SEC Derides Franklin, Penn State's Smart Recruiting Tactic

By Kyle Rowland on May 30, 2014 at 8:30a
57 Comments

It’s late-May, but the Big Ten and SEC are in midseason form. The two conferences, forever at each other’s throat, are currently griping about rules surrounding camps. James Franklin is playing the role of protagonist. Since his days at Vanderbilt, he’s been an antagonist for SEC coaches.

Nothing is changing at Penn State.

In June, Franklin will return to SEC territory when Penn State coaches offer instruction at camps hosted by Georgia State in Atlanta and Stetson in Deland, Fla. Rule 13.12.1.2 limits programs from running high school camps more than 50 miles from campus. But loopholes exist, and Franklin found one.

Coaches are allowed to work at camps outside the 50-mile radius, which led to the southern swing. Consider the SEC coaches annoyed. The land of oversigning is not happy to have outside visitors spying on its prospects. Evaluating film is one thing, but in-person coaching is worrisome for the Sabans, Miles and Muschamps.

“I want you to know that it’s not the right thing,” LSU coach Les Miles said. 

The SEC is hamstrung by conference guidelines that state coaches can’t be guest instructors more than 50 miles from campus. Its coaches have pleaded with commissioner Mike Slive to try and limit Penn State’s movements around the fertile recruiting ground that apparently is for the SEC and no one else.

Ohio State director of player personnel Mark Pantoni said the Buckeyes were discussing the possibility of attending out-of-state camps in the future.

But Penn State isn’t the only program smartly reaching out to schools in different footprints. Oklahoma State’s coaches will be present at camps in Texas and Iowa State will do the same in Chicago. Ohio State director of player personnel Mark Pantoni told Eleven Warriors the Buckeyes were discussing the possibility of attending out-of-state camps in the future.

According to media reports, Notre Dame is already in discussions with Georgia State about next summer’s camp.

Franklin’s bold move is a masterstroke. There’s a psychological ploy and a strategic move to establish inroads where Penn State hasn’t drawn many recruits. Urban Meyer famously urged fellow Big Ten coaches to expand their courtship skills. Franklin wasn’t in the league when the comments were made, as if it matters.

In four months of the job, he’s lifted Penn State to No. 2 in Rivals.com’s recruiting rankings, a class that includes 11 four-stars.

“The Big Ten and NCAA rules allow you to do these things,” Franklin recently told a group of Penn State supporters in King of Prussia, Pa. “We wanted to not only have camps on our campus, which we’re going to have a bunch of them, but also be able to maybe take the Penn State brand and be able to take it to part of the country that maybe young men and families wouldn’t be able to make it to our place, take it to them. 

“And I’m fired up about it.”

So are SEC athletic directors. Ross Bjork of Ole Miss called it “a competitive disadvantage.” Naturally, he wants to discuss the rule’s fairness. Understandably, too. For seven years, the SEC had a monopoly on national championships. They were won with players from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, etc.

Now, the big, bad Big Ten is encroaching on their God-given territory.

Ole Miss head coach Huge Freeze wants to see an end to it. As does Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen. And Slive, of course.

“I wish it was a national rule,” Freeze said at the SEC’s summer meetings in Destin, Fla. “I don’t particularly want another school in a BCS conference coming into our state and running a camp. So we would like to see our rule be a national rule. I‘d love to see it be the same.”

It will only happen if the NCAA steps in at the SEC’s urging, because the Big Ten won’t be blocking a path that could bridge the gap between the rival conferences. Franklin admitted that he sees the Georgia and Florida camps as a prized recruiting tactic.  

Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said every SEC coach would be in a different state instructing at a camp if the rules permitted. After all, recruiting is a nationwide chore. Imagine Saban in Ohio, Miles in Los Angeles and Muschamp in Texas.

“It would be beneficial for everybody, if everybody could do that, or nobody should do it,” Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “There shouldn’t be any loopholes or anything else like that. The intent of the rule was to keep an institution’s camp on the institution’s campus, and now that’s not the case.”

