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First off, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize. On behalf of Southern Methodist University, we would like to say we are truly sorry to the rest of nation for making recruiting that much harder. The ‘80s were a wonderful time for college football because teams were luring players in with big incentives and little resistance. SMU gave players anything they wanted. Texas A&M offered gold Trans Ams. Texas passed out stacks of bills like they were candy. But then we had to go and get greedy. SMU thought it was too big to fail. Instead of sticking to the fertile grounds of Texas, we started looking for prospects out of state. When we signed Pittsburgh area OL Sean Stopperich, everything changed. Things weren’t as peachy as Sean imagined, and he uprooted outta Dallas and back to Pittsburgh, making a stop at the NCAA offices to give them a heads up of what we were doing on his way back.
Nowadays, teams have to be a lot less open about their dealings if they want to do the things that teams were doing in the pre-Death Penalty era. You just can’t flaunt it like you could back then. Look at the situation in Ole Miss. Damn, do I respect them for their ability to build a team that can compete in the SEC after being down in the dumps for a few years. Hugh Freeze is a genius. They don’t deserve the death penalty. What they deserve is a pat on the back and a nod of respect. Let’s not pretend that teams aren’t figuring out ways to steal recruits from other schools without some backhanded deals. So instead of shunning these types of deals, let’s embrace them.
Imagine how much school pride a place like SMU, Colorado State, or Rice could have if they saw their football teams competing at a higher level. It would make college football great. Allowing the boosters to open up their checkbooks to grab that 5-star QB or that 4-star defensive tackle would open up a new world that we haven’t seen in thirty years. Heck, it’s their own money. Who is the NCAA to tell someone how they can spend their money? If I want to shell out $50K to get SMU some talent, I should be able to shell out $50K for a blue-chip recruit. Not to mention, this is the only feasible way we can stop the Bama dynasty.
Have you ever gone to a live auction? That’s essentially how my new NCAA would work. They’re thrilling to watch unfold. Who is going to outbid who? Who is going to go the extra mile to make sure that recruit signs with them? It’s pure capitalism. The strongest and richest survive, while the weakest have to learn to grow. Not rich enough? That sucks — make some more money. I’m not even asking the NCAA to look the other way like they do with some programs. I want them to embrace it and set up bank accounts for each school’s boosters to deposit money into solely for recruiting purposes. Let’s make the NCAA the wild wild West of recruiting again. It’s what the sport needs.
Until then, it looks like the only way to get around this is being as sneaky as possible and praying you don’t get caught..
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