I’m still afraid to visit TigerNet as I fear that Clemson Football Hissyfit Time®, CFHT®, has yet to end.
Now that some time has passed and more information has come to light, I’m willing to speak.
First, Clemson’s most vocal fans are hysterical dumbasses. Second, Mickey Plyler made the situation worse with his “facts” on the situation. While they may have been true, they left obvious gaps that pointed blame either at the football program (i.e. Tommy Bowden) or at the athletic department, not the AARC or President Barker which he so obviously wanted to blame. Third, I’m sick of this “uneven playing field” argument.
1.) Visit TigerNet or read DFIG’s Dumb Shit on TigerNet series.
2.) Plyler made it very opaque that the AARC performed initial reviews and appeals in a timely manner when possible. The initial reviews were done early enough that some of the denied players are already enrolled at other universities. Others had their appeals approved in time for signing day. One player’s appeal, that of Dwight Jones, was denied at the last minute. Was that the AARC’s fault? Probably not. “Phillips admitted that one recent denial could have been made easier had the athletic department filed a more timely appeal, but didn’t name the athlete.” Yeah, someone in the athletic department screwed up. That screw up was the driving force behind the whole brouhaha.
3.) Give me a break on the “uneven playing field argument.” First off, the AARC isn’t banning every dumbass who can play ball. At a time when bad graduation rates (a problem we don’t have, yet) can cost you scholarships, being selective is a pretty damn good risk-management policy. Being more selective than minimum requirements may cost us a recruit here and there, but it is probably not any worse than losing scholarships down the line. You have to place a limit on the number of questionable students or run excess risk of having problems in the future. Given that the recruiting class was still top-20, I have no problem.
The playing field is wonderfully uneven. (Watch NASCAR, a sport where the governing body has gone to extremes to make the playing field level. Talent is not so nearly as important as luck.) Any team can adjust their priorities with respect to any aspect of their program in the hopes of maximizing performance. Perhaps we have hindered ourselves a little bit (I must emphasize that this truly remains to be seen), but Clemson has many other ways to elevate itself. The campus, the stadium, the sane-parts of the fan-base all create an uneven playing field. Competing has nothing to do with some imagined “level playing field” and lowering yourself to common standards is typically far from the best approach for success.
And let me wrap up here with a final point. A lot of hoopla revolves around the fact that some of those denied by the AARC have LOIs at fine schools like Notre Dame and UNC. Good for them, I wish them the best. I operate under the assumption that each team has some quota for
dumbasses players with questionable potential for academic success. Clemson’s football team probably met that quota, which meant losing some prospects. On the other hand, the other schools may have been below quota. They had the room to take a risk on a guy. That’s how it goes. Football, like life, is a game of tradeoffs. Everyone participating in CFHT® is focusing on the seen losses instead of the unseen benefits. I would venture to guess that the CFHT® dumbassery is a much bigger detriment to the Clemson football program than the AARC. Free speech is a bitch, isn’t it?