“‘Oh, don’t commit to coach, commit to a college.’ That’s bull crap.”

A lot of you are likely to disagree with what Larry Harold has to say about Roquan Smith’s hesitancy to commit to a school this minute.

“I’m reading a lot of these websites, and you’ve got people on there saying things like ‘A kid shouldn’t commit to a coach; he should commit to a school,’” Macon County coach Larry Harold said.

“I just want to tell those people this, because maybe they don’t know: If you’ve never played sports or anything like that, you are more than just a coach to these kids. You’re their dad, their mom, and their extended family. You’re everything to these kids. So when they’re going to get recruited by the next coach, to find the person who is going to be charge of the next four years of their life, they are looking for the same things.”

“When you get recruited by Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Oregon and all these top schools – when you go visit them, they all have nice football facilities. They have good academic centers and beautiful campuses. Everything is basically the same everywhere. So what separates them? You know what the coaches sell those kids on? ‘That it’s about the people and the relationships.’ That’s all they sell the kids on. They all say the same things. If you had a recruiter sitting here, he’d say, ‘Our school is just like everybody else, but it’s all about the people and relationships with us.’

Ah, but what the hell does he know?  He’s just a coach.

91 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

91 responses to ““‘Oh, don’t commit to coach, commit to a college.’ That’s bull crap.”

  1. It is based on relationships in athletics, but where I disagree with the coach is that most college students pick the college rather than the admissions person/recruiter who represents the school. I also understand there’s a fundamental difference between a student-athlete and a student. He should understand that with the rest of his students who don’t run a 4.5 and have hopes of an NFL career.

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    • By the way, RS should take his time to make a decision that makes he and his family happy with where he’ll spend the next 3-5 years regardless of the basis for his decision.

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      • JCDAWG83

        Agree 100% about RS. The ESPN special on Marcus Dupree should be required viewing for recruits. He made a choice and then realized he didn’t like it at Oklahoma but was pretty well stuck, sad story.

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        • joe

          Should have given all those bags of cash back. Hard to feel bad for Marcus as he was like a guy who gets a $1 million line of credit, spends like a drunken sailor and wants to file bankruptcy when the bill comes due.

          If roquan really wants to be an actor, the uga coaches need to explain to him that more movies are filmed in Georgia than LA these days. Most of the production biz is still out there but more distribution is back here and as California becomes less business friendly, more of the biz will move to Georgia.

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    • siskey

      I agree with you in part but the majority of 18 year old kids are not recruited in the same way that star athletes are. While a kid who has a full ride to Harvard or Stanford is likely to be recruited by both schools his or her experience there will not be totally tied to a particular professor or program the school offers. Their decision is likely to be based on the town they would live in or what kind of contacts they would likely make there. Contrast that with a football player at UGA, Michigan, or UCLA who’s life will for 4-5 years revolve around workouts, tutoring sessions, practice and football games and you see why the Coach and their relationship with him is so important.

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      • I agree with you, but that’s not the orientation of those who are saying “commit to the school not the coach.” Most of those people went to a college not because of a person but because of the institution.

        His comments just smack of an “in the arena” type of comment, which I find condescending and as an attempt to shut down the debate.

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        • Are the ones saying “commit to the school not the coach.” scholarship athletes? If so, then Alabama must of had a HELL of an institutional improvement right when Saban came on board.

          I don’t read his comments as a smack of “in the arena”. I feel his comments were simply about personal relationships. And thats what closes the deal in these high profile recruiting battles.

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          • No, they aren’t scholarship athletes. They are people just like us who decided on their college choice based on the institution. I totally believe college recruiting is about relationships. I also think these athletes need to go into the decision thinking as much as about the impact of their decisions on the other people around them and not as much about the guy who is recruiting them. In RS’s case, if he goes to Michigan, UCLA, or Texas A&M, how often will he be able to see his family? How often will they be able to see him play other than on TV? Is he really going to like living in a place like Ann Arbor or College Station? What happens if his head coach decides to go to the NFL?

            I’m using Harold’s quote directly from above – “I just want to tell those people this, because maybe they don’t know: If you’ve never played sports or anything like that, you are more than just a coach to these kids.” If that doesn’t sound like an “in the arena” comment, I don’t know what is. He’s pretty much saying if you haven’t been a coach or played sports, then shut your mouth.

