Those who stay [committed] will be champions.

Submitted by MGoAndy on October 22nd, 2008 at 3:33 PM


EDIT: I never thought asking people to stay true to their word would draw such criticism.  Before you go spewing expletives and passing judgements on me, read all my responses to various vitriolic criticisms. 

Clarification: The system of college football recruiting is fundamentally flawed.  It encourages, if not forces, young, young men to commit to schools very early, when they may not have had a chance to weigh all their options.  However, this does not give these young men a free pass to hand out commitments willy nilly.  Reform is due in the system, but the young men must also be careful about their commitments. 

I wrote this in a fit of passion and rage. Sorry for any incoherence.

We, as the University of Michigan football fan base, need to stop lauding prospects. Our fawning and drooling over 40 times and Rivals stars is breeding class upon class of divas. We shower them with praise, follow their high school seasons, and imagine them in future lineups, and in the process create kids who think they're better than everyone else. 


When you make a commitment, you keep that commitment. You are COMMITTED to that school, COMMITTED to those traditions, COMMITTED to what it stands for. 

If you do not BLEED Maize and Blue, do not commit to Michigan. Do not commit to Michigan if you could just as easily go to OSU, MSU, ND, or PSU. I want someone who HATES OSU. I want someone who wants nothing more than to run out of that tunnel and touch the MGOBLUE banner in front of 110,000 screaming, maize and blue clad fans. 

I know you're just in high school and you're fickle and a visit to any campus excites you. If your blood isn't MAIZE, take all your visits, weigh all your options, and then commit. I understand you want to secure a spot, but how selfish is it to commit just to save a spot in line, knowing you're likely to back out and go somewhere else? Stop committing as soon as you get your offer if you're not 100% Maize and Blue.

Will Campbell should have never committed. Kevin Newsome should have never committed. Bryce McNeal should have never committed. Anthony Fera should have never committed. 

Take your time, weigh your options, and then commit. Michigan will find a place for you.  I know there is some truth to the need to lock up a place before a school looks elsewhere, but you as recruits have the ability to change this system.  Stop committing as a high school junior if you don't bleed Maize and Blue.  Send the message to programs that they must respect your right to weigh your options and make your decision in good time.   

To close, if a slow start and some ugly losses sway you, Michigan doesn't want you. This season should excite you to get on the field and play for UM. It should excite you to bring UM back into national title contention. It shouldn't inspire you to jump ship.  It should inspire you to restore Michigan's place amongst the elite in college football.  It should inspire you to uphold the legacy of Yost, Crisler, Bo, and Lloyd, and to create a new legacy for RichRod.  It should inspire you to be the next Desmond Howard, the next Charles Woodson, the next Braylon Edwards, or the next Mike Hart.  It should inspire you to engrain yourself into the hallowed tradition of University of Michigan football.


GO BLUE.

Comments

Huss

October 22nd, 2008 at 5:14 PM ^

 Newsflash: Recruits often don't really give a flying shit dong about Bo or our traditions. They don't commit to us because they get nostalgic and cry when they stop onto the field that so many All Americans stepped on. They commit because we may gave them the best shot at reaching the NFL or national exposure by way of winning lots and lots of games. Coaching relationships and academics play a part too, sure, but don't criticize these kids for making their own decisions about their future. You're pissed that a kid committed than decommitted? Fuck you. You have no idea what's going on there. Just because you have this archaic segregation era view on life doesn't mean you have any right to conclude what it means to commit to the Wolverines, or what it says about someone who decommits either.

Nobody BLEEDS MAIZE. 95% of the recruits we're getting nowadays had no ties whatsoever to the program or Michigan fandom until our coaches came into their houses and sold them. And what about those recruits who do BLEED MAIZE - and have to settle for Directional Michigan school since, shit, they fucking suck and Michigan coaches want no part of them? BLEED MAIZE my ass.

Dan Man

October 22nd, 2008 at 5:32 PM ^

While I disagree with the necessity for our commits to bleed maize and blue (at least before they wear the uniform), I agree with the gist of your post.

Regarding a few of the comments: it's too bad that people hurl expletives and personal insults behind the safety of internet anonymity. And - to "Huss" - stay classy...

MGoAndy

October 22nd, 2008 at 7:51 PM ^

When you commit there should be no doubt about your allegiance.  Don't commit if there is doubt.  Don't commit if you do not bleed maize and blue.  When you give your word to this team you give your word to stand by it and embrace it.

Thanks for the support though.  People are sooo cool online. 

