Mack Brown Encouraged Recruits to Look Around At Other Schools

Submitted by Cold War on February 2nd, 2014 at 5:11 PM

The widespread exodus with the 2014 class might have something to do with encouragement to explore other programs from the former head coach.

Imagine being a teenage football recruit taking your official visit to the University of Texas. You're excited to finally get on campus and experience everything that Austin has to offer. You're an emotional mess, expected territory with your age, and all of your excitement about committing to Texas and your future is curb-stomped when Mack Brown announces his retirement.

That's what happened to Texas safety commit John Bonney, a Houston product who has wavered on his commitment ever since Mack Brown stepped down. The four-star safety has taken recent visits to Auburn and Baylor, and with two weeks left before the official signing day, it is very possible the Bonney ends up at another program, potentially one that is competing with Texas year after year for conference championships. So what happened with the Longhorn recruits during the awkward 'Awards Banquet Weekend' that made them start dropping like flies? Bonney shed some light on what he was told during his official visit:

I was at my official visit when Mack Brown resigned and he told us all to go look around. He said he'd even talk to other coaches for you and everything because he really just wanted the best for us as players...…



February 2nd, 2014 at 6:13 PM ^

It twas confirmed many moons ago, by several different print companies. That one Mr. Lloyd Carr, now retired head football coach of the mighty Wolverines from the Great State of Michigan. These reports quoted several young football players as saying that their former Coach told them to look at other options. It was not until the athletic director at the time hired a new head coach to guide the University's mighty and historic football program. At that point when Richard Rodriguez, of the West Virginia Rodriquez's, was hired the former coach told these players.…


I could skip all the bull shit and say I forgot to put IT in my original post. You also knew exactly what I said. Now relax, everything is going to be ok!


February 3rd, 2014 at 10:32 AM ^

As I recall, Lloyd Carr also suggested Ryan Mallett should consider leaving the Michigan football program while Carr was still coach.

Mallett was a classic "toss the transfer papers on the desk" situation and it's not so clear anyone could have salvaged it if they'd tried, or that they'd have been glad they did so.


turd ferguson

February 2nd, 2014 at 5:46 PM ^

I'm probably in the minority on this, but I don't see anything wrong with it.  If I were in Mack Brown's position, the people I'd be most concerned about serving right now are my players and committed recruits.  I'd be far less concerned about saving my former program from a few decommitments.  These recruits committed to Texas believing that they would play for certain coaches in a certain system, etc.  If the new circumstances make it unlikely that they're making good decisions, then the right thing to do is to support them if they want to look around.  

The guy I hear mentioned most often with respect to Carr is John Wienke.  We can debate whether Wienke made a good decision about his final destination, but Carr knew that Wienke was a terrible fit for what Rodriguez was bringing in.  If I were in Wienke's shoes - or this John Bonney kid's shoes - and I had real trust in the person I thought would be coaching me, I'd really want him to be supportive and honest with me rather than just protect his former program.  For us, losing a few kids sucks because our favorite team might lose an extra game or two.  For the recruits, this is the type of decision that can define their lives.


February 2nd, 2014 at 6:11 PM ^

My god this the dumbest statement ever. How did he do this?! What tangible impact did he have on Michigan Football after he retired? Please refrain from opining on the "Michigan Man" qualifications of a championship winning coach, that is unless you spend time developing young men while working for the university in arguably its most high profile job between hours spent trolling online. What a tool.


February 2nd, 2014 at 5:53 PM ^

I don't have a problem with what Mack did. He has always came off as a stand up guy to me. Lord knows the bullshit he has had to put up from that booster base at Texas. I think he was legit looking out for the kids

With that being said. If there are any recruits reading this, make sure you commit to a SCHOOL, not a PERSON.


February 2nd, 2014 at 6:02 PM ^

This isn't the same as what Lloyd Carr allegedly did, it's not nearly as bad. These are kids making a major decision about the next 4-5 years of their lives and beyond. The head coach who recruited them was retired, he may be a bit upset and is telling them to take a good look around before signing anything.

That's not nearly as bad as doing the same thing to players already in the program - in some cases for years.

turd ferguson

February 2nd, 2014 at 6:29 PM ^

I don't know what you're referring to, but what's the difference?  If I were a retiring coach, I'd feel a real obligation to my players.  If I felt that one of them would have a clearly more promising future if he transferred, then I'd explain the situation to him and let him know that I'd support him in whatever he wants to do.  I'd do that even if I loved my school and loved the new coach coming in. 

Again, for the program you're leaving and the incoming coaches, the worst that can happen is they lose a few players.  For the players, this kind of thing can be life-altering.  

Mr Miggle

February 2nd, 2014 at 9:12 PM ^

If I felt that one of them would have a clearly more promising future if he transferred, then I'd explain the situation to him and let him know that I'd support him in whatever he wants to do.

How is that like calling a team meeting and inviting everyone to transfer if they like?


February 3rd, 2014 at 10:42 AM ^

if someone decides to tell it that way.

We know that Carr called a meeting to discuss the hiring of a new coach, who ran a completely different offensive system than the one Carr had run. And we know that he said he would be willing to sign papers if anyone decided to transfer.

We don't know what else happened in that meeting, but we do know that he didn't sign any papers. That fact has always made it seem unlikely to me that he was actively encouraging transfers (well, except for Mallett which was kind of a unique case). That room would have had a lot of offensive players worried about the transition, wondering if they needed to get out now to save their careers. Maybe he encouraged them not to make any hasty decisions, reminding them that he'd still be around to sign if they made the decision later instead of pulling the trigger before they'd met the new coach and thought it through?

That version fits the reported story just as well as "he invited everyone to transfer." I'm not sure why the other version has become MGoGospel.


February 2nd, 2014 at 6:45 PM ^

Totally fine what he did. In fact, it's the right thing to do for the kids. Those someone trying to make what he did, or what Carr did, are pretty narrow-minded.


February 2nd, 2014 at 7:54 PM ^

the whole "Lloyd Carr told players to transfer" crap is way overblown. In the case of Mallet, not only was it completely in his best interest to transfer, but RR even told the guy he didn't want him.

The point is that when coaches recruit players, they imply that they'll actually coach them. 


February 2nd, 2014 at 8:13 PM ^

I don't think there's anything wrong with this. Kids commit for a myriad of reasons, including coaches and philosophy. Mack and Strong likely have very different football philosophies and Mack was probably letting them know that and encouraged them to make certain of their commitment.

Mr. Yost

February 2nd, 2014 at 10:41 PM ^

Lloyd Carr did the same thing, it's not unheard of.

Does this mean Texas is going to suck for 3 years trying to change the culture and then fire Strong and hire Will Muschamp to restore the glory? You know, because They Are Texas. FerChristsSake.