Mike Lantry, 1972
football; recruiting; Dee Hart; commitments
Backstory: I put Little Profitgoblue to bed last night (and fell asleep on his floor for a few minutes in the process) and, after waking up), headed downstairs to watch some TV with the wife and play on the iPad. Because I am unable to resist, I of course checked my beloved MGoBlog and the night went downhill from there . . .
The Dee Hart drama got me thinking: What is the point of having 18-year old kids "commit" to a university days/weeks/months/years before enrollment day? Why does the NCAA even allow such a process to occur?
Merriam-Webster's defines "commitment" as being "an act of committing to a trust or charge." Put differently, by definition, a "commitment" creates an obligation of an individual or item, a binding of one's self.
Obviously, football programs plan their upcoming roster (and rosters of following years) in reliance on these "commitments" that they receive. With Michigan's 2011 class, for example, I assume Rodriguez was extremely pleased with Hart's "commitment" and the staff was then able to move focus to other positions knowing that their quota for RBs was filled. However, my understanding of the process is that schools continue to be allowed to make contact with kids that are "committed" to other schools. I have to assume that people at Alabama were in Hart's ear just as I assume that people at Michigan are in the ears of kids that have "committed" to other schools. If so, and if these contacts are either allowed or not regulated by the NCAA, what is the point of having a "commitment" process at all?
I do not fault any high-schooler for waffling or changing their mind, even multiple times. For many, this may be the most important decision that they make in their lives. A decision based solely on academics is exponentially easier in my opinion, if only because most kids never even think to consider whether a certain Dean or certain professor will be there when they enroll. But for kids that make the decision based on their desire to play in the NFL, the decision must be excruciating. Add to that the fear in this day and age the fact that the coach you developed a strong relationship with might not be there next year? Its almost a damned if you do - damned if you don't kind of situation.
My hope is that this thread helps others gain some perspective with respect to Dee Hart's decision. It took me first freaking out last night and then feeling depressed, thereby ruining my night, to really think about the process and gain some understanding with respect to what these kids go through in the decision-making process. For what its worth, I blame the NCAA.