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This never ends well…

Sep 26, 2009, 8:30 AM EST

I haven’t dove into the recruiting circus that usually surrounds college football, just because I don’t have the time to track down 17- and 18-year-old kids, but I do following close attention to the sites that do.

Over at ESPN.com, their West Coast recruiting blogger Greg Biggins had some news on Notre Dame’s number one defensive pledge Chris Martin.

And it wasn’t good:

“It’s not set in stone but I’m looking at visiting Florida (Nov.
27),” Martin said. “That’s the only one I’ve discussed so far but I’m
talking with USC, UCLA and Cal as well. I’m still not sure about
everything right now, I’m just taking things slow and I’ll see what
happens.”

Martin said taking visits has nothing to do with his
commitment to the Irish and he’s still very happy with his original
decision.

“I just want to see what else is out there because I
never really did that,” Martin said. “I never had a chance to see any
other schools so I just kind of want to take some visits to experience
that whole process. I haven’t discussed it with Notre Dame so I’m not
sure what they think about it but I’m sure they’ll be OK with it.

“My
commitment is still solid and Notre Dame is definitely where my heart
is at right now. This has nothing to do with them at all and I still
plan on signing there. I just want to enjoy the process, you only go
through this once.”

I think Irish fans heard this same song and dance from former Irish commitments Justin Trattou and Omar Hunter, both of whom ended up wearing Gator hats on signing day.

It’ll be interesting to see how Meyer recruits against Notre Dame without Greg Mattison, the former Gator and Irish defensive coordinator who was known for his skills on the recruiting trail. I have first-hand knowledge that Meyer, Mattison, and their staff used everything under the sun to negatively recruit against the Irish, and in the cases of Trattou and Hunter, they did so very effectively.

I’m not ready to call Martin gone just yet, but this feels an awful lot like the part of Jerry Maguire where Jerry’s off walking the lobby with Rod Tidwell while Bob Sugar is closing in on Cush.

Hopefully Martin’s word is stronger than Oak. 

  1. TLNDMA - Sep 26, 2009 at 9:18 AM

    Charlies take on this is supposed to be “if you’re looking, we’re looking”. I don’t know what else ND can do. If Martin, who I’m sure knows ND’s attitude towards any visits to other schools, decides to take one or two. The Irish should redouble their efforts with other DE recruits, and if one commits tell Martin,”sorry”. You can’t get upset with these other schools for trying, ND does the same, as far as still recruiting kids that have verbally committed elsewhere. If they use the same tacticts as other schools, is another story. Also you have to remember this is the most important decision any of these kid have probably ever made, you can’t expect them to not have doubts. On the other hand, Charlies first obligation is to his team, so if a kid is wavering, make sure you start on plan B. Keith, we would like you to fill us in on Urban’s tacticts. To say you know and not tell us leaves too many ???s

  2. LJ - Sep 26, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    As a Notre Dame fan, I would prefer to have such a great DE as Mr. Martin attend and play at Notre Dame. By doing this, he would live up to his comitment – verbal, not written, and still a commitment.
    In looking at college football we see a landscape littered with 2, 3 and 4 million dollar-a-year coaches and student-athletes who go to school and play football on a year-to-year basis.
    The practical effect of the large salaries for coaches is they either win to the expected level or they get fired.
    The players have to get their scholarship renewed every year. This is not an automatic event. While the phenomena appears to not be as prevalent as in college basketball, there are student-athletes who perform in their school work and on the playing field that have their sholarships rescinded so a better player can receive that scholarship. Of course, the student-athlete could stay at the school and pay his/her own way to be a walk on and attend school – and it’s only +25,000 per year.
    To no one’s surprise, college football is big business, with millions of dollars riding on the outcome of the BCS college games. For some schools it is tens of millions of dollars. As in any business the management expects positive results, good students who behave themselves, positive PR, happy alumni, donors and fans, a postive cash flow from the sports program back to the university and, of course, sports teams that win. Very few losing programs attract fans, positive PR and generous donors.
    University’s and coaches sign long term contracts that depend on how much the coach wins. The coach wins a lot; the contract is honored. The coach loses too many and he/she gets fired and the contract is bought out.
    Yes, I would prefer Mr. Martin live up to his verbal agreement just like I would expect anyone in business to live up to their word. I would prefer the universities and coaches live up to theirs, too.

