You know that guy. He’s even been immortalized on screens both large and small through Al Bundy and Uncle Rico. That guy that just can’t let the past be the past. That guy who never made it playing sports at a high level and therefore lives vicariously through others that have the talent, drive, and desire. That guy whose greatest accomplishment was banging the prom queen and then getting blackout drunk. Well, that guy, and several thousand of his friends and fellow burnouts have a new way to relive their glory days in the proliferation of social media.
These days, anyone who can throw three touchdowns in a game against CrossTown HS West or throw it over that mountain over there can create a Facebook Fan Page, a dedicated Twitter account, or a Pinterest board to express their desire for a recruit to come to their school to further their athletic craft. What they probably don’t know (or maybe they do and are simply too wrapped up in themselves to care) is that they are committing a secondary violation. A violation that, if reported, has to be investigated by the school’s compliance department.
In doing these things, you create more uneccessary work for good people who are already busy monitoring current students, their bank accounts, their DMV records, scoping out tattoo parlors and back alleyways and now they have to deal with you; The adult who thinks it is a good idea to tweet at high school kids and try to sway their decision. This next bit is going to be bold and large so that you can read it.
YOUR TWEET/LIKE/FACEBOOK HAS ABOUT 0.000001% CHANCE OF SWAYING A FBS RECRUIT’S DECISION TO GO TO ONE SCHOOL OR ANOTHER. PROBABLY EVEN LESS. DOING SO CAUSES HEADACHES FOR YOUR SCHOOL.
The worst offenders often come from the school that the recruit is already committed to when they want to do the adult thing and explore ALL their options before making a decision that could very well determine their future. I know it may be hard to realize that not everyone has to settle for the first option that comes along, but then again not everyone is destined to be a fry cook or ditch digger. Just because you are doesn’t mean that you have to try and relive your better days by glomming on to a kid who is actually doing something with their life.
If a kid decides to do his due diligence and take Official Visits after he has already verbally committed, then so be it. If the staff at his committed school knows about it, it is on them to continue to recruit that kid. It is NOT your job to do so. You are not on the football staff. You are not a member of the athletic department. You cannot offer him/her a scholarship. So why even try? When you get supremely butthurt over an Official Visit, you look like my two year old when he can’t have pudding before dinner.
I am not going to fault a guy for taking a visit to the school in his hometown where BOTH of his parents were scholarship athletes. That’s a legacy right there and it would be in his best interest to explore what they have to offer. That doesn’t mean that he has decommitted or is even having second thoughts. The recruiting process is about exploration.
Even if you KNOW that you will end up at the University of Florida, you take visits to Ohio State and Notre Dame. Maybe you even commit to both schools before finally making your decision. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you feel that you are doing what is best for YOU. Not what is best for the majority of your Twitter followers. It is about the atmosphere, the process, and the people. To commit after your first visit might seem like the right idea, but no one sane will fault you for taking your time and making the correct decision.
It is our job as fans (and yes bloggers are just fans with an internet platform) to be mindful of these recruits and the process. Just because a recruit is taking a visit to another school does not mean that he will be leaving Ohio State before he even gets there. It is NOT our job to act as an extension of the football staff and attempt to recruit him one way or the other. It is CERTAINLY not our job to involve their parents in our displeasure. That just shows a complete lack of class, tact, and Ohio State values. Take that shit to Michigan if you must if you feel the need to be an asshat.
You can’t be an asshat and wear the Scarlet and Gray. We don’t stand for that bullshit and won’t tolerate anyone who does. The 99% should never have to apologize profusely for that 1% of “fans” whose entire life must be so devoid of meaning and purpose that they actually get UPSET when someone decides not to come to Ohio State. That 1% is the worst among us and I would consider them to be, in the words of Terrelle Pryor, “fake ass Buckeyes.”
Don’t be a fake ass Buckeye.