2Blue4You

October 22nd, 2008 at 6:25 PM ^

Calm down Huss. No need to be cussing and swearing about this. He is allowed to be upset that recruits commit then decommit. Some people value their word b/c sometimes that is all you have. I have been to Florida for a UF/LSU game before. SEC football is great in its own right but different from Big Ten Football. Their teams may be on the upswing of a cycle that runs ever few years while the Big Ten is down.

Huss

October 22nd, 2008 at 7:10 PM ^

Necessarily speaking of the competitiveness of the conference.  I'm talking about the fact that their fans - as batshit as they are - live in the now(except for maybe Bama).  While much of our fanbase continues to cling to Bo's 0 national titles and all the championships we won in the pre-Prohibition era, SEC fans I've encountered want to reflect on the success of their team now.

And I don't think I cussed and sweared enough.  I'd toss these people in the gulags if I could.  ameer covered it pretty well, and chitown nailed it in.  This archaic thinking is embarrassing.

ameed

October 22nd, 2008 at 6:29 PM ^

Before I write this, I am sure if you read: http://mgoblog.blogspot.com/2005/05/mgoblogs-recruiting-philosophy.html Brian has already covered a lot of what I don't like about this post.  That being said...

Those who stay will be Champions...
Bo's statement refers to guys that PLAY for Michigan, and he said it with reference to his 1969 team. You can launch on a rant about Justin Boren or Mario Manningham or Drew Henson or Justin Fargas or whatever. (I may not agree with said rant, but i concede that the "those who stay" argument can be made in those circumstances)

"Those who stay" does not apply to recruits. A commitment is not a binding contract and "staying" or dropping a commitment is essentially meaningless. 

It is disappointing when the latest 3 or 4 or 5 star guys changes his mind.  But that is how it works.  If you choose to follow it, be prepared for the ups and downs.  If you don't like the unpredictability, I recommend opening the paper on signing day and seeing who signed an LOI and start getting excited about the future wolverines.

chitownblue (not verified)

October 22nd, 2008 at 7:02 PM ^

This:

"If you do not BLEED Maize and Blue, do not commit to Michigan. Do not commit to Michigan if you could just as easily go to OSU, MSU, ND, or PSU. I want someone who HATES OSU. I want someone who wants nothing more than to run out of that tunnel and touch the MGOBLUE banner in front of 110,000 screaming, maize and blue clad fans."

Person doesn't really exist. Well, they do, but limiting our recruiting to them would field an awfully shitty football team.

dex

October 23rd, 2008 at 12:45 PM ^

I cannot wait to see you blow a fucking gasket when one of these kids decides he isn't coming to Michigan.

Impossible?

Weren't Bryce McNeal and Kevin Newsome going around telling any reporter that would listen how much they LOVED Michigan and were bragging to SC recruits about kicking their ass in future Rose Bowls, like three months ago?

Magnus

October 22nd, 2008 at 7:09 PM ^

It's interesting that nobody was complaining about weak commitments when Roy Roundtree switched from Purdue to UM and Michael Shaw switched from PSU to UM. Everyone was like "ha ha" and now everyone's like "wah wah." Chill out.

In reply to by chitownblue (not verified)

MGoAndy

October 22nd, 2008 at 7:44 PM ^

.... a whiny bitch for being upset when people break their word.  Sorry.

 I guess you guys have no problem with people making a COMMITMENT that doesn't mean anything to them.  When Roundtree and Shaw came here I didn't go "wah wah" because it didn't hurt me.  Now I get a chance to feel first hand how frustrating it is.

 I think the problem with the system is that kids are pressured to commit long before they are ready.  Once you make a commitment, I think it should be treated exactly as that.  

As for bleeding maize and blue, you guys are quite lame for "ohh they don't exist you suck die."  All I'm asking, at the very least, is a guy who buys in to the tradition of Michigan football, and a guy who will wear his winged helmet with pride.  Jesus.

 

GCS

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:21 PM ^

They normally scramble for what's left. But they normally only have to do that for a commit or two.

I think you're treating this recruiting year as the norm instead of an incredible outlier. This number of commits and decommits is extremely rare, and will most likely never be seen again while Rodriguez is the coach.

The coaching change has put the program in a state of transition that it has never seen before, but things are going to calm down.

KRK

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:03 PM ^

I'm sure that when they actually wear the helmet, they wear it with pride. But for now, they wear their HS helmet with pride and try to figure out which one will work best for them next.  UM football may be the be-all and end-all for some of us fans.  But for these kids, there are a lot of options.  Let me ask you this Andy, how did you become a UM fan?

