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Dawg in Dallas
02-10-2015, 11:59 AM
gives the player more flexibility, which given the reaction at Ohio State and Texas might be something big time recruits wish to exercise (http://recruiting.blog.ajc.com/2015/02/09/new-roquan-smith-wont-sign-loi-with-new-school-per-coach/):


After almost getting burned on signing day, Roquan Smith has decided against signing a national letter of intent (NLI, or commonly called LOI) when he finalizes his college decision, according to his high school coach.

Smith is the 4-star linebacker from Macon County who committed to UCLA over UGA in front of ESPN cameras last Wednesday. Smith didn’t turn in his LOI after reports surfaced later that day that UCLA’s defensive coordinator had accepted a job with the Atlanta Falcons.


Macon County coach Larry Harold told the AJC on Monday that Smith now has “no timetable” on selecting a school, but that he “doesn’t expect it to drag out too much longer” with his star player.

Perhaps most significant, Smith’s coach also revealed that the linebacker won’t be signing a letter of intent after finalizing his college plans. Smith will commit, and then officially be a recruit when he attends his first day of summer classes.

“He’s not going to sign a letter of intent,” Harold said. “The reason why is because what he went through last week. This just gives us flexibility in case something else unexpectedly happens again.”

How do the colleges feel about that? Harold said he gave the news to all four finalists. “Of course, they all said that’s fine. But they were like ‘What does this mean?’ They said this has never been done before, to the best of their knowledge. It could set a precedent. They had to do some research, but they said it indeed could be done and that they’re fine with it.


“I guess you’ll really be able to tell if a coach or college really wants a kid if they’ll agree to do this – letting a kid come to their campus this summer without signing an LOI.”

“Again, we’re doing it this way after what happened last week. I don’t know where this is all going to go. I guess God put Roquan in this position for a reason. Maybe it was meant to help educate other kids about these types of situations.”

Smith is one of several ugly recruiting stories that have dominated the headlines since last Wednesday’s signing day – all involving college coaches who lured kids into signing with their school, only to leave for other jobs shortly after the ink was dry on the letter of intent.
Smith was lucky because he didn’t submit his LOI, but others weren’t as fortunate.

Ohio State’s Urban Meyer was called out by a Detroit high school coach for recruiting “under false pretenses” (http://recruiting.blog.ajc.com/2015/02/08/breaking-roquan-smiths-coach-blasts-the-critics/)after the Buckeyes running backs coach left for the NFL the day after signing day. Meanwhile, a Texas recruit tweeted “Guess I was lied to in my face” after a Longhorns assistant was hired away by Florida on Friday.

It has been a hot topic in national blogs, with Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples writing on Monday that the LOI was “the worst contract in American sports.”

(http://www.si.com/college-football/2015/02/09/national-letter-intent-punt-pass-pork)
“Why is the (LOI) the worst contract in American sports? It requires players to sign away their right to be recruited by other schools. If they don’t enroll at the school with which they signed, they forfeit a year of eligibility. Not a redshirt year, but one of their four years to play. In return, the (LOI) guarantees the player nothing.

“Sure, the (LOI) claims to guarantee a scholarship, but that simply isn’t true. That is contingent on the player being admitted to the school and on the football program staying below the 85-scholarship limit. A school can dump the player at any point between Signing Day and preseason camp, and he would have no recourse. This guarantee is no different than the one on a conference-approved financial aid form, but it costs the player something the financial aid agreement does not.”


If Smith sticks to his plan of not signing a letter of intent, it would make a bold (and possibly historic statement) in football recruiting circles – but it wouldn’t be a precedent in college athletics. It happens in basketball recruiting among elite prospects, and nobody ever handled it better than former Kentucky basketball star Brendan Knight, as documented in THIS STORY.
(http://blog.al.com/kevin-scarbinsky/2010/05/scarbinsky_knights_precautiona.html)
Knight was always weary that Kentucky coach John Calipari would take the next NBA job, so he only signed scholarship papers (binding Kentucky to Knight, and not vice versa) and skipped the LOI. He remained committed to Kentucky, and was officially a recruit on his first day of summer classes.
How did Knight know how to play it so well? “My husband and I are very informed,” his mother told the Lexington Herald. “I don’t understand how any parent would not be aware. As a parent, that’s your job.”

