Friday, February 09, 2007

USC: Top 10: "Oh, Brave New World"

Okay, there had to be more to the signing-day story.

When I heard of USC's glory on high-school signing day, my first thought was, wait a minute--isn't Clemson the football power in SC? I waited for the other shoe to drop. Now today's Newsless Courier stories, one an interview that took place last July and the other regarding the successful and not-successful recruiting efforts of the two rivals: see
"Building 'A' Championship," and
"Clemson President Discusses Academic Standards,"

Back in the dark ages when I was in high school in Charleston, Clemson was the place for engineers and football; USC was for liberal arts and sciences--and those more interested in academics. In town after my long hiatus, I thought the balance had remained the same.

Then, reading further into the "'A'" story, I encountered this information:

"Two players the Tigers missed out on were Dwight Jones, a talented receiver out of Burlington, N.C., and Broome High School receiver Markish Jones. Markish Jones signed with Florida State, Dwight Jones with UNC. Both could have been casualties of the school's new tougher academic policies. Dwight Jones was the top-rated player in the state of North Carolina.

"We talked with Dwight (Tuesday) and he gave us every indication that he was going to sign with Clemson," Farrell said. "I don't understand how he could get into North Carolina and not get into Clemson. That doesn't make any sense."

If you go back to my blogs on LaRon Dendy and NCAA academic standards versus diploma mills, it all begins to make sense. Clemson has gotten religion after being hit hard with the repercussions of recruits who were "helped" out of high school.

The converse appears to be true of Chapel Hill, worse luck (at least from the point of view of this alumna). Yes, "get into Clemson and not into Chapel Hill" would have made sense in past years. However, after its scores of years of mediocre football teams (surely over the last 40 years they have occasionally been successful, but I have very vague memories that this is true), UNC has decided to go BIG TIME, damn the academics!

One step forward, two steps back!

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