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Naim Mustafaa disappointed a lot of Georgia Tech fans when he made the decision to select the Georgia Bulldogs over his father’s alma mater. However, at the time, Mustafaa felt more comfortable with the coaching staff—particularly Todd Grantham—at Georgia and…
You know the story already, right? The nations No. 1 defensive end, Robert Nkemdiche, allegedly told the Clemson coaches that if they offer a scholarship to Ryan Carter—another one of his Grayson teammates—then his commitment to them would be a “done deal”. Well, a myriad of writers, analysts, fans, and bloggers weighed in on the matter last week and most of them said kudos to Nkemdiche for challenging a system that normally makes a living screwing prospects like him.
Well, at least one writer is not loving the idea of a kid having this much power and, quite frankly, he thinks it stinks some kind of awful that the NCAA isn’t stepping in and bringing an end to this madness altogether:
…(This is where we enter that murky territory of package deals, whether it’s a school signing a recruit’s buddy or hiring a recruit’s father. It happens. All the time. It happens because schools are sleazy and the NCAA is lazy. But it seems a fairly clear violation of NCAA rules, a violation the NCAA hasn’t found a way to stop or even penalize. Boggles my mind, but that’s where we are on that point. And don’t give me, “Lots of people do it, so it’s OK.” Lots of people cheat the IRS. Lots of people drink and drive. Lots of people get away with lots of things. That doesn’t make those things OK.)…
…Because college football is a cesspool, it’s OK that Nkemdiche is pumping more sludge into the deep end? Nonsensical. Bizarro. But I’m in the minority. Feldman, Staples, John Walters of The Daily — smart folks are in favor of Nkemdiche’s scummy request. They see nothing wrong with a recruit using his NFL-level potential to muscle Clemson into giving $37,000 in goods and services to a Tulane-level buddy.
This is where we are in college sports: It’s hopelessly dirty, so let’s play in the mud!
Your move, Clemson. Nkemdiche and (name redacted) are waiting. The world is watching. The cesspool is beckoning. You’re already in the cesspool — but how deep do you want to go? (Gregg Doyel, “Blue-chippers scholarship proposal to Clemson isn’t noble, it’s indecent, CBSSports.com, 7/9/12)
Whether you agree with what Doyel is saying or not, you have to admit he has a point. Despite the fact that Nkemdiche has since changed his tune about his so-called “request”, you wonder how murky the NCAA will allow the waters to get before they stop allowing the okie-doke (package deals and what-not) to take place right under their nose?
(Don’t kid yourself, the NCAA knows what’s happening, they just aren’t developing a way to do anything about it because they’re far too busy figuring out how they can also benefit from such deals monetarily).
For all the talent Nkemdiche has, and he certainly has a ton of it, college programs recruit players not only based on skill, but on fit. The general public might say, listen, what’t the harm in bringing in more Division I players? The answer is there’s nothing wrong with it, but what’s the point of bringing in a kid who will essentially take up space on your roster because he 1) can’t play at the D-I level or 2) doesn’t fit your offensive or defensive scheme?
Yes, all schools are guilty of doing this (even the one I pledge my undying allegiance to), but that doesn’t mean it’s right. Coaches do what they feel they must in order to net a winning result but, in Nkemdiche’s case, a five-for-one seems a bit excessive no matter how good he is. I mean good grief, before it’s all said and done, Mickey Conn might be on the coaching staff at Clemson just to keep Nkemdiche happy—just saying.
In Nkemdiche’s defense, however, he was just being honest. He was asked a question and he gave an answer—no cloak and dagger nonsense—just straight up real. You have to respect him for that, even if you don’t like what he had to say.
That said, the problem really shouldn’t be about Nkemdiche’s request, but rather the system that allows it—and other situations like it—to happen. If anything, point the finger squarely at the NCAA’s lack of oversight and leave Nkemdiche alone.