Georgia Tech fans will remember in 1995 when the nation’s best point guard (Stephon Marbury of New York) signed a letter of intent with the Yellow Jackets but forgot to turn it in. (http://technique.library.gatech.edu/issues/fall1995/nov10/sports3-s.html)He became an official Tech recruit on his first day of classes.

There’s also countless examples of other basketball standouts from Georgia getting to the same exact situation, but in a backwards sort of way — after getting a LOI release before enrolling. For example, Rockdale County’sKevin Ware signed an LOI with Tennessee in 2011’s early period, but asked for his release after Bruce Pearl was fired. Ware later committed to Louisville but couldn’t sign another LOI because NCAA rules only permit a student-athlete to sign one LOI each calendar year. Even though Ware committed, he was technically a free agent until his first day of classes at Louisville that summer.

Three of the state’s top 10 basketball prospects from last year were all involved in the same type of situation as Ware’s – Ahmed Hill of Aquinas (signed with Marquette early, released, committed and enrolled at to Virginia Tech), Whitewater’s Phil Cofer (Tennessee to FSU), and Morgan County’s CJ Turman (Tennessee to Florida Atlantic).

Back to Roquan Smith: He’s going to sign the scholarship papers with his chosen school, just not the LOI (the LOI period ends on April 1).
Does he think this will start a trend among elite football prospects?

“I don’t know, I really don’t know,” Harold said. “I do hope after what happened with the kids from Ohio State and Texas, that the 2016 class of recruits and beyond will take precautions.

“I hope that they will learn from these situations, and they will ask questions to the coaches like ‘Be straight forward and honest with me, are you leaving? Do you plan on leaving anytime soon?’

“You want the best for these kids. They are like your sons. When they hurt, you hurt.”

Note: Just for clarity purposes, there are two main papers that each football recruit signs on signing day: (1) a letter of intent or LOI/NLI (which binds the athlete to the school) and (2) a grant-in-aid or scholarship papers (which bind the college to the athlete). Under Roquan’s plan, which he could change, he would commit to a school, sign the grant-in-aid papers and not the LOI, and then officially be counted as his college’s recruit on his first day of summer classes.


To me, ALL elite recruits should exercise this option. The coaching turnover the day after signing day shows just how seedy recruiting is. Mora, Meyer and Strong all should be called out IF what the recruits are saying is true. It is so ridiculous for a coach to be able to leave whenever they want for wherever they want while a kid is locked in, and the school controls the players fate.

dnmuga93
02-10-2015, 12:05 PM
I'm fine with it, but IMO, only about 3-5 recruits per class can truly use this for leverage.

Did you read Carvell's companion piece about elite recruits skipping the LOI?

http://recruiting.blog.ajc.com/2015/02/09/5-random-thoughts-on-football-recruits-skipping-the-loi/

Dawg in Dallas
02-10-2015, 12:21 PM
I'm fine with it, but IMO, only about 3-5 recruits per class can truly use this for leverage.

Did you read Carvell's companion piece about elite recruits skipping the LOI?

http://recruiting.blog.ajc.com/2015/02/09/5-random-thoughts-on-football-recruits-skipping-the-loi/

I read it and I agree it has limited applicability, but I think the number is higher than you do. Carvel points to the top few in each state. Let's assume that is really only true for the best of the best - which would eliminate most players from every state and all players from some states. I still think about 25-50 players could use this, and if were advising one of the players that met those parameters, I would tell them to do it.

