football

Sanctions arent scaring away top recruits

Tyriqmccordjersey200
ConventionalwisdomsuggestedtheannouncementofNCAAsanctionslastweekwouldcauseNorthCarolina'scommittedprospectstorethinktheirdecision.
Ithasn'thappened.
NotonlyhasNorthCarolinanotlostanyrecruitssincereceivingpenaltiesthatincludedaone-yearbowlban,theTarHeelsactuallygainedacouple.Suwanee(Ga.)NorthGwinnettall-purposeathleteDonnieMilesandCharlotteMallardCreekcornerbackBrianWalkercommittedtotheTarHeelsoverthelastfewdays.
"[Thesanctions]didn'taffectmydecisionatall,"MilestoldTarHeelIllustrated.com."Ihateditfortheseniors.Theycan'tgotoabowlgame.Buteverythingwillbefine."
Thelackofanyshort-termdamagetoNorthCarolina'srecruitingclassaftergettingplacedonthreeyears'probationshouldn'thavecomeasmuchofasurprise.Afterall,threescandal-riddenprogramsfinishedinthetop10ofthe2012teamrecruitingrankings.
USCcontinuedtoattractblue-chipprospectswhileenduringatwo-yearbowlbanandplacedeighthintheRivals.comteamrecruitingrankingsfor2012,thefirstofthreeyearsinwhichtheTrojansarelimitedto15scholarshipsaspartoftheirpenalty.
OhioStaterankedfourthintherankingsdespitegettinghitwithaone-yearbowlban.FinishingninthwasMiami,aprogramunderinvestigationandfacingthepossibilityofsanctions.
"Withthebigbrand-nameschools,itcertainlycanmakeakidpause,butIdon'tthinkitwilldrivethemaway,"Rivals.comnationalrecruitinganalystMikeFarrellsaid.
Butthatdoesn'tmeanNorthCarolinafansshouldexhalejustyet.
FarrellbelievesOhioState,USCandMiamicanwithstandthiskindofsetbackbecauseeachfitshisdefinitionofabrand-nameprogram.Hedoesn'tputNorthCarolinainthesamecategory.
NorthCarolinaalreadytookahitinrecruitinglastyearwhilewaitingfortheimpendingsanctionsandplayingaseasonwithinterimcoachEverettWithersfollowingthefiringofButchDavis.TheTarHeels'2012recruitingclassplacedseventhintheACCand44thnationally,asharpdeclineforateamthathadrankedninthin2009,29thin2010and16thin2011.
TheTarHeelshavesixcommitmentsfortheClassof2013.Albermarle(N.C.)HighoffensivetackleR.J.PrinceandWalkerarethetwofour-starprospectsinthegroup.
ButFarrellsaidhefeltabuzzsurroundingNorthCarolinaamongin-stateandsouthernrecruitsduringtheDaviserathatnowseemstobemissing.HewondersifNorthCarolinawillfeelanimpactsimilartotherecruitingslumpKentuckyfacedaftergettingplacedonthreeyears'probationin2002.
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"IrememberwhenKentuckywentonprobationforfootball,kidsshiedawaylikecrazy,"Farrellsaid."That'sabasketballschool.Thefootballschools-thepowers-canovercomesomethinglikethis.That'swhyIthinkNorthCarolinaisgoingtostruggle,becausethey'reabasketballschoolaswell."
NorthCarolinawouldlovetowithstanditssanctionsaswellasOhioStatehasrespondedthusfartoitsownpenalties.
SevenplayersfromOhioState's25-man2012signingclasscommittedaftertheDec.20announcementofsanctionsthatincludedaone-yearbowlbanandthelossofninescholarshipsoverathree-yearstretch.Sixofthosesevenrecruitswerefour-starprospects.
SouthBend(Ind.)WashingtonathleteandRivals250prospectDavidPerkinsindicatedonlyathree-yearbowlbanlikelywouldhavepreventedhimfromsigningwiththeBuckeyes.
"Really,thesanctionsatOhioState,theyweren'tthatbad,"Perkinssaid."Everyonewasexpectingsomeprettybigthingstocomedownonthem,butit'saone-yearbowlbanandacoupleofscholarshiplosses.That'snotthatbad.Itdoesn'taffectpeoplewhoarecominginthenextclassasmuchasitwouldaseniororjunior."
