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Pittsburgh Sports Now

Opinion

Playing the Negative Recruiting Card against Penn St.

When it comes to being negative, Pitt and Penn State certainly know how to play that card against one another don’t they? It’s been that way since they first battled in 1893.

And when it comes to college football recruiting, negative recruiting is just about as important as selling your own program. Cut the legs out from under your opponent to make yourself look taller.

And apparently Penn State is dealing with this phenomenon exponentially because of the fallout from the Sandusky scandal.

Still.

Yeah. Penn State seems to be under the impression that rival schools are using the recently exposed allegations that Joe Paterno knew about Sandusky’s deviant crimes all the way back in 1976 against the school. Apparently conference rivals are telling recruits that
Penn State may go on probation again.

“There are no more sanctions,” Sandy Barbour said in an ESPN.com story.

She continued:

“Both the Big Ten and NCAA agreed to end the sanctions, I think it was 18 months early. There is no more monitor, and again, for someone, anyone, to try to plant in the mind of a 17-year-old that you don’t want to go to Penn State because they’re going to get hit with the death penalty or there are going to be more sanctions, is not only untrue but disingenuous and I think a real slap in the face to this profession.”

Barbour also stated the NCAA considers the case involving Sandusky to be over.

That stinks. Even when it comes to seeing an arch rival suffer, it’s distasteful to manipulate the facts on the backs of long ago abused children.

It’s not like Pitt was specifically implicated. Or even hinted at. But would it surprise you? They should do it. It’s smart.

Immoral.

But not illegal.

Not yet. Or, frankly probably ever.

And hey, would you be stunned to find out Penn State coaches may be saying words to the effect of: “Come on!? You think Narduzzi is going to stay at Pitt beyond this year?”

The point is negative recruiting goes on all the time. But how do you stop it?

This topic always results in one of my least favorite phrases in the English language getting shouted from the roof tops: “They should do something about this!”

Yeah. Who is the “They”, exactly. And What are “They” precisely supposed to do?

Is it the NCAA? The Conferences? Schools self reporting whenever they realize that they have violat– HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAA

Sorry. Couldn’t even get through that one with a straight face.

If every school guilty of negative recruiting went on sanctions, everybody would be on sanctions.

So for Penn St. fans, yes, it sucks to be you. You’ll have this held over your head forever. And no, James Franklin and Sandy Barbour and the current players and recruits have nothing to do with Gerry Sandusky’s sins.

But technically, just because Todd Graham pulled the ripcord, that doesn’t mean Narduzzi is going to as well. But that’s not going to stop anyone from pointing at history. And no one is really going to get caught doing it. And if they are, how long do you think
it’ll be before an accusing school is determined to have done something nefarious themselves?

Certainly, the nature of capitalizing on Penn State’s situation
is far more unseemly. But it is no more policeable than other types of negative recruiting.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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