BobLee Says

An Epidemic of Blue-Chip-otosis

Feb 7, ’13:  Yesterday was “Signing Day for Blue-Chippers” in college football.  If there is a more disgustingly tragic example of society gone to Hell in a Handbasket, I  can’t think of it.  The mutual exploitation of semi-literate 17-18 y/os and “citadels of high academe”.  An apt comparison might be Tiny Tot Beauty Pageants.... except the 3 y/o baby divas can read better.  Wonder how much JonBenet Ramsey could bench press?

Full Disclosure:  I was a VIP invitee at a Signing Day Party on Wednesday night at "a prominent Triangle-area college”.   Similar events were held simultaneously across BCS-Land.

A “Signing Party”.... all across America, rooms full of 50 y/o rabid alums salivating over “our recruiting class” composed of individuals that, under any other scenario, said rabid alums would hesitate to have wash their cars.  What a CROCK!

A number of otherwise sane adults get very very amped up over “recruiting”.  A much larger number of certifiably insane adults and junior-adult-wannabees also get very amped up over “recruiting”.   And over 1,000,000 people follow Kim Kardashian on Twitter.

Waiting breathlessly for the bravadic utterances of 18 y/os is a full dose of foolish beyond buying firewood based on Paxutawney Phil seeing his shadow.  "Bravadic utterance" ???

The marriage of an extraordinary % of “blue-chip signees” to “academia” is on a lunacy par with Hollywood nutjobs expounding on “politics”.  The full o’ crap factor in both cases is off-the-chart.

I would not choose “a recruiting nut” as godparent to my child, nor knowingly allow one to perform surgery on a loved one.... I do have a few of this specie in my “address book” (the expanded version).   Depending upon their level of religio-zealotry about “recruiting” I include an asterisk by their name as I do with Scientologists, John Birchers, Pentacostals, and Area51 devotees.

I know what you’re thinking.  I keep my rol-o-dex of “liberals” in a lead-lined box in the shed out back.  Don’t you?  Don’t ask me where AgentPierce would keep his, if he had a list of “liberal friends”.  It’s a mighty short list.  About as short as Bob Kennel’s list of UNC Tar Heel friends.  Being on “that one” I can tell you it’s VERY short.

"Signing Day".... the one day a year that people still use Fax Machines !!  Why not telegrams or smoke signals?  Next year maybe they'll be "tweeting" in their signed NLIs.

A for-real university embracing "recruiting" is the academic equivalent of Bar Rafaeli slobber kissing that fat nerd.  P-UUUUU!

I appreciate the need to have a continuous pipeline of talented athletes to compete successfully in major college football (and basketball).   If a school wants “to be competitive” on the field / court it has no choice but to "sell its seed corn" in order to solicit, cajole, coerce and otherwise convince aspiring young athletes to attend their institution.  It is, alas, not a game of chance for any institution that has more than a modicum of self-respect.

I’ve listened to umpteen rationalizations for “enjoying porn”...... “cheating in a marriage”..... “doing drugs”...... “falsifying expense reports..... “voter fraud”..... et al.   Heck, I even sat thru N&O Editor John Drescher’s well-practiced recital of how The N&O keeps its editorial and news departments totally separate.   Somewhere in the Top Five of STPBUTOB - Smoke That People Blow Up Their Own Butts – is:

“We know everyone else cheats in recruiting, especially (insert hated rival), but WE DON’T because we are simply incredibly fine people”.

I’ve heard that crapola so many times I can “name that tune” after just one syllable.

Only 20 or so “signees” nationwide are actually academically qualified to perform college-level classwork.  Luckily for “you” all 20 or so, signed with “your school”.   All the thug-aletes signed with those “them” schools.  What are the odds?  And it happened last year too !!!

There is an old joke about asking a woman....  "would she have sex with some especially distasteful man or beast for “a $1,000,000”.   She finally says yes, then you start lowering the price..... “how bout for $250,000.... $50,000 etc.”  She eventually says “what do you think I am?” The reply is “We have already established what you ARE.  Now we are just haggling over price.”

