The ‘truth’ about recruiting

By Shane from Centerpoint
I’m not going to enjoy saying what I’m about to say but, nevertheless, I’m about to say it. I think it’s time for somebody to put all the cards on the table. I’ll start with a simple question. What do you get when you cross a 40 year-old highly competitive salesman (recruiter) – who has a limitless supply of money and support from powerful people – with a very talented high school boy, who has no clue how to handle the product he is being sold? The answer is simple. The experienced recruiter (salesman) will run circles around the young man. The dance that follows is a pathetic display as the coach panders to the whims of the player. Some even promise the moon knowing that nothing can truly be guaranteed.

At times I find it hard to believe that some of these coaches expect the athletes they recruit to remain loyal to their verbal commitment, especially with the potential that the very coach recruiting that athlete may be gone at any time.

Actually, I’m starting to believe that the best recruiters in the business are also the smoothest liars. Some of the stories that these guys tell the families of young recruits should be subject to punishment by law. For example: How can 25 rookie players start for the same team when only 22 are allowed on the field at a time, and there are experienced veterans already in place on the team?

Honestly, some coaches become so obsessed with the numbers that innocent young boys become nothing but pawns, who are played against each other in a game they know nothing about. That’s why it is very important for the players’ parents to be involved in the process.

Do I think that money is involved with the recruiting process? Most definitely! I’m not sure of the methodology, since there are a million ways to deliver the payments. I wouldn’t dare accuse anyone specifically, but I am aware of many incidences where money has been used to entice certain athletes to play for some universities.

Do I think sex is used to steer star athletes toward playing for a particular program? Absolutely! Every school uses attractive young women to welcome and escort potential players when they come to visit the schools. Anyone who doesn’t consider that sex becomes an issue is being naïve. I’m not saying the escorts are providing the service, but that more mature women who support the program may be acting as closers. I must say that I do not approve of such activities and the idea is classless. Nevertheless, that’s one of the more extreme methods I’ve heard that has been utilized to seal the deal.

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Am I certain that a few “bad apples” out there recruiting will lie, cheat and steal to sign a five star player? Yes, yes, and yes!

Are automobiles ever used to obtain the services of a player? I don’t know for sure, but I do see some driving $60,000.00 vehicles and I know their parents are lower to middle class people. Logic says that it would be impossible for either the parents or the child to afford such expensive transportation. Therefore, I deem it reasonable to assume that someone who supports the program involved provided the athlete with the new “ride”.

Dedicating four years of his life to obtaining an education from the university and committing to invest 100% of his effort to his football team should be the main thrust of a recruiter’s message when talking to an athlete. Some coaches, like Alabama’s Nick Saban, are able to utilize honest methods like those I just mentioned because they have enough clout to attract the best players without resorting to deceptive tactics.

However, the other schools that don’t have an icon heading up their football program will inevitably use techniques that “push the envelope”. They bring in hired guns that specialize in the art of persuasion. These types bounce around because, even though their production proves they could sell ice to an Eskimo, they don’t have the ability to coach the players once they get on the field.

When you look at the big picture it’s hard to believe that sitting in the middle of all the sharks is a young football player looking to fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL. He needs to get sound information from his suitors. He needs to hear an honest assessment about his chances to succeed at the collegiate level. He is looking for a leader to follow. If he is smart he places great emphasis on which head coach is in charge at each place that he might consider.

As I illustrated with my opinion of Coach Saban above, I’m not putting every coach in the same boat with some of the type of characters I mentioned above who are willing to do anything to sign the best football players. Ultimately, the renegade recruiters cast a long, dark shadow over the entire process.

I’m quite sure that girls, cars, and cash have been used as the primary bait that colleges might’ve used over the years when trying to convince the players who need that type of motivation to consider the school. I was born at night, but not last night. I am completely understanding of the fact that players need transportation, a place to stay, and food to eat.

The most disturbing part of recruiting is the deception that occurs when the recruiter makes unrealistic promises and knowingly deceives the very player he will be expecting to be totally honest with him. If more programs would adapt to a system like Nick Saban’s – a process of honesty and sound guidance – their football-factory mentality might change for the better.