MGoAndy

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:08 PM ^

into a Michigan family was my induction into wolverine fandom.  OK, I know that not everyone is born a UM diehard, but my POINT is that when you commit you should be.  I know the system is fucked, and the system that has kids commit before they are ready should be changed.

KRK

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:40 PM ^

Everyone here and their mom knows the system is flawed.  But you go all "Reverend Tucker" on people about commitment, when the kids aren't the problem.  I understand your point, but you don't present it well and it comes off as self-righteous.  No one here that is a logical fan likes it when others call out HS kids for changing their minds.  When I was 18 my biggest concern was where I was going to get beer that night.  Perspective is all we ask for.

MGoAndy

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:56 PM ^

I have been denouncing the SYSTEM for the last two hours.  It is the system that forces kids to commit before they are ready.  Doesn't mean the kids don't play a role.

 I know there is a lot of pressure on these young men, but I think they should be true to their words. 

KRK

October 22nd, 2008 at 9:59 PM ^

Most of your original post is about commits needing to bleed maize (emphasis not added) in order to play here.  Frankly, you attacked the kids througout most of it, then tried to rail on the system in your replies.  You are fighting a nobel cause, you're just not getting the fact that these kids are only concerned with themselves during this recruiting process and that's a good thing.  But you can't expect 18 year olds to not change their minds or how they feel.  They see someplace cool and think they want to go there then see somewhere else and want to go there.  A lot of these kids have very little real life experience and most have not traveled outside of local areas.  All we are asking is to lay off the kids.  Remember, RR can pull a scholarship offer, they can even reject it after the kids signs it. 

Musket Rebellion

October 22nd, 2008 at 10:23 PM ^

"If you do not BLEED Maize and Blue, do not commit to Michigan. Do not commit to Michigan if you could just as easily go to OSU, MSU, ND, or PSU. I want someone who HATES OSU. I want someone who wants nothing more than to run out of that tunnel and touch the MGOBLUE banner in front of 110,000 screaming, maize and blue clad fans."

Yeah, YOU'RE rallying cry seems to be the sytem is FLAWED! 

I know you think you're crusading against some injustice of the NCAA but two things. 

1) You went about it all wrong with this post. If you were really rallying against the way the recruiting system completely abuses 16 - 18 year olds that is what your post would've been about. It wouldn't have been about kids who aren't exactly sure what they want yet breaking your precious maize and blue clad heart. 

2) I think we can all agree that the crusades were are bad idea. Don't tread that path. 

KRK

October 22nd, 2008 at 7:58 PM ^

MGoAndy,

You do know that Michigan has within drawn offers from kids before. They can say "Hey were committed to you" then pull that offer back like it's nothing. It goes both ways and it has. We just don't hear about it that often. Coaches also pressure these kids into committing early and guarding them from other programs. They are a product of a problem, not the problem itself. Really, you sounded like a self-righteous ass in your rant and you forget that these kids are under a lot of pressure and that pressure is put on them by the coaches.

MGoAndy

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:06 PM ^

obviously didn't read what I said.  I acknowledged that the kids are under pressure to commit or loose a spot and whatnot, but I said that players can end this movement towards committing far before one is ready.  Stop letting coaches pressure you into a commitment if you're not sold.  This isn't all the fault of the coaches.  These young men can stand up for themselves.  

GCS

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:10 PM ^

This is like saying "People should stop attending football games until they are forced to lower ticket prices." You can try, but you'll most likely be left without a ticket while everybody else is enjoying the game.

It's a noble idea, but not based in reality.

KRK

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:44 PM ^

What?  Make a stand?  By losing out on a scholarship to the school they want.  Do you want several hundred HS kids to collaborate and not commit early to prove a point.  This whole process is about them.  It's their decision about their future.  They don't care about other recruits or standing up against the injustices of the system.  That's what the NCAA is supposed to do and they don't do it well, so blame them.  You seem to be wanting to live in a world of rainbows and sushine where people band together to end evil.  That won't happen with 18 year olds being the focal point.  If blame is going to be handed out, you and I should be blamed before these kids.  Life isn't a Disney movie.

Huss

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:50 PM ^

Until you've been around kids that have dealt with the recruiting process, or until you yourself looked up the football definition of committed(read: It basically means leave me the fuck alone and stop calling my house), stop trying to bestow the word 'commitment' as the most sacred bond possible.