Any school actively recruiting “the Top 100” high school athletes has already identified what they are..... now we’re into “the definition of "is"?”  The standard retort is: “But we’re not as blatant as (the ubiquitous) “they” are.”  “They” are, of course, universally perceived as “the very worst”.   Every school is some other school’s “they”.

How far does one go in compromising one's institutional mission in order to “be competitive on the field / court”?  Since all of one’s rival institutions are sitting around the same poker table bidding on the same sides of beef no one is in position to criticize the others.

Think of “big time recruiting” as a strip club with very attractive and very desirable 18 y/o performers.  To not acknowledge why one is in attendance is saying “I read Playboy for their articles on Hi-Fi equipment.”

If you choose not to go to strip clubs, you can admonish those who do for what that’s worth (not much); but to say “sure, I go but I close one eye” is adding “hypocrite” to voyeur and pervert.  

The legitimacy of a very high % of yesterday’s “signees” to be on a college campus unless delivering pizza or wearing a tool belt is pretty much agreed upon with lots of winks and nods all around.   For every Russell Wilson or Tyler Zeller there are 1,000s of 5th grade-level readers getting “scholarships” who have never used a library except to pee or get out the rain..... and never will.

Make me Czar of Big Time College FB / BkB and I would.....

*  Do away with all “admission exceptions”.   Those with the sub-standard academic capabilities can attend community colleges / trade schools and develop appropriate life skills.  The academic deficiencies of the most prized recruits each year, are quite well-known by all competing entities.

*  Do away with any/all “recruiting news” and the recruiting pimps who profit from this “slave trade” industry.  ESPN being THE #1 “brothel” for this crap.  If “legitimate media” (cough, choke, gag) stopped reporting “recruiting news” then the average fan would not be bombarded by it.  Impossible to completely eradicate it just as “kiddie porn” will always survive but not thrive.

*  Do away with all “Big Deals” about “signing day”.  Any kid photographed pulling a cap out of a gym bag (or similar “Hey Look At Me” stunt) loses a year of eligibility. PERIOD..... and loses the gym bag fulla caps.

*  Any kid can “go pro” in FB or BkB straight out of high school but once he “signs” with a college he is unavailable for NFL or NBA for three years.  He CAN ply his talents in Moldavia or Guam however.

*  Return to “Freshman Ineligibility”.   Freshmen spend a year in on-campus seclusion unavailable to the media.  Do away with “red-shirting”.

*  Every FB/BkB “scholarship” is given for Four Years from the signing date.  If a kid washes out, flunks out, quits, “goes pro” or is kidnapped by gypsies his scholarship cannot be “used” by anyone else during that four year period.  Every school would have 100 FB and 25 BkB scholarships to use, each one on a four-year cycle.   (NOTE: This is a fascinating concept that puts a premium on selecting kids who have a serious interest in “attending college”)

I know none of the above will ever happen.... neither will “term limits” or “return to good manners” or “civility” or “stirrup socks” in baseball or “music you can dance to” or “the original 8-team ACC”.  .... sniff, sniff.

So I attended one of the silly “signing parties” held last night across BCS-World and I saw lots of old friends.... enjoyed nice refreshments..... and heard the phrases “great kids” and “the ones we really wanted” until my ears were bleeding.   

On the drive home I pondered:
(1) How can every staff have “the best recruiter in the country”?”  and
(2) What is John Blake doing right now?

...... more sigh, sob, sniff.

WOW !!! A Brand New BLSays Feature - Rimshots -.  It's not completely ready yet, but check it out.  CLICK! 
...... AgentPierce was NOT invited to that Signing Party.  Apparently his latest commentary on "McCrory University" created some degree of animosity on the campus hosting said party.  Seeing AgentPierce's picture on a WANTED poster nailed to a utility pole was disconcerting, but not entirely unexpected all things considered.
Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:51 PM by SaidWHATMedia | with 23 comments

All Comments To Be Approved By Moderator

58 Wolf Kennel
BL, you can't get away with a simple "hatin'" reference. I've worked too hard for too many years supporting the whole UNC System including UNC-CH. Too many friends there as well. Always open for friendly jousting but not "hatin'". Go back to the document I showed you two years ago. Hating NO, disappointing, YES. Did you read what the BOG Review Committee is proposing for tomorrow's BOG meeting? Half a dozen rules to keep "other" schools from getting into trouble. Sadness rather than Yee Haaaaa's

BL: My bad BK. I get your uber-Liberal and your uber-Wuff personas mixed up. Liberal NEVER hate, but you claim "we" always do. Got it. Lets move on....