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  2. JAX

    He is correct.

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  3. JCDAWG83

    This is part of the sad reality that is college football today. In the past, being a good football player could provide an opportunity to get a college degree for some kids who might not be able to afford one. Now, the college is simply a place that provides a football team to facilitate an audition for the NFL.

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    • Oh, good grief. There are just as many kids using their college opportunities now to get degrees as ever.

      What’s changed is all the money that’s poured into football and men’s basketball. That ain’t the players’ fault.

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      • JCDAWG83

        I never said it’s the players fault, it’s simply the way it is. The big money has made college football something it was not just 20 years ago. College coaches used to be paid pretty well, they made money about like most doctors did. Now, they make CEO money. It is impossible to pour the amount of money into something that college football generates and not corrupt it in some way.

        KIds making a decision on where to go to college based on the football coach seems like misplaced priorities to me, that’s all.

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        • To some extent, I don’t disagree with you. It depends on the kid’s situation, though.

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          • JCDAWG83

            It always has. If a kid’s dream school is Georgia and his family can’t afford to send him to college and Western Carolina comes along and offers him a full ride, he should take it. If he has offers from several other schools, I think he should take the one where he will get the best degree and have the best network after college. That said, I think the blue chip kid with 50 offers should base his decision on the same thing.

            My whole point is; I think it’s better for kids to pick the school, not the coach. There are too many unknowns in the future to base a 3-5 year decision on a relationship with a coach. The world is full of highly recruited players who somehow don’t end up in the NFL.

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      • Ant

        JCDAWG83 wrote… ” In the past, being a good football player could provide an opportunity to get a college degree for some kids who might not be able to afford one.”
        Senator wrote… “What’s changed is all the money that’s poured into football and men’s basketball”
        I don’t see why the second point at all changes the first. The first is still true. No amount of money changes that.

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        • You (conveniently) left out the first part of my response: “Oh, good grief. There are just as many kids using their college opportunities now to get degrees as ever.”

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          • Ant

            I did inadvertently leave that out. I’m sorry. I don’t see why the additional money in college athletics changed the way kids view the opportunity. Their chance or not to play in the NFL is no different.

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    • How far in the past are you referring when you said that playing football was primarily an opportunity for a kid to get an education he could not afford? Let’s see. Go back 122 years. Georgia Tech dressed out some army officers as football players; those guys weren’t just looking for an education they could not afford. The “Sanity Code” the NCAA passed in the 1940s was designed to address, among other things, schools recruiting athletes who were not college student material and were on campus just to play football.

      What has changed is that college football programs are run to generate revenues that Joel Eaves never dreamed of while what is covered by a scholarship has been reduced since the early 1950s.

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      • JCDAWG83

        There’s corruption in high school sports. Any time there is competition, there will be cheating and corruption. Add in the huge amount of money in college football and you have the perfect storm.

        I simply think that picking a coach is not the best way to decide where to go to college. Unfortunately for the blue chippers, football, not the actual college, has become the biggest factor in deciding where to go.

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  4. gastr1

    It’s not only about personal relationships, though. It’s also playiong within a certain scheme and being coached by a guy that wanted you and how that can play out for your future. Some other guy comes in, who knows who he’ll like and what kind of techniques & schemes he’ll favor, and whether a prior recruit works for the new guy’s approach or not?

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  5. Red Cup

    College recruiting is like every other business. Getting more clients and more business comes down to personal relationships. As a lawyer, clients don’t hire law firms, they hire particular lawyers due to the relationship they create. The coach is spot on.

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    • Exactly. That is why lawyers, bankers and insurance agents join civic clubs such a Rotary. I am a lawyer and every lawyer I compete with has an office, a desk and a computer. It is the personal relationships, not the quality of the waiting room furniture, that built my practice.

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    • All professions are this way. You sell on relationships. The office, systems, and methods are table stakes.

