Recruiting and Commitments; Generally

Submitted by profitgoblue on December 3rd, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Backstory:  I put Little Profitgoblue to bed last night (and fell asleep on his floor for a few minutes in the process) and, after waking up), headed downstairs to watch some TV with the wife and play on the iPad.  Because I am unable to resist, I of course checked my beloved MGoBlog and the night went downhill from there . . .

The Dee Hart drama got me thinking:  What is the point of having 18-year old kids "commit" to a university days/weeks/months/years before enrollment day?  Why does the NCAA even allow such a process to occur?

Merriam-Webster's defines "commitment" as being "an act of committing to a trust or charge."  Put differently, by definition, a "commitment" creates an obligation of an individual or item, a binding of one's self.

Obviously, football programs plan their upcoming roster (and rosters of following years) in reliance on these "commitments" that they receive.  With Michigan's 2011 class, for example, I assume Rodriguez was extremely pleased with Hart's "commitment" and the staff was then able to move focus to other positions knowing that their quota for RBs was filled.   However, my understanding of the process is that schools continue to be allowed to make contact with kids that are "committed" to other schools.  I have to assume that people at Alabama were in Hart's ear just as I assume that people at Michigan are in the ears of kids that have "committed" to other schools.  If so, and if these contacts are either allowed or not regulated by the NCAA, what is the point of having a "commitment" process at all?

I do not fault any high-schooler for waffling or changing their mind, even multiple times.  For many, this may be the most important decision that they make in their lives.  A decision based solely on academics is exponentially easier in my opinion, if only because most kids never even think to consider whether a certain Dean or certain professor will be there when they enroll.  But for kids that make the decision based on their desire to play in the NFL, the decision must be excruciating.  Add to that the fear in this day and age the fact that the coach you developed a strong relationship with might not be there next year?  Its almost a damned if you do - damned if you don't kind of situation.

My hope is that this thread helps others gain some perspective with respect to Dee Hart's decision.  It took me first freaking out last night and then feeling depressed, thereby ruining my night, to really think about the process and gain some understanding with respect to what these kids go through in the decision-making process.  For what its worth, I blame the NCAA.



December 3rd, 2010 at 9:44 AM ^

Of course she did not.  I tried to explain it to her (she lived through the "commitment" announcement a few weeks ago and remembered me checking the site often for updates that night) but her eyes glazed over.  So I consented to her watching Gray's Anatomy while I monitored the situation on my iPad, unable to pay attention to anything she said.


December 3rd, 2010 at 9:42 AM ^

I've stated elsewhere that I was certainly less informed, but generally happier before I was introduced to this MGoWorld.  I missed all of last night's activities on the board and I don't regret it.

Oh for the days when I found out who was on Michigan's team by purchasing a program at the stadium that first weekend in September...

Good Luck to Dee Hart, although I feel let down right now, I know that in a year or two we'll have a RB that I can't wait to watch on Saturdays - it never fails...


December 3rd, 2010 at 9:44 AM ^

I enjoyed your post. It hit home. I am 45, reasonably successful, 2 kids, etc... Yet, I am obsessed with Michigan football, as if I am on the god damn team.  I check MgoBlog about 20 times a day and love the content (honestly no other site, free or pay compares).  Yet, when this Dee Hart stuff broke. I was generally pissed/bummed. My wife and kids asked what is wrong and I was embarrassed to tell them a 18 year old kid making the biggest decision of his life, changed his mind and it pissed me off. 

Anyways, your post made me feel a little better. Whether I like it or not, I strongly identify with Michigan football (which is not easy as I am in Chicago area, or basically ND West) and I am so ready for 2011 to finally be the year we get back to being a dominant football team. 

As has been posted ad nauseum the potential coaching change is brutal to wait through, but we all have no choice.  As a business person, I get what Brandon is doing.  But as a fan it is tearing my fucking heart out.  I would imagine he feels that by "forfeiting" one year of recruiting to get the coach he wants it is worth it.  But damn we are close to becoming an afterthough in the Big Ten for a long time.  He better hope Harbaugh is the chosen one, because all of his eggs will be in that basket.



December 3rd, 2010 at 9:48 AM ^

I didn't want people to know but I, like Denard, am powered by Dilithium.  This appears to appears to result in a magnetic effect on the MGoCommunity's MGoPoints.  I seem to have sucked points from people all day yesterday . . .  It's MGoTerrific!


December 3rd, 2010 at 9:45 AM ^

Does anyone know if the coaching staff gets feedback from recruits that have decommitted?  Will a decommit usually inform the coaching staff as to the reasons why or is that kind of conversation rare in this process?


December 3rd, 2010 at 12:14 PM ^

After watching Wisconsin and OS mull Michigan, what young recruit would want to be part of that? MIchigan looked like a high school team and the kids want something better.

I doubt very much it had anything to do with the RR situation.


December 3rd, 2010 at 9:58 AM ^

reminds of me of my favorite lawyer, Lionel Hutz

"That was a right-pretty speech, sir. But I ask you, what is a contract? Webster's defines it as "an agreement under the law which is unbreakable." Which is unbreakable! Excuse me, I must use the restroom"


December 3rd, 2010 at 10:10 AM ^

Why do we expect 17-18 year old students to keep their commitments to a college when most students their age can't keep committed to a major.  Look at how many students change majors and we expect football players to hold to a verbal commitment for 4/5 years?  Maybe commitment is the wrong word to use until signing day.


December 3rd, 2010 at 10:43 AM ^

very often seems to be a moving picture. His so-called commitment was nothing more than him verbalizing the picture when it stopped in his mind in time with whatever music accompanies his thoughts. Relax and breathe, the world will continue to unfold on schedule.


December 3rd, 2010 at 10:12 AM ^

I'm not going to lie, hearing that Dee Hart had an announcement last night and that it was most likely a decommit really set me off for some reason.

I was actually depressed that this kid, who's making the biggest decision in his life, was having second thoughts. But when you think about it, this board and all the fans who follow recruiting really liked Dee Hart and came to actually care about him. I know I did. Maybe it's the fact that he sung our praises or that his name is remenicient of another great runningback here at Michigan, but he was and is loved here.

While nothing is set in stone, yet, I wish the kid the best luck in whatever choice he makes.


December 3rd, 2010 at 10:32 AM ^

Nice post profitgoblue. It is tough to see that someone of Dee's caliber back down from playing for UM, but that's how it works sometimes. That's life. You put a perfect perspective on the situation.