Said Franklin: “We’re going to go wherever we have to go to find players. We’re going to read the rules and understand the rules, and, like you guys have heard me say before, it’s not like we’re going to lack for enthusiasm or lack for work ethic. We’ll go wherever we got to go.”

Meanwhile, the SEC will stay at home. But is it such a bad thing? The league has eight of the top 15 classes in the country and 13 of the top 30.

The lone outlier: Vanderbilt, at No. 72, Franklin’s old school.

57 Comments

Comments

Knarcisi's picture

Maybe the SEC needs reminded that recruiting is a national thing.  It's also competitive ... maybe Bert is rubbing off on them.  I live in SC.  I swear, many are still fighting the war down here.  SECede !

+9 HS
osu407's picture

I wish we could schedule one or two this summer before the sec just relaxes their rules or created their own loopholes. 

Burnsy's picture

Slive will get the rules changed quickly for sure so SEC coaches don't have to worry about having any type of disadvantage. Between Les Miles, Bert Bielima, and Nick Saban those guys whine more than any other coaches when they feel they have a disadvantage weather it is within the rules or not. Makes me enjoy the coaches like Urban Meyer, James Franklin and of course the old ball coach Steve Spurrier. 

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

I wish the Ol' Ball Coach was coaching the B1G. I know people love to hate on him, but I'm a fan.

+5 HS
Burnsy's picture

Spurrier is the man. He's unapologetic for all of his politically incorrect rantings and I for one love that. 

+3 HS
AndyVance's picture

Me too. Any guy who's willing to more or less call the #1 draft pick a lazy bum is my kind of guy. Reminds me of a Souther-fried version of Mickey from the Rocky movies in that regard.

+1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Between Les Miles, Bert Bielima, and Nick Saban those guys whine more than any other coaches when they feel they have a disadvantage weather it is within the rules or not.

 

+2 HS
Klytus21's picture

I'm no fan of Franklin.  I think he's overrated as a coach and that will show on the field.  But, gotta love that he's pissing off those cry babies.

NJBuck

+9 HS
jpbuckeye's picture

His recruiting momentum was putting a knot in my shorts. This action makes me feel like I am going commando again.

+3 HS
Hovenaut's picture

I didn't need a reason to dislike that conference any more than I do, but appreciate you giving the extra effort SEC.

"Success...it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes

+7 HS
hetuck's picture

No one complained when Alabama paid a high school coach from Ohio double the going rate to coach at an Alabama camp (hint: he got his player) or when they ignored the Orange Bowl established practice site to prepare at a high school of prospects and paid a six-figure check for the bother (hint: he got the players.)

That said, this is the next round of the nuclear recruiting race and it should be all or none. I think it should be the latter. The SEC is upset the tables are turned for a change. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

+16 HS
IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

I needed that laugh, thanks! LMAO

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

DefenceWinsChampionships's picture

I feel like this should read "Mmmmm, butthurt I sense"

+7 HS
AndyVance's picture

Bingo - a Yoda meme should at least have text in Yoda syntax...

+2 HS
gumtape's picture

Fix it, I will.

 

 

just another psycho, irrational, delusional Ohio St fan

+7 HS
Bucksfan's picture

"Nothing is changing at Penn State."

 

+13 HS
Groveport Heisman's picture

One of the best memes Ive ever seen. Whoever DVed this is obviously a flaming child molester.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

-1 HS
Patriot4098's picture

I DV'd it. And I did so because it is wrong. Not a child molester. And the PSU fans don't blame the victims.

"Evil shenanigans!"     - Mac

-1 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

I DV'd it. And I did so because it is wrong. Not a child molester. And the PSU fans don't blame the victims...

...or whatever they want to say.

I've seen far too many PSU fans accuse the victims of making it up in order to seek attention or chase paydays to take your claim seriously.

+2 HS
Bucksfan's picture

If I ever worried about down votes, I'd never post so much funny shit.

@OSUDefender's picture

I would love to see further detail about this practice vs. oversigning and why camps are getting all this attention while the mainstream media mostly refuses to acknowledge the competitive advantage created by oversigning.

