Last week, someone on Twitter got all huffy about the fact that new Syracuse Orange head coach Dino Babers was clearly targeting guys who were committed to or considering his former Bowling Green Falcons club. Their disdain came from the fact that Babers implied he would not do so because it was "kind of taboo."
Babers also said at the press conference that he considered Syracuse to be a "destination job" and the implication was clear that he intends to be here for a long time.
Babers did what he's supposed to do. He said the right things. He sounded "correct."
Obviously, you shouldn't believe him.
Obviously, that doesn't mean he's not a good person and means everything else he said.
He's just a college football coach.
Can you imagine how hard of a life being a college coach is? The way your job is almost always year-to-year. The way the results of one game can affect your employment. The way one season can affect your entire career. The grind that the recruiting lifestyle puts on you and your family. All that stress. All that disappointment. All that frustration.
It's the kind of profession where you just have to live in the present moment. You don't have a choice. Your intentions in the present moment are to succeed where you are and to do so indefinitely. That's what you have to tell yourself because the alternative is to fail and end up...who the hell knows? It's very rare as a college coach that you are in control of your destiny so when you have that opportunity, you grab it and go, exude positivity and act like nothing else matters.
So that's why you talk about how you're here for the long haul even though we all know if you succeed to a high-enough level, a Big Ten or Big 12 school is going to want to snatch you up for their own. With more money, better facilities and more opportunities to win, you're probably going to take that and run. And I wouldn't blame you.
As I've said before, may we be so lucky as to have a football coach who succeeds so well that another school wants him.
That flexible truth goes for recruiting too. All's fair at the end of the day and all your shareholders (a.k.a. Syracuse Fans) care about is winning football games, however you do it. So long as you don't break any rules, you can do whatever you want because I guarantee you someone out there will try to do it to you.
And of course you walk into a recruit's home and tell them to come to Syracuse because you're going to coach them up for four or five years even if you know that might not happen. What choice do you have? That has to be your expectation, even if it's not reality. That sounds a little strange but so is college football recruiting.
So personally I appreciate the things Dino Babers said at his press conference but I also recognize he's playing the game. I'm not going to freak out and call him a traitor if he up and leaves in four years like Doug Marrone. We're just as likely to turn on Dino like we did Shafer, so why does he owe us any allegiance?
At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter if a coach says they plan to be here for a decade or if they only want to be here for two. Just win football games. Everything else is semantics.