Asked top rated recruits a variety of questions from scariest coach to what really attracts them to a school.
Asked top rated recruits a variety of questions from scariest coach to what really attracts them to a school.
Calling bullshit on the "What's the no. 1 factor you consider when selecting a college? Academics: 30 votes"
How come? Academics seemed to be a big factor for Billy Price. After all, he can't fail out of Ohio State even if he tries.
Even though I think you're mostly trying to be funny, there is something to your comment. The majority of the players polled chose "academics," but what does that word mean to them? I think to most recruits "academics" mostly means how much academic support they will receive, and not as much the academic reputation of the school.
I also think a lot of them are coached to say that and do so reflexively. But you do have a point about "academic support" vs. "academic reputation."
If "academics" in the traditional sense were actually important to the top 100 and there was a true correlation here - the Ivy League would be killng it. Brown becomes the new linebacker U.
Here's my take on the academics thing. I don't think it's simply the support part, although I'm sure that plays a role. I just think that for so many of these big recruits, what they see as academic reputation is different than what we see as academic reputation.
Let's say you're a kid from Michigan, not many people in your family have gone to college (maybe even none) and outside of the top top students in your high school, most kids either aren't going to college, are going to junior college or are going to a 4-year school like Saginaw Valley or Ferris State (not a knock on those schools, but they aren't the Ivies). To a student like that, any BCS-conference school with have very strong academics. To a lot of kids growing up in the South, University of Alabama is an outstanding academic opportunity, and to a lot of them, the difference between Alabama and Michigan academically is like splitting hairs.
The best example in my life is drinking wine. I like wine a lot, but what I consider "good wine" and what my dad (or my boss) considers good wine is different. I think that if I go to the store and buy a bottle above 20 bucks, it's good wine, and anything above 50 bucks almost all tastes the same, whereas my dad can describe to me the differences between various $80+ bottles of wine. To me, the difference between Michigan and Alabama is noticeable. To another kid, they're both "very good schools" and that's OK.
I agree 100% with what you say - to a lot of these kids, a college is a college. No argument there. The problem is that if that's your perspective, emphasizing that you're looking for a school with "good academics" is like saying "I'm looking for a team with a head coach."
It seems like they're saying that, and they basically are, but they don't think that's what they're saying. Everyone knows all teams have a head coach. Kids don't need to be pitched on their visit about how the school has a head coach. But even though Alabama might not have better academics than school X, Saban will tell a kid why Alabama's academics are top notch, so they feel like they're choosing a good academic school.
Your observation is probably correct about how many Division 1 schools are perceived. Many if not most (like Alabama) are the dominant institution of higher education and learning in the whole state, so it casts a huge shadow. Most of these kids and their families are not aware of the differences between the academic caliber of these places; it is like some family friends who lump all college football together in one category - "He must be a really good player, he played at XYZ state in the middle of somewhere conference" - the typical blog reader here is thinking ("No, probably he was a good high school player, but it is doubtful that he were really that great otherwise he'd be playing at a school in the Big Ten, SEC, or some other real FB conference")
This notion that blurs different schools and education together isn't just limited to these sports centric kids. Consider the current controversy over the vast size of loans many undergraduates have upon leaving a four year school. There are scores of articles so I'll leave the googling to the reader, but what struck me is that many of these students took on huge debt (~$80-100,000) for some schools which didn't seem that good (forgive my UM and Big Ten chauvinsim) and in degree concentrations which weren't that practical. It is almost as if they and their families were stuck in a 1940's-1950's view of university - if you were able to attend and graduate, you were a "college man" (or woman) and had your pick of jobs - a situation like that where a person with a BA in Classics could get a job on Wall Street hasn't existed in decades.
Your final example of wine is also a good one - for kids who don't aspire to an academic career or a professional one, maybe there isn't that much of a difference and if he can connect with that school's network, it will achieve what he was looking for in a school. I'm sure Alabama alumni cast a huge network around the state and nearby states.
WolvinLA2, I read your post, scrolled down some while tossing about your ideas in my mind, and then scrolled back up to upvote it. Fine metaphor you present.
Dr. Robert Smith says, "Hello."
Should be noted that they had to use a little asterisk of sorts to categorize Bama's practice facility as bigger than M's. Glick is bigger, but not all as one open space.
It's worth noting that only 9 of the attendees were from the Big Ten footprint, so with all of the prospects from down south, Texas, and California, there wasn't much chance of Michigan popping up in these responses.
Saban being most intimidating coach, no surprise there. That man is stone-cold.
I got a chuckle seeing Gene Chizik as the most persuasive and easiest to talk to.
Having 180 grand laying on a table in front of you will do that for you.
I'm flabbergasted that there were 24 players who somehow believe that they shouldn't get paid. I guess they won't be going to SEC schools.
