Not only do coaches have to recruit against other schools, but in the internet age, they may now have to recruit against their own fans as well.
That's what Dabo Swinney and company will have to do for Robert Nkemdiche, because Nkemdiche's mother saw nasty comments directed at her on a popular Clemson message board following her son's decommitment from the Tigers. This, per the AJC's Michael Carvell.
I'm told Robert Nkemdiche's mother read all the nasty comments on TigerIllustrated after last week's #Clemson de-commit— Michael Carvell (@RecruitingAJC) November 13, 2012
Nkemdiche's mom never said 1 negative thing about Clemson. Not 1. The personal attacks on her are a disgrace— Michael Carvell (@RecruitingAJC) November 13, 2012
Colleges that recruit against Clemson will print out those message boards & say "Look what those fans say about a kid's mom"— Michael Carvell (@RecruitingAJC) November 13, 2012
I know of at least one school that already did.— Michael Carvell (@RecruitingAJC) November 13, 2012
Saying nasty things about a recruit's mother is probably not the best way to get him back in the fold. And particularly not when that mother has already come out and said that she wants her son to play with her other son at Ole Miss.
This whole episode brings up a host of other questions, however.
How does anyone know whether the person posting the real messages is a Clemson fan?
Couldn't a fan of Ole Miss, or rival South Carolina, register a username and post hateful messages. Of course they could. And they could even send it to opposing coaches and the recruit's mother.
To be clear, the vast majority of college football fans do not closely follow recruiting. And even fewer comment on the subject. And of those, most do not post ridiculous messages trashing a recruit or his family for his college decision.
But as in many areas of life, so too in recruiting can a vocal minority tarnish an image. There's no doubt, as Carvell notes, that opposing coaching staffs will use things like this in negative recruiting.
There doesn't seem to be a good way to stop the behavior, either.
How would you handle this as a coach? As a parent?
While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s YouTube channel: