Friday, June 24, 2005

It's Chinese New Year in the Football Recruiting Blogosphere!

Nothing excites a subculture quite like mainstream attention. Witness the release of Bruce Feldman's piece on uber-recruit Myron Rolle and the attention it has received among football recruitniks. (The article is available only to ESPN Insiders, but an amusing take on it from a Michigan perspective, i.e. a smarter, more ironic and detached perspective, can be found here.)

The best part of the imbroglio, other than the fact that it has confirmed Lorenzo Booker's allegations that Tom Lemming is an Irish shill who tried to sway him from Florida State to Notre Dame (a choice that's eerily reminiscent of the "Hitler was worse!" "No, Stalin was worse!" debates that often roil politically motivated amateur history fans), has been to watch the reaction on the Michigan Rivals board. Initially, when the allegations solely concerned Lemming/ND and Oklahoma, the denizens on that board reacted with "I always knew it" and "the NCAA really ought to do something about those jerks." Today, it's become apparent that Michigan's Rivals moderators also get their ox gored in the article, which has led to "I don't believe the article" and "those Ohio State fans were right about ESPN the Magazine.

(Incidentally, ESPN the Magazine does, for the most part, suck, but mainly because it spends too much time on fawning puff pieces on (oft-misunderstood) athletes and not enough time making actual investigatory news, such as the Ohio State expose that quoted former Buckeye Sam Maldonado as asking "what kind of degree could I get from Ohio State if none of their credits are honored anywhere else?" [That's a paraphrase.])

Interestingly, the article was written by Bruce Feldman, who is generally seen as being in the corner of the Florida programs (especially Miami, hence his passionate defense of Miami for taking Willie Williams) and USC. Those programs are in the running for Rolle, the top corner/safety prospect in the Class of '06, but he is thought at this stage to be favoring Oklahoma and Michigan. The article doesn't say boo about the Trojans, Noles, Gators, or 'Canes, but then again, even if it did, that wouldn't make Rolle any more likely to choose those schools.

Sadly, is there anyone who believes that the allegations against Lemming would have been printed if he was still working for ESPN? Then again, maybe they cut him loose because of his Notre Dame lust.


Brian said...

Thanks for the link... join the blogpoll!

peacedog said...

Lemming was such a hack. Recruiting is at best an inexact science. It was always funny to see a team like Notre Dame do well in the rankings year in and year out and then suck.