By the way, I know I didn’t break any news with this piece. I was just attempting to talk about some of the realities surrounding what is fast becoming one of college football’s newest favorite pastimes. You won’t find much of what I talked about being discussed by ESPN’s Tom Luginbill, the Rivals gang, or Scout, because that isn’t how they make their money.

I wish that recruiting was all about class and integrity but, much like everything in this modern era, it has an ugly side that none of us really want to talk about.

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38 Comments

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  1. 1
    Bama Fan in NYC

    I also think some coaches (or one coach at least) use rodeos, free trailer park housing, free cow rides, and three bars to lure kids into coming to that particular school.

    Let’s ask the Barnies if that’s Coach Cheez’s method as I’m sure they’re about to rape this blog (36-0)!

  2. 3
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO! Shane, one aspect of the recruiting process that you didn’t mention is the FACT that some of the HS “all-stars” ARE LOOKING FOR ENTICEMENTS! Some of these guys WANT ALL THEY CAN GET! Sadly enough, some of them are directed by one or both of their parents to “milk it.” Those are the types of potential recruits that, if signed, can be POISONOUS to the program. Sad but true.

  3. 4
    Bamaman

    Sit back, relax and watch the recruiting master rake in the top classes year after year. I have never seen the other sec schools scramble to recruit and hire supposedly good recruiters to keep from being left in the dirt like we are experiencing now. Now shut up and get in line behind Saban

  4. 5
    julio

    It gets a little boring making remarks to Shane’s columns, because he doesn’t have the stones to make direct replies to comments and questions the way Cappy and even ITK do. Then again, Cappy and ITK are obviously educated and intelligent and Shane’s nothing more than a toothless redneck with an 8th grade diploma and a GED. I’d have a more challenging experience engaging my four year old nephew in a debate than I would with that hick.

    Suffice it to say that it’s hilarious that Shane calls theses methods into question, then makes sure to confirm that “Saban doesn’t do it.” Yes Shane, Bama is special. Oh, I’m sure Shane would readily proclaim that Fla, USC, Texas, Ohio State, Okla, Ga, FSU, (and of course Auburn)etc. all regulalrly engage in these tactics. But Saban has figured out some kind of secret that has never been discovered by any other coach in the history of college football, and he is able to consistently sign top 10 recruiting classes on nothing more than hard work, “class”, and the ability to throw temper tantrums and cuss like a drunken sailor during press conferences. I also find it odd that Shane claims to have personally witnessed these events, including athletes driving 60K cars. Everyone who reads this site knows that the only school the toothless redneck has any personal knowledge of is Bama, so obviously it must some of those Saban recruits that he’s talking about who are driving around in Escalades and BMW’s.

    P.S. Shane wouldn’t dare accuse anyone specifically of paying money? Yeah, he’s never accused Chette Williams of paying players with no basis whatsoever.

  5. 6
    jaydeeer

    julio,
    If it’s so “boring” to comment on Shane’s columns, why don’t you cut the crap and cease to belittle Shane’s talent for writing it “like it is”.
    As far as not “responding to comments and questions”, I think Shane resists the temptation because doing so would lend too much credence to the crass, stupid and, “yes”, classless, slanderous comments – such as yours about his talent, looks, education and genuine love of – and knowledge about – Alabama football.
    Keep up the good work, Shane, and give these “jerks” a forum for showing their ignorance. They actually make you look good!

  6. 7
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Shane…..Good article. The first good article Ive read from you. A little Bama homerism sprinkled in, but hey, your a bammer. Good job.

  7. 9
    P Israel

    Nobody likes to talk about what happens to kids who get injured.These kids are expected to still give 100 percent to football and they might still lose thier scolarship so the new class will make the # reqirements. I am a fan of Coach Saban but he is notorious of dropping kids scolarships to make the big recruiting splash.This year Alabama has only 7 or 8 scolarships to give but will sign 25 .That means 17-18 lose thiers. Just wanted to give you something else to think about before tommorrow…..

  8. 10
    bamasux

    P Israel—-How dare you make such an assertion about bama football. Don’t you know they have operated an entirely above board operation for decades?
    Saint Nicholas and the bammer boosters would never stoop to cheating (not that Saban has to stoop to get on anybody’s level.)
    That out of the blue number one recruiting class they signed last year, after going 6 and 6 the year before, was due only to Saban’s great disposition and work ethic. Wise up P Israel.

