I wonder just in general how many PSU players will end up at Big Ten schools compared to other conferences
Poaching Penn State: A Probably Pointless Primer
last time: irrelevant. this time: apt metaphor
The bomb. Mark Emmert dropped it, and dropped it with unprecedented speed. The actual penalties are harsh but along the same lines as they usually are: bowl bans, scholarship reductions, and fines. Penn State's ban is four years, their scholarship reductions are 10 a year for four years, their roster limit is 65, and their fine is staggering. Penn State also vacates all its wins from 1998 to 2011, erasing Paterno's name from many record books.
This is all very terrible, and let's think of the victims.
Now let's think about football with our reptile brains.
Can we poach Penn State dudes? Like specifically defensive linemen? A standard corollary to any bowl ban is to waive transfer restrictions on players whose eligibility expires before the ban does. This makes the entire Penn State roster fair game. Furthermore, John Infante says the NCAA is "considering waiving [the] scholarship limit" for schools that accept PSU transfers, something they have officially declared now. The catch is they'd have to pay that scholarship back the next year. In any case, that doesn't apply to Michigan, which is still trying to get up to a full complement of 85 after the Rodriguez attrition fiesta. Right now they've got 78 on scholarship.
The last remaining catch is the Big Ten's intra-conference transfer rule, which was recently nerfed from not being able to offer a scholarship at all to this:
The Big Ten altered its transfer rule within the conference, starting with the 2011-12 season. The new rule allows transfers to receive a grant-in-aid from their new school, but reduces their remaining athletic eligibility by a year. That penalty could have been waived if Wisconsin did not block him [Jared Uthoff] from Big Ten schools.
Penn State has lost the power to block transfers at all, so it may be a free for all not only for various Big East schools but also Michigan itself. Delany has taken some time out from crushing coaches' heads, Kids in the Hall style, to mention the Big Ten is likely to throw the floodgates open:
Both current Penn State players and incoming recruits will be able to transfer and be eligible immediately. Although a transfer within the Big Ten could result in some penalties, league commissioner Jim Delany said Monday that the Big Ten’s presidents and chancellors are leaning toward allowing such transfers with no penalties.
The answer here appears to be "yes."
Would we even want to poach any Penn State dudes? Like specifically defensive linemen? And maybe a tight end? A quick glance at the roster reveals a few guys who could shore up weak spots: DT Jordan Hill was honorable mention All Big Ten and Michigan could really use him at either NT or 3-tech. Anthony Zettel is a touted recruit from Michigan coming off a redshirt… but taking Zettel complicates Michigan's efforts to get 24 guys into its 2013 class since his eligibility does not expire after this year. In general, Michigan's looking for the equivalent of fifth-year transfers in basketball. Guys who might be of interest:
- WR Justin Brown, a senior who was PSU's second-leading receiver with 35 catches last year.
- DT James Terry, Devon Still's backup last year and a guy who will probably move into the starting lineup if he doesn't flee the blast radius.
- DT DaQuan Jones, another backup last year. He's entering his junior season and would require taking the 2013 class down to 23.
- Maybe some tight end but it's tough to say who. PSU's most experienced returner is Kevin Haplea, who had three catches last year and is listed at 248 pounds.
- While it's hypothetically possible an OL could transfer, no one's coming in to play backup tackle, so what's the point?
PSU's very good LBs are seniors but with Michigan returning three starters and grooming an army of youngsters behind them it's doubtful M is the most attractive place should any of them want to transfer.
Would any of these guys even want to leave? When this happened to USC, the Trojans suffered a half-dozen transfers, but the guys who left were universally backups. (That link also includes Seantrel Henderson, but he was a recruit let out of his LOI, so that's maybe not the best example.) It's doubtful any of the PSU seniors will abandon a sure starting gig for uncertainty elsewhere with coaches who haven't thought about you since you were a recruit. They're weighing certainty and loyalty over a one-year cameo somewhere else. Anyone expecting PSU's starting 22 to defect en masse is going to be surprised.
