Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Not the Victory but the Recruiting

I wonder if part of the new building campaign will include an updating of the inscription on Memorial Stadium to reflect the new reality:
Not the Victory but the recruiting
Not the game but the letter of intent
In rivals.com the glory.

Last week, I received a spam-mail from the Nebraska Athletic Department announcing 52 signees in various sports, especially trumpeting their recruiting ratings. And while I look forward to seeing many of these players in Husker uniforms, I can't help but continue to be concerned about the escalation of the recruiting hype machine.

In the past, Husker fans were advised to stay away from recruits. And for good reason; it's not very difficult to comply with NCAA regulations. Earlier this month, I was talking to my former boss, who has a son who is being recruited by several schools, and she was extremely proud of her son. And for good reason. And as we talked, I realized how easy it would be to commit an NCAA rules violation, even though she placed the call to me.

Before the Kansas State game, I was early enough and was underneath South Stadium with a few hundred fans as the team returned to the locker room from warmups. All the fans were cheering, applauding, and encouraging the team as they passed. Great! Wonderful! Go Big Red!

After the team passed, my elation turned to pure disgust. Some fans suddenly went absolutely nuts as the recruits began to follow along to the locker room. They weren't there to cheer on the Huskers; they were there for the RECRUITS! As far as I'm concerned -- completely PATHETIC.

After many home games, I've seen many people asking "Nevermind the game, what did the recruits think?" Like any fan should have the answer; fans run dangerously close to violating NCAA rules by contacting a recruit.

Don't get me wrong. Recruiting is important. But fan involvement in recruiting is an invitation to disaster. Fans can cause nothing but problems when they get involved.

Speaking of recruiting, did anyone notice that USC/Fresno State game on Saturday night? Everybody likes to talk about USC's athletes, and that's part of why they are #1. But it's not the whole reason; USC has always had top rated recruiting classes. It took Pete Carroll to turn it into a national contender. But how do recruitnik's explain Fresno State? Carl pointed it out a couple of weeks ago; Fresno State's last few recruiting classes were rated 53rd, 98th, 111th, and 75th. And they almost knocked off USC in the Mausoleum. Great coaching, good talent, and completely bogus recruiting evaluation.


Jon Johnston said...

I don't think it's fair to compare a one-game showing against USC to show where Fresno State is with regards to a football team. And to be blunt, it ought to tell us how badly overrated USC's defense is. If they come up against Texas I think they'll get their butts kicked.

The rest of what you have to say about recruiting? Amen, brother. People need to get a life about it, although you have to admire rivals.com and Mel Keiper for building an industry where previously there was none.

I guess when you don't have the wins, there's little else to talk about.

Husker Mike said...

I still think USC is a better team than Fresno State, but I think the difference in the talent level between the 2 schools is MUCH LESS than rivals.com says it is.