We have often talked about the ugly business that is recruiting. There are all sorts of things that have gone on behind the scenes and a few that have come to light. From ucla's Eric Scott sitting in on Ken Norton's visit with Brian Price to Tim Tebow's dad using the power of the pulpit to get USC commit James Wilson to switch his choice to Florida, it's a dirty business so you better be thick skinned when you get in this business.
The players often take their share of heat as well when certain fan bases don't like the fact that a particular commit chooses a school different than the one in their own back yard re: Joe McKnight. It is also not hard to see that the recruiting wars continue even after a player is enrolled, more on that in a bit, Players' parents or guardians also seem to keep things murky as well. Michael Chang, Moody's uncle, has been seen by some to have guided Moody not only to decommit from Texas in favor of USC but also, possibly, in getting Moody to transfer From USC to probably Florida. In their attempt to look out for the player the parent or guardian often becomes entangled within the whole process.
I liken recruiting to undercover work; there is certain amount of aggressiveness or dogged tenacity that is needed to see the task through and the amount of cajoling that can go on can be the stuff of legend. Moody may have been speaking to his uncle about his plight looking for advice or looking to vent...whatever, there is no rule barring the player from seeking and acting on the advice of a parent or guardian in regards to player weighing their options. In the end Moody decide to move on and while that move might have been premature, that ship has sailed and we wish him the best of luck.
It has gotten so crazy that teams have completely changed their whole recruiting philosophy; ucla comes to mind. For years ucla couldn't attract or connect with inner city kids, they would always get their pockets picked by SC so for a time the avoided them all together. With Eric Scott on the staff he can connect with those players and ucla will be able to make inroads into an area where haven't been able to before. As long as ucla can get them academically cleared the hiring of Eric Scott opens a whole new world of possibilities but at a price, ucla will have their fair share of off the field issues with types of players as it has been well demonstrated in other programs. It will frustrate the fan base but this signifies the that Morgan Center is willing to take some chances to put a wining product on the field. Heck , they proved that by looking the other way with whole Eric Scott arrest mess.
When Pete Carroll warned his players to be wary of "agents" from other programs it signaled that the recruiting wars have gone to a whole new level. It now appears that teams will still go after players under the radar in the attempt to get them to transfer even if it costs them a year of eligibility. Which brings us to Holland. Wolf is reporting in the DN this morning that USC will not approve Jamere Holland's request to transfer to Florida. They already denied his request to transfer to Oregon. It looks like Pete Carroll is playing hardball.
Their close relationship apparently disturbs some within USC's athletic department who believe Starr and Holland probably communicated before Holland transferred.
Holland could not be reached for comment. Carroll will not comment on Holland' s situation.
Carroll did the honorable thing in keeping Holland on Scholarship for the upcoming school year but Pete Carroll's good will can only go so far. Holland's constantly being injured made it difficult to get on the playing field so its not like he as buried on the depth chart like Stafon Johnson was last year because of a poor attitude. There is obviously more to this story and I'm sure more will come out of it. I'm not surprised that PC blocked the move, he has put a lot of time and effort into going after these players only to have other programs poach his players. Moody was a proven commodity who just wasn't happy anymore and letting him go may prove to be a benefit with the atmosphere with team. Holland on the other hand has shown a propensity to go at is own pace or to the beat of his own drum in missing rehab assignments and such. There was obviously something there that caused PC to dismiss him from the team, there are claims that Holland requested a transfer first but now that is immaterial.
This is a new twist in the saga of the recruiting wars and I don't think USC will be the only one to be targeted. In the end PC did the right thing, he protected his team and sent a message that he is not to messed with especially when he has done the honorable thing.