  9. 11
    Bamaman

    Auburnsux, no matter how much you think we cheat we could never catch up with the THIRD most cheating probation riddled school in the country which is A-U-B-U-R-N This is an undisputed fact, and btw did I mention 36-0?

  10. 13
    SportsInsiderguy.com

    Coach Gene Chizik says…..
    I know its a little worn, and here lately it has had some major problems….It was wrecked, then hijacked, then wrecked again and right now going through a over-haul and rebuild…… Some old man took it and tried to sale it to his “family” and they have been trying to restore it…… And I know that every mile it gets these days is a miracle, but if you will buy this car, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ll never own the Mercedes just up the road.

    If Gene Chizik can pull this off, he should clean up at the Johnny Cochrane “Ultra Smooth Bullshit Artist” awards later this year.

  11. 15
    Auburnjac

    Shane,

    You are the stupidest douchebag I’ve ever witnessed in my life. I mean really? Do you have your hands down the little munchkins pants playing with his winkie? When it’s late at night and your cousinsister tiptoes out of your bedroom so’s not to wake maw and paw do you secretly begin to pleasure yourself to the thought of tossing lil’ nicky’s salad? Hey man, I heard your IQ was 85! Congrats dude! It’s very cool that your IQ is low like that, because remember bud….the lower it goes, the smarter you are!

  12. 16
    BamaHate

    I guess Alabama (Saban) doesnt resort to these tactics to get all these 5 star players. They are just interested in the “process”. I wonder if that process has associations with car dealers in Mobile, UA-hostesses (hi I’m a delta-delta-delta here to help ya, help ya, help ya), and that $100 from the coffers of the GreenTrack dog racing (owned by Bryant Jr). I think people who own gambling facilities bleed out “class”.

    When AU who has installed coaches only 2 months ago is already recruiting like they are, I would say Shane is scared that the class act “Nicky” has met his match. So he is already posting some rambling crap about cheating in recruiting. Why not just come out and say it Shane? What a f****** hypocrit (you fill in the blank depending on how mad this makes you). AU has a fantastic recruitng class and you are already pointing fingers.

    Alabama doesnt ooze class Shane, they ooze out something warm and brown.

    31-17 Utah (Mountain West) for BamaFan in NYC.

    BLOW TIDE!!

  13. 18
    Ty from T-Town

    THE 09 PROCRSS:
    Shane, I guess it is, what it is.
    The fine folks in T-Town, are once again quite pleased by this years recruiting class. Obviously many particular needs were addressed.
    I think that beating Florida would be a good start, but you can bet your ass that Coach Meyer and that ridiculous guy with the hat, won’t sleep easy tonight.

    That under-belly line of recruiting, is apparently alive and well. Coach Saban, and his Staff has covertly done another outstanding job.

    The results of everyone’s hard work; will hopefully be reaped in the future.

  14. 21
    CrimsonBrother

    I see where SABAN gave the Aub-Der’s another 36 – 0 AZZ WHIPPING but this time it was in RECRUITING !!!!!!!!

    GREAT JOB COACH SABAN AND THE ENTIRE
    ALABAMA STAFF!!!!!!!!!!!

    Shane, it’s amazing to me how you get these General Robert E. Lee County cochroaches out from under their rock’s.

  15. 22
    LARRY C

    I SEE INBRED SHANE IS STILL AT IT. YOU GOT ONE THING RIGHT SHANE MORE MONEY YOU HAVE TO GIVE THE RECRUITS THE BETTER PLAYERS YOU WILL GET.SHORTY SABAN HAS PROVED THAT THE LAST 2 YEARS. SHORTY HAS BOUGHT SOME 5 STAR PLAYERS TO BAD HE WONT BE AROUND WHEN THESE GUYS ARE SENIORS.

