Roquan Smith's coach slams player's internet critics

Submitted by Doughboy1917 on February 8th, 2015 at 2:34 AM

Roquan Smith's coach Larry Harold tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that recruits are sold on coaches, so when coaches don't reveal they're leaving a school, recruits have every right to be upset.

“When you get recruited by Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Oregon and all these top schools – when you go visit them, they all have nice football facilities. They have good academic centers and beautiful campuses. Everything is basically the same everywhere. So what separates them? You know what the coaches sell those kids on? ‘That it’s about the people and the relationships.’ That’s all they sell the kids on."

He also slams internet posters critical of decisions by Smith and other recruits.

“I’m really, really, really getting upset because there are grown men sitting behind a computer commenting on stuff that they know nothing about."

And he's absolutely right. About all of it. It's an interesting read. The article also mentions similar situations from this year's NSD, including Mike Weber's committment to OSU.



Bando Calrissian

February 8th, 2015 at 2:44 AM ^

Smith and other recruits should realize that they can't expect that every person they encountered during the recruiting process will be at a school forever. Sure, they should be able to expect that said people would still be there 48 hours after signing day, but college football is a business in which people are moving from job to job all the time--especially assistant coaches. You're signing to a school. The coaches come and go.


February 8th, 2015 at 11:41 AM ^

That's the key point.  It's not that coaches don't change jobs, they do it all the time and it's perfectly fine.  All of us have changed jobs.

It's knowing that you are gone, while you are purposely lying to a 17 year-old's face that is relying on you.  That's despicable.  And Urban Meyer - the head coach - knew it too and was in on the deceit.  That's slimy.



February 8th, 2015 at 10:47 PM ^

absolute BS...All schools go through this and you know it. UM wouldve done the exact same thing. You sit on your judgemental high horse and come down on Stan Drayton and OSU because THIS time it isn't your school. To make matters worse you are privy to zero information on this topic. You were not in the meetings with OSU and Weber, you haven't personally spoken to Weber and yet you think you have all the answers.

Was it unfortunate that Stan took the job? Sure. Was Weber a little hurt? Sure. He committed to URBAN MEYER and OSU,however, not a lesser position coach. What did Urban do to rectify this? He went out and got a better RB coach.

You hate the Bucks, I understand that. You do not have ANY moral high ground in which to pass judgement after the last few "incidents" with Mich players like Gibbons, Clark, and Lewan.


Bronco Joe

February 8th, 2015 at 11:29 PM ^

You do not have ANY moral high ground in which to pass judgement after the last few "incidents" with Mich players like Gibbons, Clark, and Lewan.

How does the actions and honesty of coaches at OSU in the recruiting process have anything in common with the actions of individual football players on the team over the last few years? One has nothing to do with the other. No one is happy about those player issues, but they have nothing to do with this discussion.


February 8th, 2015 at 3:02 AM ^

While this is true, it isn't the fact that the coaches are leaving that is the problem. Like you said, coaches (especially assistants) will leave for better jobs all the time.

The issue, is when you're being recruited by a man. This man is building a relationship with you and convincing you to come to this school and play for him. The whole time, he has an offer that he is going to take, he knows this, and neglects to inform the player that he wont be there in a day or two.

These coaches are intentionally deceiving these kids. Getting them to sign on and the entire time they are deceiving and even flat out lying to these kids. A lot of the time, the difference between schools for these kids comes down to the relationships with the coaches. Yes, they commit to a school and not a coach. But you don't think it is an issue when the men in charge of the program you're committing to lied to you and deceived you to get you to come?

You can't tell me the Ohio State RB coach didn't have that offer prior to signing day. He, and Meyer who somehow hires a replacement just two days later, knew he would be leaving. Yet while on the phone with Weber the night before pleading with him to come to Ohio State, neglected to inform him of his departure.

It is just flat out wrong. They deceive these kids and lie to them to get them to join the program. I'm not sure how you view it, but that would alter how I viewed a school. If I knew that I was being lied to and deceived, that isn't a school I would want to commit to.

rob f

February 8th, 2015 at 10:02 AM ^

to be much more disgusting than Mora at UCLA---Meyer (and Drayton) took advantage of Mike Weber's good intentions and used them against him. 

