Hoke on flipping prospects: ‘It’s recruiting. It’s competitive’ | CollegeFootballTalk.
So I just read the above article on CollegeFootballTalk, obviously, in which it describes University of Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio as being upset and making outlandish unethical recruiting allegations against new OSU coach Urban Meyer.
Bielema has vaguely accused Meyer of using illegal recruiting tactics, and Dantonio has simply stated that Meyer is using unethical tactics. Bielema is even going a step further, vowing to have his boss broach the subject with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney. He has even gone into further theatrics of idiocy with this comment referring to the SEC recruiting tactics Meyer has brought with him to the Big Ten:
“I can tell you this; we at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC—in any way, shape or form.”
So let me get this straight, Bret. You don’t want your conference to be like the SEC, a conference that combined has won 6 National Championships since that last time a Big Ten school has won one? Why in the hell not? The Big Ten, other than the Jim Tressel years at OSU, has been a non-factor for an inordinate amount of time. Specifically since OSU won it all in 2002. Maybe, Bret, instead of being content with mediocrity you should be studying what SEC schools are doing that makes them so successful instead of hanging your hat on your misguided principles.
What Meyer is doing is recruiting players who have already verbally committed to other schools and, in turn, getting them to commit to OSU. That’s all folks. Nothing more, nothing less. He is simply calling them and asking if they’re sure they want to remain committed to whatever school they’ve committed to. And these two coaches are up in arms about it.
There is nothing, surprisingly, about using this recruiting tactic in the NCAA rulebook. So, contrary to what Bret Bielema contends, Meyer is doing nothing illegal. Is this tactic unethical, as Mark Dantonio has proclaimed? I guess that depends on your point of view. Allegedly, the Big Ten coaches have, or had, an “unwritten gentleman’s agreement” in which you don’t recruit players that have verbally committed to a school. But the question is why? No papers have been signed. What’s the harm in Meyer calling them up and asking if a player if he’s dead set on going to the that school? If the players is interested to hear Meyer’s pitch even though he’s already said he’ll attend the other school, how is that Meyer’s fault?
Asked about his Big Ten counterparts’ accusations, Michigan coach Brady Hoke had this to say:
“Well, it’s competitive. That’s what it is,” Hoke told Matt Barnes of NBC4 in Columbus when asked about the burgeoning recruiting controversy. “There’s no NCAA legislation about [recruiting a player committed to another school]. I think, at times, we’ve had guys who have left us late in the recruiting [process]. But, you know, it’s part of it. For us, you want to do a great job of holding on to them and all those things. It’s recruiting. It’s competitive.”
Well, it appears at least one Big Ten coach has his head screwed on straight. As for Meyer, his response to the allegations was a bit more harsh:
“You’re pissed because we went after a committed guy?” Meyer asked rhetorically at the same Ohio high school coaches clinic Friday. “Guess what, we got nine guys who better go do it again. Do it a little harder next time.”
In other words, Meyer doesn’t care what they think, nor should he. What this whole issue amounts to is sour grapes from a couple of coaches who lost recruits they thought they had. Here’s an idea coaches: once a kid says, “Sure, I’ll come play there,” don’t assume that’s the end. Stay in touch with the kid and ensure things haven’t changed. Find out if anyone else has called and if so, how you can entice them to stay committed to your school. The job isn’t finished once a kid has told you “I do.”
Good grief, folks. Grow a pair and quit crying when things don’t go your way.