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 What does everyone thing of RR recruiting tactics? 
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Post What does everyone thing of RR recruiting tactics?
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Rich Rodriguez fires back after Jim Tressel's jab at his recruiting tactics
By SCOTT BELL • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • April 9, 2008

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Ohio State coach Jim Tressel told reporters and fans at Ohio State’s annual spring-preview event last week that the Big Ten’s gentlemen’s agreement in recruiting was applied “only between gentlemen” — a not-so-thinly veiled jab at Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez.

Rodriguez responded when he met with reporters after practice Tuesday.

“If not being a gentleman is recruiting guys until the end, until signing day, particularly after all visits — guilty as charged,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez secured last-minute commitments from running back Michael Shaw and wide receiver Roy Roundtree on Feb. 6, the first day recruits could sign binding letters of intent.

Shaw previously had verbally committed to Penn State, Roundtree to Purdue.

Even though Rodriguez said aggressive recruiting was a necessity since he and his new staff had so little time to bring in a full class of 25, his tactics were unpopular among other Big Ten coaches. Rodriguez maintains he did nothing wrong.

“We’re not going to break any NCAA rules,” Rodriguez said. “We’re going to play it by what the NCAA rules are. But the first time I heard about any so-called ‘gentleman’s agreement’ was after signing day. I didn’t get a memo from the Big Ten ... a handbook that says ‘This is how you’re a gentleman.’ ”

Soon after Rodriguez signed on with Michigan, four-star quarterback recruit John Wienke de-commited from the Wolverines and switched over to fellow Big Ten school Iowa.

“I didn’t say that guy’s not a gentleman,” Rodriguez said. “I just thought, Well, heck, they must have been recruiting him all the way along and he jumped at the opportunity.”

Tressel isn’t the only coach who has questioned Rodriguez’s tactics since taking over at Michigan. Purdue coach Joe Tiller called Rodriguez a “guy in a wizard hat selling snake oil” after Roundtree changed his commitment.

Rodriguez isn’t irked by the criticism, though, and has no plans to change how he recruits anytime soon.

"I could care less what anybody else does," he said. "All I can tell you is how we’re going to recruit and how we’re going to go after it."

"I feel pretty proud of our track record and how we do things."


It seem that there is a definite change in the Big Ten with RR coming in and recruiting. Are you guys ok with that? He is obviously not breaking a single NCAA rule, I just wondered you guys thoughts on this.

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April 9th, 2008, 10:19 am
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My first reaction is that I'm all for it. The Big Ten need to step in up and become competitive with the other "top" onferences. We always seem to be left behind, now maybe we'll get to the point where we can lead the pack. Again, just my first reaction, it could change.....

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April 9th, 2008, 10:30 am
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And it isn't like no one in the Big Ten recruits kids after they commit. I think the original jab by Tressel was just a jest, but Tressel has gotten recruits who have committed already.

I think the difference is the way they are recruited after they commit, bu who knows what really happens...

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April 9th, 2008, 10:46 am
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I don't have a problem with it at all. Until the kid signs on the dotted line, he's fair game. Verbal commitments have never been binding and any team can keep recruiting a player as long as he's willing to listen. Now, if the kid says that his mind is made up and he isn't changing it, then a coach should move on.

As for Tiller's comment, they were joking about this on FM 97.1 yesterday. They said that Rod should show up to the press conference before the Michigan-Purdue game wearing a wizard hat or a jersey with "Merlin" on the back of it. :lol:

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April 9th, 2008, 10:57 am
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There is an unwritten rule that you don't take kids that have verbally committed from within the Big 10 conference. If RR wants to go after a kid that verbally committed to a non-Big 10 school - that is fine with me.

If you want to have some sort of integrity, you work with the rules - both written and unwritten. RR has shown little to no respect for this, which is a shame given that he is now the HC of one of the premier teams in the conference if not all of college football. You would hope he could help set the right tone.

As for the Big 10 being more competitive per Wags, stealing players from within your own conference does just the opposite - now coaches have a whole new set of worries to spend time on taking away from other recruiting activities.

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April 9th, 2008, 11:08 am
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Afraid RichRod is gonna steal some of those early Spartan recruits, huh? :lol:

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April 9th, 2008, 11:14 am
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slybri19 wrote:
Afraid RichRod is gonna steal some of those early Spartan recruits, huh? :lol:


No, he can have them.

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April 9th, 2008, 11:18 am
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I think with new, aggressive recruiters like RR, Zook (& Brewster in Minn, maybe) in the Big 10 it is going to be harder on Tressell, Tiller & all. But I think its going to end up better for the conference overall.

After all, most recruits aren't just deciding between two Big 10 schools. They're also being recruited heavily by schools from other conferences, or a Notre Dame. So the more aggressive & successful recruiting coaches there are in the Big 10 the more chance that great players end up at one of the Big 10 schools.


April 9th, 2008, 2:36 pm
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illinoiseric wrote:
I think with new, aggressive recruiters like RR, Zook (& Brewster in Minn, maybe) in the Big 10 it is going to be harder on Tressell, Tiller & all. But I think its going to end up better for the conference overall.

After all, most recruits aren't just deciding between two Big 10 schools. They're also being recruited heavily by schools from other conferences, or a Notre Dame. So the more aggressive & successful recruiting coaches there are in the Big 10 the more chance that great players end up at one of the Big 10 schools.


Thank you eric, that was the point I was trying to make.