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    • As a lawyer, clients don’t hire law firms, they hire particular lawyers due to the relationship they create.
      Definitely! When I left my uncle’s development firm to go out on my own my first attorney was an older gentleman at the end of his career. Once a judge. We met at his convenience and often after hours. Occasionally, after 6pm he would pull out a couple of shot glasses and he would share one Jim Beam with me. Ex WWII guy, Double G grad, black belt in karate. He loved jaguars and I often worked on his. My dad had one and so did our neighbor. As a kid I was often conscripted to work on them. He did closings and contracts and such with me. And gave me tons of advise. I didn’t often get a bill. He has retired and I know he had a stroke. I sometimes argue with my attorneys today. But never with him. He once told me if you would shut up and listen I might teach you something! Lol.

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  6. Dawg in Austin

    While I agree with Harold, and know this is not a post about him, it’s interesting to hear him comment on coaches leaving for better opportunities for themselves and their families when he is doing the same thing (leaving Macon for a better gig in Brunswick). I hope he didn’t lead any of his recruits on before leaving his current post, either.

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  7. TennesseeDawg

    Eliminate the transfer rule and the problem becomes less severe. NILs are only for 1 year so let the player transfer wherever (without restrictions) they want after the 1 year is up

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    • PTC DAWG

      I don’t see this working at all…talk about constant recruiting…

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      • Macallanlover

        Agree, that would be disastrous for CFB. Total chaos, just allow them to transfer to 1AA if they cannot sit one year. Plenty of opportunities to succeed in the NFL if they have the talent, it isn’t like they don’t have an option. Unrestricted transfers would make CFB a 12 month barroom brawl, I just don’t understand the support for that.

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        • I don’t see how it would be that big a problem. I will bet the starters won’t be looking to transfer. The kids most likely to transfer are the players who Saban would medically redshirt anyway.

          Besides, these coaches are professionals. It is their job to figure out how to deal with it. I would rather put the burden of dealing with players being able to transfer on them than put the burden of a bad decision made by a 17 year old on a 19 year old kid.

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          • Macallanlover

            I feel the accomplished players on a team unlikely to compete for the playoffs next year would be inundated with sharks from the Top 10 schools looking to shore up areas of weakness. Imagine being the coach who helped develop that player for 2-3 years and find that Bama or USC needs a great offensive lineman, or stud LB, or shut down corner so they “lure” him away and leave your team holding the bag. What the Florida Marlins did for one year in baseball during the 90s would become the order of the day. Since many top players aren’t pursuing the degree as much as a large NFL contract, what ties them to the school?

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            • Gurkha Dawg

              Yea that whole freedom thing sucks.

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              • Macallanlover

                Yes, this whole obeying laws and abiding by rules/contracts is way too restrictive. Let freedom ring.

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                • Illegal rules, Mac. Don’t overlook the illegal part.

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                • Obeying laws? Exaggerate much? What laws required the NCAA to pass the transfer rule?

                  The scholarship does not bind the coach from running a player off. It is not a contract which binds school to pay for four years, no matter what. Even the four year scholarships, which schools are not obliged to offer, doesn’t prevent a Saban from moving a kid to medical scholarships.

                  I want the rules to change to allow kids to transfer without limitation. If that happens then a kid who decides to leave and plays immediately at the new school is abiding by the rules.

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            • Cosmic Dawg

              Why should the players be required to stay when the coaches aren’t? Don’t pro football and baseball teams make do with changing rosters? Thrre’s no damage done, and the upheaval it causes a player personally plus the natural camaraderie and school loyalty would serve as a check. Other students can transfer without specific barriers solely designed to keep them at a school X.

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      • Gurkha Dawg

        So what. I thought slavery ended 150 yrs ago. I am exaggerating, but the fact that many of the stars getting screwed are black makes me uncomfortable. I’m not talking just about transfer rules but the whole market value thing.

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        • That’s ridiculous to compare college sports to one human being owning another as personal property. I absolutely hate this comparison. It’s demeaning to everyone involved.

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          • Macallanlover

            Beyond ridiculous. Poor babies, dont know how they can take such abuse. Are folks in our country this far out of touch?

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          • My apologies if I offended anyone. Of course I’m not comparing slavery to a game. As stated in my post I was exaggerating for effect. However, how would you define not giving market value for services rendered? Indentured servants?

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            • I’ve always said those who don’t like the current system should be pointing their fingers at the NFL and the NBA. The truth is that the value of the scholarship for non-revenue sports is fair compensation by the university to the student-athlete, who is likely to become a professional in something other than sports. For a select few football and men’s basketball players, the value of the scholarship and the development does not reflect the revenue produced. Full cost of attendance won’t fix it, and trading on name and likeness only fixes part of the problem. It’s a problem not easily fixed without changing the whole college sports model.

