I was disappointed to again hear Auburn’s Gus Malzahn echo his SEC head coaching brethren and decry Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh for participating in a football camp for prospects Prattville, AL.
In order to build stronger recruiting connections and go to the players, instead of relying on the players to come to him, Harbaugh will also work camps in Pennsylvania, Tampa, Houston, Dallas and California. These are all, not coincidentally, recruiting hotspots.
Penn State’s James Franklin debuted this recruiting tactic a year ago trying to establish Penn State recruiting outposts in Atlanta and Florida. Not since the carpetbaggers descended upon Dixie following the Civil War was such an outcry from Southerners heard about Northern visitation.
Last spring at the league meetings, SEC coaches went so far as to vote for pressuring the rest of the nation to adopt their camp rules, which restrict coaches to hosting or participating at camps to within 50 miles of campus.
An SEC coach complaining about unfair recruiting advantages held by another conference is about as sympathetic as a billionaire complaining about taxes. From proximity to the greatest amount of top recruits to lessened academic standards and larger recruiting budgets, the recruiting deck is heavily stacked in the SEC’s favor, even with camp restrictions. Camp restrictions, mind you, the SEC imposes upon itself.
Dressing up in victim’s clothes to protect your own self-interests is not a good outfit for any of the SEC coaches to wear – Malzahn especially.
Malzahn has bravely spoken out against the Nick Saban’s and Brett Bielema’s who want to slow down the pace of play in college football. The “Slow Pokes” hide behind our growing fear over player safety and promote the bankrupt logic that fast football equals dangerous football. We all recognize this as a naked attempt to change the rules of the game to the advantage of their own tactics.
He’s standing tall again this spring as the NCAA Football Rules Committee attempts to change how offensive linemen can move downfield.
Now would be another opportunity for him to distinguish himself and instead of whining and complaining, say, “bring it on.” Instead of attempting to bend college football to the SEC’s policy why not suggest the SEC move to the more open policy?
After all, aren’t the players – the kids – the ones who benefit most when a coach like Jim Harbaugh or James Franklin participates in a camp, wherever that camp is located? Isn’t that worth breaking ranks over?
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