SMU Rejects A Couple Of Marginal Recruits And Everyone Throws A Hissy Fit

↵ UPDATE: Jones says he will sign his contract extension when it is approved by attorneys. ↵

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↵If college football was one big Rorschach test, the blot representing SMU would be identified "cheating" or "death penalty" 99% of the time, leaving one percent for "indirectly responsible for getting Mike Leach fired, the monsters." Since the school got the first and last death penalty in the aftermath of the Pony Express, they've been stuck in various non-BCS conferences watching their old SWC mates rack up national titles as they go 1-11 every year. ↵

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↵When June Jones defected from Hawaii, he changed that. Last year he went 8-5 and SMU won its first bowl game in 25 years. As a result, he's got sway and a fat contract extension just waiting for his signature. Jones's signin' hand remains holstered, though, as dissention creeps in: ↵

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↵⇥so disillusioned is Jones that he has yet to sign a contract extension offered to him last November. That extension, presented near the end of SMU's first successful season since 1984, was trumpeted in a press release indicating Jones would remain the Mustangs' head coach through 2014. But Jones not only has refused to sign the extension, he has also privately expressed doubt this summer about remaining on the Hilltop for the remainder of his initial five-year, $10 million deal. ↵⇥

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↵⇥"Everyone in the program is frustrated," says the source. "There's the thought of, 'If they want to go 1-10 every year fine, but they'll do it without us.'" ↵⇥

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↵Jones's disillusionment stems from the school's admissions committee, which only looks at players with SATs under 900 or GPAs under 2.5, rejecting two players from SMU's latest recruiting class. This is something new for the Mustangs: problems arising from exceeding NCAA minimums. At least they're trying. ↵

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↵The result is the contract hissy fit, an "irate group of fans" raising money for an attack ad in the Dallas Morning News unless a public apology was offered, and the above article, which appears in a Dallas alt-weekly and deploys the word "clusterf---." ↵

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↵Unfortunately, the article linked above is an unreliable guide to how big a deal these rejections are. It claims one of the stricken, California offensive tackle Darryl Jackson, "could have played almost anywhere, including LSU, Arizona, UCLA, Oregon and Texas Tech" but his Rivals profile shows no ranking and offers from just SMU and San Diego State. He didn't even sign until March 29th because no one offered him until after signing day. While that's orthogonal to the point being made, it does no favors for the credibility of the author. Nor does his use of "clusterf***." While it's fine for someone to have an opinion, the article poses itself like a news piece until you hit the parts at the end that are opinionated. It's a bit of a bait and switch. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, this SMU committee has seen 25 cases, approved 23, and is specifically tasked with figuring out whether or not there is a "reasonable chance of success" for the player in question. By this they mean he is 50-50 to graduate. The picture painted of the situation is a far from onerous one. At a university like SMU, it's probably for the best that they edge towards the stricter side of the ledger. History has its consequences. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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