We all know recruiting is a somewhat dirty business. There is conniving, cheating, backstabbing….and that doesnt even begin to tell what happens at LSU. Nevertheless, there are usually some rules that coaches live by when engaging in the process that even they will not break. One of these rules has often been that once a person offers a scholarship and it is accepted, the coach will honor that commitment. Well things changed this past weekend on that regard with Bobby Petrino and Rockcastle County Offensive Lineman Brad Durham. It seems that Petrino, who pressed Durham to give an early commitment to Louisville during a time that he hoped to take a number of visits and look at his options, called Durham after the Cards’ win over West Virginia last Thursday and said they would be withdrawing the offer, leaving Durham without a home as of now for next season.
I must say that I try my best not to be a moralist when it comes to college athletics. Ultimately big time college football and basketball is at its heart a complete scam. The notion that virtually anything having to do with these two sports is in the best interests of student-athletes is completely laughable and the college football factory system cares very little about much of anything except churning out dollars for the athletic department’s budget. Having said that, there are lines you shouldnt cross. Brad Durham made a commitment to Bobby Petrino, one that he intended to honor and one that I am sure he looked forward to every day since it was made. Petrino determined that this commitment was not enough for him and that better options were elsewhere. In so doing, he broke his word to the young man and set a dangerous example for the days to come. In fact, it will likely be the case that coaches in Kentucky will remember this decision and it could come back to haunt him one day in the future. If you are a coach in Kentucky and Petrino offers your player a scholarship, would you trust him to honor his commitment? Before this week, the answer may have been yes…..now the answer is surely no.