Category Archives: Recruiting

Now that’s some recruiting service.

The NCAA has slapped Florida with a Level II recruiting violation finding about Joker Phillips breaking the bump rule with a recruit.  (The report doesn’t mention Phillips by name, but it’s not exactly tough to figure out he’s the subject of the violation.)

Phillips was canned and the Gators receive no other penalty, so that’s water under the bridge.  However, you need to check out some of the findings of fact.

From page 3:

The assistant coach was acquainted with an individual who works for a recruiting service that tracks high school prospective student-athletes (“recruiting service reporter”). They have known each other since approximately 2008, when the assistant coach was employed at another FBS institution. They maintained contact through the years. From January 1 through January 22, 2014, the assistant coach and recruiting service reporter exchanged 17 telephone calls. On January 23, 2014, the day the assistant coach committed the violation, they exchanged six calls between 12:41 p.m. and 10:26 p.m.

From page 3-4:

On January 18, 2014, the recruiting service reporter sent a text message to the assistant coach. It stated that the recruiting service reporter was with the 7-on-7 coach and that they wanted to discuss possible prep school options for the prospect. The assistant coach called the recruiting service reporter, who handed the phone to the 7-on-7 coach. They had a short conversation. The assistant coach informed the 7-on-7 coach, whom he believed to be the prospect’s high school coach, that he would be in the 7-on-7 coach’s area later that week and they could discuss the prep school issue further at that time.

From page 4:

The night before his arrival, the assistant coach and recruiting service reporter spoke by phone. During their conversation, the assistant coach confirmed that he was flying in the next day to see the prospect and conduct other business. When he landed just after noon, the assistant coach received a text message from the recruiting service reporter. The assistant coach phoned the recruiting service reporter shortly thereafter, they spoke about directions to the prospect’s school and the recruiting service reporter offered to lead him there. The recruiting service reporter had previously contacted the prospect about coming by to get an update on his recruitment. The assistant coach and recruiting service reporter met at a hotel and, in separate cars with the recruiting service reporter leading, proceeded to the prospect’s school.

The prospect’s high school operated in more than one location. The assistant coach and recruiting service reporter initially drove to the wrong campus. When they realized they were in the wrong location, the recruiting service reporter phoned the prospect and found out where he was. The assistant coach and recruiting service reporter then drove to that location. Prior to their arrival, the recruiting service provider informed the assistant coach that the prospect would be waiting outside.  [Emphasis added.]

From page 5:

In his interviews during the investigation, the prospect stated that the recruiting service reporter had texted him earlier in the day on January 23 to tell him that the recruiting service reporter would be bringing “a surprise” and “a special somebody” with him to the prospect’s school.

So, what do we call the “recruiting service reporter” here?  Bird dog, pimp, enabler, what?  Or was he just being helpful so he could give his subscribers some real inside info?

Joker knew what he was doing and deserved the consequences.  But I’d be real curious to know what became of Joker Number Two.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting, The NCAA

“These things build a reputation.”

The coaching reaction to what Bobby Petrino pulled on South Carolina high school running back Matt Colburn just before signing day is about what you’d expect, but there’s one little part worth highlighting.

What should recruits do to avoid this? According to a recruiting coordinator for a staff that competes for talent with Louisville, the growing trend is just another example of fading amateurism.

“My first reaction when I heard about [Colburn] had nothing to do with Louisville or with Coach Petrino. It was that now more and more people are starting to understand that college football is a business that affects a lot of people’s lives on both sides. But the onus is on the university. At the end of the day, that’s a binding contract that affects someone’s life from that point moving forward.”

If you’re a coach pulling down major bucks, amateurism is nothing more than a means to an end, the end being to assemble the roster you think best suits your opportunity to win as many games as you can.  There is no romance to it; you can’t afford to be romantic about it.  You push the envelope as much as the rules allow (you also push to make sure the rules don’t change to your detriment, but that’s for another post one day) because that’s what serves your narrow interests best.  And if the school really cared otherwise, you wouldn’t be getting paid so much, or at least not for the same thing.

I’m not saying this to defend Bobby Petrino.  He’s far from the only well-paid gentleman using tactics like this to manage his roster.  But those of you who believe that amateurism covers a lot of sins in college football’s name, why does it always seem to be the schools and their representatives who aren’t on the side of the angels?

26 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

Friday morning buffet

Cold day, warm buffet.

  • Here’s a look at what Trent Thompson might bring to the table.  (By the way, can we stop with the “Ray Drew was a bust” crap?)
  • Bill Connelly drops his big ass spread sheet of 2014 receiving stats on us.  And, no, you won’t find any of Georgia’s guys lurking near the top of the list.
  • Regardless of where you think the truth may lie between Jameis Winston and the woman who claims he raped her, the idea of students gathering on FSU’s campus to celebrate Winston by calling her names ought to be a head shaker.
  • The Big Ten supports an early signing period, but with a caveat from a number of its head coaches that it should be accompanied by the implementation of early official visits.
  • Another tax front to open with collegiate athletic departments? (h/t Hogbody)
  • Turnover at South Carolina “… at least 36 percent of the Gamecocks scholarship roster will be first-year players. Including players who redshirted last season, 39 of the 85 players on the team will have never played a snap for South Carolina.”
  • The spread spreads – from high school.
  • “It’s a big deal to be the first to offer.”

19 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Big Ten Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

“Recruiting creep” isn’t what you think it is.

There’s a pretty good story in today’s Washington Post about Rivals’ decision to add sixth-graders to its recruiting database.  As you can probably guess, there’s a somewhat sleazy commercial element to the move.

The NextGen Web site advertises the camp is “designed to discover and provide exposure for the country’s best middle school football players.” It vows to place the best performers at each camp in “our Future Five Star Newsletter,” which is distributed to “our network of college coaches and personnel directors.” It also promises “Elite Performers” the ultimate validation: a profile on Rivals.com.

Follow the chain: Rivals.com gains easy access to players, which it can use to entice fans to click on and subscribe to its content. NextGen and Williams receive the Rivals stamp of approval, which it can use to woo parents and earn a few more $99 entry fees. Parents gain the satisfaction of giving their children “exposure” to college coaches.

But the value of such exposure, those college coaches say, is null.

“It is all about exploiting these young people to say, ‘come here and get exposure to the coaches,’ so the kids have to pay money to go to these camps,” Edsall said. “You are not going to make a decision off of someone who is in the sixth grade.”

With all due respect to Edsall, let’s not forget that he has peers who have made offers to eighth-graders, which means all he’s getting his knickers in a wad over is a matter of timing.  But I agree that a coach who is evaluating sixth-graders is wasting his time.  And there aren’t many head coaches who have time like that to waste.

So, yeah, the real reason this is going on is monetary.  Rivals and NextGen aren’t quasi-pedophiles.  They just assume the source of their business is.  Recruiting creep is creepy.

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Filed under Recruiting

Wednesday morning buffet

A warm buffet for a cold morning.

46 Comments

Filed under ACC Football, Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, Recruiting, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics, The Body Is A Temple

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.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Of course they do.

Rivals adds sixth-graders to its recruiting databaseOy.

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Filed under Recruiting