The carnage will be greater with younger kids, who haven't had as much time to develop a fondness for PSU and State College and are staring down the prospect of never going to a bowl again. This doesn't help Michigan much since they want a quick-fix quasi JUCO thing that won't force a player out of the next recruiting class. Few of the players PSU has brought in over the past few years seem worthy of sacrificing that spot. Maybe Zettel, maybe CJ Olaniyan. Past that you're looking at a legion of three-stars and two-stars, guys who don't fit Michigan's positional needs, etc.
Would Michigan even pursue these guys? Probably not. Brady Hoke was recruiting in California or the MAC when these guys were on the market. It would be a surprise if any were on his radar. They might also feel icky about raiding PSU, and they are very confident in their recruiting and evaluation.
On the other hand, you've got an honorable mention All Big Ten DL out there who might enjoy a Rose Bowl…
What about poaching guys who haven't showed up on campus yet? PSU's 2012 LOIs have been invalidated but Urban Meyer already picked PSU's bones clean before signing day. PSU's got one Rivals 250 guy, WR Eugene Lewis. Do you want him or LaQuon Treadwell? Right.
Meanwhile, PSU's 2013 class has the nation's top TE, but Adam Breneman just blew out his ACL. They've also got a touted SDE type in Garrett Sickels who briefly listed Michigan before committing to PSU. Michigan is not the team who will take advantage of the explosion.
Michigan is unlikely to go after anyone who would have eligibility after 2012 but could be interested in one-and-done transfers. Their most obvious needs are WR, TE, and DL, and Penn State has one third-WR type and a couple of starting-ish DTs available. Michigan may look into acquiring Jordan Hill or James Terry. More likely is that the trail of refugees heads to Big East schools.
Aside from this initial exodus, in future years Ohio will probably drink deepest of Pennsylvania recruits, and UM, ND and MSU will benefit the most, either by getting some Pennsylvania kids themselves, or by getting more Ohio kids who's spots on Ohio's roster are filled by Pennsylvania kids.
What is tragic is the imbalance in the BIG conferences now. Leaders will be Ohio and Wisconsin and 4 step children, whereas Legends will have four horses - Iowa, MSU, Neb and UM, and 2 step children. While we beat each other up in Legends, Ohio and Wisconsin will have just one tough conference game (each other) and may thus have an edge at being a little healthier going into the BiG Championship game.
but it is a stepchild when it comes to football prowess
This just might be what Illinois needs to finally get it together in football. They really shouldn't be as bad as they are, what with them being the flagship school in a large state. Now their level of competition gets easier.
(BTW, let's not refer to the divisional setup as "tragic." 10+ kids getting raped by Sandusky and being ignored is tragic. A somewhat imbalanced schedule is not.)
1. I meant a tragic power imbalance but yeah, wrong word in context.
2. However today I feel a small elation at American justice. “Tragic” would have been if all of this deviant behavior and enablement had gone forever unpunished. I am proud of the NCAA today and proud of Penn State's leaders (other than JoPa's delusional family) for taking their medicine quietly.
on the other hand Wiscy and Ohio have been the two best teams in the conference the last ten years and they are in the same division...
I wouldn't fret about it.
just thought i should get that out there in case urban pounces on somebody we might want.
I thought we were a bit thin at guard.
Well their best upperclassman guard is a guy who started against Eastern and Indiana state, total of 17 snaps. I might take him solely as a warm body since we have the scholarships. However he's not really an upgrade over Mealer as far as backups go (he's 6' 4" and 283).
The rest of their talent is younger and could potentially scare away some of our incoming recruits. None of them are good enough to really be worth that.
Edit: He was a 4* and #22 OT in the 2009 class. Mealer was a 4* and #28 in the 2008 class. So I'd argue based on how often both of them have seen the field they're likely somewhat comparable in terms of trajectory. Mealer at least knows the system. In fact a walkon who at least knows the snap count might be better than a PSU transplant.
Oops, I missed 5* Eric Shrive as well. He's a 6' 7" junior who came in as a 5* OT and was converted into a guard. He's projected to start for PSU this year at RG. His only playing time is also against Indiana State and Eastern though.
and slide Barnum back to his previous LG position. That'd give us more depth across the OL.
But the bigger problem is next year, when unproven Jack Miller is the only option at OC, besides a true freshman. Their backup center had a pretty impressive offer list FWIW:
I disagree on Zettel. I think he could be a solid back up at SDE or 3-tech DT this fall, and a nice buffer between the guys we have at those spots now and the true freshmen. It would give us another body at those positions while still allowing us to redshirt the young guys, something that will be nice given the lower number of DL commits in our current class.
