January 30, 2012

College sports recruiting

Many of us like to believe the recruiting of football and basketball players by colleges is simply a covert auction. But the truth seems to be, in general, rather more sinister: You have a whole lot of adults -- some coaches, some slightly pimpish substitute father figures from the 'hood -- trying to induce feelings of undying loyalty to themselves in teenage boys. 

From an L.A. Times article on some of the new assistant football coaches hired by UCLA in recent weeks to divert high school recruits loyal to them to UCLA. For example, UCLA hired Adrian Klemm away from SMU, and, it is widely hinted, two high schoolers he had talked into going to SMU have now switched to going to UCLA:
Klemm announced it with the tweet: "8 clap!!!!! My boy meat doin' work!"

I don't know what that means and I don't really want to know.

On second thought, I suspect this assistant coach meant to refer to a top ranked defensive tackle by the nickname "Meat," as in, "My boy, Meat, doin' work!" But is it too much to ask assistant coaches in these post-Sandusky days to properly punctuate their tweets so they don't come out referring to "boy meat"?
Rick Kimbrel, publisher of Bruinblitz.com, said staff changes can lead to awkward situations. 
"You're in a living room one night expounding how great it is at Cal," Kimbrel said, "and you're calling the kid the next day saying you're going to Washington and, 'I think you should go there too.'" 
Klemm confirmed that is exactly what happens. 
"You have been talking to kids for another school and now you're recruiting for UCLA," he said. "You just have to make it known why you came here. It's the same reason why you want them to come here."

Well, no, the reason you, the coach, are changing schools is because the new college is paying you more money. 


Anonymous said...

Steve, Along these same lines is a great book on AAU Basketball in SoCal called: Play Their Hearts Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit, and the Youth Basketball Machine here:http://www.amazon.com/Play-Their-Hearts-Out-Basketball/dp/0345508602

It exposes the seedy underbelly of AAU basketball and how these "coaches" recruit players from elementary school to be on travel teams supported by the major shoe companies.

The coach in this book, Joe Keller, finds the next Lebron James and rides his coattails to riches. When the kid doesn't pan out (due to his lack of getting good instruction on how to actually play basketball) the ensuing break of their relationship his heartbreaking.

You should read it, I'm sure you would enjoy it.

W Baker said...

Brokering kids is a regular feature of process now. Almost all five star and high four star kids are brokered for alumni donor cash or cars. A local boy - whose dad was never in the picture until he turned fourteen and could tackle the watermelon carrier in half the time others could - will be signing tomorrow with Auburn or LSU. His mother is driving a new BMW (hey, no one will notice in the worst part of the projects) and, as soon as the boy goes off to school this summer, he'll arrive on campus with some sort of new ride.

Bo Jackson chose Auburn over Alabama because Bear Bryant was too old and clueless that all mother Jackson needed was a new washer and dryer. Pat Dye was more attentive.

I've gone through this process twice with two sons. One thing is for certain, the "student" part of the NCAA student-athlete does not exist in 99 % of the players or programs. Vanderbilt has dropped their admission standards (new mulatto coach dreams he's about to rock the SEC!). Duke and Wake Forest will take anything. It's rotten to the core on the inside.

Anonymous said...

On several levels, coaches calling their players "my boy" is probably not a good idea.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

College football is an ugly business. The only way to keep it from getting uglier is allow it to be...a business.

Let the alumni bid for athletes, scuse me, affaleets, let them underwrite the AD, provide worker's comp coverage, and after four seasons of play, the athletes get a BS in Sports Administration or whatever you want to call it.

There is no great mystery or paradox we've got to unravel in all this. College football is corrupt and broken because it's a market that's not being allowed to operate freely. It's unbelievable how unintelligent the debate has become.

Anonymous said...

When I was staying at a boarding house on the outskirts of the campus, there was one of these assistant coach/recruiter types staying in the next room. He just popped up for the season. He brought up strange hootchie mommas frequently, and I could hear him on the balcony on his cell phone talking about his "prospecs". He would talk about his successes with them like he was pimpin' them girls.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I am less of a sports fan every year, as the evil inherent at many levels becomes harder and harder to ignore.

I am not a Pollyanna requiring that everyone be absolutely pure. My standards are, frankly, rather low. But both college and professional sports are falling below even those.

rob said...

(where Edward, the immortal vampire in Twilight, claims to be headed once he graduates from high school, presumably either because it's far from everybody they know, or because it's dark half the year so he won't sparkle -- I didn't really get into Twilight enough to figure that out.)

I dunno. I think maybe you did. Like I pretend not to get D&D references, and when I make my saving throw, people even believe me.

Of course the vast majority of men who are into kids' sports aren't pedos. They do behave in ways that provide cover and plausible deniability for pedophiles. OTOH, I find it hard to believe that normal men would be ok with Sandusky's "open secret" unless they'd been heavily cowed: enough pedos that they can retaliate when they stick together. Could have happened in the Catholic Curch too.