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Recruiting in the South... a different animal....

I'm living down here in Atlanta for the winter (sorry, I just can't stand winter) and I've been listening to a lot of local sports-talk radio. First thing I noticed is that they actually know what they are talking about , compared to the dribble we get in CNY. Secondly, local college recruiting has taken over ALL the news down here the last few weeks... they could care less about basketball, or any other sport. especially this time of the year. The recruiting wars are in full bloom right now, and there are some bizarre stories about ALL the big name programs, their coaches and their tactics to steal 4-5 star recruits from each other. One story involved this 4 star receiver who committed to GT this summer. He planned on taking a last minute trip to Miami to "check it out". The coach at GT (Johnson?) reminded him of his "rule": if you take another visit after you've made a verbal commitment, your scholarship is in jeopardy... we'll bring in some other recruits and, if we like any of them, we may offer them your scholarship!! WOW... and here we are begging 2-3 star recruits to stick with us!

Another interesting story was about how Alabama Coach Saban will tell a player who has not performed well that they will offer him a "medical hardship"... this means the player stays at school, free, and is almost certainly guaranteed a nice job afterwords. All he has to do is claim he has an injury. Then they offer his scholarship to a more potentially beneficial recruit. Alabama has done this to 28 players in the last 3 years, compared to the rest of the SEC which has, on the average, done it one time each in the same time period!! Add to this that almost all their recruits are 4 or 5 star athletes, and there is no question how these teams just keep reloading every year. How can a team like Syracuse, or the rest of the "have-nots", even hope to compete against programs like this??

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