Zettel would be very helpful for DL depth over the next couple years.
Its unfortunate that the Buckeyes are the biggest benefactor of the PSU bomb, as they recruit very heavily in PA and now have one less power to compete with in their division.
Also, happy mod powers day to you.
Once thing to keep in mind is the seniors are facing a new coaching staff. So they might have loyalty to the program but not the staff. If you're Hill, that new staff can be BOB and whoever the hell he hired as DC or Mattison and Hoke. If some other PSU defensive starters bolt, Hill might find the thought of plugging into a fairly functional defense better than playing on a defense full of walkons.
Unfortunately for M, one of two (IIRC) coaches who were retained was Larry Johnson Sr, the DL coach.
Well that sucks. Hopefully Hill hates Roof more than he loves Johnson Senior.
Yes the two coaches that PSU retained were both on defense and are considered very good recruiters; Johnson and ex-UofM assist Ron Vanderlinden (followed McCartney out to CO), LBs and new recruit coord.
Someone should photoshop Branch's name out and put "NCAA" there instead.
Justin King, come on down.
...but I don't really want to see the coaching staff rushing to offer transfer guys. It comes across as a bit too "ambulance-chaser" and whether it's rational or not, i'd prefer to wait-and-see if they come knocking. If they come unsolicited to play at Michigan, cool.
I have a similar sense. But, if some Penn State player who fits our needs contacts the M coaching staff, that's a different story. Does anyone know what the NCAA guidelines are for coaches contacting the PSU players in situations like this?
One of the top themes though has been not punishing the players caught up in this scandal. Places like Michigan opting not to pursue players out of fear of looking like ambulance chasers just punishes those players (reducing the landing spots for them). If a senior player would rather come to Michigan and do a year on practice squad over going elsewhere, I'd say we should consider them.
I agree 100%. I'm just not a proponent of standing outside the PSU locker room with a boombox in the air. Kids who are going to transfer will put themselves back out there and at that point I believe that they are absolutely fair game.
I just worry that with Fall Camp looming, the time table will be accelerated. Hopefully as coaches grab people they're classy where the contact is handled quietly and in a week or so the kids can just surface on various campuses.
If nothing else, we can remain confident the SEC will be more more aggressive and win all the awards for lack of class.
If you're really quiet, you can almost hear Saban's pants moving.
I'm thinking its more likely that we give a guy or two who grew up in Michigan (and RR didn't bother to recruit) a chance to play in a meaningful college game, or stable program. I can guess Zettle and Olaniyan didn't sign up for this when they left Michigan (the state) for Happy Valley.
One thing working in UM's favor here might be the fact that PSU isn't on the schedule this year. If I was one of their seniors who was thinking about getting out but wanted to stay in the Big Ten, I might feel a little more comfortable not having to deal with playing my former team. UM, MSU, and Minnesota all fit that bill.
I am of the mind that it unseemly at best to talk about "going after" PSU players. That this is major thrust of this blog's first respose to the NCAA penalties handed down is dismaying. It would have been far better to say that we are not going to discuss the topic of poaching PSU players on the main page out of a sense of gravitas for the moment. The desire to profit from the destruction of the PSU program is part of the culture that allowed these events to happen in the first place. The person who sits on the sideline rubbing their hands with glee looking to poach PSU players is looking to profit from the sins of the PSU program, is looking to profit from the abuse of boys.
I would think that the right thing to do would be to say that we are not looking to benfit from the misery inflicted on those boys; nor are we going to look to profit from the misery this has now inflicted on PSU and its football program. We might add that if any of the young men involved in the program approach us, we will discuss with them whether or we are the best fit, and if they decide to come here, we will do our best to make this their football home.
The OP is in poor taste and does not fit the gravity of the moment.
I'm not a big fan of anyone grumbling over how these sanctions help over B1G schools expand their recruiting base. That's meaingless and not even something worthy of consideration. What happens as fallout to the penalties happens and those are the breaks.
