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Arizona Football’s Recruiting Sales Pitch: We Have the Best Cheerleaders

Chalk this up as a first for Arizona football making it on LBS. With national signing day fresh in everyone’s mind, I feel there’s no better time to break out with this story. Some high school players were asked in the latest edition of Sporting News Magazine about the most creative recruiting tactic used by a school. Matt Barkley who committed to USC said it was a box full of fake money with the faces of the coaching staff on the bills, sent by Colorado. He says it was to show how much a four-year education costs. I have other ideas. Anyway, my favorite anecdote comes from OL John Martinez from Salt Lake City who committed to USC. Here’s what he had to say:

I think it was Arizona that sent me a letter about their cheerleaders, that they have the best cheerleaders. I don’t know — it was just crazy. It was a letter saying it, and then they had pictures of them, pictures of the cheerleaders during the game and stuff.”

To be truthful, if you sent me a box full fake bills with the mugs of a coaching staff on the faces or a letter with pictures of cheerleaders, I know where I’m going. We’ve all seen He Got Game or at least heard the stories of the way recruits get taken care of sexually on their visits, and this basically confirms it. I’d also like to add that I knew a bunch of chicks who worked as “student recruiters” for the athletic department when I was at UCLA. Now I know why Karl Dorrell never got any five-star recruits.

The Tim Tebow Effect: Homeschooling Now More Popular

Tim Tebow is so wonderful that spending five minutes around him will make you a better person. Take it from Thom Brennamanhe knows. Anyway, it’s become pretty common knowledge that Tebow was homeschooled prior to attending the University of Florida. But I’ll bet you didn’t know that the homeschooling rates are up dramatically since that time. An LBS reader who works in the field of education sent in this article citing a recent study that says homeschooling has grown 36% since 2003. Our Heisman winner set foot on the campus at Gainesville in 2006. Coincidence? I think not. Top reasons for homeschooling?

When the parents were asked which one of the selected reasons for homeschooling was the most important, religious or moral instruction was the highest with 36 percent. For 21 percent of parents, the most important reason was concern about the school environment, and for 17 percent, it was dissatisfaction with the academic instruction available at other schools. Other reasons, including family time, finances, travel and distance, were cited by 14 percent of parents.

What the study did not publish was that a whopping 38% of parents cited Tim Tebow as a reason for having their kids homeschooled. And why not? The guy won the Tour de France riding a unicycle, has counted to infinity twice, and Superman wears his pajamas. OK, I was kidding about that 38% thing, but I’ll bet he’s a factor in the proliferation of homeschooling lately; he’s gotta be their poster-child.

Doug Williams: Rooney Rule Wouldn’t Work in College Football, Still Need More Black Coaches

Doug Williams was in Tampa on Tuesday for Super Bowl week. Williams was the MVP of Super Bowl 22 with the Redskins and also was the first Black quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. Additionally, Williams was a successful coach at Grambling State and was thought to be a strong candidate for the Kentucky opening back in ’02. The job went to Rich Brooks who turned out to be a good hire, but not getting the job obviously has left a strong impact on Williams. He gave his thoughts on the lack of Black coaches in college football and the Rooney Rule during an interview with the 2 Live Stews on Sporting News Radio:

“I certainly don’t think the Rooney Rule would be effective in college. If you look around at Auburn and everybody else, they interviewed some African-American coaches to say that at least we interviewed ‘em and it’s kind of like a token situation, which is unfair. I thought Turner Gill had the job — I think he would have been an awesome fit.

When you look at all the kids that are out there on the football field, 65-70% of them are African-American. Somewhere along the line, you have to put somebody out there that looks like them … get them an opportunity to say ‘After my playing career is over with, I might be able to coach at Auburn, Alabama, LSU, or Florida.’ But you’re telling them that you can play for me, but you can’t coach for me?”

Williams is so soured on the college game that he says the best option for a Black coach is to go to the NFL. He also says the main reason Black head coaches aren’t hired at major programs is because of the boosters:
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Will the Mark Sanchez Conference Cost Pete Carroll in Recruiting?

It’s really tough to judge Pete Carroll based on his answers to questions regarding Mark Sanchez’s decision to leave school early for the NFL draft. Carroll’s clearly motivated by his desire to run a strong program, and having Sanchez back for a 5th year would ostensibly put the team in its best position to win the Pac-10 and compete for a BCS title. At the same time, he recruits and coaches his players and develops strong relationships with them over the years. Wouldn’t he want the best for those players and want them to take his advice when he feels so strongly about a subject? Given the numbers and history of quarterbacks leaving school early, I understand why he advised Sanchez to return to USC, putting his own motivation aside. But I also understand why Sanchez left and can’t blame him for it.