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              • Agree 100%. What has brought this to a head is the huge dollars being generated by college football today. Everyone is treating college football like a multi billion dollar business. A lot of people are making huge money. I’m sorry but you can’t treat CFB like big business while treating the guys who people are actually paying to see like indentured servants. You are right, there is no easy solution. The market will have to decide what fair compensation is and it does not care what you or I think.

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                • I’m not sure I agree they are indentured servants but can understand how you get there with that. If you want a modern day example, it’s more like they are apprentices/journeymen in a trade. To become a master craftsman, you have to go through these stages for a certain amount of time to prove yourself. Someone who is naturally talented to do the job still has to go through the process and earn less than what his value on the market is.

                  I will say a $40,000 per year college scholarship plus the value of the development is pretty darn good compensation for an 18-year-old with a lot of potential but zero “real world” experience. No one would have drafted TG3II right out of high school, but the exposure and development he received over his 3 years in Athens has made him extremely marketable and, hopefully, a rich young man very soon.

                  Should changes be made? Absolutely yes. The demands of CAPA are a reasonable place to start the discussion. The full cost of attendance scholarship, the ability to profit on name and likeness, and the ability to obtain off-season work with appropriate disclosure are also great places to start. Reasonable transfer rules that balance the university’s need for certainty with the student-athlete’s desire to take their skills elsewhere are also necessary.

                  The key question is whether the courts are going to bust up the NCAA and whether Congress comes in with an anti-trust exemption in exchange for government oversight.

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                • Gurkha Dawg

                  I agree with pretty much all you say. There is one big difference in your journeyman example though. No one is willing to pay billions to televise a journeyman plumber fix my tiolet.

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                • Very true, sir, very true 🙂

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  8. Is it September yet?

    The aspect where choosing based on the relationship you have with that particular college coach is wrong lies in the fact that that coach most likely will be at a different school well before the kid graduates. Then the kid could be stuck at a school with a low tier education, hell hole of a town, and new coach he dislikes. The college you select affects the rest of your life in many ways. Picking based on the coach alone is a short sighted way to make a decision as there is a lot more to those 3-5 years than him.

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    • I understand and respect your point but let’s take a real life situation and reverse it. Raquon Smith looked fondly at UCLA a couple of years ago when Todd Grantham said that we did not need his services. Now Pruitt is telling him we would love to have him. Suppose Grantham recruited him hard and Smith signed, then Pruitt took over and decided Smith did not fit his scheme. Would Smith be short sighted in wanting to go somewhere that actually needed his talents?

      Another real life example. Michigan Coah Lloyd Carr recruited and signed Ryan Mallett to play QB in a pro style offense. Mallett couldn’t out run me, and was on campus when Carr retired and Michigan hired Rich Rod.

      Was Mallett short sighted in transferring to Arkansas? I will bet Rich Rod wax glad to get that scholarship slot when a useless quarterback transferred.

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      • Is it September yet?

        Smith would not be shortsighted in going somewhere that fit his talents but he better choose a school for a lot more reasons than simply the position coach or coordinator.
        The RS situation is another great reason not to commit to the coach. The guy he had built this great relationship is also the guy who screwed him over when the Falcons called 2 weeks before NSD. This coach had already committed to the Falcons and was still wooing RS as if he would be his coach next season and further on. The coaches jobs depend on getting these kids signed so they will say whatever it takes.

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        • Dawgwalker07

          I don’t understand why this is EITHER commit to the coach OR the school. Maybe I’m not understanding, but that’s how I’m reading a lot of what people are saying.

          Doesn’t it make sense to factor both of those in to the equation?

          Would it be shortsighted to pick a school without factoring in any of the coaching? Pro-style passers shouldn’t commit to Tech because it’s a great school as long as Paul Johnson is there. And even if someone’s talents matched what a football coach was planning on doing, wouldn’t it make sense to care about who is going to be responsible for his development so that he can try to get into the NFL and make a ton of money?

