College Football’s moral high ground stands roughly 7 circles deep, which is apparently still tall enough to preach from.
Written By Kyle Magin
The college football recruiting game is a well-acknowledged cesspool.
Hordes of assistants chasing a seven-figure head coaching contract head into some of America’s poorest neighborhoods to recruit its best athletes to beat the living shit out of one another for the next three-to-five years.
Dropped another prospect this AM due to his social media presence…Actually glad I got to see the 'real' person before we offered him.
— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) July 30, 2014
Along the way, it’s the adults who spread misinformation and lies about each other and the kids in order to achieve their ends of assembling a recruiting class which will impress the rotten fart-sniffers who cover that sort of thing with the zeal of a beltway wonk on election night.
Our jobs depend on the young men that we recruit. Your social media pages say a lot about your character, discipline & common sense. #Ap2w
— Derek Jones (@dukecoachdj) November 5, 2015
It’s the adults who arrange for, hand out or look the other way on cash payments to land the biggest fish.
Came across an awful Twitter account today. Shame the kid was a really good player…On to the next one…get a clue!
— Coach Justin Stepp (@coachjstepp) January 8, 2016
It’s the adults who stand to make far bigger sums of money based on the performance of the kids, especially the 95-plus percent who will never make a dollar for playing football.
College coaches are dropping recruits due to social media posts. What does your social media presence say about you? pic.twitter.com/BanD2XKjTD
— FreeRecruitingWeb (@FRWorg) April 7, 2016
It should be (but is not) surprising, then, when the adults involved in this 21st century sharecropping racket are the ones who moralize at the youngsters they’re so feverishly trying to pull into America’s most corrupt game.
Recently, there’s been a trend on social media of coaches publicly rescinding scholarships to students after seeing questionable things posted on the youngster’s social media pages: foul language, drinking, smoking, showing shaky decision making skills, etc., etc. These pronouncements are met with a furious nodding of heads and tweets of agreement from parents and the sports’ moralizing, sepia-stained fans.
This is revolting for a few reasons:
- There but for the grace of God go you. Listen, yes, it’s to be strenuously discouraged for young men to broadcast their stupid decisions via social media. It’s a habit that can haunt them for years, maybe decades. But have a little empathy, Mr. Assistant Coach. You and your cadre of meathead college football friends had the good fortune to grow up in an age before everyone was carrying a camera and before every kid could blast his thoughts on romantic relations to hundreds or thousands of followers. Imagine the fallout if your Dazed and Confused-era parties were recorded for all to see. Reprimand and attempt to correct the judgement or behavior but don’t yank a scholarship, the one potentially valuable thing kids are even allowed in this facacta relationship.
- You’re pulling these scholarships tactically and for effect. Contemporary college football is littered with out-loud social media fuck-ups who are really, really good at throwing, catching, blocking and tackling. Will Hill is a good example. Don’t act like you’re some moral paragon for pulling an iffy kids’ scholly offer (coaches almost never actually name the kid they’re dropping) while Orgy McDrinksalot-AY-DAY is out there hauling in touchdowns and Title IX complaints.
- Most importantly, remember that you, Hon. Reverend State U, represent an industry that makes billions in television money, jerseys and gate receipts annually and doesn’t share that scratch with the overwhelming majority of its laborers. You tell kids that the pittance they do have access to–the scholarships that represent a fraction of overall revenues–is subject to your total discretion as some sort of rector. You will pretty much openly lie, cheat or steal to land a kid, then abandon him the second you get a better job offer, he gets hurt or earns a succession of bad grades because he’s really devoting 50 hours a week to football. You represent a university that likely admits kids who are unprepared for its academic environment to remain competitive, then hands them phony degrees that sometimes don’t even require adequate reading skills to attain. You over-offer kids then push them out of their scholarship offers when someone better comes along. You’re the boots-on-the-ground functionary in the dirtiest apparatchik in sports, and your moral high ground was measured by Dante seven centuries ago. Shut the hell up.