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Stupid, stupid stupid me. I am humbled and I apologize to those I called Pollyannas for believing that Poggi was still ours. I'm still confused over what an official visit or is not and what Coach Hoke's "policy" is towards it but that doesn't matter now. What a GREAT class.
Don't know how many people may or may not be watching espnu but they did a brief piece on David Dawson when he gave his verbal, then decomitted took his trip to Florida and the hating messages he got from some of the UM faithful . Man reflecting back on this fans get too serious about football recruiting.
Hope is that no kid for any program has to go through this but the reality of it is that it does occur. Hope the UM faithful learns from this. I sure have.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: Twitter is an absolutely terrible thing for any athlete to have.
Twitter, facebook, etc... is an absolute terrible thing for anyone to have!
I saw that. Nice piece.
Impressive that there was only 1 decommit (well 2 if you count Dawson) since most committed prior to their senior season.
The way recruiting is followed is a really odd phenomenon. On the one hand I can understand that fans of any team at any level would be interested in the mechanisms that add new talent to their teams but the recruiting circus in many ways goes well beyond even the draft coverage in any of the major pro leagues or the way youth teams are covered for non-draft pro leagues such as the European soccer leagues. Of course, there are reasons for that and it's obviously something that has grown organically out of the popularity of the sport itself, but that doesn't make it less uncomfortable given that it's dealing with juveniles.
I mean, there are by now what four national recruiting services who do rankings and have team sites with staff, then there are independent websites for many teams who do the same and freelance reporters who may hope to publish a pay site or get hired by one as well , so there's probably by now a recruiting industry which employs close to 1,000 people in total just on the coverage side of things. Then you have the "recruiting mega fan" and by that I mean the type of poster on a forum who will have 20 posts on recruits for every 1 post on the team and the games, every college team forum has a few of those, so you can imagine the figures if you add all of Division One teams together, a figure that will grow larger even if you add every subscriber to every pay service as a "recruiting-interested fan".
What makes this special and unique and what makes this unsettling isn't the amount of interest or even the fact we're dealing with 16-17 year olds (so do junior hockey/NHL draft watchers), it's the nature of college recruiting as an open courtship process which is in essence a free-for-all. Literally everyone can get involved. It makes no sense for NFL team reporters to follow around college players for two years because whether they end up with that team is more or less outside their control, it makes no sense for Jets fans to befriend a junior Bama star RB on Facebook because they won't know until the draft (or very shortly before it) if that guy joins their team and they know neither he nor them can do anything about that. It's different in recruiting, team site reporters and random fans can affect a recruit and it's all very tangled up - reporter, fan, booster, the lines can get blurry. On websites you will find posts welcoming players or posts aimed at players otherwise, assuming that the player may possibly read it - which of course many times actually is the case. There have been cases of prospective recruits trying to secure offers by hyping their names on forums, as I said it's a free-for-all and this goes both ways.
The fact everyone can join the recruiting game and a recruit can technically freely choose any school also makes it more personal to a lot more people, if a recruit chooses your school you may perceive it as him choosing you, if he snubs you in a particularly cold way you may perceive it as a major personal insult.
Ed Orgeron has talked about the rush of recruiting, the thrill of the hunt, how it can be like an extreme sport in a way and get you addicted - but he is a coach who has developed a professional attitude toward dealing with the mix of strong emotions in that process. He has come to terms with the fact that some recruits will get away, he knows recruits won't play honest a lot of times and so forth. During the "chase" he might employ the most manipulative tactics to get a guy to sign for him, but it's business and it's understood how the game is played.The "recruitnik" type and many recruiting-interested fans may very well not share that understanding. A lot of hateful, angry reactions are simply the negative flipside to the exuberant joyful reactions when a big recruit commits, both are simply childish expressions of emotions, but with some people there doubtlessly is a more sinister obsession involved. Super-fandom also of course often can escalate into signficant NCAA violations. If you are desperate enough for a player to sign for your team that you'll cyber-stalk him, you may also be willing to slip him an envelope if you can afford to do so.
That sort of thing won't go away, electronic social media won't go away. In my view recruiting needs to be regulated a lot more on all sides. It's not healthy the way it is now.
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