Possible football staff hire

Submitted by Big Boutros on November 5th, 2015 at 12:04 PM

Some SEC insider sites are getting the vapors with whispers that Jim Harbaugh will be hiring Charles W Flanagan HS (Pembroke Pines, FL) head coach Devin Bush, Sr. to a recruiting position for the state of Florida, akin to Chris Partridge's role as New Jersey caporegime. via @RivalsWoody on this podcast



November 5th, 2015 at 2:58 PM ^

over a not so well placed GIF concerning Fred Jackson getting hired to coach football in Ypsilanti. Then I get negged a whole bunch more because I called people out for using bogus negging standards. Since then, the majority of my posts get negged by a lurker. It is what it is, doesn't take a whole lot of power to downvote someone. LOL. I've actually been laughing all day about it.


November 5th, 2015 at 12:07 PM ^

"Hey coveted recruit, do you have a father/father-figure that would like to be employed for the winningest football program of all time?"

Works for me. Plus DB Sr. is obviously a knowledgable football mind and would actually be a great recruiter for the state of Florida. Harbaugh will have an easy time hushing the doubters of this practice, as everyone he's hired in this fashion is an asset despite their relation to players we want.

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November 5th, 2015 at 12:58 PM ^

Okay, but once you make that statement, no more complaining about other programs' shady activities that are also within the rules.  I expect Ghost of Hoke will not be upset about Saban oversigning or Meyer medicaling a player.  Within the rules.

Honestly, my problem is not with the schools doing this stuff, it's with the legislative body (the NCAA) for not cutting it off.  The schools are going to do whatever they can to win if it's within the rules.


November 5th, 2015 at 12:20 PM ^

I agree that there are plausible reasons for his hire independant of recruiting his son.  But it obviously also provides an advantage for that particular recruit, and there's no way to ever know what the true motive was (likely some combination of the two).

It reminds me of putting kids on medical scholarship.  Some medicals are legitimately due to longterm injury, and some are designed to free up roster space.  Instead of speculating as to which is which, why not make the rules such that there is no incentive to do the morally sketchy thing?  Obviosuly, this is a question for the NCAA, not the coaches.

Blue Know It

November 5th, 2015 at 12:50 PM ^

So by your rules, you can't hire someone that is really good at their job and could be a valuable asset to your staff if they happen to have a relative that is an exceptional football player that you're recruiting. I think the Wayne Lyons situation has proved we aren't just hiring people because they are relatives of a player/prospect. Also, see the Wheatley situation.


November 5th, 2015 at 12:54 PM ^

Yes, I think that's a reasonable rule.  Alternatively, you could hire the parent and stop recruiting that player, if the hire means that much to you.  Or you could wait until that recruit has enrolled, wherever that may be, and then hire the mother/father since there is no longer a conflict.

And I disagree that the Wayne Lyons or Wheatly situations prove that much.  I'm sure the hires were motivated by a combination of people we wanted to hire and benefit of getting that recruit.  I'm uncomfortable with the latter, the same way I'm uncomfortable with any benefits being handed to a player for choosing one school over the other.

Mr Miggle

November 5th, 2015 at 6:16 PM ^

What's your solution there? A blanket prohibition or consider them on a case by case basis?

I don't think the Wheatley hire is even arguable. He would have been the most logical choice regardless of Junior. I'd guess we'd hire him even if that meant losing a recruit. You can frame the argument another way too. Should teams be allowed to recruit players when a relative is employed by the school? I don't think you'd find much support for prohibiting that. 



November 5th, 2015 at 10:24 PM ^

Solution there is you get X number of recruits per class, and whatever happens to them is your problem.  When they leave, they don't open up new scholarships.  Zero incentive for coaches to run players off.  Huge incentive for coaches to only offer guys who are reliable and going to stick around, so they don't waste a scholarship on a player who only stays for 1  year.

As far as the Wheatley hire, I agree that is an unfortunate byproduct of my solution.  I'm not sure how to get around that.  I think after a relative is at a school for a certain amount of time, the incentive problems go away (i.e., if your kid is 10 when you hire him, it's okay to recruit him when he's 18 and you've been on the job for 8 years.  I'm not worried that we hired you just to get at him).

Mr Miggle

November 6th, 2015 at 7:23 AM ^

as there usually are when you makes rules that affect everyone because of a few bad apples.

Players usually do want to play for their fathers, if that's an option. Coaching is not a career with much job security. How many coaches stay in the same place eight plus years, let alone the eight before their son is eligible?  Parents getting jobs from a school actively recruiting their children is a rare occurance. A blanket solution that negatively affects many times more families is a poor solution to a practically non-existent problem.

Brian has also suggested your answer to medical scholarships. I'm sorry, but I see no way it's at all practical. Even if the principle is sound, and I don't thibk it is, you have huge problems with Title IX. If you pick say 20 players per year, then you've added 15 to the scholarship count. Those either get matched in new women's sports of taken away from other men's sports. If you pick 17 per year, then you've avoided Title IX problems, but what's the overall result? Many players will still leave after four years. Players will still voluntarily transfer for the usual reasons no matter how much the teams may want them to stay. Players will still get career ending injuries. The net effect would be far fewer players on scholarship which is completely the opposite of what we should want. I'll say that would still be the case with 20 players per class.

I haven't even addressed how this just screws over JC players and those that want to transfer. It obviously would.


Rochester Blue

November 5th, 2015 at 9:00 PM ^

Why would this be considered "morally sketchy"? With over signing, you are taking away a kid's opportunity after he's committed to you, possibly greatly adversely affecting his life. With forcing a medical on a kid, you are either taking away an opportunity to showcase his skills or to play the game he loves. With hiring a kid's parent to coach a team, what are you taking away, besides his opportunity to party as often as he'd like?