          What if he chooses a school without factoring in the relationship with a coach and then finds out him and the coach have personality differences and he never see the field because of it? The kid would have just wasted an opportunity to play in the NFL because he committed to the school regardless of the coaches.

          Yes, coaches change, sometimes immediately after signing day. But these kids shouldn’t act like coaches aren’t important in making a decision to go somewhere.

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  9. Macallanlover

    Smith can choose where he wants to go, and I hope he makes the best decision for himself wherever that is, but the only person who came out of this fiasco looking as bad as Smith and UCLA was Coach Harold. This seems his way of deflecting blame because he should have played a major role in helping Smith and it was obvious he was ill prepared. That doesn’t excuse Smith, his adult support group, etc., but as his HC it was embarrassingly evident that his player was ill prepared. Unquestionably the relationship with his recruiter is a factor but to suggest it is bigger than the institution, location, scheme, depth chart, past reputation, position coach etc. seems foolish to me. The biggest whiff may have been Harold’s, and his “in the arena” comment doesn’t negate his obvious failure in that very same arena….he is the last person that needs to pretend he “gets it” and lecture others.

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    • Macallanlover

      I should add, that observation in the last sentence is based on this one situation alone. Admittedly, a small sample.

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    • What are you blaming Harold for doing or not doing? As far as anyone knows the UCLA coach may leave and UCLA may hire Todd Grantham, who has already told Smith and Harold that Smith doesn’t fit his needs. If Harold is telling Smith to wait and see who UCLA hires before making a final decision then bravo for Harold, well done.

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      • Macallanlover

        I am blaming, at least partially, for how unprepared Smith was at the time of the ceremony. The interview I saw with Smith immediately following the ceremony, and before the UCLA coaching situation was known, indicated he put UGA and UCLA items in the bag and made the decision (for reasons not clear) based on what he came up with. To be undecided to that degree, at that point of a long and arduous process, showed his support group had not done their job. I feel Coach Harold had to play a major role in that as he was the person Smith sought for counsel immediately as the UCLA coaching situation became known.

        I have no problem with him electing to choose UCLA, but to not have a clue which school as he was reaching into the bag, or have a strong reason for doing so indicates a failure of several adults, and his coach seems high on that list of trusted advisors. This was a night before, or morning of, decision that Smith should have felt strongly about. His comments indicate he was floundering before and after the televised segment. Lot of people make mistakes in the recruiting process but he may have been the least prepared I have seen.

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        • Scorpio Jones, III

          Mac I wonder if what you observed was not that Smith was unprepared to make a decision, but that he was unprepared to be on TV.

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          • Macallanlover

            Not if you listened to his comments. He said he didn’t know the night before, didn’t know at any time that morning, and was still undecided when he reached in the bag that had both UGA and UCLA items. He also said he would flip his position after each phone conversation with coaches of either school. Clearly indicated he never was confident enough of a decision either way. Said his head was with UCLA and his heart he was with UGA.

            I was just surprised he wasn’t ready for that decision, the process was well over a year+. That is why I feel someone should have been guiding him in for a landing by identifying the plusses and minuses and making sure he had covered every factor. You can see a young person letting that wander aimlessly for months and fear a decision but there is no excuse for adults to not have provided more assistance, and that is why I am critical of the coach….a person he clearly talked with about it. I don’t know this coach from anyone else on the street but him making comments about others not knowing while he so obviously failed to do his job is pretty laughable.

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        • What you said boils down to blaming the coach for not being prepared to tell Smith who the next UCLA defensive coordinator will be.

          He is guilty as charged. Every frigging high school coach in America is likewise guilty of being unprepared.

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          • Macallanlover

            If that is directed at me, that is dead wrong about what I said (again for you.) In no way did I ever say, or imply, anything about the coaching change at UCLA, it was all about not leading him to a balanced conclusion based on the known facts. Of course, he could not be a mind reader and factor in what he did not, or could not, know. No one on the state of Georgia, outside the Falcons’ organization, had that information before Wednesday afternoon so why would anyone blame the coach for that?

            Twice in the past 24 hours you have based a response to me on things I did not say, or mean. What we have here is a failure to communicate. I would appreciate you stop misinterpreting my comments, I don’t mind a difference of opinion at all but don’t pretend you are responding to facts I have stated when they are so off base.