According to several pieces I've read over the last few days, one of the factors that weighed heavily upon Weber, in the final days before commitment day, is that he made a commitment several weeks ago and felt that being honorable and honest were important parts of the decision-making process.  Here we have a kid trying to grow up and conduct himself like an adult, and Meyer and Drayton take that and use it to their advantage, all the while concealing from Weber that Drayton was NOT going to be his position coach.   Do you blame Weber and those close to him, especially his parents and Coach Wilcher at DCT, for being upset with those in charge of his recruitment for pulling such slimy s***?

I hope, as the situations continue to evolve for both Mike Weber and Roquan Smith, that the two of them share their ordeals with each other, compare notes, and form a bond over what they've both gone through.   Whether or not doing so helps Michigan immediately in any way in their efforts to sign Smith, it would very likely hurt both Meyer and Mora in the future to have their reputations sullied over their recent actions. 

Recruits (and their parents and coaches) from the upcoming classes of 2016, 2017, 2018, and beyond need to be fully aware when dealing with such slimeballs.


February 8th, 2015 at 10:51 AM ^

If Urban and OSU continue to win, recruits will come... I recall Weber wanted OSU for the opportunity to win, whereas UM was experiencing a tire fire of a season and Harbaugh was not yet on our radar. Urban may be scum, but he will continue to attract talent bc he wins and sends kids to the NFL - it's really that simple


February 8th, 2015 at 12:37 PM ^

Who's suffering in this case? Seriously... Weber is still going to OSU, which last time I checked was still a fantastic opportunity for him. Is it shady? yes. Is it some life disaster that he won't be able to recover from? no. Let's keep this in perspective. 

Last time I checked, Harbaugh is veering down the path of all those other schools by hiring moms and coaches of potential transfers and recruits. We're doing the same stuff now that we would criticize other schools for except hopefully we can be more hoenst about it. Lets just relax a little bit. 


February 8th, 2015 at 7:24 AM ^

Sure, blah, blah, blah, we're adults sitting behind computers.  Here's the problem: you can't be news and expect adults not to pay attention.  Sorry. but "best of all worlds" only works out in fiction.  For most of us, we have to take the bad with the good.  I hope Smith's coach doesn't turn him into a bitter, entitled athlete.

Wee-Bey Brice

February 8th, 2015 at 7:46 AM ^

I don't see anything in this post that implies he'll turn Smith into a "bitter, entitled athlete". People whose future isn't on the line and have never went through this process have ALL the answers. Just because a coach fights back for his kid doesn't mean he's spoiled

Mr. Yost

February 8th, 2015 at 7:47 AM ^

It not about a coach being there even 2 seconds after NSD is over.

It's about lying to a kid and telling him you're going to be his coach, his mentor, his parent...while knowing you're already out the door and you're just waiting until the ink is dry on the NLI before you leave.

Coaches can leave any time they want. No one is mad about that. But don't lie to a kid and get him to sign while knowing the only reason you're still on the job today and you haven't left is because the binding agreement between the player and the University is not yet complete.

Drayton and the UCLA coach had both accepted their new positions before signing day, but both kept it quiet so they could trick these kids.

That's the problem.

I would have the same problem if Greg Mattison retired the moment after signing day while telling all these kids he'd be around for another 4 years.


February 8th, 2015 at 6:57 AM ^

AGREE!!! I LIVE HERE NOW AND I TOO CAN ATTEST THAT THEIR CAMPUSE IS A SHIT HOLE COMPARED TO MICHIGAN.... Personally, I believe recruits are afraid to go to Michigan because of fear of not passing classes. There is no fear of that at THE OSU for certain. I work with many grads from OSU and I don't think many of them could graduate from Henry Ford CC in Dearborn. It's such a huge school and its so easy for people to cheat. I doubt that's happening at Michigan...


February 8th, 2015 at 9:14 AM ^

ehh sorry to burst the bubble, it happens at Michigan. Anatomy, day one a linebacker/special teams guy started class as a 6' 3' male, and by exams a 5'4" blonde cheerleader took his place...600 stdents enrolled in the class we were just numbers. Calc had an offensive lineman behind me telling me to move my right arm, he couldn't see my formulas clearly...sorry, if people can get ahead they will.