Glad to know you have many "other" UNC-CH friends. Maybe I'll meet some some day ??

Will you be in Cameron tonight or glued to the HDTV in your GameDayRed attire? A Wuff W over there would be a BFD for sure. Do you think Swofford has any tricks up his sleeve tonight? Swofford spraining LoBrown's ankle up in UVa was a neat trick.

Based on a quick read of the BOG "mess report" I'd say the "move-on-nothing-to-see-here-people" did their duty with Prez Ross' blessing. Not impressed at all w/Ross so far.
2/7/2013 6:41:44 PM

58 Wolf Kennel
Well, BL, you predicted this one would bring out lots of comments. There is one parameter that needs to be highlighted, however - "where each of us spent last evening". Given where you were, and where that program and institution have been for the past 3 years and where it still may go over the next couple of years, your column is excellent but somewhat predictable.
I spent late yesterday afternoon with the Wolf version of "signing day". It was at the Park Alumni Center (different from previous years) and had several hundred attendees. Of course we got to meet all new coaches who were a clean-cut and generally young lot (Huxtable not so young). The Chancellor was present as well as coaches from other sports and at least three BOG folks. Saw no knuckle-draggers or wild eyes. Presented all our coaches with red scarves from our first '57 ACC Championship team with a request to get us some new ones.
Coach Doeren spoke about each of the 25 recruits including family and video clips (almost all of the 3-star "ranking"). Based on the previous 5 years of the O'Brien era with quality representatives like Wilson and Glennon, I didn't see much change in the quality of recruits. Where they awill be on the field to be determined, but the new coaches feel they will go for championships ASAP with pretty good quality kids. We know their Academic Support will report to the Provost rather than Athletic Director (same as past 20 years) with an NCAA review team quite competent and committed. AD Yow was also present, and she once again shows she has an eye for management talent.
So as much as I agree with you on conference reallignments and NCAA inconsistencies and ESPN moneyballing, I think NC State will continue working within the system as it exists and show steadily improving results in both the revenue and Olympic sports. You'll just have to forgive me for feeling pretty good about the hand we've been dealt from an excellent administration who fully understands "institutional control". Some flagships may be more equal than others.
I liked Bruce's previous suggestion of have the "Big East" and Atlantic Coast" divisions within the new ACC (Is he the Bruce Wolf from Cincinnati?) Always good discussions.

BL: Your in-depth descriptions of "your party" sounds identical to the one I attended.... EXCEPT ours didn't have some ol goober handing our scarves. I'm sure that element was very meaningful to one and all. :-)

Your abiding hatred for all things UNC-CH is, as always, duly noted.
2/7/2013 5:34:11 PM

Bruce Bumbarger
Bob: Great column!

American’s insatiable appetite for intercollegiate/professional athletics, and the self satisfaction achieved living vicariously through the accomplishments of your team du jour seems to peak the moron meter in otherwise sensible adults, although with the dumbing down of America, the pool of sensible adults is getting shallow.

One other suggestion for the Czar: If you have more ink on your body than your LOI, you must wear a long sleeve jersey with a turtle neck. Ink on your face…you must wear a Hannibal Lechter mask.

In addition to ESPN pimping athletes to institutions of higher learning, I hold them largely accountable for the destruction of traditional, common sense rivalries found in regional conferences in favor of made for TV super conferences. Of course the universities share culpability as well. Apparently alienating alumni, fans and supporters for the sake of building coast-to-coast super conferences makes sense financially. Glad to see that Boise State realized sending the women’s gymnastics team to Philly to compete with Temple was a check “to big to write”.

