Negative recruiting goes on just about everywhere. It’s always part of the process to mention to recruits that maybe some of the schools recruiting them might not be the best place for them, for one reason or another. Since Mark Stoops started recruiting well at UK, the negative recruiting against UK has been turned up a notch. Even still, it doesn’t appear to be working.
For one thing, UK currently has the #1 recruiting class in the country according to Rivals.com. So, just from a high level looking in, it’s obviously not working. At all.
The picture above is one that has certainly been used against UK. You can see this is a game photo, and there’s hardly anybody there. In the past, it might have held weight when recruiting against UK, but UK has this to go against that now:
What’s that? Oh, just 50,000 fans in the stands. In April. For the Spring Game. Or in other words, a scrimmage. Next year, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to expect a sell out, for almost EVERY home game. So, easy to say this now, but using fan support against UK just isn’t going to fly.
It helps that UK easily has the best fan presence on Twitter. Players are inundated with messages from UK fans wishing them luck on their decisions, but planting little bugs that maybe UK could be the best place for them to be. Could it be illegal for them to do that? Maybe, but it’s something the NCAA doesn’t really have any control over, seeing as it’s difficult just to prove that the person really is a UK fan, as opposed to maybe a fan of another school trying to get UK in trouble. So, as of yet, the NCAA hasn’t started policing the Internet, at least in regards to Twitter.
The next point that’s being used against UK frequently is just how long Vince Marrow will be at UK. I mean, he left Nebraska, why would he stay at UK, right?
Well, the problem with that line of thinking is that Vince Marrow and Mark Stoops have been friends for a very long time. Stoops has given Marrow the freedom to recruit as he wishes, and I’m pretty sure he even has the ability to offer players as he sees fit. He has a lot of freedom in his new role, whereas at Nebraska he was only a Graduate Assistant and could only recruit on campus. Stooops will also always make sure that Marrow is paid what he’s worth, and will do whatever he can to keep him here.
The fact is, UK is now going through a “perfect storm” as Neal Brown calls it, and negative recruiting is going to have to take it up a notch if schools plan on slowing the UK recruiting train down.