I don't think it's improper to have a post though on who might come to Michigan. The student-athletes currently at PSU are blameless in this entire thing and don't deserve to suffer. There is nothing wrong with saying we might want to offer a couple of them a home in a mutually beneficial agreement.
Fall camp is roughly two weeks away, the seniors are going to need to move with a somewhat unseemly haste to find new landing spots, if they desire to move. So it is what it is. In a perfect world the Freeh report, followed by the NCAA nuke would have come out back in June and the transfers could have occured after a moment of silence. Here though demanding a moment of silence just limits the options of third parties who didn't play a role in the scandal.
I respectfully disagree. While a relentless competitive drive is a good thing on the football field, and on the recruiting trail, there should be situations and moments that transcend or interupt that relentless desire to compete. This is one of those moments where it is ok to step back and give the space needed for everything to transpire at its own pace without the vultures decending to pick over the bones of the program in the name of competitiveness. If there is one thing this whole PSU situation should engender in all of us is a renewed sense of persepective.
It was the loss of persepctive that created the context within which these events transpired. The relentless ego of JoPa and his drive to become the winningest coach ever beyond all reason, when it was clear he could no longer coach in the normal sense of D1 head coaches in combination of a desire to protect the reputation of the university and his "grand experiment" that allowed an abuser to abuse at least 10 young boys.
For us to now say that "this is what happens as the fallout to penalties" is to turn a blind eye to the attitudes that made this happen. These are not recruiting or improper benefits types cases. This is a case where personal and institutional hubris allowed horrible things to be done to boys. This is a case where winning was put ahead of their safety.
This is a situation that requires us to curtail our competitive drive, or drive to win, to aquire the best athletes, to put one over on a conference competitor, and just step back and for one moment not focus on winning. That same healthy focus on winning is on a scale that can metastasize into what happened at PSU if we are not vigilent in maintaining our perspective of things like football, coaches, and star athletes. Sometimes it is more important to get mud on your face and not reach a record if it means doing the right thing.
The act of immediately wanting to chase after the players on PSU's roster shows hints of the same lack of perspective that fueled the events at PSU. Sometimes it is good to turn the lizard brain off for a bit.
I have to respectfully disagree with you. Those players went to PSU when PSU was in good standing and supposedly a clean and upstanding program. Programs like Michigan have done nothing wrong.
I would argue we need to show that the players don't suffer unduely here. Look at the post SMU fallout from the death penalty. Now the NCAA is afraid to use it and has gone on record saying they'll always try to avoid it. So they deployed this alternative penalty. One of the arguments PSU defenders pulled out was "You're punishing innocent players if you sanction our football program." If in the end those players do suffer, it potentially makes the NCAA less willing to heavily sanction other programs in this manner. When School X gets accussed of covering up some kind of serial rape or something and uses that argument they would be able to say "If you punish us look how the players would suffer" and then be able to cite PSU as a real example.
Quickly and painlessly relocating the players who did nothing wrong though does show that the NCAA can manage a surgical strike on a program. Well maybe only semi-surgical, but it shuts up the whole "Innocents will suffer" camp. That means in the future the NCAA can deploy heavier sanctions and say "The players won't suffer" and cite PSU as an example.
Basically to me we want to work to make sure that the PSU bombing doesn't end up as the second of the two nukes the NCAA drops and refuses to ever drop again. If various programs know that the NCAA now actually has a valid way to nuke and remain free of criticism that they impacted innocent students, those programs might tread more carefully.
I get what you're saying, but I also think we need to make sure that the NCAA can act like this again and that requires certain lizard brain like movements. Structural problems are often ugly.
I hear what you are saying, but the difference in my mind is pursuing them, recruiting them leave PSU and come here, that is "poaching" their players; and giving a player who choses to leave a new home where they can maximize their skills. Poaching = same set of values that gave birth to JoPa. Welcoming disillisioned PSU athletes is a way of making sure the players do not suffer because of JoPa. I think we are not so far apart as we first thought.
I think the divide might be how we approach it. I don't expect Hill to cold call all the BCS schools to find a new home. I think it is reasonable to expect various coaches to drop some clear hints on who they would take onto their roster. Running full court press on the guys is unseemly, but if later today Hoke makes a comment about "I'd love another senior all Big Ten DT", I'd consider that acceptable. That way if Hill is looking he can start to assemble a list of programs to consider over the next week or so. Or in the case where a player openly says "I want out, help me understand why your school is a good option" then recruiting in some flavor is acceptable.