February 8th, 2015 at 7:20 PM ^

I think a sense of entitlement is part of it. As a grad student, I picked up a little cash by proctoring exams. Another proctor and I saw suspicious activity one afternoon and arranged for handgrading of an entire row of students. This was over 40 years ago at an Ivy League university.  

They were SA's, mostly freshmen and sophomores.They failed the exam, the course, and did not place out of a language requirement, but they were not expelled for cheating. But if it could happen at a school without athletic scholarships or freshman eligibility, it could happen anywhere.


February 8th, 2015 at 3:13 AM ^

I'm not sure how you can regulate it or enforce it, but there has to be some sort of accountability for schools that do this. They are essentially lying and deceiving these teenage kids into signing away the next 4-5 years of their lives.

Yes, they can release the kids from scholarship if they want to (can also refuse to do so), but they also have the power to dictate where the kid can transfer to. So a kid in Weber's situation, who was torn between UofM and OSU until the last moment, can be released from his LOI but have Michigan blocked as a destination by OSU. It is completely asinine.

While it isn't technically against any rules, it is still completely unethical and a total slimeball move... But it is OSU as one of the culprits, so I can't say I'm shocked.


February 8th, 2015 at 4:14 AM ^

The NCAA could require that any coach actively in discussion with anoher program, either in the NCAA or NF, disclose that fact to the recruit.  The name of the team that is being talked to need not be mentioned.

Failure to provide this notice will result in loss of scholarships.


February 8th, 2015 at 4:33 AM ^

Problem is, how do you prove it? All it takes is cooperation.

To use the Weber-OSU situation as an example: All that has to happen is the coach denies having an offer prior to deciding to leave, OSU/Meyer would back him up because they'd be the ones punished, and the Bears would side with the new coach. Then there is no proof and you really can't punish with no proof.


February 8th, 2015 at 8:01 AM ^

One problem that the NCAA has is that it has no subpoena power, so enforcement is voluntary. I would change that and require member institutions to agree to be bound to the same type of discovery rules that are used in civil litigations.  Alternatively, and much more simply, would be an opt-out clause in the LOI that allows the recruit to void his LOI and reopen his recruitment process if his position coach/recruiter leaves the institution the recruit has selected within a stated period of time.


February 8th, 2015 at 2:02 PM ^

opt-out clauses are the answer.  coaching change within x days of recruit y's signing results in that LOI becoming null and void.

the ncaa will never gain that type influence such as subpoena powers, presidents wont let it happen - psu just paid 50 million to terminate all sanctions from coach raping kids and the entire program / administration covering it up, now psu has full scholarships again, etc and that god joepa has his wins back


February 8th, 2015 at 3:20 PM ^

Agreed.  A quick draft:

  • N = (first game of season).  For a freshman starting practice in July, his position coach leaving in June is really no different than leaving the day after LOI signing.
  • This ensures the kid at least one fall's worth of practice under the recruiting position coach.
  • Since a kid's opportunities would likely be limited mid-summer/fall, give him the option to transfer after the season w/o having to sit out a year.
  • Extend the signing window to accomodate such situations.



February 8th, 2015 at 12:47 PM ^

Precisely. The fact that Meyer / Drayton waited literally one day to announce his new position with the Bears highlights the fact that they have no respect for the NCAAs ability to take any kind of action against them. Urban had to realize that this whole thing with Drayton would look bad, he just didn't give a shit because nobody can do anything about it.

Monkey House

February 8th, 2015 at 3:25 AM ^

I hope things like this get more and more attention. the only way these slim balls in college sports get called out. if Mora or Urban or Strong or whoever continues to get called out it will effect them on and off the field which will help curb some of this. God knows the schools or the NCAA is going to do anything.


February 8th, 2015 at 3:59 AM ^

between knowing your position coach could get a better job offer at any time and bold, and having him ALREADY have a better job offer that he is taking and yet be telling you he is going to be coaching you.  AKA LYING TO YOUR FACE. 

Eveyrone knows that a guy might get a better job and be gone.  But when they are ALREADY gone and still recruiting you, well that is massively dishonest.  Hell, I'm pretty sure one of the reasons our recruiting suffered in the very last few years of Carr is that he refused to promise to the kids that he wasn't going to retire.  AKA, he wouldn't lie.