Sales pitch

In this post entitled “How can we fix assistant coaches leaving after signing day?” (answer: you can’t without violating contract law), there’s this:

“You should never try to convince a player to attend a school because of who the head coach is, or who his position coach or coordinator is going to be,” said one assistant at a Power 5 program. “There’s a 75 percent chance that his coordinator or position coach won’t be there by the time the player graduates, and that’s probably as high as 50 or 60 percent for the head coach. That’s just the reality.”

College coaching positions do indeed turn over at a high rate, but if kids are being dissuaded from choosing a school because of who based on who will be coaching them, what factors should they be considering? Does the quality of a university’s engineering or broadcast journalism or philosophy program truly matter to five-star prospects for whom Plan A is to spend three years playing college football before moving on to the NFL? If pro football endgame, then it’s perfectly reasonable that kids would want to be comfortable with what they’ll be learning and from whom they’ll be learning it.

I mention this because it seems one thing Mark Richt is selling these days about his program is that it’s “NFL Ready” (h/t Bulldog Illustrated).  Here’s a tweet from Georgia Football after the Schottenheimer hire.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that, since Georgia puts a lot of student-athletes in the NFL.  Also, I’m sure it’s not the only thing Richt is pitching to recruits about what they can expect out of enrolling at the school.

(Although it’s certainly ironic in a world where we’re told a kid shouldn’t go to a school because of who the head coach is, that one of Georgia’s great sales points is Richt’s longevity and the program’s stability, er, consistency.  Speaking of which:  “It does have more of an impact when it’s a position coach because kids want to know who is going to be coaching them and working with them every day to get better,” said one SEC assistant. “If a coordinator leaves they really just want to make sure the scheme is going to be the same. As long as the scheme is the same they don’t care who is calling the plays.”)

My guess is that any smart recruiter, of which Georgia certainly has its share, tailors his pitch to his audience.  The kids who want to hear about playing on Sundays more than anything else are probably going to factor coaching more prominently into their decision than others.  And, like Roquan Smith, those last minute coaching changes are going to sting more as a result for them.

Every Georgia signee commits to the G.  It’s just that “G” may mean different things to different people.  It’s up to the coaches to market that accordingly.

40 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

40 responses to “Sales pitch

  1. Bright Idea

    How about “change is an inevitable part of life and if your coach changes you are mature enough and man enough to handle it and it will prepare you for real life because you have no control over it.”

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    • DawgPhan

      except it isnt like real life at all.

      In real life my boss doesnt get to decide if I can leave or where I can go.

      The easy solution is to do away with the transfer rules.

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      • PTC DAWG

        In real life, it can certainly be controlled to some extent, especially if you are under contract….

        As far as doing away with transfer rules, yeah, that sounds great, the recruiting process would never end.

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        • DawgPhan

          Sure there are some no compete contracts out there, but the majority of professions dont use them.

          Most people can leave their job at any point and go take any other job they want.

          That isnt the case of SAs. They get locked into the only game in town and then their coaches get to leave as any time and they are stuck. If they want to leave their coach can hold them hostage.

          I dont care if it would make it tough on coaches or that recruiting would never it. It should never end. Just like your boss shouldnt stop trying to make sure you are happy with your job.

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          • PTC DAWG

            So seriously, you think the entire 85 man roster should be up for a transfer every year? College Football would never be the same.

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            • Gaskilldawg

              Yes

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            • DawgPhan

              Of course. I dont think that it would change things that much.

              But the 1 free transfer per student is a good compromise.

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            • College Football would never be the same.

              Every part of the “commercialization of college football” cart has done left the barn. I’m honestly intrigued as to why more rights for SA’s is continually seen by some of ya’ll around here as the point where college football will be irreparably different. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve already crossed that bridge. The schools are merely using our emotional attachment to the sport to sell us this fantasy land when they already treat every other aspect of their organization as a for-profit (lots of profits, at that) business.