I figure these guys have to have the transfer paperwork in by next week (if they want to move prior to the start of fall camp and get the full benefit of fall camp). So they likely need to be able to assemble a short list by midweek this week. So Hoke and Company likely need to send some signals to indicate the profile of players who could find a landing spot here. If Hoke say flew out of Happy Valley tonight I'd be unhappy, unless it was done at the request of Hill's parents or something (so that they could meet Hoke).
You are right, making a public release such as you are suggesting is not something I would do, nor do I expect Hoke and company to do it either. I would wait for the athlete to initiate, but make sure that he had an open door, even if just for advice.
From the Curious Index comments:
he is really good.
Our 2013 class is looking rather full to be taking on another schools backups anyways. Treadwell isn't hiding his desire to play for Michigan, USC is full at DB so we're in a race with lowly Vanderbilt for Leon Mcquay, Hargreaves is tweeting about Shane Morris getting him to visit Ann Arbor now, and we have a good standing with some solid RB prospects including one of the best in the country. Id rather dream about our bright future.
I'm more of a bird in the hand kind of guy
i think what is being lost in this discussion is how accepting transfers may be viewed by current players who, while maybe not that great, have been busting their ass in the weight room and film room for this program for a couple years, and who are poised for playing time this year, with the carpet to be pulled out from underneath them. i think it may be perceived as a lack of loyalty by the coaching staff.
Good size running back that showed flashes last season.
Crushing heads? So passe. All the cool kids are pinching faces.
This probably could go in another thread but here goes.
In Bo's Lasting Lessons by John U. Bacon, Bo mentions turning down an offer from Moeller to be a figure-head Coach similar to Joe Paterno at Penn State. He turned it down because he felt that wouldn't be fair to Moeller and the assistants who would be doing all the ground work but not getting the credit. If JoePa had done the same around the same time (early '90s) he would not have been the winningest coach but he would have still been considered one of college football's greatest. Now, because he was too egotistical to know when to step down, another important lesson Bo teaches, his memory is forever tarnished.
Bacon's book is a great read not only for any Michigan fan but also for anyone in a leadership position.
Mo and Carr basically begged him to stay on, let him lead and they'd do all the footwork. But Bo couldn't see running a program and not being involved. While his health was always in question, he was still fairly young as retiring super successful coaches go. He could have coached on, and propped his win total (he was ahead of Paterno when he retired) and probably kept on till it sent him to an earlier death. Not enough credit is given to Bo for just that...knowing when he didn't have the heart in it to recruit and all that, and let the program evolve. He became big, but he never let himself be bigger than the team.
Also, who is glad JoePa turned Canham down back in '69? Answer, the entire University of Michigan community.
We may need PSU's RBs after Fitz decided to be silly for an evening.
It seems odd to me that the NCAA would reduce the number of schollies in 2013-14 because a student transfers to that school in 2012-13. I can understand holding the overall limit to 85. In fact, the NCAA hasn't yet sorted out how they're going to address this issue.
It seems unfair to Michigan and to those PSU players who would like to transfer to Ann Arbor that there is virtually no room because they're being counted against the 2013 incoming class.
Maybe this was Indiana's master plan all along...
My understanding is that the allowance of teams to go over the 85/25 will be for this year only. Starting next year they will have to be compliant with 85/25 even if the PSU transfer is still on the roster. I don't believe they will limit you to 84/24 if you took on a PSU transfer over your 85/25 alottment. I could be wrong though.
I think that upperclassmen offensive linemen would be more than interested. The starting LG spot is open, and Schofield can shift to that spot if we can find a RT. A sophomore or junior-eligibility guy is next to guaranteed a starting spot in 2013 if he is halfway decent. Plus, we could benefit from having a backup-caliber player, even if he crowds out a schollie for 2013. Add this point, I'd take a 3* redshirt sophomore OL over an uncommitted 2013 blue chipper (other than Treadwell).
As far as Zettel goes, aren't we still pursuiing Joe Mathis? If so, Zettel would just replace the need for him.