Gorman: Colleges fail to keep their word
TribLIVE Sports Videos
College football's coaching carousel wasn't the only cause for panic in Western Pennsylvania.
The connect-the-dots theory that followed Bret Bielema's leaving Wisconsin for Arkansas prompted paranoia by Pitt fans that Paul Chryst would return home and leave the Panthers looking for their sixth head coach in a two-year span.
Two WPIAL quarterbacks encountered a different kind of desperation upon learning that their Division I scholarship offers had disappeared.
McKeesport's Eddie Stockett had committed to Akron and Gateway's Thomas Woodson to Arizona last summer, only to find that the coaches who recruited them wouldn't keep their word.
Now is the time to remind you that verbal commitments are non-binding until prospects sign a national letter of intent in February.
But for all of the criticism directed at teenagers who waver on their college choices, it's time to point the finger at coaches who break their word as easily as they do long-term contracts.
Where Chryst offered college football a breath of fresh air by not pursuing a chance to return to his hometown and alma mater, the moves by Akron and Arizona exposed its underbelly.
Quarterback, in particular, is the one position where scholarships are limited because teams tend to take only one per recruiting class. To have an offer pulled this late, when most schools have filled their needs, leaves limited opportunities for players on the Division I bubble.
“It's definitely hard to get recruited as a quarterback,” Stockett said. “Not everyone knows that it's hard to get a scholarship offer as a quarterback. Me and Tommy were under the radar, and that's why people didn't pull the trigger on us. We weren't a threat because we didn't have any other offers.”
Where Stockett said his break with Akron was mutual, Gateway coach Terry Smith was disgusted that Arizona waited until December to pull its offer and didn't give Woodson the courtesy of a phone call.
Not surprisingly, Akron offered Woodson. Now, Stockett needs to find a new home.
If there is one positive product of the coaching carousel, it's that there are coaches at new schools looking for a quarterback.
“That's the thing I'm anticipating to see for both Woodson and Stockett,” Smith said. “How the trickle-down effect happens, and they start jockeying for position on a quarterback.”
They would be wise to get their next offer in writing.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Time for bold change,’ Wolf says in outlining $30B budget that restructures taxes
- Lawrenceville man charged with rape, child pornography and 27 other sexual offenses
- Dormont manager resigns to sidestep firing
- Spirit Airlines to add daily flights from Latrobe to Chicago O’Hare
- Cal U fraternity president cited after police arrest 7 in weekend brawl
- Starkey: Penguins not mortgaging future
- Wilkinsburg father ordered to have no contact with daughter or her grandmother
- Indiana Township man held without bail on drug paraphernalia charges
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Pennsylvania banks 1.1% more from casino slots in February
- Penguins acquire defensemen Lovejoy, Cole in deadline deals