The Silliness Of Recruiting And Signing Day
Posted Feb 6, 2009

Now that another Signing Day is over and the recruiting season is winding down, it's more obvious than ever ... it's all silly. While it's an important part of the overall college football landscape, Pete Fiutak points out the hypocrisy, and what can be done about it.

Fiu's Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy

The Silliness Of Recruiting ... Feb. 7

a.k.a. Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances ... or the obvious attempt to keep readers coming to the site on a regular basis during the off-season.
By Pete Fiutak   
What's your beef? ... Fire off your thoughts  

Past Whimsies:  
- Making peace with recruiting
- The NFL announcers
- The Mark Sanchez situation
- The NFL Playoffs vs. The BCS
- Why Florida really is No. 1
- The Jagodzinski situation
- Auburn's big coaching moves
- 10 Reasons Why Fla Will Win
10 Reasons Why OU Will Win
- The Andre Smith suspension
- NFL Mock Draft (top 10 picks)
- Holiday Wish List For All 119 Teams

- Chizik, Gill, & the Race Card
- Why Paterno isn't too old

Past Whimsies

- 2008 Season
2008 Preseason Cavalcade
- 2007 Season
- 2006 Season

The C.O.W. airing of the grievances followed by the feats of strength
So what the heck actually happened this recruiting season that really mattered? How does all of this madness actually translate to the real world of college football? Trying to make sense of it all, here’s the impact, trends and nuggets following the 2009 Signing Day.

- Signing Day & Recruiting 2009 Stories, Trends & Tidbits

1. Colonel: “ Right, right, stop it. This film's got silly. Started off with a nice little idea about grannies attacking young men, but now it's got silly. This man's hair is too long for a vicar too. These signs are pretty badly made. Right, now for a complete change of mood.”

Once again, another Signing Day has come and gone, and once again, a lot of very silly people (myself included) made a very big deal about which children got manipulated and hoodwinked into going to which universities. It’s all a hypocritical lie.

We analyze these children (and I’ll keep using that word for emphasis) in terms of their physical skills and their potential to provide us with happiness and amusement on autumn Saturdays, and they eat it up … who wouldn’t? Why shouldn’t some kid with an overinflated ego want to stop the world and make an entire region of the country hold its collective breath to see what hat he puts on? Why wouldn’t someone want to milk the spotlight for all its worth, when all of us involved in this business ask for this to happen and need it to happen for our own self-serving purposes?

Oh sure, every coach will pay lip service about the importance of academics to recruits, the media, and mostly, the parents and guardians of these children. They have to. But these kids are given scholarships and then aren’t allowed to really use them to become students and learn because they have to spend most of their time in the weight room, practice, film study and handling all other aspects of being a top-shelf college football player. And then when they’re not doing those things, they’re in a fog from waking up early and going full-tilt all the time to deal with the football part of their lives. Yeah, yeah, I know, boo-hoo; who wouldn’t want a full ride to a major university to play football, with all the perks and extras that come with the territory? But let’s all stop pretending and admit that this time of year is all about feeding the athletic system that has nothing to do with the academic futures or interests of these kids, no matter what the coaches want to say.

It’s time to allow football to be a major, just like dance, music, drama, or other performance pursuits. If a kid with the proper skills wants to go to college to train to be a professional football player, how is that any less pie-in-the-sky than a kid wanting to go to college to try to become a multi-million dollar salaried CEO, an actor, or a philosopher? Maybe a kid wants to train to become a football coach, or a dumb college football writer? Most of the players signed this last Wednesday know exactly where they stand as far as their pro potential and will make the most out of their college experience, and if they don’t, they’ll figure it out in a real hurry. But if they want to shoot for the pros, and fall short, well, the world needs ditch-diggers, too. Welcome to the real world. It sucks for everyone right now.

But hypocrisy or not, recruiting isn’t going to go away, and we’re all going to follow it more intensely than ever year after year. With that in mind, here are the rules for all of us who follow the recruiting world.

If you like to follow the recruiting wars because of how they’ll affect the overall college football landscape, that’s fine (that’s how I justify covering all of this). If you want to follow them because of the trends of who’s hot and not in college football, that’s cool, too. But if you’re into recruiting only because you’re into the whims of these children, and you’ve mistaken a signing to your school with a win on the field and have attached your identity to this time of year, you need to reevaluate things all across the board. And if you’re one of those moronic pieces of scum who belittles a kid in any sort of mean-spirited way for not choosing your school, or heaven forbid, goes to your rival, because he feels its in his best interest to grow as a man, a student, and as a football player, then go into a room, start staring in the mirror, and don’t stop until you’re able to realize what you’ve become.

For good and bad, college football recruiting is here to stay. It’s all silly, and we as adults need to be the ones to remember that.

- Signing Day & Recruiting 2009 Stories, Trends & Tidbits