Monday, November 19, 2012

"Stay Away from the Noise."

"Stay away from the noise." I read this comment made by the head football coach at Bishop Hartley High School. Brad Burchfield tells this to his football team all of the time. His team has been ranked number one in Division Four all season long. This week they play  in the state semi-finals.

So hard for young high school football players to avoid  reading about themselves in the media. When you are playing on one of the top teams in Ohio, the media coverage gets more intense. Not only in the larger cities, but small town newspapers and radio also blow-up their area teams. This happens on all levels of sports, but I see it in high school football, because that is where I focus. Honestly, as much as a coach tries to limit the over confidence that players gain from the media, it is really a hard hard to do.

I guess I see it more with internet media. Message boards can work both ways. The "noise" can "blow-up" a team, just as easily as it can "deflate" a team. I do not read JJ Huddle or Yappi, so I am not exactly familiar with what is said. I do see comments after stories on line. With newspaper coverage available on the internet, easier access to stories is available.

Recruiting websites who constantly offer opinions on a prospect's ability create alot of "noise." Recruiting reporters write stories on prospects. One problem - to make the stories more interesting, some reports do interviews, but also make up information just to catch the reader's eye. Ranking players brings readers to the recruiting sites. This creates more "noise."

With the regular season of college football winding down, football recruiting will be in full swing. Coaches will be pounding the pavement and will be "bumping" into prospects in the halls. Recruiting reporters will start being more aggressive over the phone. They need content. Plus many of the recruiting reporters have communicatuion lines with a certain college. That reporter gets some limited inside information from a college staff. Of course that same reporter gives the college contact information on what a prospect is saying.

Some free advice for the higher profile recruit. If you do not want anything released through internet media, do not tell anyone your plans. Telling a recruiting reporter not to say anything is a "joke." Case in point was a few weeks ago, a high profile "2014 recruit" told some writer his plans for announcing his verbal commitment later in the week. "Do not say anything." The information was on the internet before he hung up the phone. All of the pieces did not fall into place, and the recruit had to postpone his plans. The reporter who broke the news did not have all of the details and made the recruit look bad.

When Maty Mauk was being recruited by Notre Dame last year, some recruiting reporter from New Jersey who worked for a Notre Dame recruiting site kept calling both Maty and his dad about information. The reporter kept asking  them, if he could break the news first. Of course, the Mauks handled all of the "recruiting BS" the right way and did not tell anybody first.

Simply, try to stay away from all of the "noise." Whether you are a high profile recruit, or a high school player playing a contenting team, do not get caught up in all of the media hype. Easy for me to say, but, at least I say it. One would be surprised at the number of phone calls I get from disappointed players and parents over the dishonesty in football recruiting.

Because of the newness and the excitement of having a son involved in the football recruiting process, players, parents, and some high school coaches just become overwhelmed. Remember football recruiting is a business, sometimes an ugly business, for the college coach.  Save yourself alot of disappointment and frustration with the football recruiting process by trying to "stay away from the noise."

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