              Full disclosure: I’m also a guy that sent in his donation for season tickets last week so I suppose you can take my thoughts with a grain of salt. In my own defense – I’m not lying to myself about what I pay for, either.

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              • I’m honestly intrigued as to why more rights for SA’s is continually seen by some of ya’ll around here as the point where college football will be irreparably different.

                Because it’s the only place where the schools’ greed over CFB and fans’ need to romanticize about CFB intersect.

                With conference realignment, TV money, crapping all over traditional scheduling, etc., amateurism is all we’ve got left.

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            • South FL Dawg

              Yes, I do. Just because they “can” transfer doesn’t mean they “will” transfer …even in the Penn State situation they had like 3-4 transfers despite all the sanctions.

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      • Bright Idea

        So let the kids transfer when their position coach leaves where there is a 75% chance they will walk into the exact same thing…another coaching change. Coaching at every level is the most nomadic profession I know of other than preaching. These kids will never be able to run from change.

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        • Bazooka Joe

          Not to mention if they transfer to a program you happen to play against. They know the playbook, signals, etc…. I agree the current system stinks for the athletes but a wide open free-for-all to me isn’t the answer.

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      • Cosmic Dawg

        I don’t think Bright Idea’s original point was to defend the bad rule, but to prepare the recruits to learn to deal with the existing cfb environment, which is one of constant disruptive change, which is a lot like life.

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        • Except in real life, my new boss that doesn’t really have a place for my specific skill set on his team can’t pull a hissy fit and tell me where I can or cannot continue my employment just because he wants to be a dick about it.

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          • Cosmic Dawg

            You are preaching to the choir and you missed the word “existing” in my comment. The point is not that the situation is either fair or perfectly analogous to work, but that injustice and frustrating disruption is a part of life. Would you rather prepare them for a world that has yet to happen?

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        • And yes – I get how non-complete clauses work, but I also have a choice to not take a job at a place that requires them…unlike SA’s.

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  2. Derek

    I’m very sympathetic to the kids and their concern about who will be coaching them no matter how irrational that might seem to outsiders. Many years ago I was high school track/cross country runner with ambitions to be a college track/cross country runner. Being a lifelong Georgia fan, UGA was my 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc…. choice. However, the coach was a friggin’ idiot. I couldn’t see myself dealing with him every day because quite simply he had no idea of what he was doing. I ended up graduating from UGA but not as a runner and I started college somewhere else because of sports. When you are 17 and you are good at something and you put the work in, its your whole life. In short, the desire to be with a coach you like, trust and respect is huge for an athlete. I totally understand why kids are lied to (the coach IS important to them) and how hurt they are when they find out they’ve been had. The only answer I know of is to give the kids the freedom to transfer with as little consequences as possible.

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    • Bazooka Joe

      How about something like: if the head coach, position coach or your lead recruiter leaves within 2 months of signing day then they have the option to walk away from the LOI (if they sign one) and go somewhere else – no penalty.

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  3. reipar

    Not that this will ever happen but it seems like there is a very easy fix to this. Just add a paragraph to the contract that says if the head coach, your coordinator, or your position coach leave within 30 days of signing the kid has the option to go to another school with no penalty.

    Sure it does not help kids already in the program a year or two down the road when their position coach leaves, but those are not the kids that are upset. The ones you hear from are the ones who signed and before they even step on campus their coach is gone.

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    • Joe Schmoe

      I would also add 1 penalty-free transfer per athlete. After that, you have to sit out a year just as you do now. This would account for things like a simple change of heart, the desire to get a different degree that is not offered / of high-quality at the current school (didn’t most of us change our major at some point during our college career), and a coaching change. Seems like this would address most of the concerns without leading to a complete wild west.

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    • Bulldawg165

      All this changes is that they leave 31 days after NSD instead of 1 day.

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  4. Cousin Eddie

    Somehow I don’t see Kids going to Tech because they like Fish Fry, maybe I’m biased, because he comes across as a pompas jackass.