Bama_Man
02-10-2015, 12:58 PM
I dont quite consider a coach leaving as the same as a player committing, the coach is trying to maximize his earning potential while at the peak of his profession. The player is 18 years old and has fifty years of earning potential, a 50 year old coach has 10-15 years left max to make money in his chosen profession.

I dont like the shady stuff, I am not a fan of springing a grey shirt on a kid or these kids not getting at-cost scholarships, or even four year scholarships dependent on academic and ethical stipulations, but unless its the head coach leaving, a kid should commit to a school not a coach. Coaches leave, especially position coaches and coordinators.

I understand that those are usually the primary recruiters for a school as the head coach can only be spread so thin, but ultimately a kid has to play for a head coach. His position coach or coordinator is subject to change in two, three years. Most head coaches are given a longer leash and usually are less likely to leave during the recruiting period, so that's the stability that a kid should look for.

I cant fault a guy in his 40s for trying to maximize his potential earnings, but I don't fault Smith for what he is doing either. He recognized that the person he was comfortable with was leaving and he would be going a thousand miles away without that guy there, so he now can choose which school for which he chooses to play.

Recruits need to be more aware that position coaches, coordinators change. That's the nature of the beast. A running back coach could get fired tomorrow and never make another dollar in football, just as a recruit can get hurt and never earn a dollar in football, but the difference is 30 years of earning potential.

dnmuga93
02-10-2015, 02:09 PM
I read it and I agree it has limited applicability, but I think the number is higher than you do. Carvel points to the top few in each state. Let's assume that is really only true for the best of the best - which would eliminate most players from every state and all players from some states. I still think about 25-50 players could use this, and if were advising one of the players that met those parameters, I would tell them to do it.

I'd like to see the same rules as baseball allowed- the recruit can have an "adviser" (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) during the process. I know it's different in that the baseball player is negotiating a pro contract, but the general idea holds.

Dawg in Dallas
02-17-2015, 10:46 AM
Bama_Man, I fundamentally disagree with you. A football player coming into school with dreams of playing professional FB has a far shorter career than 50 years. Additionally, I think most folks who went to college would agree that those years are defining years in one's life. I don't think it behooves either the player or the school to force a player to play for a team led by a coach he feels lied to him - like the situation at Ohio State. The player should - if he asks - be granted an unconditional release. Again, this would only be beneficial to the best of the best as most schools will not have any space or very limited space.

Anyway, I don't think this issue (http://247sports.com/Bolt/How-can-we-fix-assistant-coaches-leaving-after-signing-day-35688461) is going away.


