Thursday, May 5, 2016

Commitment issues

You've gotta feel a little something for Aaron Moorehead. Someone should have told the guy there are beasties in that there Twitter jungle.

Most of them are beasties of one's own devising, which is what made a snack this week of Moorehead, the receivers coach at Texas A&M. Not long after blue-chip quarterback Tate Martell announced (via Twitter, of coruse) he was re-opening his recruitment after a long commitment to A&M, Moorehead took to Twitter himself and spouted this: "I feel sorry for ppl who never understand loyalty. I can't really even vibe with u. At the end of the day trust is 100 & everything else is BS."

Then he said he wasn't referring to a certain player specifically, because doing so would have been an NCAA violation.

Of course, the timing pretty much makes that BS, too, and the fallout commenced. Not very long after Moorehead's 140-character homily about loyalty, another A&M recruit, wide receiver Mannie Netherly tweeted that he, too, was de-committing, on account of he couldn't play for a position coach with Moorehead's attitude.

Here's the bizarre thing about all this: Moorehead is absolutely right. He's also a damn fool.

He's right when he says a commitment should mean something, and that when a young man backs out of it, it says little to recommend him. And he's a damn fool because a college coach -- particularly position coaches who do so much of the recruiting legwork -- should know the recruiting landscape in 2016 better than this.

Which is to say, a commitment is not a commitment these days. The Blob has argued long and loud that it ought to be, that once a kid pledges his troth to good old State U., good old State Tech should honor that and quit recruiting him. I have been called a fool and worse for that, a sad relic clinging to a bygone era when coaches actually did honor a young man's word.

Let me say right here that my critics are absolutely right. I am a fool.

I'm a fool for thinking this immense corporation that is big-time college football could be expected to operate as anything but an immense corporation.  Corporations poach one another's employees all the time. It's simply business. How could I have been so silly to think college football would behave any differently?

What I think now is, if these "commitments" don't really mean anything, university athletic departments and the media should stop acting as if they do. Which is to say, stop treating them as if they're actually news. They're not. It's just Player A deciding he likes School B better than School C for the time being. And that's exactly how you phrase it when you type it up as a one-sentence item for the briefs.

In other words: Nothing to see here, folks. Yet.

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