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Mailbag 1/21

We're talking about recruiting, NCAA football on the whole, and even we even dabble a little bit into basketball in this week's edition of the mailbag.

Might UNC start an unfortunate set of dominos?
Might UNC start an unfortunate set of dominos?
Streeter Lecka

It seems like less and less of the fanbase is drinking the gold koolaid. Is there anything CPJ and Co can really do this offseason to change that? I know recruiting might help, but I don’t see us pulling in a star-studded recruiting class that would challenge any nay-sayers.

I can't really say there is anything he can do short of getting back on the field. There are some things that could work to minimal effect (comments during interviews praising Justin Thomas, strong individual performances during the spring game, etc), but for the fans to get back to where they were around 2009, it's simply going to require winning.

Judging from the history of CPJ at Tech, do you think that he will ever be able to bring in a top 25 recruiting class for us?

I think it's certainly possible. If a couple more stars had aligned for us this year, we could have cracked the top 25. How the new recruiting staff helps long-term is yet to be seen, but that could also have some impact. Also, I say this in the sense that we could be top 25. However, top 20 is a pretty tall order given the track record since O'Leary left.

Three huge football sports news items that get little coverage in the grand scheme of things:

(1) Federal Judge rejected a law suit representing 1000 former pro players because the financial amount of the settlement asked for was not considered BIG enough and he is recommending that it should be much higher.

(2) College football programs across the country are increasingly being exposed as academic shames and hoaxes causing more and more alumni to either withhold donations or call for a demotion to lower classifications in competition.

(3) At the same time many college programs across the country are finding that they simply do not have the cash reserves to compete nationally at the top level, and the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Which of these will impact Tech first and how will each of these impact Tech in the long term?

Let me preface this by saying all of this is pure speculation on my part and should not be taken as a report.

(1) I have a really hard time imagining this coming back to Tech in any way. To my knowledge, that whole case is dealing entirely with the pros. At least in the near future, this case will be disassociated with collegiate athletics.

(2) This could be interesting and affect Tech in any number of ways. If it were to happen at Tech (I would be shocked, there's not a culture of football players blatantly getting special treatment), the administration would be in an extremely difficult spot. On one hand, you'd have boosters and psycho sports fans saying things like, "Well it's about damn time we did something to help the kids in the classroom!" On the other, you'd have donors and the board of regents to answer to, which could get ugly. Then you consider the possibility that Tech is indirectly affected by it, in the case that someone like UNC were to take a demotion and leave a void in the Coastal division. Similarly, a few highly-ranked schools getting caught for this would likely draw attention to other highly-ranked schools, which could create an investigation into Tech. The probability of any of this? So low that you probably just wasted the 45 seconds you spent reading it. However, if it WERE to happen, there's no telling what effects these things might have on our school or teams.

(3) This is one I could definitely see affecting Tech, and big time. There's currently talk of splitting the FBS into the "Power 5" (ACC, B1G, Big XII, Pac-12, SEC) and "everyone else". This is being driven by the arms-race nature that is college football today. There's no use having a UAB or Middle Tennessee State competing in the same division as an Alabama or Florida State. The gap between them was once much closer, and with more teams clamoring to convert from FCS to FBS, this change will likely happen in the next 5 years, if I had to guess. How that affects Tech? Depends on the rules, but it may restrict the OOC teams Tech is allowed to play. Also, of the three current topics presented, this is easily the one that affects Tech first.

Is there any under the radar recruiting stories that nobody is really talking about?? Like is there any paul Davis’s in this years class that may come to tech on signing day??

Well if I told you, they wouldn't be very good secrets, now would they??

Although, if I purposefully didn't tell you, I wouldn't be a very good driver of internet traffic. So no, none that I'm aware of. At least not specifically. There's always guys we're working on that nobody else is really aware of.

Saw pics during Miami game of Tico Brown’s son posing under his Dad’s number and photo. Where is this [GTBB "Hall of Fame"], and is it open to the public?

I can't be sure, because it may be in the bowels of McCamish Pavilion, but I would imagine it's in the Edge Center at the northeast corner of the football stadium. They have trophy cases and "Hall of Fames" for every sport in there. It's pretty amazing if you ever get the chance to check it out.

Is it wrong to hope that Demaryius Thomas torches Richard Sherman, and shuts Sherman’s gob?

Absolutely not. Go Bey Bey, and go Broncos!

Although, if you haven't seen this yet, I'd recommend taking a moment to read it. SBN's Brian Floyd explains why Sherman's postgame rant is OK.

Help explain why when CPJ is competitive in almost every single game (ie. we are in game and have a chance to win – obviously not that we always do) yet people are riding him like its 0-11 while this hoops train wreck rolls on and no one questions the CBG hire? No fundamentals, injuries keep happening and no shooters. How does he get such a pass?

I think it's an issue of geography and expectations. On the matter of geography, remember where we are. This is the South. The most important thing here sports-wise is football, and always will be. It's a similar reason to why there are probably 10 football articles in the past month on this site with 50+ comments on them, and maybe one or two basketball articles. On the issue of expectations, remember how low the bar was left at the end of the Hewitt era. The teams he had were so ridiculously talented, and yet were poorly coached and tough to watch. We understood when Gregory came in that it would be a process to rebuild the program. Now, folks are getting a bit impatient, and I don't blame them. But I'd also say it's more understandable to be riding the coach with a longer tenure and better record of prior success -- we expect more of him and his program.