  3. robertg - Sep 26, 2009 at 2:03 PM

    keith,
    we never have placed any stock in this internet gossip about recruiting.
    like coaching by charlie and his staff and preparation for and playing the games, recruiting is an area which is solidly in the province of charlie and his staff and notre dame’s students and student athletes.
    charlie’s track record, despite a few defections, is excellent, with notre dame gathering and keeping together the nation’s no 1 recruiting class for the 2008 year recruiting cycle which coincided with one of the worst records on the field in notre dame history in 2007.
    those down years in 2007 and 2008 were not any fault of charlie and his staff or of notre dame’s student athletes.
    those down years were the result of lazy bob davie letting the notre dame recruiting network die on the vine while he was notre dame’s head coach.
    the naieve people who used to make decisions about football at notre dame then hired tyrone, who is a fine man, but who had no clue about how to rebuild a dead recruiting network.
    in 2007 and 2008, charlie and his staff did the best job possible with the talent that they had. they had no choice but to play true freshmen who really needed a year on conditioning and preparation before they took the field.
    with the class of 2008 now sophomores, many with experience, recruiting is not nearly as crucial as it was before the 2008 recruiting class arrived. notre dame has talent and depth of talent at every position.
    notre dame is unique among colleges that play bcs division football.
    notre dame offers to student athletes the best combination of academic programs and preparation for their best shot at the nfl of any bcs division school.
    notre dame consistently is in the top 5 in graduation rates for student athletes(at over 90%) who also play football, whereas the floridas and the uscs and the michigans and every other college that plays bcs division football, with the exceptions of the service academies, boston college, and stanford,
    graduate only 50% of their student athletes who also play football.
    when you subtract the degress awarded in phony courses which proved no marketable skills,which are offered at the floridas and the uscs and the michigans and the others, but not at notre dame, the the gap between notre dame and the other choices becomes much larger.
    the choices are quite simple for any recruit and for their families.
    there are the notre dames, the stanfords,the boston colleges and the service academies which require every student athlete to take courses in areas which provide them with real marketable skills for business and life and, in the case of notre dame, the best preparation they could possibly get for a shot at the nfl.
    on the other hand, there are the nfl or bust schools like florida, usc,miami, michigan,lsu, alabama, and the others which will give student athletes fancy football player only dorms and other perks which will make college life a real blast.
    on the academic side, however, although each of these schools has some fine academic departments and a few student athletes who actually get fine educations, the vast majority of those student athletes who are conned into choosing these nfl or bust schools play football full time with zero real academic obligations.
    if they get injured during college, they find themselves without the scholarships which they were promised coming in and with zero marketable skills for business or for life.
    if they avoid injury and become starters,only a very small percentage of these 4 and 5 star high school athletes actually get shots at the nfl.
    for those who do not get shots at the nfl, they leave the scholls that they have chosen without any degrees and, even if they get awarded some type of degrees. they get kicked out of their fancy football players only dorms and thrown out into the world with zero marketable shills and with their entire lives ruined.
    for those very few whom actually make it to the nfl, actually get some real money, and actually last more than a few seasons, most of those end up bankrupt since they do not have the educations to protect themselves from the crooked agents and money managers who make fortunes for themselves ripping off hot shot pro athletes with no intelligence or skills.
    for anyone who wants to check the statistics, they are all a matter of public record, along with as recent book on why so many rich pro athletes end up bankrupt.
    the book cites one exception to the bankruptcy rule.
    that exception is notre dame’s rocket who blew millions on bad investments and who has much less money than he took in from the cfl and the nfl.
    however, notre dame’s the rocket has never been anywhere close to bankruptcy. unlike the ugly divorce filled ranks of rich nfl stars, the rocket has a stable marriage and family life and real marketable skills from his fine notre dame education to fall back on.
    in addition, rocket has the financial and other assistance of his notre dame teammates and classmates whenever he needs any assistance, a benefit which comes with a notre dame education for students and student athletes alike.
    notre dame keeps her student body small. all of the students and student athletes live in the same dorms and take the same classes.
    the relationships built up at notre dame last for a lifetime, not just while someone is playing football.
    GO IRISH!!!

