The Prospector: Lying prospects/coaches only deceiving themselves

When it comes to college football recruiting, there are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes. Illegal deals, illegal benefits, illegal this and illegal that.

But something I find even more despicable and completely embarrassing to those involved are other acts that, while not illegal, are just as tarnishing to the reputations of the individuals and institutions involved.

I've had an occasion recently — far too many occasions, actually — to be deceptively informed by coaches and/or players that a university has offered a scholarship.

Lying about a scholarship offer is about as ridiculous as it gets in this game. When word gets out about the fabrication, that person is tarnished by the institution involved, as well as by anyone in the media who originally believed the claim in the first place.

We as media members are not exactly — read, legally — privy to information regarding scholarship offers to student-athletes. It's easy for us to be duped, so we have to be on guard. It is an NCAA violation for coaches to discuss anything involving a potential recruit.

We have to rely on the word of the high school coaches and players alike. And most of them can be trusted because the ramifications of lying about a scholarship loom large.

Eventually, they will be found out.

Those who offer up fabricated information know who they are and usually when it's learned they have fibbed about a scholarship being offered by a school, they can forget any future consideration from that institution.

That, however, is not where the damage is done. Most college coaches laugh it off. Since it happens so frequently, they don't really have time to concern themselves with the claims of delusional teenage football players or overzealous high school football coaches.

The problem is that once word gets out that a college has offered a scholarship, other colleges tend to follow up with their own offers. Crazy, yes, but many schools do offer scholarships based on whether another school has made the first move.

In today's world of social media, that sort of thing is compounded, because now players don't even have to wait on the media to react to a story. Players and coaches can just post an offer on Twitter or Facebook and suddenly the congratulatory replies are flying in without question.

I won't call out names. People who conjure such nonsense must live with their conscience. Most of these players are condemned to a junior college.

Sometimes, it's the player who is the victim. High school coaches have told players that they have been offered, for whatever reason, only for the player to find out an offer never existed.

Where the coaches and players think the fabrication is going to lead is the baffling question. Nothing good ever comes from it, unless for some reason the player involved is some stud no one knew about who suddenly turns up on the recruiting board for numerous colleges.

Yep, that scenario also occurs, but it's rare.

Usually it's the other way around.

It's just like a player lying about his GPA or his college entrance exam scores. Why lie? The truth will come out.

Don't get me wrong, most coaches are honest and dependable with the best interest of the student-athlete in mind.

And most players don't make up scholarship offers.





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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