  16. 23
    Michael Bynum

    Ya’ll pile on Auburn. Have fun and enjoy the ride. Nothing is forever. How can I say that? Because I remember a lot of kudo’s to one Coach Bryant and his historic 315 game against Auburn. Greatest coach ever! You know he was. But I have in my office a wonderful picture of Coach Bryant after Auburn was the last team to beat him. He’s walking across Legion Field with a deer in the headlights kind of stare. “I’m too old for this,” is what he looks like he’s thinking. We take your jabs and your sarcasm and we’ll bide our time and at some point when you aren’t expecting it, Auburn will seal the deal again.
    War Eagle…
    Congrats on your Sugar Bowl Victory….
    Oh yeah, you loss.
    To Utah.
    Mountain West Conference.
    Bwahhhhhh!

  17. 24
    AUBURNFAN

    Logan Young, two probation in the last 15 years… The REC… 150,000 for a lineman, what does a RB cost… To elevate Sa#an makes no sense… Starring down the barrel…. there is more, but Alabama is NOT above other programs… The number 1 classes are due to hard work, Sa#an is a good recruiter… But he is no different from the other coaches in the SEC… Don’t Ask, Don’t tell when it comes to the cars, money, jewelry, sex, etc..

  18. 25
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO! WAAAAHHH! Sounds like a bunch of BABIES to me! One thing you Aubies can be proud of is Coach Chizik. He hasn’t made himself to look like the MORON that Lane Kiffin apparently is! One would think that Monte Kiffin would have offered his son some advice about running his mouth while he was growing up! First we had Les Miles’ goofball remarks and now we have Lane Kiffin as the IDIOT OF THE WEEK! I’ll sit back and wait for more HILARIOUS HIJINKS from this guy! Later!

  19. 26
    LARRY C

    CONGRATS TO THE LSU TIGERS FOR HAVING THE #1 RECRUITING CLASS IN AMERICA. COACH MILES HAS DONE A VERY GOOD JOB GETTING THE PLAYERS TO LSU.

  20. 27
    The BAMMER from St. Clair

    YO! “Larry C,” sorry to burst your LSU bubble, but RIVALS ranks ‘Bama #1, LSU #2, and Ohio State #3. SCOUT ranks Ohio State #1, Alabama #2, and LSU #3. Yeah, ESPN ranks LSU #1, Alabama #2 and Texas at #3, and I congratulate LSU with their efforts but ONLY TIME WILL TELL. BETCHA WISH YOU STILL HAD SABAN!

  21. 28
    OMNIPRESENT

    RIvals and Scout kisses uats ASS more than FINEBUM AND SHANE.They have to you guys are the only ones dumb enough to PAY for their site! And dammit Shane I was enjoying your BLOG and then BAM! you turned it into a Soft Porn STARRING YOU AND OL NICKY. Not only does NICK CHEAT
    (I lived in Mobile when the whole Julio thing went down ) BUT SO DID THE BEAR!!
    They all do and to assume becuase NICK is your SUPERMAN that he doesnt is out right CHILDISH. So you bummers keep up with your childhood dreams and insults.
    I ll stay in reality and just……….
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHH ……….
    LAFF AT YOUR STUPID ASSES!!!

    WAR POPLYTECH BITCHES!!!

  22. 29
    LongtimeBamaFan

    Shane, being a huge bama fan and having met Coach Bryant at an early age; I’d have to say you have quite a self righteous look at this topic. I think if you don’t say that ALL schools or their supports don’t engange in all that you pointed out is absurb.
    Nick and Alabama use the same on campus visit methods as everyone else. Now, I do agree that what occurs away from the School’s eyes is hard to control. I too know of kids that end up driving nice cars, having some cash to spend, and choose a school based on playing time promises but never see the field.
    So, I think your slanted take that Bama is lilly white in this game is quite incorrect. Are some schoos more toleratnt with booster involvement, YES.

    I heard your comments about Kiffen on Finebaum, yet you write a piece like this and wonder why you have little credibility with people.

    I do agree the system needs to be fixed and some things that would help would be:
    Recruits can make an official visit which begins at 8:00 AM and ends by 5:00 PM for one day. Unoffical visits are limited to two in the recurits senior year. An early signing period would also help. The only contact with underclassmen would be snail mail only; and then with no more information about the school than a normal student recieves. Once a recruit makes a public committment of any kind; no more conact from other schools.

    If this process is soooo dirty then lets clean it up.