Your problem is that you're, medically speaking, fucking retarded. Some schools, like Michigan, have a habit of getting out there early and releasing offers. Read the book Meat Market. A school like Ole Miss could be sending out upwards of 200 scholarship offers(pending approval, of course) to HS kids in the spring of their junior years. So when a school like Michigan comes a calling early - kids get hooked. Meanwhile, a school like USC takes its sweet getting into the game - they might only offer 20 juniors. Well, when senior year creeps up, the tape starts flowing, and schools like USC jump into the game. And as we all know, nobody recruits better than Carroll and the gang. So when a guy like Will Campbell commits to Michigan(via Lloyd Carr), upholds it with RichRod, and then suddenly has USfuckingC on his doorstep - he steps back and decides to take it all in. He wants to know if he's doing himself right. Does he want to stay home? His friends are going to UM, does that matter? USC is as elite as it gets and sends backups to the NFL, does he want to be a part of that? USCs coaches were the best I've talked to, maybe I should get more of a feel for all the teams recruiting me?

These are but a handful of a THOUSAND questions a recruit needs to ask himself - all while his cell phone quadruples as he gets harrassed by coaches, internet sites, recruiters, neighbords, friends, family, strangers, fans. That is the bare minimum of what a lot of these recruits go through. So, can you at least understand at some nominal level why a kid might step back, decommt, and re-evaluate what his priorities are as he gets set to become a man?  I mean, fuck - their senior year has barely started.

MGoAndy

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:52 PM ^

Without resorting to calling me "fucking retarded."  You're so classy.

I understand the decommit, but only because the original commitment was made too early.  Don't commit until you're sure.  All I'm saying.  As to committing as a way of saving a place, read my other comments. 

Huss

October 22nd, 2008 at 8:58 PM ^

But things change, as in all walks of life. Anthony Fera apparently decommitted once he realized getting an MBA at Michigan is rather difficult. Bryce McNeal is a Minny boy who sees Eric Decker and the Gophers kicking ass and figures "Hmm, I'm much better off here than trying to catch lame ducks from Steve Threet" Will Campbell will apparently re-commit shortly. Everything is conjecture, which is why you need to be more open-minded about the entire process, instead of thinking a commitment as a guarantee of OMG MICHIGAN MAN status.

Again, who are you to say it was too early? To them, the timing was right. Recruits can't win with you people. Terrell Pryor is a fuckbutt for making everybody wait(when he could have just rotated commitments to UM,OSU and PSU like a good boy!) and making a sound choice, and these kids are getting shit from people like you for committing "too early" and revealing themselves to be the scum of the earth for not hating OSU and MSU and signing Hail to the Victors when they go to bed every night.

MGoAndy

October 22nd, 2008 at 9:02 PM ^

Had a problem with TP drawing out his commitment.  He wanted to make the best decision he could make, and he weighed all his options carefully.  

I never called anyone the scum of the earth.  But clearly they committed too early, if the commitment changed.  The timing was right, except they weren't 100% sold on UM.  So... the timing wasn't right.     

Huss

October 22nd, 2008 at 9:06 PM ^

Now you've deemed yourself not only as someone who vicariously lives through Michigan, but you also vicariously live through our recruits, and can pass judgement and conclude with certainty anything regarding them.

You're more hopeless than I gave you credit for.

MGoAndy

October 22nd, 2008 at 9:12 PM ^

My reason for saying people like Big Will and McNeal committed too early is that they decommitted.  My idea of a commitment made at the right time is one that doesn't end in a de commitment, because obviously the kid wasn't sold that UM was the best place for him.  

You're always right.  I'm always wrong. Congratulations. 

magonus

October 22nd, 2008 at 9:54 PM ^

I'm with Andy on this one. Yes, a commitment is different from signing an LOI. An LOI is a binding legal contract (or at least as binding as the NCAA chooses to make it). A commitment is a verbal promise. You're giving your word that you will be attending that school. Call me a fossil, call me old fashioned, say I'm living in the past, whatever. But I still believe that your word should mean something and that you're only as good as it. If you're the type of person that will give your word with the idea that you might break it if something better comes along, screw you. Go to OSU or Bama or wherever. I don't want you playing for Michigan. I don't want to cheer my lungs out for you every Saturday for three months. Don't let the door hit you on teh way out.

Other Chris

October 22nd, 2008 at 10:22 PM ^

Commitment symbolizes a couple of things for a recruit -- this is how good I am (athletically and academically), any of you from teams not up to this level stop bothering me, this is what I'm thinking now.  A kid who's not committed anyplace "good" can be seen as damaged goods -- there's a pressure to commit early for a lot of reasons.  I've read on this very site people saying things like "Well, he doesn't have any good offers -- why are we offering?"