+6 HS
Catch 5's picture

Wait, I want to make sure I have this right.  Ohio State fans are all on board with, and enthusiastic about a coach who is utilizing a loophole to gain a recruiting advantage over an entire conference whose conference rules prohibit them from doing the same?  Well, I've now seen it all.

/makesmentalnoteoftimeanddate

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

-7 HS
CincyOSU's picture

Look, I'll be the first to point out the hypocrisy of certain sects of OSU's fanbase...but what Franklin is doing is not even close to being the same thing as the rampant oversigning we saw in the SEC the past decade. Signing as many players as you can, then directing the one's who don't qualify academically or aren't going to be immediate contributors to "feeder" juco's is a FAR greater advantage that getting your face in front of recruits at a camp. Trying to compare the two is asinine.

 

+5 HS
Catch 5's picture

I don't disagree, and I made no attempt to equate the two.  I was just taking a friendly dig at one of the more common oversigning complaints.  If you are against it because it is "unfair" that the B10 can't do it*, then you should be sympathetic toward the SEC coach's complaints as well.  I don't know that I would label it as harsh as hypocrisy as much as blind fandom - where you are for what your team comes out for and against what rivals are for.  But if I had to choose, I'd take the advantage of having a full roster (that's where oversigning really has an advantage) over spending a week in foreign territory once a summer, absolutely.

*The B10 really only restricts how many players a team can greyshirt.  Oversigning - as discussed by most fans is not banned.  For instance, it is possible that Saban could have signed most of, if not all his classes at Alabama under the B10 rule.

 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

-9 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Nice try, Catch, I almost admire your tenacity, but as has been said many times here, nobody's buying your oversigning BS.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+5 HS
Oyster's picture

Hold on there Mr 5,

There have been countless debates on here in which you were the main voice for the SEC.  As I (and I am sure everyone else on here) recall, your stance has always been that the SEC does not oversign and you would post numerous scenarios as to how a class that is obviously over by 6 recruits was simply the coach knowing in advance that he would lose that many players through numerous means.  Am I tracking correctly so far?

Now you post this gem

But if I had to choose, I'd take the advantage of having a full roster (that's where oversigning really has an advantage)

So which is it?  Does the SEC oversign, as you just admitted or don't they?  Somehow you tripped yourself up, and I can't wait to see you try to spin your way out of this one.  Grab your popcorn folks, this one is going to be good.

+8 HS
Catch 5's picture

This was the subject of a couple blogs I wrote earlier this year*.  Oversigning can have a different definition depending on who you are talking to.  I've found that most people consider a team to be oversigned if they sign more on NSD than the roster (as known to the public) would seemingly allow.  By this definition Bama, and many SEC teams, oversigns every year - As do many others, including Ohio State the past few.

I've never said that SEC teams don't oversign (per that definition), but rather that oversigning in and of itself is not the problem.  My stance has always been, as you correctly stated, that coaches are aware of much of the attrition that we are not let in on until spring or summer - and that a coach signing players to replace those he knows are leaving is no big deal.  Signing a few more is also not a big deal (to counter unknown, but expected attrition) as long as incoming players know (when they signed their LOI) that they could be asked to greyshirt if it doesn't happen.

*The link option in the editing window isn't working.  http://www.elevenwarriors.com/blogs/catch-5/so-how-do-you-define-oversigning 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

-7 HS
Furious George 27's picture

Being a guest instructor is not the same advantage as oversigning 5,6,7 and all the way up to in some cases 12 more players than the next school. Lets just be honest the SEC oversigns and gets rid of the players they no longer want to make the room and repeat the next season and so on. Having more face time is great, but to have more players that could contribute day 1 is even greater.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

+3 HS
Oyster's picture

Lets just be honest the SEC oversigns and gets rid of the players they no longer want to make the room

Don't hold your breath, he won't do it.  See his reponse to me above as an example.  His potential as a politician is immense.