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April 9th, 2008, 3:30 pm
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It is definitely intersting to here people say the Big Ten just hasta give upon some gentleman values to compete, but I am one to really hate loosing integrety to win.

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April 9th, 2008, 4:00 pm
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TheRealWags wrote:
illinoiseric wrote:
I think with new, aggressive recruiters like RR, Zook (& Brewster in Minn, maybe) in the Big 10 it is going to be harder on Tressell, Tiller & all. But I think its going to end up better for the conference overall.

After all, most recruits aren't just deciding between two Big 10 schools. They're also being recruited heavily by schools from other conferences, or a Notre Dame. So the more aggressive & successful recruiting coaches there are in the Big 10 the more chance that great players end up at one of the Big 10 schools.


Thank you eric, that was the point I was trying to make.


Y'all are missing the point. This is about recruiting kids who have already verbally committed to another Big Ten school. If the kid hasn't committed yet, it is fair game - that isn't what we are talking about. illinoiseric's point is invalid here, but overall I agree with it (just not when someone has committed already to a Big 10 school).

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April 9th, 2008, 4:05 pm
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Pablo wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
illinoiseric wrote:
I think with new, aggressive recruiters like RR, Zook (& Brewster in Minn, maybe) in the Big 10 it is going to be harder on Tressell, Tiller & all. But I think its going to end up better for the conference overall.

After all, most recruits aren't just deciding between two Big 10 schools. They're also being recruited heavily by schools from other conferences, or a Notre Dame. So the more aggressive & successful recruiting coaches there are in the Big 10 the more chance that great players end up at one of the Big 10 schools.


Thank you eric, that was the point I was trying to make.


Y'all are missing the point. This is about recruiting kids who have already verbally committed to another Big Ten school. If the kid hasn't committed yet, it is fair game - that isn't what we are talking about. illinoiseric's point is invalid here, but overall I agree with it (just not when someone has committed already to a Big 10 school).


Believe me - as an Illini fan, I can tell you this stuff hurts (e.g. Eric Gordon).

I see what you mean, Pablo - but what I took from the article was that RR didn't actually break any official rules. So I don't know how playing by the rules can be automatically considered "ungentlemanly".... especially from coaches that are coming from different places where the same behavior *might* be more common. I think if Tressell or others want people to behave in a certain way, they should basically propose different rules.


April 9th, 2008, 4:44 pm
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But I think the difference between playing by the rules and playing by gentlemans rules is the whole point that their aren't official rules for that, lol. You can't call written dowwn rules gentleman's rules if they are explicitely there.

When did being a gentleman mean you just at minimum have to play by the official rules and laws? That is a sad statement if that is the case.

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April 9th, 2008, 4:57 pm
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Pablo wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
illinoiseric wrote:
I think with new, aggressive recruiters like RR, Zook (& Brewster in Minn, maybe) in the Big 10 it is going to be harder on Tressell, Tiller & all. But I think its going to end up better for the conference overall.

After all, most recruits aren't just deciding between two Big 10 schools. They're also being recruited heavily by schools from other conferences, or a Notre Dame. So the more aggressive & successful recruiting coaches there are in the Big 10 the more chance that great players end up at one of the Big 10 schools.


Thank you eric, that was the point I was trying to make.


Y'all are missing the point. This is about recruiting kids who have already verbally committed to another Big Ten school. If the kid hasn't committed yet, it is fair game - that isn't what we are talking about. illinoiseric's point is invalid here, but overall I agree with it (just not when someone has committed already to a Big 10 school).


With all due respect, I think you're missing the point. Gentleman rules???(Let's have everyone meet on the battlefield at noon with sabers drawn...and no fighting during afternoon tea!) These are not kids, they are young MEN and in order for any man (or anyone else for that matter) to make the best, most informed decision (for their themselves - isn't going to college supposed to be about bettering oneself? Or is it just to better the school they chose?) shouldn't they be given the chance to evaluate as many schools as possible??? Verbal agreement?? IMO until a college prospect's (yes, they are prospects, not students) verbal agreement is considered legal and binding, then I say it's fair game. This is the first I've heard about this (the article posted by steensn) and to me it sounds like a couple of coaches (Tressel & Tiller) are acting like little crybabies. Boo-freakin-hoo. Grow up and act like a MAN for frak-sakes! Perhaps, if these coaches really wanted these prospects, they would keep following up with them to make sure they're still interested and to show how much they want them as a part of their program. Why are these coaches not biatching about other conference's coaches/recruiters talking to these players??? Oh, I get it, just because they're coaching in the Big Ten they're supposed to be held to some other set of rules and standards? Why??? Now don't get me wrong, I'm a Big Ten fan but only for because it's where UofM and MSU are, but that is it....it has nothing to do with "gentleman" agreements.

All in all, I think it's a non-issue. These coaches are just screaming to hear their own voices and IMO it makes them look like immature crybabies.

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April 9th, 2008, 5:35 pm
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Pablo wrote:
Y'all are missing the point. This is about recruiting kids who have already verbally committed to another Big Ten school. If the kid hasn't committed yet, it is fair game - that isn't what we are talking about. illinoiseric's point is invalid here, but overall I agree with it (just not when someone has committed already to a Big 10 school).



I disagree... These guys call these 17 yr old kids and badger them into verbally committing while they still have interviews and visits lined up... That's why verbal committments don't mean anything. I have no problem with a school allowing a recruit to visit, or recruiting a kid, if the committment is only verbal.


April 9th, 2008, 5:43 pm
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