Photo Source: AAUNews.org
By Marcus Shockley
Negative recruiting isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s been happening as long as recruiting has existed. However, it’s reached new heights with social media. Players now are bombarded by fans of various schools not only begging them to choose their team, but often trashing the other schools that a player is reportedly considering.
Sports Illustrated recently ran a story about how much negative recruiting players have to wade through today, especially high profile players like Julius Randle:
“I don’t really like hearing about why I shouldn’t go to certain schools too much,” said Julius Randle, a rising senior forward at Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas). “It happens all the time, but, for me, I just don’t like when coaches do that.”
First and foremost, fans should know that engaging in this type of behavior is an NCAA violation for boosters of athletic programs, and that doesn’t just mean people who give money to a program. A booster pretty much includes anyone who supports a team.
But not only that, it’s incredibly stupid and childish behavior, usually exhibited by 30, 40 and 50 year old adults constantly bombarding 16 and 17 year old players.
Then there’s an entire layer of negative recruiting that comes from insiders, people posing as media, and most damaging of all, coaches. It should go without saying that a coach that will say negative things about another program will do the same to you when you are not around (that’s just true in life, not only sports), but considering that many adults never figure that out, it’s hard to imagine that it doesn’t work on at least some recruits.
Wayne Selden talks about how negative recruiting turns him off of schools, as it should:
“It makes me pay more attention to the fact that you’re steadily talking about this other school,” said Selden, a shooting guard at Tilton (Tilton, N.H.) who recently reclassified from 2014 to 2013. “That’s not cool. Just talk about why I should come to your school. I don’t want to hear all that negativity.”
Parents seem more susceptible to negative recruiting than players in many cases. That’s probably because parents are more worried about making a long-term mistake, while players are just thinking about where they might like to play ball.