Everybody gets tied up in the social media world and in the media world and (says), ‘Man, he can embarrass your program.’ Well, here’s the way I see it: I see it as you’re balancing an opportunity for a young man to change his life and his course and his story as opposed to me having some embarrassment on my program. You know what, I’ve been embarrassed before and I’ll be embarrassed again. To me, that scale is always balanced if you think it is at all salvageable and giving a young man a chance. That is the way I’ve always operated. If the worst thing that happens to me is that I’ll be embarrassed, well, I’ll be all right.”

At least he admits what’s going on.  The reality is that he’s no different that Petrino or Saban on making that call.  Except that neither Petrino nor Saban have a sense of embarrassment.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment

The happiest man in Bristol, Connecticut

I don’t know about you, but if I were Rece Davis this morning, I’d be on my knees profusely thanking everyone responsible for this decision.  Hell, I’d probably sacrifice an animal and make a burnt offering to whatever broadcasting god I pray to for getting me out of an embarrassment like this:

Sadly, someone is now going to have to step into the role he’s vacated.  Er, make that the robe he’s vacated.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

Roquan Smith, learning experience

Okay, we know Georgia’s kept a slot in its 2015 class cleared for Roquan Smith.  What else do we know, or, perhaps more accurately, what else should we know?

First of all, it’s just another example of how the deck is stacked against these kids.  Smith is a teenager from a small town in middle Georgia.  Worldly he ain’t.  His chief advisor is his high school coach, a man no doubt more worldly than Smith, but hardly the kind of person you’d turn to if you were negotiating the most important contract of your life – at least if you were a regular joe who wasn’t prohibited by the NCAA from doing so.

And it’s not like Smith’s situation is an isolated case.  Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson hasn’t turned in his NLI to Florida yet over concerns about his defensive line coach bolting for the NFL after only one month on the job in Gainesville.  Long time Urban Meyer sidekick Stan Drayton announced his departure for the NFL yesterday, too.  Either you believe that the timing of these moves was remarkably coincidental – who wraps a deal with anyone in the NFL in a matter of hours? – or these programs sat on the news until the fax machines were turned off.

The system isn’t fair, because that’s the way the schools prefer it.  And the early signing period isn’t going to help most of these kids one bit.  What would help would be letting these kids have access to professional advice, but that’s another thing that isn’t going to happen without the threat of a judge saying so.

Second, some of us need to get our heads out of our asses.  A verbal commitment ain’t worth the paper it’s printed on, and yet plenty of us behave as if it is.  Kids change their minds; that’s part of what it means to be a kid.  (And let’s not forget that coaches do, too.)  After being misled about the biggest decision of his young life, Smith wanting to take a week to reach a final decision sounds like the smartest approach he could take right now.  Those of you jonesing for him to make a decision – any decision – need to take a step back and realize it’s not just your entertainment he’s weighing right now.

Third, it’s time to bury the romantic myth that these high schoolers choose the school, not the coach.

“It was everybody on the staff,” Macon County Athletic Director and football coach Larry Harold said Thursday. “Coach (John) Lilly was the first I heard from. We weren’t answering our phones, I wasn’t answering mine and he wasn’t answering his. All the sudden these text messages started coming in. They said, ‘RED ALERT: READ THIS.’ Somebody screen-shotted (the website) FootballScoop(.com) and it grew from there. It was crazy.”

Even Georgia’s coaching staff knows that’s bullshit.  Otherwise, why order the Code Red over Jeff Ulbrich’s next career move?

Honesty should compel the NCAA into loosening the transfer rules in the wake of coaching departures.  Of course, no one should hold his or her breath over that happening.  Honesty isn’t usually convenient for coaches.

The real lesson here is that the most leverage some of these kids ever have is the moment before they hit the send button on the fax machine.  If you’re someone whose services are in real demand, there’s no need to punch it until you’re as sure about your decision as you’ll ever be.

“(The recruiting period) isn’t over until the end of April, so there’s no rush. You know, it is a big decision and he needs to take his time, especially in lieu of what happened with the coach at UCLA leaving. So there’s a lot for him to consider. These things happen. But he needs to do what’s best for him and his family just like Coach Ulbrich did what’s best for him and his family. Everybody needs to do what’s best for their situation.”

Too bad it takes getting screwed to realize that kind of wisdom.

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UPDATE:  As David Ching writes,

The day after signing day frequently features another unfortunate aspect of today’s first talking point: The day after players sign with colleges, the coaches who recruited them sometimes accept other jobs. That happened all over on Thursday, including Texas, where defensive line coach Chris Rumph left for the same post at Florida. He replaces Terrell Williams, who accepted a job with the Miami Dolphins, possibly making Jefferson’s situation even murkier since he would have been Jefferson’s position coach with the Gators. As we discussed in yesterday’s links, a coaching change was also a sticking point with Smith, as UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, who recruited Smith, is reportedly leaving to take a job with the Atlanta Falcons. Unlike coaches who can basically leave at any time, players are bound to schools once they fax in their signed letters of intent. When adults deceive prospects like that, it’s a genuine shame. It’s one of the ugliest parts of the recruiting business.

But not the only one.

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Filed under Recruiting