So academics is #1 and "winning tradition" is over-rated. This obviously explains why so many elite recruits choose Cal and Northwestern over, say, LSU and Alabama.
the tradition thing is clear: people without michigan offers have to believe something in their life is decent in order to avoid depression and eventual suicide.
(i think the earlier commenter is right that the academic thing is about academic support, rather than whatever academic rankings track.)
I thought it was interesting about the position coaches. Athletes typically said they were more important to their decision (vs. the head coach), but the article points out that excellent position coaches may not be there for the athlete's entire tenure.
I wonder if that helps boost Mattison's recruiting success. Obviously defensive guys eager to play for a guy who has coached the pros, that goes without saying. But I'll bet they also feel some confidence that he won't be leaving for greener pastures. Mattison coming to U-M seemed like a deliberate, specific choice, not a calculated career decision. I'm not saying Michigan isn't a good thing for your resume--I just mean Mattison already had a good resume; he came here for some good reasons and not because Michigan is a rung on his ladder to elsewhere.
My favorite part of the whole article, was the kid saying that it's like they make minimum wage at McDonald's for playing college football. I get it that the schools generate a lot of revenue, but schools like Michigan, Texas, USC, etc were going to make ridiculous amounts of money with or without recruit X on the team. That degree that you get from the school is worth way more than the "minimum wage" you get for 4-5 years. Some of these kids need to realize that not everyone is going to make it to the NFL and a degree from a big time college I'm sure can help put food on the table and pay some bills. I don't intend for this to turn into a huge debate about paying players or not paying players, but these kids get 4-5 years of college and not a single cent is owed after they are done. Anyways I'll get off my soapbox now / End Rant.
Yeah, that was a pretty dumb statement...but it's a 16- or 17-year-old kid, and I guess I don't expect them to understand the ways of the world.
All kids go to class and do homework, so from an academic side, he won't be doing anything more than an average college kid. So he has to work 20 hours a week (officially, during the season) and is getting paid probably $20,000 to $30,000 a year. I bet high school students who work 20 hours a week wish they could earn $30,000...
By the way, I know kids put in more time than 20 hours a week, but...
20 x 52 x $7.25 = $7,540. I'm guessing his scholarship is going to cost his "employer" more than $7,540 a year...
You are right and I am probably a little too hard on them because they are at such a young age. These kids will most likely enjoy some of the best 3-5 years of their lives on whichever campus they decide to step foot on. Maybe they don't know that yet because they haven't began their college careers, but I'm willing to bet some of the memories from being on the team are worth not getting paid to play. That could also just be me I guess who knows.
I agree with you whole heartedly, the whole pay the players is just a clusterf*ck that will never get fixed.
The best proposal that I've seen is to let agents sign kids to contracts in college, if they advance them money then its at a set interest rate and repaid back when the player goes pro, however if the kid doesnt make it to the NFL or decides to quit playing ball then its simply a bad loan which the player doesnt have to pay back.
Its just sad that so many athletes dont have a fallback plan and end up working at a car wash later on in life even though they attended M/Texas/Stanford/USC/ND etc.
I was surprised that a third of the players didn't support a stipend. I would have pretty much assumed unanimity there.
And not one question about what it means to represent America? Somewhere Chris Myers is in tears.
It seems counterproductive to share a link and preface it with a "Mildly interesting" tag. Be brave.
Also of giving 110%.
Seriously though, if I had said it was plain ol' interesting we may have had a thread cluttered with snark about how relative a term "interesting" is. To title it as "mildly interesting" we only got one mildly (!!!) snarky comment.
There was an addendum to the article, I can't find the link, that said a bunch of the players came back and changed their vote from "academics" to "not playing on Thursdays."
I found the 77/23 split towards "no" on the early signing question very interesting. Granted that 80 kids is not really a truly representative sample in this instance, but it would seem to say that these prospects do in fact enjoy the process of being courted by programs and visiting campuses and gathering information for their decision, which hopefully translates into the best decision for their particular aims.
I think that the potential danger of signing early is signing without necessarily having fully explored options, or feeling pressed for time in making a decision. To me, there would be a greater risk of getting a player that wasn't fully engaged, and at least in the workplace, you only get so much out of people that aren't fully engaged. They call it "compliance level performance" in business, but in football - especially at a talent-saturated, competitive program - that could mean "not much playing time" and eventual transfer.
Taking time to go to schools and talk to players and coaches from all over and then making such a decision seems to mitigate (but not eliminate, of course) the chances of that scenario and increase the chances that a team is getting someone who will be 100% in and willing to give it their all. I would think that is what coaches would ultimately want. I do like that these prospects want to be sure about where they go.
the Big Ten was'nt really represented in this at all. It would be nice to see how our schools factor in the survey.