What do Notre Dame, UCLA, Washington State, Central Michigan, TCU, FIU, Air Force, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, and Florida all have in common? Little, aside from the fact that each parted ways with a football assistant — in some cases, as high-ranking as coordinator — on National Signing Day.
Not the week before. Not a month after the fact. On the very same day 20-30 kids were contractually binding themselves to enroll with the 128 universities competing in FBS football, some of the very coaches who’d convince them that there was no better place to spend the next 3-5 years of their lives were choosing another destination for themselves. This, somewhat understandably, left at least a handful of student-athletes feeling like they’d been sold a bill of goods.
Most coaches hold the line, often parroted by fans, that players should commit to a university, not a coach.
“You should never try to convince a player to attend a school because of who the head coach is, or who his position coach or coordinator is going to be,” said one assistant at a Power 5 program. “There’s a 75 percent chance that his coordinator or position coach won’t be there by the time the player graduates, and that’s probably as high as 50 or 60 percent for the head coach. That’s just the reality.”
College coaching positions do indeed turn over at a high rate, but if kids are being dissuaded from choosing a school because of who based on who will be coaching them, what factors should they be considering? Does the quality of a university’s engineering or broadcast journalism or philosophy program truly matter to five-star prospects for whom Plan A is to spend three years playing college football before moving on to the NFL? If pro football endgame, then it’s perfectly reasonable that kids would want to be comfortable with what they’ll be learning and from whom they’ll be learning it.
"It does have more of an impact when it's a position coach because kids want to know who is going to be coaching them and working with them every day to get better," said one SEC assistant. "If a coordinator leaves they really just want to make sure the scheme is going to be the same. As long as the scheme is the same they don't care who is calling the plays."
Signing day 2015 was perhaps most notable for the fact that last-minute coaching departures upended the plans of several blue-chip prospects, some of whom felt misled by the staffs they had planned to sign with. Four-star linebacker Roquan Smith committed to UCLA on NSD but eventually flipped to Georgia after his primary recruiter took an NFL job. Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson balked at sending in his NLI when Florida’s defensive line coach left but came on board once the new coach was announced. Four-star running back Michael Weber felt misled by Urban Meyer (http://247sports.com/Coach/Urban-Meyer-147) and then-Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton (http://247sports.com/Coach/Stan-Drayton-151), who took a job with the Chicago Bears just hours after Weber’s NLI came in; unlike Jefferson and Smith, Weber had no recourse because he’d already put pen to paper.
It doesn’t seem like the best solution is to punish coaches who leave after signing day or to come up with a disincentive that constrains their ability to move from one job to another.
“At the end of the day, this is a business, and people have to provide for their families,” said an assistant at a Power 5 school. “But I would also say that what isn’t reported is how many coaches are fired after Signing Day.”
North Carolina secondary coach Dan Disch (http://247sports.com/Coach/Dan-Disch-249), for instance, was one of the coaches unceremoniously relieved of his duties on Feb. 4. In a world where every coach is only as good as his unit’s last season — or, in some cases, their last game — it’s perfectly sensible that assistants would always be on the lookout for a chance to move up or even just stay afloat.
But it seems like the same freedom of movement ought to be granted to the players.
“I think it is an issue,” Nebraska head coach Mike Riley (http://247sports.com/Coach/Mike-Riley-638) said on Feb. 13. (http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/115739/mike-riley-on-post-signing-day-coaching-moves-i-think-its-bad-for-our-game) “I think it is unfortunate for the student-athletes. I think they feel somewhat deceived, and I think that’s bad for our game in general … After signing date we need to talk about that -- what can be done, what are the kids' options? Can they be allowed to make another choice?”
If the player happens to learn of a coach's intention to leave before he signs, he can withhold his signature. That's one option, and one that Roquan Smith proved the utility of in the weeks following signing day. But it's only an option for blue-chip prospects like Smith, who are virtually guaranteed a spot somewhere on a college roster. Other prospects with don't have the kind of leverage, so any solution short of giving them the freedom to void their NLI and sign elsewhere without forfeiting any ineligibility doesn't give them the same banquet of choices afforded to the coach who just left him in the lurch.

Bama_Man
02-17-2015, 03:06 PM
My point was more that the player has a career awaiting him in any field, not just football. A football coach that is 30 years older than a player has a much shorter amount of time to earn money. The college player can get a degree and work in a field for 40 more years if they want. That was my point. A football shelf life is almost non-existent I agree, but overall earning potential for an 18 year old is better than a 40 year old.

Herchel
02-17-2015, 05:19 PM
My point was more that the player has a career awaiting him in any field, not just football. A football coach that is 30 years older than a player has a much shorter amount of time to earn money. The college player can get a degree and work in a field for 40 more years if they want. That was my point. A football shelf life is almost non-existent I agree, but overall earning potential for an 18 year old is better than a 40 year old.

Do you know of any 18 year olds with a greater earning potential than Saban?

Bama_Man
02-18-2015, 02:38 PM
Do you know of any 18 year olds with a greater earning potential than Saban?

How old is Jameis Winston?

And in my post, I specifically mention position coaches and coordinators, I made it a point to exclude head coaches because its a different animal. If a head coach is recruiting a player and he leaves, and recruiting a kid knowing he will leave, then its not the same as a position coach.