Reeves quote issue EDITED

Submitted by Steve Lorenz on January 23rd, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I have talked to Armani and he agreed that it was a misunderstanding on what we had discussed. I changed the post and he said it wasn't a big deal.


Space Coyote

January 23rd, 2012 at 10:33 AM ^

Going forward, it may be best simply to quote what the recruits are saying.  Even if it's via text message or whatever (I know this can be hard sometimes with phone interviews).  It's best to simply say exactly what the recruit is saying and let the readers try to decipher them so so that you don't accidently change how something is said.  It's kind of a catch all but it's probably safer and better for you in the long run.

Just my opinion and no disrespect.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

If this interview really pissed off Reeves that much, which I doubt, Mattison will be able to fix it.  I doubt that he's going to drop Michigan because of  an interview. If anything, he just won't interview with Aquaman again, or accept Aquaman's apology and move on.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:39 AM ^

Way to be understanding.

These issues come up with just about anyone covering recruiting—misunderstandings happen, especially when dealing with high school kids and talking via text, on facebook, or really anything that isn't in person or over the phone (and even then, failures in communication occur). Aquaman provided the exact quote, and I don't think there's much more you can ask for. Clearly, they interpreted the use of the word "opportunity" in different fashions. Like I said, these things happen—no need to bash Aquaman for that, and I highly doubt Reeves is going to factor this into his choice about where to go to college. More important factors are at play in that regard.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:52 AM ^

My issue with this is( I realize this is petty and I'm not actually mad it just is one of those things you know that you don't understand and keeps coming up like when they used to sell hot dog buns in 6 packs and hot dogs in 8 packs)

A) Almost all schools offer the "opportunity" of early playing time.  If you are the best player at your position the coach will play you so it should be of no significance as a question or an answer. It is implied and should never come up.

B) If the player he is being told he has an excellent chance to play because of quality of play or lack of players it should make sense.  

Here's an example.

Makes Sense-

Rich Rod in 09-"Hey Tate I have 1 scholarship QB on the roster and he runs a 5.2 40, if you come to Michigan and enroll early I can see you have an opportunity to play right away.  

Doesn't make sense-

Meyer and Hoke in 12- Hey were returning our starting CB's and many of our backups to our top 20 defenses,  you are enrolling in June, you have a great chance of earning early playing time.



Feat of Clay

January 23rd, 2012 at 11:43 AM ^

I don't have a dog in this fight (I didn't read the original whatever-it-was) but I wanted to respond to one point.  I think prospective college students do, sometimes, latch on to small issues and make them big.  They are faced with a tough choice--multiple offers, each with compelling reasons to choose them.  The decision seems like it will be life-altering. 

You know what's appealing in a situation like that?  A reason to rule one out and not look back. Sometimes the reasons are stupid, or trivial, or tied to things that should be forgiveable, but they are embraced regardless.  I saw it frequently when I worked in admissions.  Students who were otherwise meticulous and careful in every aspect of choosing their colleges would rule one (or more) out for a lousy reason.

I assume it happens in athletics recruiting too.  For example, would you throw away a free University of Michigan education when, on your recruiting visit, someone accidentally miffed your first name and called you Tom?  Isn't that a dumbass reason to rule out a place with all that Michigan has to offer? 

FWIW, it also works the other way, I think--once a kid really likes a school, big things can become small things.  A lot has to happen before they'll change their mind.  They'll forgive even things, like, ahem, the Happy Valley mess. 

Of course, I hope Armani is either very reasonable, or very high on Michigan, and this will be the small blip it has been made out to be.   But based on my experience working with students in their college search, I am wary of assuming a small thing will be a small thing to a recruit who is struggling with a decision.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

Is he objecting to you turning "opportunity for me to play early" to a "commitment" from the coaches to play him early?

Everyone has an "opportunity" to play early.  I can potentially see his point if it came across as coaches promising early playing time.