+2 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

The REAL hypocrite here is Catch 5. If he came on here and said that the SEC coaches have no business whining about this "advantage", then one might be able to say that he's at least consistent.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

Catch 5's picture

In a sense I agree with you.  For the record, I have always liked Franklin.  He is a fantastic recruiter (be careful what you wish for as he is going to give you what Urban wanted:  better recruiting in the B10 - to the point that I think he can rival Meyer).  I have no problem with him doing what he is doing.  It is within the rules and if it helps his team in recruiting, good for him.  I get why the SEC guys are whining, and won't go so far as to say they have no business doing so - but I don't see the need for the SEC rule to go national at this time.  Doing so would be an attempt to keep recruiting local when it should be more national. 

 

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

-4 HS
Catch 5's picture

~~Lets just be honest the SEC oversigns and gets rid of the players they no longer want to make the room

Look at attrition rates.  Go look at recruiting classes, and see who is still on that team 4 years after they sign, and why.  When you actually look at the rate of attrition (players that could have been cut as you claim - that leave for transfers, dismissals, Medical hardships and the like - not those that exhaust their eligibility or leave early for the NFL) you find that this is not the case.  Well, either that or everyone else is getting rid of their players too, just not oversigning.  Case in point:  Alabama's average rate of attrition for the 2008-2011 classes is 29.1%.  Ohio State's average for that same period is 36.8%.   The SEC average is 33.5% compared to the B10 average of 32.1%.  Those aren't numbers I would expect from a conference that expends it's unwanted players at the rate SEC teams are accused of (unless you also concede that B10 teams do it as well)

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

-2 HS
Oyster's picture

^^ Like shooting fish in a barrel ^^

+1 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

You don't see Ohio State signing 30 + guys in a recruiting class. I've seen U of SEC schools sign damn near 40 in a class.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

+2 HS
Catch 5's picture

True.  You also see a lot of B10 teams regularly playing with only 75-80 scholarship players.  As I stated earlier, oversigning absolutely provides the advantage of having a full (or more near it) roster, to me this is not up for debate.  SEC teams also have a higher number of guys that don't qualify, but that is a slightly different topic.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

-3 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

You also see a lot of B10 teams regularly playing with only 75-80 scholarship players

Which shows that the B1G coaches experience attrition, but don't PLAN that attrition. B1G difference!

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+5 HS
Catch 5's picture

And the similar attrition rates show that SEC teams don't force their attrition, but plan FOR it.  Also a big difference.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

-2 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

I don't see how the attrition rate shows that teams don't force their attrition. Don't see that at all. If you oversign by 10 guys, there's going to be forced attrition.

Your attrition numbers showed us that, tho it's close, the SEC does have a higher attrition rate (tho you didn't indicate where you got those attrition #s from). Oversigning would explain that.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+3 HS
Catch 5's picture

 ~I don't see how the attrition rate shows that teams don't force their attrition

Well it's either that or players are really wanting out of B10 schools at an alarming rate.  We all agree that everyone experiences attrition do we not?  Well, if SEC teams are cutting players above and beyond that, why are their rates not higher - especially Bama's?

 ~~If you oversign by 10 guys, there's going to be forced attrition.~

This year Bama oversigned by 9 I believe.  A month or so after NSD, it came out that three players were transferring and had not been on the team since the Sugar Bowl (one of which has found his way to Columbus) and two others had graduated with a year remaining and would be moving on.  This week, a player (who received a 4-year scholarship offer) that some had been predicted to leave for the better part of the year announced that he was in fact transferring as well, meaning the Tide are still 3 over the limit.  If Saban has 3 incoming players who agreed to greyshirt if needed, who is being forced into anything?

