Senior College Football Columnist

Coach vents about the hypocrisy of the de-recruiting process

Now that the chaos of National Signing Day has passed (or at least most of the chaos) for the thousands of college football recruits who signed and officially became members of college programs, a new process will begin. A few years ago, Urban Meyer termed this process the de-recruiting process.

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A few weeks after Meyer walked away from his coaching career, he talked about the attitudes of former blue-chippers once they arrived on campus and how perspective had been lost for many of these kids. Meyer's much-celebrated 2010 signing class really tested the coach and his staff at Florida as they meshed (or didn't) with the rest of a Gator program that had won two BCS titles in the previous few seasons. Those new Gators hadn't won or done anything. This dynamic, though, exists all over college football.

After all, for months, perhaps even years in some cases, these kids, like most other four- and five-star recruits, had been told how great, how special they were by those around them, by us in the media who chased after them and hung on their every word and by college coaches desperate to get their signature on Signing Day.

One college assistant coach whom I spoke with Tuesday night, about 12 hours before Signing Day began, vented about the whole unseemly process going from recruiting to the de-recruiting, saying that college coaches were as guilty of swelling the heads of teenage football players as anyone.

"We are so hypocritical," said the guy who has been in college coaching for more than two decades. "I mean, come on. Don't talk out of both sides of your mouth. You kiss their ass and kiss their ass [for months], and then you get them, and now you wanna put 'em under your thumb?!?

"We all [coaches] complain about kids with entitlement issues, but the recruiting process feeds the beast. Where does it stop?"

It doesn't. There is too much money invested in the whole business of recruiting and the coverage of it. The attention paid to college football increases exponentially every year. And with that only will come more kids with inflated senses of self-worth and more coaches fawning after them looking for their big get.

Bruce Feldman is a senior writer for and college football commentator for CBS Sports Network. He is a New York Times Bestselling author, who has written books including Swing Your Sword, Meat Market and Cane Mutiny. Prior to joining CBS, Feldman spent 17 years at ESPN.
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