As far as the ACC goes now, I’d have two divisions…the “Big East” division and the ACC division. Play each team in your division twice in BB, once in FB with maybe a couple of games against the other division. Basically a return to the original ACC sans the Twerps.
Bruce Bumbarger

BL: Damn Bruce !! Those are GREAT IDEAS! I love the "ink rules". And I plan to steal "moron meter" - so many ways to use that one.
2/7/2013 3:38:35 PM

B.L.:.... Thank you, thank you, thank you. I could not agree more. Maybe some day we’ll move away from this “Idol worship” of 17-18 year olds and just move along like nothing has happened. You have better control of making this happen than any of the rest of us. Like the one of the great gurus of all time, Pogo, said, “We have met the enemy, and it is us”.

You are the “Media”. You are where it all begins. Just tell the idiots to stop the insanity. Out of the 100 – 200 young men who get written about over the next 6 months before they ever step on the campus grounds, of whoever promised them the best income, etc., etc., etc., I wonder just how many of these perfectly healthy young men, will fail before they ever get started. The “Great Expectations” placed on them is overwhelming. Tell your fellow reporters, journalists, activists, etc., that they need to be writing about these youngsters when they have accomplished something at the next level, and not make them so anxious that they fall apart before they ever experience one snap of the football in a game, a game. Does anybody even remember, it’s just a game.

BL: Thanks Wattsy. Just one guy with a website - but I do what I can. Pass this along to every like-mind in Hickory.
2/7/2013 2:39:22 PM

I know you've mentioned Pat Fitzgerald before. I just read an article in the Chicago Tribune where it described his attitude toward prospects "committing", then continuing to look around.

"We believe a commitment is like getting engaged. We tell our young men, while you're dating, if you decide to date other people, that's great. But the minute you get engaged and set a wedding date, this dating is all off. If you decide to go back to dating after you've been engaged, no longer is there going to be a wedding.''

He apparently pulled a scholarship offer to a highly rated prospect after he committed, then went on another recruiting trip.

BL: Fitzgerald is a real "rising star" in the national coaching ranks... and his school - Northwestern - is NOT selling their soul to the BCS Or Bust bunch.

It CAN de done right, BUT IT TAKES COURAGE!
2/7/2013 12:42:13 PM

Great one!!! I hate what “they” have turned football into…………’s all about the $$$$$$$. Users of kids.

"Bravadic utterance" Where DO you come up with theses phrases???!!!!!! Love it!!

BL: I just "make'em up". I figure every word / phrase was made up by somebody. Why not ME?
2/7/2013 11:28:13 AM

From a member of the "tool shed list," a stray comment. I hope Tudor a the N&O picked his own retirement date. Do you know?

BL: Actually you have a special dispensation to come inside (when it rains).

Has Toots announced his "by by"? You know I don't "do The N&O" any more.
2/7/2013 11:02:40 AM

BobLee -- another stray thought here. What are the primary differences between University of Chicago and Notre Dame?

Well, Chicago gave up their nationally ranked program, coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg, in 1939, and now play Division III where they are something of a doormat there. However, by every account, U-C is the better of the two schools in academics.

But you've heard of Notre Dame, cause every weekend for 5 months you get the sports media hyperventilating as they sing the praises of the school. And so the money rolls in, and students flock to the place (I mean, why go to Holy Cross if you're a Catholic kid, if you can go to Notre Dame?!?!), and most people believe it's the better of the two academically. And who knows? With all of the money and student flowing in, and the recruiting advantage for professors positions (seriously!), they might just catch up.

BL: I lived in Woooster once. Holy Cross is actually a pretty cool school.... even without a "Gipper" but they DID have "a Cousy".
2/7/2013 10:38:48 AM

BC in PV
BobLee, I think you know how I feel about college football as we know it today. Kudos on capturing the essence of what this sport has become!

BL: Allowing for the occasional Tim Tebow and Russell Wilson, it's become a pretty shabby street-corner crowd.
2/7/2013 10:27:50 AM

Just read it…halted a quarter of a billable hour, but it was well worth it… don’t know how you do it, but this is another classic…too bad the NCAA won’t buy your recommendations…too much money on the line…sad.

BL: "just a tree falling in the deep woods" without my great audience !!! :-)
2/7/2013 10:01:29 AM

I grew up in Indiana, where basketball is more than a religion (kinda like this part of NC, only worse). My high school gym seated 8200, and was sold out more often than not.