Patent Pending

January 23rd, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

I noticed in your updates you've been bullet-pointing and using selective quoting in the posts.  Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal as many questions and answers don't reveal much info, but as you've seen, this is a very touchy subject for recruits. 

The possibility of misquoting or taking something out of context is much greater when you breakdown an interview rather than just giving a transcript and then your commentary.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:41 AM ^

Armani Reeves @ptreeves8: someone showed me that i "said" they promised me early playing time at Michigan..i said i have the opportunity too play early...miss quoted

@ptreeves8: same with OSU too...playing time isnt given away, its earned through hard work, dedication, and being driven to do your best 


January 23rd, 2012 at 11:36 AM ^

I'm not usually one of those "He's only 18 therefore if he does anything stupid he shouldn't be held accountable" guys, but for a high school kid to be put into a situation where thousands of older men (and women) are following his every move is a bit ridiculous.  I think Terry just didn't quite understand that everything he said would be held under a microscope by thousands of people.  This is why twitter is a bad idea in general for young athletes.


January 23rd, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

that sounds very un-Hoke-like, opportunity to play sounds more like it. And I think it is good that Reeves cares to get the point just right. It shows that he truly understands the coaches' points.

On the flip, the mixture of internet blogs and recruiting have to make it harder for a coach to manage image. When you have a bunch of over-exuberant fans alternatively salivating over a recruit or dumping on them ... what frustration that must cause for coaches.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:53 AM ^

Excellent.  I give Reeves points for his statements about us and Ohio State.  

He does not want to say that it's his understanding that he will play by just showing up.  He does not want to put the coaches in a bad light and insult his future teammates.

I like that from him, no matter where he ends up.


January 23rd, 2012 at 6:08 PM ^

I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with that clarification and I see nothing in it that would suggest that Michigan has been harmed in any way.  If anything, I respect Armani even more for his attitude toward earning playing time.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:43 AM ^

I think his complaint was that people take his words literally.  If there is one thing that these highly-rated high schoolers need, its public relations training.  These kids are under a microscope starting at age 15 (some earlier!) and grown adults pay attention to every little word they say/type.  Its insane but it is what it is and these kids need training or at least someone who constantly pounds into their heads that they need to be very, very careful what they say and how they say it.



January 23rd, 2012 at 10:49 AM ^

if you look at Armani's tweets and what Aquaman originally posted, I think Armani has a point.  Armani used the word "opportunity" properly.  Both Aquaman's summary, and his follow up question implied some sort of promise was being made.

As others have stated:

1. Use exact quotes from the recruits

2. Staying neutral in interviews takes some practice.


January 23rd, 2012 at 11:02 AM ^

What I thought I was saying is that even using the proper words is not enough.  People dissect everything these kids say.  For example, saying "I have an opportunity to play early" can mean a bunch of things.  I would say it means "opportunity" but someone else might say it means "promise."  Aquaman did what anyone would do - analyze the statement.  Its gotta be a tough job.


Judge Dredd

January 23rd, 2012 at 10:40 AM ^

Unless you can actually post quotes, it's not an actual interview. Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate your updates and site so far, but you guys started out doing unique interviews that were cool and refreshing. It now seems like you're trying to become a recruiting site/mgoblog v2.0 - I hope you don't go that route. Use quotes, don't interpret info...and I hope you aren't just rewording other reports, bc we already have guys like ACE (chat sports) doing that crap and look how bad we looked with the Yuri Wright thing....let the professionals do the serious interviews! Sorry but TomVH > Tremendous unless this stops happening.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:53 AM ^

He did absolutely nothing wrong, and simply quoted what he was texted. As for him trying ot be like Tom, come off it. I'm sure there are a great deal of us that would love the opportunity to be able to interview the top prospects in each class. Aqua and his site, nearly took the initiative and made it a reality. I think they're doing an awesome job. Nothing is ever going to be perfect, even TomVH (Kyle Kalis) had his issues.

