Melick’s column is worth reading

Ray Melick’s column is worth reading despite the headline. Melick in today’s Birmingham News penned this column, Melick: Nick Saban should stop whining, keep signing. The column suffers due to the headline some editor stuck on his piece, and many readers can’t get past the incendiary and cheap headline.

That is unfortunate since the column furthers the debate on the corrupting influence of YAHOO/Rivals, ESPN and Scout on college recruiting. Melick writes, “A Web site that devotes itself to covering one school makes money based on the number of people who subscribe to that site. The more positive the news is for that school on that Web site, the more fans go to that site, which in turn means more money for that site. That means a Web site operator has a financial interest in the success of the team he is reporting on.”

Melick is right about how sites need good information to increase subscribers. However, he doesn’t touch on what might be an even more important area in the quarrelsome SEC—smearing your rival with all sorts of rumor and innuendo.

Last week ESPN’s Chris Low wrote about the issue of recruiting and the SEC. Low writes, “We also know there are a lot of diehard fans of schools out there who are calling these recruits under the guise of being a recruiting reporter or a recruiting analyst. Some coaches have been known to strategically place their own guy at a recruiting web site to help the cause. It’s a time bomb waiting to explode.”

It is a bomb. The NCAA must move now to regulate these sites and declare them boosters.