That same gym was used for graduation, and yeah, when the star basketball player -- who could barely spell his name, and at one point was suspended for flunking phys ed (yup! and the coach was the teacher!) --got his diploma, the place went wild. The National Merit Scholar -- pebbles in a can. Me? I missed National Merit Scholar by a few points, and got even fewer pebbles.

So anyway, this kid is recruited to Hawaii or somewhere. They also recruited his girlfriend as his "tutor" ("study REAL hard for me, okay" she purred?). The school finally dumps him after 2 seasons, and when the kid yelled "racism" the school kinda sends back the "rumor" about cocaine trafficking and police warrants. Go figure.

Before becoming the area's latest d*mned Yankee, I lived between Ann Arbor and East Lansing. The Fab 5 stuff was front-page news there. Tell me -- how the hell does a broke inner-city kid have a Lexus SUV anyway? Better yet, how does the coach not know about it, when every student on campus probably knew about it?

Final thought for now -- Bobby Knight started a trend when he recruited Damon Bailey as an 8th grader, which did turn out okay. Now, such recruiting is normal.

BL: Was that high school gym a "GymLunchAtorium" ?
2/7/2013 9:47:34 AM

BL.... Does this mean that the Wuffies’ signature brand of new recruits are all going to major in nuclear engineering as opposed to our 17 who will major in African Studies?

Nice column. Not sure but that you’re somewhat like the little Dutch boy trying to stop the leaks in the dikes. Too many and not enough fingers and toes. Forgone conclusion.

Hill said that he really enjoyed seeing and hearing you when you came to Wilmington recently. He’s the one who put me on to you years ago.

Keep up the good work and tell Agent Pierce the same.

BL: Fun bunch in The Port City. I got a few new customers for Mickie's Whorehouse at Hope Valley. Ask Hill.

Yep... "little Dutch BobLee" for sure !! :-)
2/7/2013 9:46:25 AM

BL,.... I would have been greatly disappointed if you have not lambasted yestersday's "event of monumental proportions".....and I would also have been even more disappointed in my clarvoyance skills as I predicted such.
I will admit to doing some "peeking" at the ratings of the classes. Primarily to see how we, the lowly woofies, were able to complete and how we might fare in the future when they actually play the game. I did NOT take off work (if I was not retired); I did NOT go into my wife's FanCave that emerged after the Christmas decorations came down (she was in a RED mood) and have three TV's tuned to various broadcasts.....I could go on, interminably..
However, it DID remind me of two OTHER comparisons to "hyper" events.

One was discontinued circa 1865. It was held in Charleston whether the wealthy (and not) Plantation Owners and their entourage would go to view the offerings of the seafaring folks and bid on the best merchandise from a far off continent (that none of them could probably spell).
The other is more timely and involves a certain NJ Senator (now WHY are the Dukies NOT protesting his fettish for 16 & 17 YO females). Said Dem Senator Mendez apparently would fly to DR to view the choice young lasses and then....
I heartily support your pending appointment as "Recruiting Czar". Problem is, though, that you do NOT have any qualifications. For example, the Car Czar, Steve Rattner, had pending DOJ and SEC charges for embellzement and criminal fraud. You need to be working on your resume before Prez Obama (I would not let my imaginary son, Treyvon, be a victim of recruiting abuse) appoints you.
And finally, for the folks that perhaps have been doing casting calls for Survivor and not seen the headlines or the NYT article, it should be DULY noted that James Michael McAdoo is now #1 in the UNC Ungreatful Recruits poll. He nudged out Marvin with his recent tell all. I am fully expecting him to be on Oprah. Then perhaps on Dr. Phil where he will be granted an honorary degree in Criminology. Then he might eventually get to pursue one of his retired teammates, Mr. Lewis.
What is the old adage about an ungreatful child.....
However, I do predict that approximately 365.25 days from now, the ritual will be repeated. Unfortunately, next year there will be just as many Red motiffed parties as Light Blue.
On a more serious and somber note, if you code your contacts list, then I must have a mulit symbol entry....*&#$@<!> as I qualify, according to some, as to being "certifiable" in many categories.

BL: '68, be assured YOU AIN"T on that list I keep out in the tool shed. You nor "ViperRet" !

