I've grown tired of the whole soap opera swirling around Manti Te'o's decision not to come to USC and the probable package deal that brought both Te'o and Roby Toma to Notre Dame.
A lot of what I read seems like sour grapes but becuase we have never seen either of our rivals use this sort of tactic it did leave a lot of us scratching our heads...
You can count on a lot more head scratching after this piece from Wolf on his blog yesterday.
Last week I did a radio show in Hawaii. One of those who listened was Larry Hilliard, the father of UCLA's incoming freshman tailback, Dalton Hilliard.
Dalton plays for Punahou, the same school as linebacker Manti Te'o and wide receiver Roby Toma. Larry wanted to touch base after my interview and said his son was contacted by UCLA last week following the whole package deal controversy involving Te'o and Toma.
Here is what Hilliard told me:
``Norm Chow gives Dalton a call (last week) and says there's a lot going on with Roby (Toma). Chow said, `Manti said we attacked Roby in regards to Manti not coming.'
``Chow said, `We were aggressive because a deal was struck.'
``Based on what Coach Chow said, Manti called them up and said, `I have a buddy.' He told them if they gave (Toma) a scholarship, he would come. The caveat is he said, `I want to keep it under the table and on signing date I'll make it public.' It's coming from Norm Chow. He did tell Dalton to ease Dalton's mind that they didn't do anything other than offering a friend a scholarship in hopes of Manti's coming to UCLA.''
Larry Dalton obviously thought the situation was important enough if went out of his way to contact Scott Wolf. And because this information comes directly from the father of a signed, sealed and delivered ucla recruit I find it absolutely credible. How welome do you think Dalton will be after these comments? I realize that its not against the rules and I realize that there will be many that want to bring up Romeo Miller, that's fine, but the situations are different.
While it's obvious that ND has a proud football tradition the argument can be made that ucla has some tradition too though not even close to the level of either USC or Notre Dame. I would conceed that ucla had a pretty decent run in the 80's and 90's. USC on the other hand USC has never had any sort of consistant tradition in hoops. Most people reading this can the corelation that I am drawing here so I am moving on...
We all know Rick Neuheisel will say or do just about anything that should be no surprise he is an attention wore of the highest level. It was obvious that the only reason he was at the Rose Bowl in 2008 when SC played Illinois was to try and get some attention. The whole circus in how he played up the hiring of Norm Chow and the retention of DeWayne Walker is more of the same. I loved it when he claimed on ESPN that ucla lost to SC because he was playing a bunch of freshmen on defense while making no mention of his porous offensive line and 3rd string QB that couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. Gee Rick, you think SC having a pretty good defense and offense had something to do with your loss?
I didn't really think about it but one of the mods on one of the premium sites made a comment in a post that nails it perfectly...and I quote (this is a comment not premium content so i am not breaking any rules of ettiqutte), With the media, he makes grand statements that garner discussion. But not just discussion among his own fanbase, but discussion among opposing fanbases. Then he follows that with seedy recruiting pitches and indirect allegations. The result isn't in the message, it's in the reaction. The reaction he hopes to draw from USC. Instead of talking about national championship, Heisman Trophy winners and NFL Draft picks, USC is rebutting Reggie Bush drama.
Classic Neuheisel...feint here, jab there. The problem is he looks foolish doing it.
He is always taling about USC and if he would have pulled Te'o it would have reached a fever pitch. Grabbing Te'o and using Toma as the bait was not only about grabbing a marquis player but also about saying that he beat USC on the recruiting trail. I have said numerous time that Neuheisel will get his fair share of talent but how he does it makes him look like a five year old. He threw a few hooks in the water to see what he could catch, the more intriguing thing was how he got Chow into the
negative recruiting game when we all know that Chow hates to recruit. Chow only "got up" for it when he thought he could poke Pete Carroll in the eye....
No, Chow's not bitter not at all....Riiiight.
We all know that Weis is a clown so we have just learned to ignore him but with Slick Rick he is right in our back yard so you know it's going to be tough to look the otherway.
I like it because I get my entertinment free with my price of admission....