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            • Gaskilldawg

              You said Harold was unprepared at the signing ceremony and then something I could not figure out about UGA stuff and UCLA stuff. If the issue causing Smith to be undecided about whether to go to UCLA is uncertainty about who the defensive coordinator will be, then what the hell was Harold unprepared to advise Smith about?

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              • Macallanlover

                I said no such thing. It was Smith who was unprepared for that day/decision, and it had zero to do with who was coaching at UCLA. That coaching change was not known, and only came up after his televised announcement. The “UGA and UCLA stuff” was both in his bag when he took the podium, and he was insure which way he was going at that point, and even as he reached inside. He still had not made his decision. I faulted Harold, at least partially, with not doing a better job preparing Smith for his decision….and I stand by that based on all I have seen/heard since.

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        • Bonzdoc

          Like bringing a horse to water. You cannot force him to drink. No matter what the coach does to prepare the player, in the end it falls on the player. The coach is not the one committing to a school. Smith should take whatever time he needs. He should also consider himself lucky that word got out about the UCLA coach before he faxed his NLI. He is a 18 year old kid. How many others go to school with an “undecided ” major. Welcome to the mid of a teenager.

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  10. Lrgk9

    Well, talked to one of my old mentors, Jim Fallaw, down in my hometown of Albany. He said that yes, coaches do move around to better their incomes and living conditions for their families. But just like lawyers leaving the firm, there are those who are all Cathy Ames about it while most are like Larry Harold and actually in football for the opportunity to compete AND better the lives of what Jim refers to as ‘My Boys.’

    Jim says there is a camaraderie between most coaches to look after the kids, mentor the kids, and try to guide them to a college where the staff there is truly willing to look after your kids. He said Richt is someone where you feel good and Malzhan/Meyer are not.

    This is a guy who coached small time football for years all over South Alabama and Georgia, sent kids to Coach Bryant and Shug Jordan. He has little respect for the Gene Chiziks, Steve Spurriers, and Phil Fulmers of the world. When he talks about coaches caring and wanting to give their kids over to a trustworthy college staff – there is no doubt he means what he says.

    Waay beyond the dedication of your normal Peachtree street lawyer even if its being done Pro Bono. Being a Lawyer – I recognize authentic human ethos and pathos and caring and concern – you damn don’t see it often but when you do – it’s genuine.

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  11. Scorpio Jones, III

    To continue with Large’s thought….I went to Jawja because of my personal relationships with other Jawja graduates. One of these was my father whose attitude was that I could go anywhere I wanted to go (to school) but that he would pay for me to go to Jawja.

    If I had been an athlete, an athlete who had no prior relationship with a Jawja graduate, I would have been dependent on my high school coaches or teachers to point me in one direction or another.

    To those of us who have taken the attitude that Smith’s coach is out of line pointing out the reality of this situation, I would say that while you are certainly entitled to your opinion, I think it would be advantageous to look at the comments of Smith’s coach through the lens of a future college student who may not have the benefit of familial relationships with graduates of, for instance, Jawja.

    The main support network for these kids are their teachers and coaches with considerable input from parents etc.

    I can distinctly remember my daddy and his many lawyerly friends who also went to Jawja telling me that the most important part of going to, for instance, law school, at Jawja was the RELATIONSHIPS I would build that would be useful when I was out there in lawyer land scraping out my existence.

    Of course lawyer land turned out not the best destination for me since going to law school would require me to take math courses, but the point is still valid.

    These high school coaches are doing, it seems to me, exactly what they are expected and needed to do. Hopefully they are doing this in a fair and balanced way. (Which means steering kids to Jawja.) 🙂

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    • Of course lawyer land turned out not the best destination for me since going to law school would require me to take math courses, ? Waaahhh? I thought any major could get into law school. Maybe not get in but apply. There is no math in law school is there? Calculation of damages?

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        There may not be math in law school, Homes, but there was math involved in any major that was also labeled “pre law”…or at least there was then, which, granted, was before Al Gore invented the internet.

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  12. tess

    Can anyone explain why an athletic all-star choosing a school based on the coach is any different than an academic all-star choosing a school based on a particular program or professor because it’s in the specific field the academic all-star wants to pursue and/or the instructor he feels he has a rapport with and/or will help him in that field?