~~Your attrition numbers showed us that, tho it's close, the SEC does have a higher attrition rate

 True, but that 1.4% difference is significantly less than one player per year, even in an oversized SEC class.  And I gave a brief explaination of how I came up with it (and have given more detailed explanations elsewhere).  If you doubt the numbers, please do it yourself (it is no small effort) and confirm or dispute my findings.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

-2 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

If you could show the source for your attrition numbers, that would certainly help. Doing a quick search myself, those numbers do not seem to be readily available or easy to determine. I always doubt the numbers until they're confirmed.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

+2 HS
Catch 5's picture

That's why I did it myself. It is not available because the mantra is "look how many players the SEC signs". I wondered how many were being lost, and since Noone had done it I did it myself. I would love for someone else to confirm the research I've done, especially someone as obstinate toward my argument as yourself. Feel free to pursue it if you wish. Heck, send me your email and I'll give you the spreadsheet I've used to start from.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

+1 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

This is what I figured was the case. You're giving hard numbers that aren't really confirmable, quoting them as fact, to try and prop up an erroneous argument. On my side of the argument, I don't have to quote unconfirmable numbers, they're readily available, and show that year in and year out, the SEC oversigns. No amount of obfuscatation will change that fact, nor will you convince anybody with your "hey, look at this spreadsheet that I made".

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

Catch 5's picture

They are absolutely confirmable. You just have to be willing to do so. You, it would seem, prefer to close your eyes and repeat the chant of the masses - that the emperor's clothes look great. The numbers on your side of the argument don't show what you claim (which is why I did that exercise). You can't claim that one group cuts players just because they sign more. There are way to many parameters that effect how many players a team can take to be able to say that with such certainty from that angle. But that's ok. This is a Buckeye site - you won't get reamed here for jumping to a conclusion with insufficient data as long as it attacks the SEC.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

IGotAWoody's picture

Or, as is the case, I have a life.

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

unknownmusketeer's picture

Can you break down the attrition rates? Transfers, medical redshirts, etc?

As a side note, I remember Les Miles recently got in hot water when he didn't have a roster spot available for a recruit.

+2 HS
Catch 5's picture

I did start tracking medical hardships after the WSJ article criticized Saban without really showing how many there were elsewhere, but the results don't distinguish in the rates between transfers, dismissals, dropouts, medicals, etc. because those are all seen as excuses for players bring cut by oversigning teams. My impression is that most teams are about the same: most players transfer with a couple dismissals and an occasional medical. The teams with the higher rates seem to have more dismissals. I have planned for some time to put it all down in a blog entry - perhaps I'll try to break it down a little more if I do.

Make their asses quit! - Nick Saban

-1 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

Make their asses QUIT!!

 - License to kill gophers (wolverines, badgers, etc) by the government of the United Nations

hetuck's picture

Reread my comment. I said everyone can do it or no one and I lean to the latter. I'm against it because of the added burden on the coaching staffs. It would be additional time away from families. 

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

+2 HS
bleedscarlet's picture

This could be HUGE for Wisconsin and especially Nebraska... both in the middle of nowhere and both always just on the cusp of being perennial powers.

I'm too drunk to taste this chicken

+4 HS
gumtape's picture

I love this statement because it also works sarcastically...

This could be HUGE for Wisconsin and especially Nebraska... both in the middle of nowhere and both always just on the cusp of being perennial powers.

just another psycho, irrational, delusional Ohio St fan

+1 HS
THEOSUfan's picture

Turf war shaping up.  If the B1G and other conferences can poach more players out of the SE, the SEC will lose some of its talent and recruiting advantages.

They want their rule to be the NCAA's rule because allowing their coaches to do these camps does not give them the same advantage as it gives the other conferences.  They might want to go to Chicago or Californina, but virtually anywhere else there is a high concentration of good HS players, they would be poaching from their own conference's footprint.  The last thing Georgia wants is Saban at a camp in their state, and Florida doesn't want to see Butch Jones at a camp down there, and on and on.

I hope we look back at this time 5 years from now and view it as the beginning of more parity in CFB by seeing more SE talent migrating north, and bringing the SEC back to the pack.

+3 HS
HilltopHustle's picture

Hey James Franklin, good for you. Keep pestering those good old boys. In the meantime, know your roll in the B1G.

+1 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

was that a combo of 'slow your roll' and 'know your role'?

I like what you did there...

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

+2 HS
osu78's picture

They howled pretty bad when Sherman did his thing in their territory as well. We all know how that turned out.

+2 HS
teddyballgame's picture

If the SEC is crying then he's doing something right.  Carry on Franklin...

+3 HS