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    • But there are kids like Justin Thomas who like the opportunity playing in the triple option provides them.

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    • If a “pompous ass” can’t recruit please explain the careers of Saban, spurrier and Meyer. Different sport but explain bob knight as well. To an average 17 year old kid “pompous ass” = winner. If anything paul johnson’s assholishness helps him in recruiting. It’s his offense that limits his recruiting. The NFL aspirants are non-plussed by it.

      As adults we appreciate Richt and I hope many/most parents do but I’m sure there are a few that walk away with a “nice guys finish last” judgment and then sign with a pompous ass.

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  5. 69Dawg

    Why doesn’t the NCAA just add to the NLI a simple paragraph: if after the S-A signs the NLI but before enrollment the S-A’s recruiter, position coach or head coach leaves the school, the NLI is revocable by the S-A. I read the other day some NCAA talking head saying that in most cases schools let S-A’s out of the NLI if they want out prior to enrolling. Just put it in the damn NLI. After they enroll it should also be possible for the first year for the S-A to change his mind and transfer without penalty. After the first year the S-A could only transfer due to hardship to be determined by the NCAA not the school. The thing I hate the most is the loss of eligibility involved in the transfer, just treat the sit out year as a redshirt even if they already had one. It could be like the extended 6th year that medical redshirts get.

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    • I am not addressing the merit of your idea. I am answering your question. The reason why the NCAA does not add that simple paragraph is because the schools benefit from the existing restriction on transfers, the schools vote on the rules and the players do not, and the schools see no benefit from changing the rule.

      Any changing will be do to the result of, or threat of, further antitrust litigation.

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  6. DawgFlan

    The problem IMHO is not “really” coaches coming and going, but that coaches may already have decided to go while hiding that fact from recruits and/or the public in the lead-up to signing day. Is that a contract issue, or a deception (and possibly fraud) issue?

    It would be interesting to consider the idea of making all coach interviews and hires a matter of public record, akin to the NFL. Instead of depending on agents to leak or the press to withhold (which is downright shameful, but another topic) information, what would be the repercussions of making it a requirement for schools to publicly disclose within 24 hours if they are interviewing, or at minimum have already come to terms/agreement to hiring a new [fill in the position/coordinator/head] coach? And if bad actors continue to pull bad-faith stunts to avoid making information about imminent changes available to the recruits/public, why not penalize the school with fines and/or the immediate release from LOI for all recently signed recruits?

    I am pro-opportunity advancement for coaches and students alike, but there is no excuse for the secrecy and deception around timing and announcement of hires/fires. Abandoning LOIs and transfers altogether have their own issues (constant poaching/recruiting, both kids and schools being left in the cold due to scholarship number crunches, etc.) but something should be done to address the dishonesty and shenanigans of a coach recruiting a kid knowing he won’t be there the week after the kid signs. People can deal with change (like it or not), but people should not have to deal with being lied to and/or making decisions with wrong/incomplete/dishonestly provided information.

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  7. SouthGaDawg

    I like the graphic and the message. I’d rank UGA behind only Alabama and LSU as far as having a “pro-ready” program.

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    • Just Chuck (The Other One)

      Which brings us to the question of who has the most current NFL players, or the most draft picks, or the most high draft picks, or some other metric which may be appropriate. How do you measure “pro-ready”?

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  8. Tronan

    I give UGA credit for emphasizing the fact players come out of Athens NFL ready. It’s an honest description of the program (and honesty is in short supply in college athletics). I suspect every single scholarship player’s goal is to wind up in the NFL. It’d be great if they value the educational opportunity they have, but I do not fault them (or UGA) if they do what they can to get by academically while focusing on football. (That said, wouldn’t it be cool to see a 5-star recruit be able to decline a football scholarship because he was able to accept an academic scholarship, instead?)

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  9. Ant

    How many of these guys with high athletic aspirations end up not making it in athletics? It seems the best course for any of these guys it to take care of their education needs and the athletics will take care of it self.

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