    So, shane get a mirror and look hard before throwing rocks at eveyone else.

  23. 30
    aubman82

    At last, a subject you bammers know a lot about. Cheating in recruiting. Too bad your best source for this topic was taken care of with a slald bowl. Looking down the barrel of a gun makes yall the king of recruiting cheaters.

  24. 31
    Ty from T-Town

    UNSUB:

    Shane, this one is a repeat.
    The memo may be somewhat redundant, but the message is the god’s-honest-truth.
    Its common knowledge that preacher’s and politician’s, are as crooked as a dog’s dick, but the CEO’s of the elite division-one programs are not far behind.

    The old NASCAR adage still stands true.
    “If you ante cheatin, then you ante racin.”

    Perhaps the comment page neophytes here on the Capstone Report will find this truth insightful, if not life changing.
    Its the law of the jungle.
    Alabama football stopped being show-and-tell back in the 1920’s; its now called show-business. You don’t pour eighty million dollars worth of concrete on the edge of tenth street in T-Town, unless you know what you are doing. That little game on Saturday is now a lucrative business.

    The nieve response is always the same;
    You must have cheated!

    You guys actually think that an honorable man like Coach Bryant invented cheating. That would be satirically absurd.

    Welcome to the real world.

  25. 32
    BamaHate

    CrimsonBrother,
    How about that 31-17 ass whipping you got from a Mountain West Conference. At least when AU is undefeated, we can seal the deal at the SEC Championship and the Bowl game. How about them apples?…

  26. 34
    Steven Chappelle

    Good grief. Are you kidding me…they were writing about Bamar’s cheating in major magazines in the ’20s!!! And holding Satan up a s paragon of virtue is just Kool Aid drinking at its worst. The guy’s a snake oil salesman and a liar. PERIOD….

  27. 35
    Ty from T-Town

    The Great Lorenzo:

    Shane,you understand as well as I do;
    if you live long enough, you will eventually understand the story of the
    cross-roads.

    Bad-ass quarterbacks seem to come and go like so much dirty laundry, that we often forget the greatness of their short lived impacts on the sport.
    Tonight, one of those ex-quarterbacks that live in the land of obscurity, politely reminded me to never overlook the obvious.
    He said. “you’re the only one that I know, that has a single photograph of Gehrig, Speaker, Cobb and Ruth together.”

    It was a photo from an old all-star game, but I knew what he meant.

    I was arguing the point that Reggie Collier; pretty much invented the spread offence out of necessity, if not self defence. That particular game pre-dated all the Walsh-west-coast brilliance by at least a decade, but we would not have to wait long to face the best quarterback at Southern Mississippi.
    “The Great Lorenzo.”

    In 1991 the Atlanta Falcons, snagged him out of the NFL Thrift-Store as a 33rd pick and promptly traded his ass for a 19th pick in the 1992 draft to the Green Bay Packers.
    This dude would eventually throw for more yards,receptions,touchdowns and interceptions, than anyone that ever played the game of football. He also managed to start a record 269 games and the total is 291, if you include the playoffs.

    He also impressively found a way to win 169 games along the way.

    Congratulations Brett;
    I heard that the Raiders were looking for a quarterback.

  28. 36
    CrimsonBrother

    So what is that Aub-Der LOSER (Ballplay Indian) calling himself this week.

    It’s such a COWARDS way out to change your screen name when the going gets tough, isn’t it?

    36 – 0 AZZ KICKING !!!

    YOU BETTER BE GLAD SABAN CALLED OFF THE DOGS IN THE LATE 3rd AND 4th QUARTER.

    Shane, it’s amazing to me how you get these General Robert E. Lee county cockroaches out from under their rocks.

  29. 37
    OMNIPRESENT

    CB,

    YOU are Stupid arent you?? I mean really Is there anyone you know who thinks the SHIT you say has any meaning you miss the point and by your name I understand why? MAybe if you make it back to OZ you get the request right this time…

  30. 38
    troy

    the auburn way, buy carnell williams mother a house, build his daddy one across from etowah hi school and give carnell an escalade to drive when he became a sophmore. yep, now that dye is back in, the money train is leaving the station on the recruit express. tooot—tooot

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