PDA

View Full Version : Pat Forde, "The Five People You Meet in Recruiting Hell."



ZagNative
05-06-2009, 08:10 AM
Pat Forde posts a highly entertaining story about the recruiting trail of Renardo Sidney on ESPN.com (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=forde_pat&id=4141859&sportCat=ncb). For those here who lament the dearth of five-star recruits in the Zags recruiting stash ...

And after reading this latest story of sketchiness on the recruiting trail, it became obvious there are certain recurring themes here. Or at least recurring characters. Thus, with apologies to Albom, we have "The Five People You Meet in Recruiting Hell."

They are:

No. 1: The Shoe Rep

In this case, reps. Plural. Past and present. We have the godfather of the shoe-rep-as-power-broker movement, Sonny Vaccaro. And we have current Reebok rep Chris Rivers.

Vaccaro is now out of the shoe game but hardly without influence in the basketball world, as evidenced by his role in helping San Diego high school junior Jeremy Tyler recently decide to play pro ball in Europe. Vaccaro helped move Sidney and his family from Mississippi to Los Angeles in summer 2006. By his own admission, Vaccaro helped bankroll the move.
No. 2: The Sketchy AAU Coach

Before his dad got his own team, Sidney played his AAU ball in 2007 for Pat Barrett, a nostalgic name on the scammer circuit.

Barrett became nationally known way back in 1990, when Alexander Wolff and Armen Keteyian wrote "Raw Recruits," a seminal book on the seamy recruiting practices in college basketball. In that book, no less honorable a coach than Jerry Tarkanian called Barrett "the biggest whore I ever met" for trying to ride the coattails of a hot prospect named Tom Lewis to a coaching job. And Tark wasn't the only one taking shots at Barrett over the recruitment of Lewis.

"Pat wanted a job, but he didn't want to show up," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told Wolff and Keteyian.

More recently, Yahoo! reported that Barrett received $250,000 from a sports agency, Ceruzzi Sports and Entertainment, for his help in signing Kevin Love as a client.

Always nice to see an AAU guy with staying power, isn't it?
No. 3: The Family Representative

Nobody speaks for themselves anymore when recruiting gets controversial. Instead, they go find a mouthpiece.

Say hello to Montgomery, Ala., attorney Donald Jackson, another veteran of recruiting controversies past. He says he's been retained by the Sidneys as their lawyer. And he has plenty else to say.
No. 4: The Crisis Interventionist

Mississippi State has retained the superstar attorney of NCAA troubleshooting, Mike Glazier, a veteran university counsel in many scandals and investigations (see Oklahoma, Louisville and Villanova, among others). You know that when Glazier's name shows up, the situation has the potential to get hairy.
No. 5: The Coach Who Signs on For Controversy

A couple of years ago, that coach was Tim Floyd, who landed Sidney's predecessor in the youth basketball entitlement era, O.J. Mayo. After one year at USC, Mayo left behind an ongoing NCAA investigation and zero NCAA tournament wins.

Now, Rick Stansbury has stepped into the kitchen by signing Sidney. Stansbury has never been charged with or found guilty of any NCAA violations in 10 years on the job in Starkville -- but he has rankled his peers on occasion by swooping in seemingly out of left field to sign players.

State certainly came out of left field here, and in doing so, Stansbury has assured himself of heightened NCAA scrutiny. It will start the minute Sidney arrives on campus, if not earlier. The eligibility dance alone will be fascinating.

BobZag
05-06-2009, 08:43 AM
There is a seedy, seamy underbelly to much of AAU ball. It's sad. A true black eye on college basketball.

Das Zagger
05-06-2009, 09:38 AM
I know it's pretty much out of their reach but I'm surprised the NCAA doesn't intervene more in things like these. I know they have a significant amount of power which couldn't hurt.

lothar98zag
05-06-2009, 09:53 AM
There is a seedy, seamy underbelly to much of AAU ball. It's sad. A true black eye on basketball.
fixed.

GoZags
05-06-2009, 10:44 AM
There's also a good side of AAU ball, as exemplified by my friend, Jim Marsh (Coach of Friends of Hoop). He puts his heart and his soul into working with his kids -- and he's been very successful. Here's a recent story about Jim.

http://www.seattlepi.com/cbasketball/396734_where20.html

bballbeachbum
05-06-2009, 10:51 AM
watching Sidney in those recent all star games, he looked a 1/2 step slow, even unfocused? anyway, he's got that size and talent for sure, but he did not look good and showed what I'd call bad habits...or maybe he had other things weighing on his mind?

ZagNative
05-06-2009, 10:59 AM
Thaks, GoZags. That's a great story.

75Zag
05-06-2009, 01:14 PM
I would never accuse the entire AAU system of being corrupt, but at the elite level with some of these kids, it is both fascinating and depressing to watch the interaction between the kids and their coaches, business advisers (for a 13 year old kid???), "posse", etc. as well as members of the public and press. A super premium kid headed for a one-and-done NCAA program and the NBA is worth a hell of a lot of money to all concerned, and everybody seems to be guarding their investment very carefully.

On the other hand, it is a heck of a lot of fun to watch these kids play against each other before they get to the NBA. Only about 5 weeks to the Rose City Showcase. Check it out at http://rosecityshowcase.net/index.cfm

LynetteG
05-06-2009, 05:22 PM
watching Sidney in those recent all star games, he looked a 1/2 step slow, even unfocused? anyway, he's got that size and talent for sure, but he did not look good and showed what I'd call bad habits...or maybe he had other things weighing on his mind?
and this kid was ranked #1. perhaps his connections made connections to those in charge of rankings....??

bballbeachbum
05-07-2009, 08:03 AM
and this kid was ranked #1. perhaps his connections made connections to those in charge of rankings....??

good point, hadn't considered it, but now that you mention it, sure makes sense to me; why would the grease not include those making the rankings?

btw, is that JP dunking in your avatar Lynette? didn't know he could :D but seriously, can't really see the face...who is that?

GO TEAM ZAGS!!!

a13coach
05-07-2009, 08:55 AM
good point, hadn't considered it, but now that you mention it, sure makes sense to me; why would the grease not include those making the rankings?

btw, is that JP dunking in your avatar Lynette? didn't know he could :D but seriously, can't really see the face...who is that?

GO TEAM ZAGS!!!

I would bet that it is Jordan Morgan.

LynetteG
05-07-2009, 04:37 PM
I would bet that it is Jordan Morgan.

ding, ding, ding! You win the prize! :)

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c374/lynettelk/Jordandunk.jpg

bballbeachbum
05-08-2009, 04:05 PM
Michigan, that's right ;) nice pic

vandalzag
05-08-2009, 04:09 PM
Lynette,
Is Jordan still playing baseball?