Monday, August 29, 2005

Football - Recruiting Losses

This is a very interesting article about academic loosses in the SEC versus the ACC from the incoming freshman classes. The tally - 41 losses in the SEC, 21 in the ACC. Here's a quote I find most interesting from UGAg Coach Mark Richt:

"If you believe he is a great player and very good person and a hard worker and he is only 20 points away [on the SAT] and not a qualifier on signing day ... if you don't sign him, you probably will have someone else who will," Richt said. "And he'll play against you."

The message is clear. If I don't lower my standards, someone else will, and I will be penalized on the field later. So therefore I need to lower the bar as much as possible........... Now having said that, UGAg deserves some level of credit, because they are not allowed to lower the bar as far as some SEC schools. But clearly they use prep-schools often:

Take Georgia, which has used Hargrave as a sort of farm team. Among the recruits who re-signed with the Bulldogs after meeting academic requirements at the Virginia prep school: Terrence Edwards, Reggie Brown, Randy McMichael, Leonard Pope, Charles Grant and Danny Ware.

"If you don't sign those guys on signing day and another team does, they will have a much better chance of having them in one semester from now," Richt said. "It's not a binding situation. It's a relationship thing."

Well, Georgia Tech was one of only 5 teams out of 24 between the 2 conferences that did not have any losses (GT, Duke, UVA, WF, Vandy). That's 33% in the ACC and 8% in the SEC.

What do you think? What should the standards be? Is 1-2 non-qualifier losses per season acceptable? Should we take chances on kids like Carlos Thomas, who had academic issues and ended up at South Carolina because he couldn't get past admissions? I'll tell you my opinion. Get kids who can make it academically. Get kids who are high character. Get kids who will do the work. As best as possible, find that special pool of players, and go after them. I think that's what Coach Gailey & Staff do. That's why we'll never have the Willie Williams of the world show up at Georgia Tech. We should never have 5 players non-qualify like UGA........It's what makes Georgia Tech special - that we have those standards AND we compete at a very high level in major collegiate athletics. It's also what will make it extra challenging to win national titles, but we've done it before, and we'll do it again............. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it...........