From the Cornfield – a response

After this post yesterday, a reader took me to task for questioning the idea that Dell McGee was protecting his players.  I originally planned to respond in the comments, but after thinking my response through and deciding that ‘Nuh uh!‘ wasn’t good enough, I decided to make it a post.

Mr. Ball states that the problem was waiting too long to tell Burns that the offer was no good, and that Georgia’s coaches tried to pass the buck to giving that bad news to Burns.  He also posits that it is protecting his players by preventing the big bad college from coming on campus when the big bad college pulled the offer in front of the family.

If I understand the comment correctly, had the offer been pulled in person before he got to Athens, it would have been ok with Mr. Ball?  Yes, Georgia’s coaching staff is culpable.  It was, and Richt personally called McGee to say so and to apologize.  However, Georgia’s coaching staff wasn’t trying to get Carver’s coaches to run interference, they were trying to avoid having the kid and his family come to Athens, if they didn’t want to.

I’m not fine with Burns going somewhere else.  I think Georgia should honor the scholarship.  However, it is far better to let him know now, well before the fall, so he can look at other schools, have them look at him, and make other decisions.  It is beyond that to tell him now than wait until right before signing day or for him to sign, and have those things just ‘work themselves out.’

As for the treatment of Carver’s coaches, how exactly did Georgia’s coaches do anything wrong to Carver’s coaches (other than taking a very cynical view that Richt was “making the high school coach” cover the mistake)?    In fact, last year, when asked about teams moving on when a player isn’t making his mind up fast enough, McGee had this to say:

It doesn’t put Jarvis into a pinch because it’s a college’s choice if they choose to go ahead and take all of their recruits.

So now, it isn’t a college’s choice?  Again, I don’t think UGA should have pulled the offer, but it seems hypocritical to ban a school, when a year ago you are blasé about the same thing happening with a player with many more opportunities.

IF your beef is with them doing this in person, in front of his family, then you can take the last argument and throw it away. You are saying if it had been done in person (or via phone), it would have been less in front of his family?  It would have been more inappropriate to tell this rising senior in high school without his family there.  College isn’t a singular choice made by these 17 and 18 year olds.  It is a family decision.  Georgia told them with his family there and it cost recruiting at a school that Georgia hasn’t done very well at in a few years, coinciding with Coach McGee’s tenure at Carver.

Georgia certainly didn’t behave consistently with the high standards Mark Richt has set for the program.  Coach McGee has the prerogative to ban teams from campus, but that doesn’t mean he is doing it to ‘protect’ his players.  My point was that there is more to the story.

I always welcome comment.  In fact, if Mr. Ball wishes to respond, he is welcome to and do so as a post.  Email me at bulldoginexile@gmail.com and I’ll post it without edit (I reserve the right to edit for inappropriate content).


2 Responses to “From the Cornfield – a response”

  1. 1 MT
    July 23, 2009 at 9:15 am

    I think the most important thing to remember that these are scholarship OFFERS.
    UGA and every other school offers to more players than they have scholarship slots.

    The school’s needs shift as other players commit and fill their slots. UGA has proven to honor a scholarship time and again after the player commits and some malady befalls him.

    UGA’s 2010 class is practically full now. Players are needing to make up their minds and commit earlier and earlier if they want to go to any specific elite football program.

    I think this is one reason why the NCAA needs to go ahead and implement an early signing period, so players who are ready to commit can commit and not drag things out and switch at the last moment. I think we would honestly see less overall early “commitments” except to a very few top tier schools.

  2. July 23, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    The point that critics of the Georgia coaching staff (and they should rightly be criticized) are missing is that this is a two way street. A kid can verbally commit to a school (a non-binding commitment which Burns was trying to do last weekend) and then on signing day do the stupid hat trick and go elsewhere. For every Burns, there are 10 guys like the TE that was committed to UGA all the way up to signing day last year and then committed to Clemson when he could sign the letter. UGA had thrown all its eggs in that kids basket and didn’t puruse anyone else and it basically cost them a spot.

    I think it’s highly irresponsible for Coach McGee to outright ban a coaching staff from his school over something like this for the sake of “protecting his players”. I sincerely wonder if Auburn had pulled something like this, would he ban them? How does it protect your players when there’s a good chance that for some of them, UGA is their dream school, and now he’s basically closing that door?

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A Georgia Dawg in the Mid-West alone with his thoughts.

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