Monday, February 12, 2007

Smell the glove

Jay over at BGS does his usual bang-up job in his story summarizing ZookerGate.

I think what this story illustrates more than anything is Ron Guenther's complete lack of understanding about how the Internet world works.

He seems to be of the mind that because some letter-writer had details about a recruit, the writer must have received those details from another coach recruiting the young man. He fails to realize there are a lot more people who have that kind of information than the recruit in question. Family members, HS coaches, friends, other hangers-on ... all it takes is one email, and the information is spanning the globe in hours, if not minutes.

Does Guenther actually believe the Notre Dame coaching staff asked random Internet people to post on message boards and write letters to him and other IL administrators about the Illini recruiting practices? That's the same brand of black-helicopter thinking that brought us the "Kim Dunbar was laundering money for high-powered ND alumni to pay players" and other detritus from various Mariotti-like minds.

Or is this about coaches negatively recruiting against Illinois? If so, Ron, welcome to D1 athletics. If this is how you react to coaches talking down your program to recruits, your head would explode if you had Kevin White's job. Because unlike the negative recruiting done against ND, where coaches allege we force players to go to Mass or convert to Catholicism or "don't take care of the black athlete" (thanks for that note of hypocrisy, Lloyydd), talking about Zook's questionable coaching and poor Florida career and bad decisions on and off the field (keep him away from the IL frats) is all based in fact.

In any event, Jay's right -- Guenther should want absolutely no part of any legal discovery phase. When all his coaches' cell phone records are reviewed, including the calls to various media outlets to get their story going, and the recruits and their friends are all called in for depositions and every little detail of what Zook and his coaching staff did, both good and bad, are laid bare, there's no way they're going to come out smelling like a rose, even if everything is above-board.

Guenther would be much better served asking Jim Delany about any letters he received from his Integer bretheren about Zook and his practices. I'm led to understand the Skunkbears are having a pretty good laugh over all of this.

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