OhioStatealreadyhascommitmentsfromfiveofthenation'stop130recruitsfortheClassof2013,includingfive-starcornerbackCameronBurrowsofTrotwood(Ohio)Madison.Ofcourse,those2013recruitswon'tbeaffectedbyaone-yearbowlbanthattakeseffectin2012.
WhiletheannouncementofsanctionsatleastgaveOhioStateandNorthCarolinasomesenseofclosure,Miamistillfacesthefearoftheunknown.Miamiwasbowleligiblelastseasonbutchosenottoacceptapostseasonbidaspartofitsself-imposedpenaltiesasithopesforleniencyfromtheNCAA.
ButtheHurricanesarestillawaitinganannouncementonsanctions.EventhoughSouthPlantation(Fla.)runningbackAlexCollinshasverballycommittedtoMiami,the2013prospectsaidtheNCAAsituationconcernshim.
"Istilldon'tknowwhat'sgoingtohappen,"Collinssaid."Iwouldhatetobepunishedforit.BythetimeIcomethere,thesanctionswouldjustbebeginningtotakeplace."
Collinsnotedthatharshpenaltiescouldcausehimtorethinkhisdecisionbecausehedoesn'twanttogetpunishedforsomethinghedidn'tdo.ButhestillwentaheadandcommittedtoMiamibecausehewantedtoplayclosetohomeandhesensedtheHurricanesareonthevergeofgettingbacktochampionshipcontention.
"There'sgoingtobeatimewhentheygetbackontheirfeet,"Collinssaid."Ithinknow'sthetimeforthem."
That'sthanksinparttoa2012classthatincluded33players.AbouthalfofthemcommittedafteraYahoo!SportsreportdetailedallegationsthatrenegadeboosterNevinShapirohadgivenoutimproperbenefitstoMiamiplayers,areportthatledtotheNCAAinvestigation.
ThoseplayersrealizedMiamiwasfacinganuncertainfuture.TheyknewtherewasapossibilityMiamicouldgethitwithpenaltiesthatmightincludeabowlban.SowhydidtheychooseMiamioverprogramsthatweren'tunderanNCAAinvestigation?
Tampa(Fla.)JeffersondefensiveendTyriqMcCordunderstandsthequestions.Heinitiallyhadsimilarconcerns.
McCord,theNo.92recruitinthe2012class,visitedMiamilastsummerandreportedlycalledtheschoola"perfectfit"atthetime.Almostassoonashegotbackhome,newsbrokeabouttheShapirocharges.Atthatpoint,McCordcrossedMiamioffhislist.
ThenhedecidedtoreconsidertheHurricanes.
"Ihadtorealizethesanctionsweren'treallywhatit'sabout,"McCordsaid."It'saboutmyeducationfirstandforemost."
McCordrememberedthathehadfalleninlovewithMiamiwhenhevisitedthecampus.McCordeventuallywantstobecomeasportscaster,andhereallylikedMiami'sbroadcastcommunicationsdepartment.
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ClickHeretoviewthisLink.HeultimatelydecidedMiami'sadvantagesoutweighedthedisadvantages.EvenifMiamigetshitwithabowlban,McCordsayshewouldn'tregrethischoice.
"Itwouldbediscouraging,"McCordsaid."Ireallywouldlovetoplayinabowlgamebecausethat'swhatweallwanttoplayfor.Wewanttoplayforchampionships.ButultimatelyI'llbedowntherewithpeopleIlove,peopleIwanttobewith,andmycoachesareverysupportivethroughoutthewholeprocess.Itrustthemand'TheU'familyaroundthenation.
"I'msurroundedandguidedbypeoplewholoveme,andIlovethemback.Ifeelverycomfortableattheendoftheday,whetherI'mabletobeinabowlgamethisyearornot."
Plentyofotherprospectsacrossthecountryaretakingsimilarleapsoffaith.
SteveMegargeeisthenationalcollegecolumnistforRivals.com.Hecanbereachedatsmegargee@rivals.com,andyoucanclickheretofollowhimonTwitter.
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