Wizard Hat And Snake Oil, 2008-2008
DIED, by balloon-puncturing quote after a short period of general crotchetiness and incomprehensibility: "Wizard Hat and Snake Oil," meme, aged approximately two months.
Roy Roundtree in the Dayton Daily News:
"You know what?" Roundtree said. "It was my decision."
Last December, Melvin Fellows orally committed to play football for Illinois, declared his decision final and said, "This is the end of the process for me."
According to a vague, unwritten Big Ten code of conduct, at that point Fellows was off limits to other league coaches. That's how it is supposed to work, at least -- once a kid commits, back off.
Far from backing off, though, Ohio State came after him hard. Just weeks after his Illinois commitment, the Buckeyes offered Fellows a scholarship. And on Saturday, the big defensive end from Garfield Heights will stand on the Ohio Stadium sidelines, watching the Buckeyes' spring game instead of the Illini's game, as he had originally planned.
"Almost all the schools still recruited me after I committed," Moore said. "If I didn't call them back, most of them stopped eventually. Some coaches started recruiting me a lot harder, like Tennessee, Miami and Duke. Sometimes you think, 'Why even commit?' "
Which, like... of course. Roy Roundtree is perfectly capable of making sound decisions like "not going to Purdue." He has free will. Every coach in the Big Ten has, at one time or another, attempted to poach some other Big Ten school's "commitment." And with commitments coming earlier and earlier the decommitment becomes more prominent: over 600 last year. Rodriguez's recruiting practices are unremarkable.
Roy Roundtree didn't switch from Purdue because Rich Rodriguez pulled some sort of trick move, he did it because he wanted to. Forcing him to stick to his Purdue commitment would have helped out Purdue somewhat, but at the expense of the kid, whose welfare is far more important in the grand scheme of things than that of a couple million-dollar sports programs.
Aaaand we're done here.