I think someone just attempted to lecture me via Twitter about my effect on Purdue's recruiting...so I thought now would be a good time to put up a post.
About midway through the summer, a few players decided to give their verbal commitments to what Coach Hazell is building. Not only did we break our soft rule about not writing about recruits until they sign, but we chatted the guys up via Twitter.
All was well in the universe. The class looked rock solid...these guys were steadfast in their decisions to come to Purdue...good vibes were flowing. One of the players held a press conference with his friends and family announcing that he had made the right choice. The other called off the dogs as he told schools they could stop recruiting him because it'd be in vain...They were set to be Boilermakers.
But weeks later, the script is flipped. Both players now are making really, really, really sure that they committed to the right school. At this point, there can't be much new info out there. Both of these guys are talented and have been receiving letters and phone calls and visiting schools for years at this point...But there's more going on.
Hey, I know that a lot of hands are involved in these decisions. Mom, Dad, Uncles, Grandparents...and hangers-on alike all think they should be helping a kid as he figures out where he'll play college football or basketball. That's gotta be tough. But everyone deals with this to some extent...and at the end of the day, the kid better like where he's going.
If he made the decision because Mom wants to go there- NewsFlash- Mom won't be attending two-a-days or math tests. And if Uncle Carl has always rooted for University X because they were his fave growing up...it doesn't matter either. Carl isn't putting his knees and back on the line for those teammates or that coach.
To say that Boiled Sports has the power to sway a kid away or toward Purdue makes me laugh...We can barely make our wives change their minds.
What we really want is to have a bunch of kids playing for Purdue that we really want play there...who are easy to root for because they represent our Alma Mater well...and they win games. Kinda simple.
We've seen Purdue teams littered with malcontents who still won...but were tough to root for. We've gotten behind teams that couldn't win but had a bunch of likable players. But, having a team like the Baby Boilers a few years back, or the Brees-led aerial assault offense a few years before...that's golden indeed. They won, they were exciting, they weren't getting in trouble, most of them kept up their grades...and they seemed to be really fond of the place that we loved attending. Simple.
Coach Hazell, Coach Freeman, Coach Painter, Coach Owens and ALL of the other coaches that represent Purdue so well as they sell their ideas to high school kids have a job that I clearly couldn't do. The good news is, I'm in the field I'm supposed to be in, and so are they. I'm sure these coaches have bitten their tongues to the point of drawing blood as they rode out the wild mood swings of a teenager. Hats off to them; that's really tough and I'm sure it's helped secure a few players to their program that wouldn't have come if I'd been at the helm.
When someone flakes out on me, I don't have a ton of time for that person's behavior...I've had interns do it, I've had friends do it. I've also been told I'm a jerk...and it's absolutely been true.
I generally don't like asking people to do something for me that I wouldn't be able or willing to do myself.
I hope Purdue ends up with a bunch of student athletes that want to be Boilermakers...as for the rest of them, I hope they lose to Purdue a lot after they make their decision.