ESPN Article "Michigan recruiting has a perception problem"

Submitted by IvyLeague on January 26th, 2016 at 1:16 PM

Title says it all. I'm in this camp about perception. I have no idea what is said to these kids, but the perception is turning very negative towards Michigan's recruiting practices and have the potential to be damanging in the future. Also, while everything Jim is doing is legal the lack of communication with recruits doesn't sit well with me, especially Weaver because Weaver showed much improvement over his senior year.




January 26th, 2016 at 1:45 PM ^

This whole "issue" will blow over in less than a month.

This is not oversigning.  This is not decitful.  There is no issue here. 

Before singing day, both sides have the opportunityt to back out and both sides know it.  Period.  It would be different if these kids were finding out they don't have a spot on signing day (or after).  That's not the case here.  Both sides should always have backup plans until signing day.

The only reason this is being reported is it's something to talk about during this peak recruiting season and Jim is unorthidox, as usual.  Well, that and the fact that oversigning has already been talked about ad naseum.

This time next month, this will be a non-story.







January 26th, 2016 at 3:32 PM ^

It may blow over, but that doesn't mean Michigan is handling this stuff the way it should. I agree with brianntb. Who cares if some kids make a commitment and back out of it? They're 17- and 18-year-old kids making decisions that are pretty important to their futures. We're the giant institution. Just do the right thing.

I'm sure recruiting is an enormously difficult and complex task with tons of pressure. But this part isn't that hard; just give the kids a lot more notice if you want to back out of an offer, or be more careful with offers in the first place. It's pretty clear in several of these cases that the staff cooled on the kid months ago.

Gulo Gulo Luscus

January 26th, 2016 at 5:25 PM ^

I don't think it's a clear moral failure just because it's a "giant institution."  A lot of digital ink going on about the ethics here and a lot less about how to create a more sensible system.

Fortunately MGoBlog has that, too.  Some of the most intelligent to be found, with a lot of informative perspective applicable to this quandary.  But the past week not much offered beyond "earlier signing period" followed by "that doesn't work."

Just spitballing here to change the course of conversation a bit...

If you're in favor of giving the kids extra leeway to make big decisions, what about a system where instead of a national signing day there is a national decommitment day?  That is, put the onus on the school to guarantee (optimally a 4 year) scholarship through a formal contract available to recruits (aged 16 and up) at any time.  Once that contract is in place, the school can't pull it under any circumstance beyond specific out clauses in the contract (injuries would be honored as academic scholarships not counted against cap, which would of course require extra vetting of educational achievement and explicit terms of agreement).  The kids, however, can decommit at any time up to "national decommitment day", or the moment they take a snap their senior season.  Any decommitment after that is treated the same as if you're already enrolled, meaning you have to wait a season to play at another D1 school.

I think you'd ultimately have the same behavior of offer vs OFFER but it would actually mean something.  Not a ton of kids would get OFFERS at 16 but if you get out ahead of a recruit and he blows up senior year, he can't punk you to jump from the MAC to the B1G.  Maybe the small schools would even get some parity out of it.  And kids who get offers know what it means.

Of course there would still be all sorts of unintended consequences, which brings me to my #hottake: you just can't have it both ways.  You can't recruit like you're elite and still "do it the right way."  There are no good examples of it in D1 ball and no evidence from human history to suggest the existence of missed opportunities to create advantage in competition.  Where there's a way to bend or break the rules, someone is doing it.  All you can do is try to create the best possible set of rules, straighten out the bends and repair the breaks.  I feel bad for the kids and hope to see some kind of statement on the matter and less of it in the future, but for my moral compass Harbaugh hasn't crossed the line.

Fear not, there will be no snowflake thread on this matter.  This tl;dr was good enough.

RHammer - SNRE 98

January 26th, 2016 at 2:36 PM ^ that I wouldn't underestimate the motivation of recruiters/writers in the south who are more than anxious to pick up and run with a Harbaugh-negative recruiting perception/theory/story and stretch it out for as long as they can... 

if they can't pass the anti-satellite camp rules, they sure as hell are going to jump all over stories like this if/when given the chance.  I agree with Brian that we are largely on the up and up here (it seems), but that some things could be cleaned up for sure as the season goes on, but whether there is any "there there" or not, the esseeesseeee is sure to make mountains out of harbaugh-recruiting molehills


January 26th, 2016 at 2:45 PM ^

Also, and something I really haven't seen touched on much. You CAN sign on NSD, many have (in the past) not decided where they want to sign until after that date. Malik didn't sign until April when his parents finally relented to sign his LOI to go play there. Yes signing day is in two weeks, no where is it said you HAVE to sign on that day...even though if you don't you do run the risk of classes completely filling up.


January 26th, 2016 at 7:57 PM ^

Too many people with bias can't wait to try knock him down a few pegs. Harbaugh (assuming we know the whole story) needs to do a better job communicating status with the kids. I believe this will work itself out as they move through the next cycle. Nobody realized how hot Michigan's recruiting would get this year. Next year we will be more prepared.


January 26th, 2016 at 2:02 PM ^

Bama has had a "bad perception" for about ten years.  What has it gotten them?  I am not saying Michigan should start oversigning or providing illegal "perks," but if you haven't ruffled any feathers, you probably aren't going to have any chicken soup at the end of the day.


January 26th, 2016 at 1:18 PM ^

Can we just please reserve judgement until we get a bit more information.  We are so quick to beat the shit out of ourselves on this blog and we need to stop doing so until we know what is what.  You guys will bitch about anything. 


January 26th, 2016 at 1:23 PM ^

and other Michigan recruiting bloggers.  No good will come by watching ESPN or FoxSports or reading, Freep, DetNews or Mlive.  And I promise you that nothing good will come of listening to 97.1 or 105.1 in Detroit.  Everyone that has come out against the football program will continue to double down in the face of anything contrary to their position.

Let it go until Signing Day when we have a top 5 recruiting class for all the haterz to complain about. 

Stu Daco

January 26th, 2016 at 3:29 PM ^

The only problem Michigan has is that our self-righteous fans whine incessantly at the slightest whiff of malfeasance, which in turn attracts bad press and alienates members of the program.  It's a huge problem in the fanbase and a major obstacle to reaching the highest levels of success.

Thankfully, we appear to have a coach who doesn't care, at least for the time being.