This is a clever strategy, within the rules, that we'd hate if others were doing it, but that doesn't make it "morally sketchy". It doesn't hurt anyone but the competition you're trying to outplay on the field and off. It's like satellite camps, or spending the full practice time on the field, rather than in the film room. Maximize your opportunities WITHIN THE RULES, WHILE NOT HURTING THE KIDS you want to become part of THE TEAM.


November 5th, 2015 at 12:15 PM ^

The only uneasyness I get with this is stuff is worrying that it's a violation of some sort, if it's not I'm surprised it's not.  I don't think that there's anything morally wrong with it as long as the person being hired is actually a valuable asset outside of the assumed advantage with a specific recruit.

But having recruiting coordinators spread out in strategic places around the country makes a helluva lotta sense right?  That's basically what Jim was for his dad while in the NFL.


November 5th, 2015 at 12:17 PM ^

Michigan has an entire NCAA compliance team.  They wouldn't offer a job to someone without knowing that such job offer to said candidate is compliant.  They run a tight ship.  This is not Rutgers.

Rochester Blue

November 5th, 2015 at 9:12 PM ^

And I don't think Sr. was told we'll hire you if you can convince your son to come here. Now there is a potentially slippery slope. And if Jr. Doesn't come and then Sr. Is let go 6 months from now, then it seems sketchy. But if he's coming to coach, recruit and leaving his job in Fla, then I gave faith that while likely an incentive for Jr., it is not the only reason. If you think Coach Harbaugh is a bad guy and "only" doing this to get Jr., then you should suspect Sr. won't make it to his 1 year anniversary without Jr. signing. I don't think Jim Harbaugh is a bad guy, and I therefore think the expectation is that Sr. will be here a while.


November 5th, 2015 at 1:38 PM ^

That's a totally different debate.  If the NCAA starts allowing monetary incentives of any kind in recruitment, that's one thing.  If that decison is made, this type of hire is obviously fine.  I'm not sure what my stance is on that, and I'm not taking one here.

My argument is: given that the NCAA has made the choice not to allow monetary incentives, they need to shut down worrisome backdoor ways of giving recruits monetary incentives in order to keep the system fair and coherent.

Perhaps that didn't come across very clearly in my posts.  My fault.

Two Hearted Ale

November 5th, 2015 at 2:07 PM ^

I view the prohibition of athlete's ability to negotiate with the institutions with whicb they are associated or even hire representation as immoral and probably unconstitutional. To add to that prohibition simply because the prohibition already exists is distasteful at best.

I recognize your point of view but am, obviously, opposed to it.


November 5th, 2015 at 1:03 PM ^

What's the definition of a current recruit? Does it mean we can't hire Devin Bush, Sr. between August 1, 2014 and National Signing Day 2016? Does it mean that if a kid visits Michigan as a freshman, then we're prohibited from hiring his dad for the next three years? What if we hire his dad the day after the son enrolls at the school?

I think it's a very murky area you get into if you have the NCAA telling you that you can't hire certain people because you want their son to come to your school.

Also, if I'm a brilliant chemistry student, is the university prohibited from hiring my dad as a janitor just because you're trying to get me to come to U of M for a chemistry degree?


November 5th, 2015 at 1:17 PM ^

I don't know what the boundary lines would be, but I think you could create reasonable (though imperfect) ones.  Say, when you hire a football staff member, you may not sign a direct family member of that staff member for 3 years.  I don't know recruiting well enough to know what the right number would be.  It would be imperfect, sure.

The chemistry example is obviosuly different.  The school does not actively recruit a tiny number of elite chemistry students to allow their chemistry student body to be the best one in the country instead of the tenth-best one.  There is not the same level of concern for recruiting impropriety.


November 5th, 2015 at 1:36 PM ^

I won't try to lull you into a long list of "what if?" questions, but I'm trying to illustrate how difficult (and unfair) this would be to enforce.

Rashan Gary is being recruited to play for almost every major program in America, and surely teams in the MAC, AAC, FCS, etc. would gladly take him. Let's say Rashan Gary's mom is a college professor, an administrator, or even a custodian. If that rule were in place, Rashan Gary's mom would essentially be blacklisted from getting a job at ANY university just because her son is good at football and every university wants him.

So if I'm UMass and realize I have no shot at Rashan Gary, his mom still can't clean toilets at UMass or else it's a recruiting violation.

It's just a very, very slippery slope...


November 5th, 2015 at 1:52 PM ^

...so none of Tyrone Wheatley's kids could go to Michigan, even though it's their dad's alma mater and it's a local school. Maybe Tyrone, Jr. and Terius and Tyrique Wheatley are really close to mom and dad and will get homesick, but the NCAA is going to prevent them from going to Michigan because Tyrone was just hired in 2015...

It's a silly rule you're wanting to impose. Sorry. Too many holes.


November 5th, 2015 at 2:03 PM ^

Good point, and I agree that is a potential drawback.  But no regulation of this stuff comes with its own drawbacks.  You can weigh them as you like.

If OSU started hiring the parents of several recruits a year to whatever job, and then signed those recruits, people here would flip out.  And rightly so.


November 5th, 2015 at 2:09 PM ^

until it isn't anymore. It is what it is for right now, so let's just go with it. It's not like Harbaugh is handing these parents 50k to just sit at home and let their son come and play football at Michigan. I'm not one of those, I'm going to be upset because some other school is doing it, type of people. If OSU/MSU/ND/any team ever wants to do this, who cares!?!?!