As long as "Dave Who From Where" recruits "good kids" I will support him as I do all HCs who really do that.
2/7/2013 9:43:19 AM


Like running with scissors, it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt. UNC's problem has been twofold. Not recognizing the sleaze in the pool they jump into and publicizing how they don't swim in murky water.

Dean was able to indulge the fantasy by controlling access and making his players attend class at least. When he saw the end of that ability to control the "recruits", I believe he timed his exit.

Indulge the fantasy for public consumption, but be aware that it is a fantasy. Old Bill Friday recognized the incompatibility of serious athletic entertainment enterprise and serious scholarship. So did ***** Crum when he famously opined that Carolina wanted to be Oklahoma on Saturday and Harvard the rest of the week.

Great column.

BL: Thanks uncleron! You are still the Keeper of my All-time Greatest Columns. :-)

Dean and "the Internet" woulda been A HOOT. Roy has a hard enuff time dealing with it.
2/7/2013 9:40:30 AM

I feel that under Obama's redistribution of wealth scheme that college football players will soon be chosen in an NFL-style draft. That way each game would end in a tie.

BL: AP says BHO can always use "Signing Day" to recruit future SpecOps soldiers for his HomelandThugArmy.
2/7/2013 9:38:21 AM

TM in Roswell
I’m surprised they know how to put their caps on logo forward when they announce.

BL: I hear NewEra is going to start logoing Front & Back just in case.
2/7/2013 9:11:13 AM

E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-T-E!!!! Who is BC that will see you at lunch today? I'll also see you at lunch today......and also Danny.

BL: I'll never tell. Its NOT Bill Clinton !!!
2/7/2013 8:32:46 AM

Man, I could have written that column (if I had the writing talent). You said what I have felt for years.
Do away with recruiting altogether. Let kids who are interested in going to college apply and go through the process. If they get in and happen to be good athletes, so much the better. But field teams from those legitimately in school. I think fans would learn to enjoy those games just as much. But,alas, as you point out, that'll never happen.

BL: YES... Have a campus-wide "try-out" day or do an American Idol-type competition? I like it !!!
2/7/2013 8:32:01 AM

Charlotte Wuffie
BobLee you are all over the recruiting madness. Why don't they rank recruiting success by the athletes that can succeed in the classroom? That way our school would be at the top since we got the 20 who can this year! Yet again!

BL: You goobers were claiming "that" way back when Chuckie was bringing in mega-felons out of Killian Detention Center. :-)

But even Chuckie's juvie-gangstas couldn't speak Swahili !!
2/7/2013 8:22:10 AM

Hill in ILM
fax machine...good one

BL: Maybe "they" should require the recruits to call it in from "a pay phone". THAT would really confuse'em.
2/7/2013 7:56:05 AM

Czar,.... I like your ideas, but even though our views are based on experience, we are definitely in the minority. That said, I continue to be impressed by Fedora -- I think that character really matters to him.

Hope to see you at lunch today.

BL: I'll be there. I too am impressed by LF. Not that "used car smarminess" so prevalent with his peers. Just hope his "recruits" behave.
2/7/2013 7:50:21 AM

best ever, BL.

BL: aaawww, if I had a nickle for every time I've heard THAT. :-)
2/7/2013 7:17:14 AM

Bobby, I've always found it interesting how college baseball is vastly different from FB & BB. Other than the fact that baseball has become third fiddle in major league sports part of it lies in the fact that there are MINOR leagues. IF, and if I could have used larger print to imply how big this IF is, colleges restricted admittance then minor league FB & BB would flourish, but then again Dean Domes and PNCs and Death Valleys and big time FB stadiums that hold 100,000 would be relatively empty on Saturday afternoons, and Thursday nights, and whatever day/night they decide will sell a ticket. My thought is we didn't see that ESPN was the pimp when they came along. "Pssst, hey buddy, looking for a good time?" I rest my case.

BL: I appreciate that hypothesis but I'm not so sure it holds up.

College Bkb survived never seeing one day of LaBron or Kobe or Dwight or Kevin. So if College FB never saw the most athletically-advanced specimans it would never know what it missed.

There is, of course, a "racial component" smack dab in the middle of this discussion that has to be hushed "because".....
2/7/2013 7:15:56 AM

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