  4. robertg - Sep 26, 2009 at 3:04 PM

    keith,
    1. we do know a great deal about the recruiting techniques of urban meyer and peter carroll and others who try to compete with notre dame for recruits.
    2.urban and the others use the weis and nd bashing of eric hansen of the sbt and his allies to try to convince recruits that charlie’s job is not stable, although the effectiveness of these tactics have greatly decreased after so many written guarantees that the hansenites were going to get charlie fired have been exposed for the complete frauds that they always have been.
    3. on the academic side, urban and the others show recruits and their families some statistics of some of the truly fine academic departments which florida and those other schools actually do have.
    4. urban and the others deliberately fail to show recruits and their families any statistics on the 50% graduation rates of student athletes who also play football at those schools.
    5. with respect to the courses which student athletes who also play football actually take, urban and the others will always pull out a few exceptions of student athletes who fall for their cons and actually do get fine educations and play football.
    6.naturally, urban and the others deliberately avoid giving recruits and their families any information at all on the non-existant academic careers of their full time football players.
    7. jim harbaugh, stanford’s current coach, has explained publicly how this bait and switch tactic was used successfully on him and on his teammates at michigan.
    8. harbaugh was given the great academics pitch by michigan and he fell for it, only to find out when he got to michigan that, if he wanted to play football and have any real chance at starting, the michigan coaches would choose his courses for him, which courses did not include any courses with real academic content.
    9. then,of course,recruits, without their families coming along, get tours of the really fabulous dorm and other facilities in which onlt football players live.
    10. there are always the pictures at usc’s heritage hall and at the florida and other school equivalents of the full time football players at those schools who have made it to the nfl.
    11.the much larger number of missing pictures of the 4 and 5 star high school athletes who fell for the cons and did not make the nfl and left without any marketable skills whether or not they actually got any degrees are, of course, simply not there.
    12. often, these tours are conducted by very attractive young ladies with no brains who have a way of letting the recruits know that they are always available for football players who choose their school.
    13. in fact, at lsu, the fabulous football player only dorms come with daily maid service provided by some very attractive young ladies.
    14. there will always be some dumb or lazy jocks who fall for these cons and end up in nfl or bust(and bked even if they make the nfl).
    15. there will also always be some high school athletes who simply are unable or afraid to take on the academic challenges at notre dame.
    16. we do not think that martin and his family are going to fall for the cons of urban or anyone else.
    17. about the only thing that martin and his family would have to gain from a trip to see urban and florida at any time in the forseeable future are very nasty cases of the swine flu and other illnesses which are decimating the 2009 florida team and coaches, like some biblical plague.
    18. it appears that urban is so anxious to win that urban does not isolate the football players who are ill from the others, thereby causing the illnesses to spread.
    19. in fact, urban even plays football players who are ill as long as they show some signs of being able to play.
    20. for urban and the other con artist coaches, once conned and committed, the football players are theirs to be used as long as they can play.
    21. as for their lives after college football, urban and the other con artist coaches could care less.
    22. after all, if one hot shot goes down, they always have others to step up and use.
    23. that approach worked for petey and usc for years until mark sanchez was muct too intelligent to fall for petey’s con to stay at usc another year, instead of taking the big bucks from the new york jets in an nfl draft year when the top college qbs decided to stay at school.
    GO IRISH!!!

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