Mark Sanchez had the game of his life in the Rose Bowl and really could not be leaving on much of a higher note. It’s not a guarantee that his stock will improve just by staying another year, especially considering the all-world performance he put on in Pasadena. Couple that closing note with Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford returning to school, and the choice to leave for the NFL seems like a logical one for me. If Sanchez’s goal is to get drafted as highly as possible and to make a lot of money, this is probably the right move. Furthermore, Sanchez is a senior in school standing, and if he’s really motivated to become a pro, who’s to say he won’t do well? And even if Carroll disagrees with the move, why tell the media?

I don’t understand how it helps Carroll to tell people that he disagrees with the move. What good does that do him or the program? Couldn’t that be used against him by other coaches in recruiting? Maybe potential recruits saw that and didn’t like it. That’s not to say that Carroll won’t be able to get great players — he still will — but that wasn’t a good sign. Though USC will still be strong next year, perhaps Carroll may be feeling some pressure from having coaches on his staff leave and one of his top players go pro. Look at Nebraska, Florida State, Tennessee, and Miami and some of the other dynasties of the past 15 years. You dominate for a good five years or so, then after that, things start going downhill. It’s inevitable, and this might mark the first step for USC.

If you haven’t seen video of the conference yet, here it is via Hot Clicks:

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Are Thom Brennaman and Tim Tebow Secretly Dating?

The game itself was pretty enjoyable, albeit not as high scoring as many had expected. Really the only problem with the game Thom Brennaman’s love affair with Tim Tebow. As much hype and praise is doled out to Tebow, I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone go as over the top with his comments as Brennaman did. The commentary was so nauseating it almost became unbearable. Chris Burke at FanHouse was struck by the same issue and documented some of Brennaman’s remarks:

“If you’re fortunate enough to spend five minutes or 20 minutes around Tim Tebow, your life is better for it.”

Even after Tebow earned a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting Oklahoma’s defense, Brennaman claimed: “That might be the first thing he’s ever done wrong.”

Sure, Tebow is a fantastic player and played well in the second half of the game, but he’d be God’s son the way Brennaman told it. I really hope Tebow goes to the NFL just so I don’t have to deal with another year of this crap. I don’t believe I’d be able to handle “Tebow’s chase for a third national championship” or second Heisman. And you know what, as much as they make it seem like it was all Tebow in the game, to me it was more about the Florida defense coming up big and the opportunities Oklahoma squandered.

The Sooners became the first team to intercept Tebow twice in the same game in his career. How many points did they turn that into? None. They got stuffed on 3rd and 4th and 1 from the 1 by the Florida defense when they could have turned things around. Oklahoma had a chance to go up before halftime but Sam Bradford threw a pick to end the scoring threat. And at the end of the game when Oklahoma was only down three and had a drive, Bradford was picked off again. Like I said, it was more about Florida’s defense stepping up and Oklahoma’s inability to capitalize than Tebow’s heroics.

Video: Percy Harvin Slaps Urban Meyer on the Ass to Celebrate the Big Win

After Florida had scored their touchdown to make it a 10 point game, things looked like they were over. They officially ended when Oklahoma couldn’t convert the 4th down play with about three minutes left. After that pass was broken up, many of the Gators started celebrating on the sidelines. Perhaps the best celebration was expressed by Percy Harvin on his head coach, Urban Meyer. Check it:

Maybe coach will think twice next time before he slaps one of his own players on the ass. And what does that say for Harvin? That’s gotta take some balls to hand it to your coach like that. He must know he’s leaving for the draft to do something like that. Whatever happened to respecting our elders?

Those BC Folks Sure Seem Forgiving

On the same day that Boston College puts itself in the news for a good reason — knocking off the #1 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels in basketball — they also were put in the news for a bad reason. I had heard the Jets planned to interview BC head coach Jeff Jagodzinksi for their head coaching vacancy, but I didn’t know the BC brass was going to get all possessive-girlfriend on him. ESPN says that BC informed Jagodzinski that he’ll be fired if he does interview with the Jets. Lending credence to the story is the Boston Globe report where Jagodzinski denied he’s spoken with the Jets, most likely because he doesn’t want word getting out. Oops! Too late for that.

I understand that BC took Jagodzinski away from the Packers where he was their offensive coordinator and made him a head coach where he’s had success, but schools and teams usually allow their staff to interview elsewhere when it’s a step up. For Jagz, leaving BC for the Jets would be a step up, as long as it’s in the same capacity (which it is). To threaten Jagodzinski with a backup plan that the offensive coordinator at BC would get his job should he interview with the Jets seems pretty childish to me. What kind of message is that sending to your coach? What will his feelings be towards you if he ultimately remains at BC? Perhaps he won’t be as motivated as before, or at least he won’t have the same type of loyalty he may have had before. Bad P.R. move by BC, as long as the report is true. I guess we’ll see what happens.