Judge Dredd

January 23rd, 2012 at 11:00 AM ^

I think you of all people should tread carefully here, i'm surprised nobody has complained about your "recruiting notes" posts that basically reword premium site info. Why does everybody want to be the next recruiting analyst? It just makes it confusing - I rather get my mgoblog recruiting info from Ace Anbender and the legit recruiting services.

I wish the mods would clean up our board, I can barely keep track of the FACTS.


January 23rd, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

I mean, I do post recruiting updates that other sites post, as do most others on here. However, what I post, is most always found on the free boards/forums that are easily accessed. I have NEVER repeated something that wasn't already in the title. Also, most of the things I comment on, can also be heard freely every morning on WTKA recruitng insider with Sam Webb. I'm merely a guy who loves recruiting, and enjoys talking about it, as most of the people on this site are. If the Mods had an issue with my posts, I'd hope they'd delete all of them.

turd ferguson

January 23rd, 2012 at 10:45 AM ^

I just finished posting a comment related to this in the Reeves thread.

Two suggestions:

(1) I'm with the others who think that you're best off posting the transcript (or at least the full relevant quotes).  Truthfully, I thought that your initial interpretation of Reeves actual words was a stretch, and I'm not surprised that it bothered him.

(2) If/when you edit a post on your blog, I'd note somewhere in that blog post that it was edited.  I remember being surprised to read that Armani was promised playing time, and when I went back it seemed to me that the language of your post had changed.  For credibility purposes, I'd note that directly on the blog.  (Apologies if I'm just mis-remembering this.)

More generally, though, you're continuing to do a very nice job.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:47 AM ^

There are so many things that can be taken in the wrong sense while texting. For Aqua, and all interviewers, all they can do is repeat what was said to them, it's definitely not a perfect system. It's also tough for kids like Armanim because sometimes what they say isn't really what they want to portray. Plus, with as many interviews as these kids give, it's probably somewhat difficult to remember what you said to each person. Either way, keep up the good work, Aqua.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:49 AM ^

This isn't that big of a deal. As most of you will remember, a very similar thing happened between TomVH and Kyle Kalis. It was worked out, and Kyle ended up committing to Michigan. 


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:50 AM ^

I think he meant "misinterpreted."

The first is bad. The second is almost inevitable.  Armani doesn't sound like someone who will shun Michigan for this horrific affront. He sounds like a good kid who doesn't want people to think he's taking his position for granted.

No harm. No foul.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:51 AM ^

My advice, and it relates to your interview of Garnett, would be this:  Don't ask leading questions, and avoid asking simple "Yes or no" questions.  Make sure that you attempt to word your questions in a manner where the answer comes directly from the words of the interviewee.

For example, don't ask Garnett if Michigan is his leader.  It leaves the door open to that insinuative maybe that really is just confusing.  In the Armani Reeves situation, you should ask, "What have the Michigan coaches told you about playing time?"

A good interviewer must always ask open-ended questions and allow the interviewee to word his thoughts for himself.


January 23rd, 2012 at 10:55 AM ^

what he said. What kid -hell, what adult- hasn't said something that in after thought could have been said better. Both of you are in a difficult position, you being into the recruiting and simply getting an interview while he is being gracious enough to grant one while probably not rehearsing or giving a lot of thought into what he's going to say; it's exciting and interesting and I can see how something could be easily mis-said or misconstrued.

This is a pretty slippery slope. Learn from this experience, don't let it damper your enthusiasm; I'm sure everyone here at MgoBlog appreciates your efforts. If I were you I would review what is said with your interviewee in the future, making double sure it is okay with them that this is how he/she is to be quoted. You are doing this for your benefit as well; the interviewee is the life blood of your information service. If you start getting a bad rep, recruits may be hesitant to give you these wonderful interviews in the future.

Mr. Rager

January 23rd, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

Oh man you fucked up!  You were on such a heater too.  So bad.  Will MGoDad Brian himself fire Ace and hire Aquaman?  Stay tuned for the Days of Our Life.