Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Want to know why it's hard to compete??

Because colleges cheat, that's why. When schools are paying money to influence high school coaches to get their players to commit to their college, how do you compete with that????

The schools being thrown around in this article? None-other than our step-brothers in Athens, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Michigan State and Arkansas. As for Georgia, here's the deal:

A former high school coach testified that three SEC schools, including the University of Georgia, paid him money for his top football player.

Lynn Lang said former Georgia head coach Jim Donnan gave $700 "out of his pocket" for work at a camp. He added that Bill Harper, a Georgia booster from Memphis, sent him a $100 bill in an envelope.

In testimony Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Lang said Alabama paid him money to steer Means to the school along with Kentucky and Georgia. He also testified that Tennessee, Mississippi, Michigan State and Arkansas offered money for Means but never paid.

The story is not a new one. This is the story that was the downfall of Alabama. However, the payoffs from Donnan and a UGA booster is new information. It will be interesting to see if any new sactions come down on the mutts. With the current hoops problem, could they encounter the dreaded "death penalty"? Guess we'll find out more in the coming weeks and months.

Don't talk to me about Georgia Tech not recruiting with the big boys. If this is the crap you have to do to get the top players, then screw it. I don't want any part of it. I want to sleep at night. I want to have pride in the institution that I gave 5 years of blood, sweat and tears. I will accept toiling in the middle of the pack with an occasional rise to greatness if it means we can maintain our dignity and pride.

Georgia Tech has a hard enough time competing with the big schools due to the academic rigor. It is an insult to think that we also could compete with payoffs, jobs for athletes, jobs for parents, cars, houses, pushing athletes to zero-value classes, etc. How could we? Well, we have proven that every so often we can compete at the highest level and in between we can be a solid competitive team. But year-in year-out top 10 - NO WAY!!

More often than not, the cream of the crop recruits will go to Ohio State, USC, Okl, etc instead of Georgia Tech, even in the face of questionable behaviors. Why? For some the lure of illegal money or illegal jobs will be enticing. Some will just have NFL stars in their eyes, and think that the "football factories" will be more effective at sending them to the NFL. What they don't realize is that they're wrong. If you are "a playa", you will get to the NFL regardless of where you played your ball. They will find you. Just ask Jerry Rice or Ben Rothloisberger. There are thousands of examples in the history of the NFL. Just this past season, GT send 6-8 players to the NFL. If you are a real player, it doesn't matter. They will find YOU.

Why do those top schools send more players to the NFL? It is not because of TV exposure. It is not because they develop players more effectively. It is not because they are in a better conference (we can say that now). It is because they recruit better players. If you recruit more talented high school players, you'll send more to the NFL. That's how you become a "football factory".

Of course, the risk is that guys will never get their shot to shine because they are playing 2nd / 3rd string to other more talented guys. But that's a risk many are willing to take, because of course they ALL think they are the best and that they will ALL play in the big leagues. Ask Maurice Clarett or Sammy Maldanado their opinion on the value of the education they were given.

So when we re-cap the recruiting class, let's not complain and moan. Let's celebrate. Let's celebrate the 20-21 kids who were given an opportunity to wear the white and gold and took it. Let's get past "stars" and rankings. Let's celebrate those kids who WANT to be here and bee proud!!! Let's cheer them on and watch them develop.......and win!! Because they will.