On top of that, consider that they are just kids, getting pressured by coaches, parents, team mates, the media.  The whole thing is ridiculous and getting this invested in it makes you look at least as immature as the recruits.  And at least they are making what can be a make-or-break career decision.  You're just working yourself into an irrational froth for nothing. 

KRK

October 22nd, 2008 at 10:18 PM ^

Mgoandy,
Judging by the number of updates and edits you've had to make I can tell you've had a rough time with this Diary. Here's a tip, if you start your post with "I wrote this in a fit of passion and rage", stop writing. I'm not be insulting with that. The problem is that you will spend a lot of time defending your rage because it probably comes across differently than you intended. Just a word to the wise.

ShockFX

October 22nd, 2008 at 10:45 PM ^

"If you're the type of person that will give your word with the idea that you might break it if something better comes along, screw you."

So you married the first and only girl (guy) you ever dated right? Otherwise you're a giant asshole that never should have dated the girl in the first place since you only were going to break up with her later.

bouje

October 23rd, 2008 at 5:08 AM ^

Firstly you guys need to calm down. I'm am a recently graduated college student from Michigan and I have to agree with Andy here. There are VERY many parallels to high school recruits and "normal" people.

Is there really that much of a difference when a high school senior (academic) sends in his deposit to "save his place" at Michigan and then when he gets that letter to Harvard, MIT, or Yale says "screw the 250 bucks I'm going to School X". All the while this is screwing out all of the kids who really wanted to get into Michigan but just barely missed the cut off or were deferred?

Is there really that much difference when you're a junior/senior in college and are looking at going out into the "real" world. You get your fancy leather resume holders and you have your first round interviews. Sure you apply to a bunch of shitty places that you'd never really work for but you figure "what's the harm i'll just use it as practice there's no way that they will hire me". I'll just use this as a practice for that job at Google, Consulting company, etc job that I really really want.

Fast forward a few weeks and they've had the interview with Google, consulting company, whoever they really want and they rocked it. A few days later and they are given their verbal offer and they are asked whether or not they want to accept. They do. This is their dream job and they really want to work here. The pay is great but they see their other friends still interviewing going on trips, missing classes and they think "I wonder if I can find something better". And so they keep interviewing for that better job and better company.

I personally know several people who had offers from companies that they had talked about for months but then still interviewed with other companies just to "make sure". This is COMPLETE AND UTTER BS. Because while they have their 8 offers (yes I do know many people who had a lot of offers like that) there are many other seniors who don't even have 1 offer. These aren't students who have horrible gpa's these are just students who don't "interview obscenely well and have the stats to back it up". And then when these "great scholars" verbally accept their offer and then back out it makes the school look bad and the students look horrible.

 Now exactly how is this any different than a student athlete committing? Because IT IS NOT. I was one of the students who had no good offers coming out of school. So I took a crappy job and quit it 5 months later (Prep school route). Then found a "respectable engineering job" that I hated and quit another 5 months later (The JUCO route) and then finally found the job I had been searching for for 2 years (Finally got into the college of my choice).

I tell this story not because I'm mad that I didn't get any offers because I can't imagine that if I had gotten a "good engineering job" right after undergrad that I would be in my awesome career change job now. I tell it because the students who had their dream jobs screwed over other students and it's the same things that student athletes do.

chitownblue (not verified)

October 23rd, 2008 at 10:52 AM ^

Bouje,

First, the fundamental difference is that there are not reporters and fans hanging on the decision of a college applicant to google. There are not a legion of message board posters ready to slag a job applicant to Yahoo is he decides to go with google instead. This is a personal decision for these kids - one that could potentially resonate throughout their entire life, and, in my opinion, it is not my place to castigate someone I don't know for the manner in which they make a decision that directly affects their future life and career - particularly, when it doesn't impact me in the least.

As far as your argument that their commitment "displaces" other kids - not really. As long as they haven't committed, the "lower tier" of player hasn't even been offered. Now, the decommitment may damage Michigan, in this case, Michigan is, essentially, creating the problem. For instance, by offering Eugene Smith, Tate Forcier, Shavodrick Beaver, and Kevin Newsome, they essentially created a "race" where the first two to commit get spots. Newsome took the bait, and made a rash decision, because he feared he wouldn't get a change. Is that truly the commits fault, or is it the fault of the recruiting process for creating the situation?