They are fasting by now, drinking only liquids.
The strategy worked last year when Arthur Brown Jr., his father, brother and advisor Brian Butler fasted for a week before the highly-touted linebacker made his college decision. The story goes that the entire group was hit with a revelation that Arthur, a Wichita, Kan. prospect, should attend Miami.
The group is trying to enter the same physical and mental state as Brown's younger brother Bryce is less than a week away from making his college decision. Bryce's long anticipated announcement will come at a Monday press conference at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in Wichita.
Yes, it will probably be overdone. Yes, it will probably be faux dramatic. (Please, Bryce don't play us with the "hat tease".) But we still can't stay away. No doubt there will be media there from all over the region and around the country. At least four schools -- Tennessee, Oregon, LSU and Kansas State -- will be hanging onto the kid's every word. It will be a recruiting website's wet dream.
But the story of Bryce's recruitment might not come to a flashy climax on Monday. Butler, the celebrated mentor, is under investigation by the NCAA. The association's assistant director of amateurism certification has been to Wichita to question a high school player who formerly trained under Butler.
Read between the lines and it seems the NCAA is trying to see if Butler has compromised the amateur status of any of the high school players he has trained. That, or it might decide Butler should be disassociated from certain athletes. Fourteen months ago Butler quit his job at a T-Mobile call center to pursue training prospects full time.
Butler, 33, usually charges to train athletes $75 a month for one day a week and up to $200 a month for three days a week. On the surface, it's hard to see how Butler could be making a killing.
"Trust me, I can take you to my house right now and show you a stack of bills and show you my bank account," Butler told me in late January. "I wonder how they're going to get paid."
One question seems to be whether Bryce Brown, or any other player, was given a price break. That could constitute an extra benefit in the NCAA's eyes. Two specific NCAA bylaws come into play here:
• 126.96.36.199.6 has to do with "preferential treatment" given to a prospect based on his "reputation or skill or pay-back potential as a professional athlete."
• 13.02.13, defines a "representative of athletics interests"
In Butler's case, 13.02.13 would mean he would be steering kids to a certain school. Butler said that the most former players he has at a single school is two at both Kansas and Kansas State. That hardly constitutes a pattern especially since former K-State coach Ron Prince had been critical of Butler.
Butler says that if Prince were still at the school Bryce probably wouldn't be considering the Wildcats. With new/old coach Bill Snyder back in charge, K-State is one of Bryce's finalists.
However, one person with knowledge of the NCAA process told me, "You can turn a ham sandwich into a representative (of athletics interests) if you want to."
"Mr. Brown (Bryce's father Arthur Sr.) pays me more than most people," Butler told me when informed of the "preferential treatment" bylaw.
"My goal," Butler added, "is to be a millionaire before they (players) are."
On the up and up, of course.
At one time the NCAA had in place a "big brother/big sister" program in which investigators would take a region of the country and speak to the top three to five prospects in that area. I'm not sure if that program is still in place but Butler did tell me that the NCAA plans on talking to the nation's No. 1 recruit.
A best guess is that Bryce has narrowed his choices to Oregon and Tennessee. Based on conversations I've had, the kid is very interested in how he will be promoted. Oregon has at its disposal the Nike marketing machine. That's not to say the kid would be hidden playing in the SEC at Tennessee (on CBS).
Oregon can further sell the nation's No. 2 rushing offense and a somewhat stable quarterback situation. Tennessee can sell the charismatic Lane Kiffin, his superstar staff and a program about to take off .
Stay tuned, the circus is about to end with Monday's announcement. Or, with the NCAA sniffing around, it might just be beginning.