    Right now, the only difference I see is that when a program ends/is scaled back due to budgets and/or the professor gets a better opportunity at another institution (academic or not), the academic all-star can apply immediately to follow or find a new program at a different school that fits his interests and skill set.

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    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Seems the very same to me, Tess. I suspect there is no difference other than the restrictions on the athlete you mention. But…if the professor is going to another school at the time or even before the student arrives on his former campus, the student has a problem, it is just a different problem from the one the athlete has, and somewhat easier to deal with.

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      • Lrgk9

        Wouldn’t have followed Robert Perry Sentell or James Verbrugge – but might have followed Bernard P. Dauenhauer to another college.

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    • MinnesotaDawg

      Yes….similar situation IF the professor and student were in frequent contact over the course of several years, building a personal relationship in which the professor was actively and consistently persuading the student to join the university with the implicit and possibly explicit promise that the professor would be there to mentor him/her. And similar, only if a few hours after such student makes a binding commitment to the professor’s university (with the repeated, stated rationale that he is doing so because of his current and expected future relationship with that professor) that the professor announces he is leaving the school after having that knowledge for previous weeks and purposely withholding it from student b/c the professor knew it would impact the student’s decision. In both cases, the coach and professor are bad actors, and the student/athlete deserves some amount of empathy.

      I understand that there are various motivations at play, and that this can and does happen in different settings and circumstances. But that doesn’t make it right or acceptable. To me, this is all about treating people rather shabbily. And in this case, it’s about treating 17/18 year old boys rather shabbily. In another world, the ranking of priorities for big-time athletes may (should) be different, but that doesn’t excuse the bad behavior here (or in Columbus, etc.)

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      • tess

        I agree the problem is treating people shabbily. But an academic all-star can transfer to almost wherever he wants without any waiting period to pick up his studies, for which there aren’t really any huge drawbacks by waiting, say, until next semester and getting a bunch of core courses out of the way first.

        I guess that’s why I don’t understand how hostile people are about these athletes choosing based on coaches–they are looking for their next level of training. That’s what some gifted academic kids do, too (there are camps, summer programs, etc. in many different areas of study, especially the sciences, for gifted high schoolers to really get to know a few people they might want to work with in their next level of training. Our high school allowed seniors and some juniors to take classes at State U if they qualified).

        Getting along with those you will be working with daily on your personal goals matters a lot. Hell, Dr. Charles Herty left UGA because of conflicts with Chemistry Dept chair H. C. White.

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  13. I’ll say this much, if I were a HS coach if/when the early signing date gets implemented, about the only time I would advise one of my players to sign early is if they were considered a borderline P5 recruit, or borderline FBS recruit, something like that, and they had an offer in hand from a school at the level they wanted. This would keep them from getting squeezed at the end like that kid did with Louisville who was asked to grayshirt at the last minute. But if they held multiple offers, I would make sure any college coaches coming in to recruit them knew up front that no way, no how, was the kid going to sign early. There’s just no reason to, and you give up the opportunity to find out what coaches may or may not be moving after the season.

    Also, this is not an original thought, I’ve read it elsewhere in the past, but it would be real interesting to see what would happen if one year the majority of the top 150 recruits banded together and refused to sign NLI’s, only agreeing to sign the Grant In Aid. Coaches would still hold spots for those top kids as long they were “committed”, but it would totally flip the balance of power. If kids did that for a year or two, my guess is you’d see some meaningful reform in a hurry.

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    • Lrgk9

      Yeahup, but the bargaining positions are so financially unequal, its unlikely.

      The University Presidents as a group would condemn this behavior out of anyone else.

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    • Agree 100%. Herschel walker had no reason to sign a grant in aide. Each of his top three would have found a scholarship when he turned up in August 1980. The only thing signing on Easter Sunday accomplished for him was shutting all those UGA, Southern Cal and Clemson guys up.

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  14. truck

    “Commit to the “G”” seems to be a poor choice of slogans then.

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  15. DawgPhan

    lulz you could have guess the comments and the commenters when I saw 45 comments on a sunday.

    guys it is nice out and I am sure some kids are on your lawn…

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  16. Gurkha Dawg

    This situation is a great real life experience for all kids. Be careful who you trust, some people will screw you over a heartbeat for their own benefit.

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