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Gorman: Time to redefine the word 'commitment'

| Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, 10:31 p.m.

Now that signing day is over, this seems an appropriate time to discuss a certain word with the top WPIAL football prospects from the Class of 2014:

Com-mit: (ke-mit) vt. -mit'ted, -mit'ting 1 to give in charge; consign 2 to put in custody or confinement 3 to do or perpetrate 4 to bind, as by a promise; pledge.

It seems your predecessors from the Class of 2013 had problems comprehending the definition, particularly when it came to the promise part of choosing a college.

Montour's Matt Barone and Tyler Haddock picked Connecticut and Kent State, respectively, before turning to Temple; South Fayette's Zach Challingsworth traded Toledo for Pitt; Belle Vernon's Dorian Johnson picked Pitt after pledging to Penn State before it drew NCAA sanctions; and North Allegheny's Mack Leftwich switched from Stephen F. Austin to UTEP.

Of course, it wasn't always the player changing his mind. Clairton's Terrish Webb kicked Kent State to the curb for Pitt after coach Darrell Hazell left for Purdue, while Gateway's Thomas Woodson signed with Akron after being abandoned by Arizona.

Where some columnists would rip for you doing this, I'm here to help.

You can thank me later.

Rather than concentrating on whether you're keeping your commitment, we will simply redefine the term when it comes to the recruiting process. That will eliminate headaches for you, the recruit, and those of us who cover recruiting.

When it comes time to choose a college, don't make a “commitment.”

Just read this statement:

I, (insert name here), am accepting a scholarship to play football at the University of (insert school here), on the condition that:

1) Head coach (insert name here) does not leave for the NFL or another university, thereby leaving me without a full scholarship;

2) Assistant coach (insert name here) does not leave for the NFL or another university, thereby leaving me without my position coach;

3) Head coach does not sign a higher-ranked player at my position in the same class;

4) The university is not placed on NCAA probation, thereby preventing me from playing in a bowl game;

5) Another university competes in a more prestigious conference does not offer me a scholarship;

6) All parties agree that I still might take more official visits to other schools;

7) My mother doesn't steal my national letter of intent.

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