While college football coaches are complaining about the new transfer rules starting to affect the sport you can bet they are figuring out how to use it.
Alex Scarbrough at ESPN.com had a great story Monday about how tampering is becoming the new normal in rounding up new players for Power 5 programs.
Don’t misunderstand all the whining and wailing from some quarters, every college coach is watching the transfer portal pretty much the way college basketball has been doing for a while.
“There’s a lot of shady (stuff) going on,” the story quoted one ACC assistant saying.
Welcome to the wild, wild west where the kangaroo court of politicians in Indianapolis have opened the door to happen. At some point in the future they will act surprised it slammed them in the mouth getting kicked in.
“What kind of ferociousness is behind the enforcement if you have people on tape admitting to violations and they’re still actively coaching?” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwich was asking in the story.
It’s a good question.
“You got to win and you got a high-pressure job and you have all these things,” SMU coach Sonny Dykes said. “Then all of a sudden, you look up and you go, ‘Oh, they didn’t punish anybody, and they’re not going to punish me. So why not?'”
For a sport that has a group of politicians at the NCAA dictating to another group that is mostly politicians in the directors of athletics, it’s the makings of something that promises to get really interesting.
Leaders make decisions and lead while politicians form committees, wait until the bandwagon gets rolling downhill, then jump under it. Most athletic directors fall in the latter category.
If you recruit players on another roster, it’s a good bet every single coach in college football would call it disgusting, among other things.
While they sit back and figure out creative ways to do the same thing.
Most of this will happen through players talking to players on other teams. That is not a violation of NCAA rules and happens quite a bit. With social media it’s just a few clicks and you can have a discussion under way.
Even those innocent post-game conversations can be subtle.
“You play a team now and you don’t go shake the coach’s hand on the other side,” North Carolina’s Mack Brown said in the story. “You go shake the great tight end’s hand. ‘Hey, you look great, man. Aw, man, we should have recruited you. Wish you were here.'”
Sam Pittman, though, had some common-sense points he made in the story.
“It’s easy to say that someone tampered if you lose somebody,” he said.
But there is a flip side to it as well.
“If you turn it around,” Pittman said. “You’re going to go get someone from the portal, too.”
Welcome to the new frontier.