Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Randomness Talks Brewster's Recruiting

Grandpa Sid Hartman had an interesting tidbit in his column this week on Tim Brewster's hyped 2008 recruiting class.

The big question about the Gophers football team's highly ranked recruiting class is how many of the players haven't passed their entrance tests or don't have the credits to gain admission to the university. The scholarships given to recruits include money for enrolling in summer school. Some people, who should be in the know, report that coach Tim Brewster is not happy with some of the decisions that the school's admissions office could make. More than a couple of
the top recruits might not be admitted.
That's the first indication that Tim Brewster's top-20 national class might not be all he's spun it to be. On its face it is impressive that Brewster was able to lure as much talent as he did to Minnesota after a 1-11 season. But, as Papa Sid reports, this recruiting class might well take a step or two backward before the first game is played this fall.

I'm no expert on college football recruiting and on the kinds of things that are offered to these kids (like money for summer school), but it would seem to me that doing such a thing is a measure taken by a coaching staff or administration that values winning way too highly above academics. Didn't Brewster learn anything from the Harold Howell experiment? Every other college passed on Howell because of academics (and also probably because his football skills were poor) but Brewster bit at the opportunity to bring in an athlete despite academic issues. The result? Howell struggled on the field before being unceremoniously booted for academic reasons.

So, the question is who is this year's Howell?

*** So, the SEC is considering starting its own network. You didn't see much ranting here against the Big Ten Network, because living out in Northern Virginia and having DirecTV, I absolutely loved having it. I was able to watch every Gophers basketball game. How sweet that was.

But for the blog Coaches Hot Seat to opine about how grand the BTN was, well, they obviously weren't paying that close of attention. Basically, I'm nitpicking' here as much of the rest of the piece is spot on. But here's the' line that I couldn't help but add my two cents on.
Overall the Big Ten network programming is very well done, and the studio shows and play-by-play/color commentators are practically network/ESPN quality

Yeah, um, the production on the BTN, the commentators, the color analysts, the booth guys especially, were close to downright horrible. Gene Keady, while aesthetically pleasing, is not cutout to do booth work or color commentary. Gary DiNardo and Howard Griffith? I couldn't stand to watch them, and I don't think I was alone.

*** Highschoolhoops.com ranks Royce White as the #2 small forward in the 2009 recruiting class. Of the Minnesota commit, the Web site states: "White is one of those rare players who mixes superior talent with hustling. The Minnesota bound forward also finishes around the basket with ease." That sounds good to me.

*** If you weren't aware, Minnesota AD Joel Maturi seems to be a prospect to fill the same position at Notre Dame. Maturi has only stated (that I've seen) that he's happy at Minnesota. But one has to think an opportunity to go to his alma mater would be appealing. Goldhelmet.com did a rundown of ND AD candidates and listed the good and bad on Maturi. On the good side was his effective lobbying to get the football stadium passed and his hiring of the late Terry Hoeppner when Maturi was at Miami (Ohio). The bad? You guessed it, the "questionable" hiring of Tim Brewster.

7 comments:

Christopher G said...

I do follow recruiting closely through the Rivals site, so I'll share a little knowledge. It looks like some of this was to be expected. The class included 31 players who signed. The NCAA limit is 25 per year. Three JUCO players signed in December, so that counted against 2007's scholarship total. That leaves 28 players for 25 scholarships in 2008.

So I'm guessing Brewster knew that some were going to be risks when he oversigned and wanted to make sure he had a full class if some guys didn't qualify.

It's hard to read what Sid is getting at. He could just be referring to these three who won't be admitted, which is old news to those who follow recruiting. But the way he phrases it leads one to believe that there may be more than three who don't make it.

The other thing that he says is "top" recruits. Does this mean one or more of the highly regarded 4 star recruits won't make it? Or is it that Sid regards every Gopher recruit as a "top" recruit (the same way everybody is a "close, personal friend")?

Anyways, the speculation over on the Rivals premium message board is running rampant. Guys are digging through the U's Onestop site and looking up recruits' names. This is by no means any official way to see if somebody is registered and enrolled, but so far they are sweating it out because they can't find the names of Marqueis Gray, Jehwan Edwards, and Spencer Reeves and about 10 others. I guess we'll have to wait until fall to see what we really have.

PJS said...

Hey, Christopher, I saw some of that speculation, or investigation at GI.

While I tend to ignore Sid like everyone else, if there is one area where he actually provides decent reporting, it seems to be on the inner workings of the U.

That said, it would behoove the PR man Tim Brewsetr to find a way to end the speculation among the diehards as quickly as possible.

Christopher G said...

True true. But how does he do that? Obviously if he were put in front of a mic, he'd say that he expected everybody to make it. There's no way I expect him to let us know who will be here and who will not.

snyde043 said...

Since I'm one of those folks who is still out in the cold as far as BTN is concerned, I can't comment on the quality of the programming, but if given the choice of watching Gopher basketball with bad commentary vs. not being able to watch it, I'll take the bad commentary. If I can stand the Twins/Timberwolves commentary on FSN, I can probably handle the BTN.

I'm sure they'll eventually improve that when the growing budget from increasing subscribers allows. Don't suppose there's any news on how negotiations between BTN and Comcast are proceeding?

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