Today, Indiana and other NCAA football programs will officially welcome their recruits for the 2011-12 school year when those players begin faxing their letters of intent to the various universities. IU typically issues a news release late in the morning, and I'll provide an update here when that happens.
In recent years, recruiting has become even more cutthroat than it used to be, and IU lost a few players in its class, most recently Raymon Taylor of Detroit. Some fans get very worked up about such things, but the approach I try to take is that these are young men in their final semester of high school deciding where they should spend the next four or five years of their lives. Non-athletes often change their minds at this point in the high school careers, so I can't worry all that much about when football players do it. It can put schools in a bad situation, but most schools end up on both ends of such situations. As for Taylor, he's from Detroit and finally got his long-coveted Michigan offer. Such is life.
In similar news, IU has lost a couple more assistant coaches, apparently. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Brent Pease, who had been Boise State's wide receivers' coach, went back to Boise as offensive coordinator after Boise's OC left for Texas. In the last day or so, word has leaked that defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery is going to join Brady Hoke's staff at Michigan and cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond will be taking a position at Nebraska. It's disappointing that Kevin Wilson now has to deal with staff vacancies in February, but it's hard for me to begrudge those guys for taking other jobs. Being an assistant coach is a tough gig. They have far less job security than head coaches and make much less money. If they draw the conclusion that they are better off elsewhere, it's hard for me to tell them otherwise. It's disappointing, and I hope they were honest with Wilson throughout the process, but that's life. Now, we will go leave some other schools with vacancies in February.
Finally, one event that I had not mentioned was what the media recently reported, that Kevin Wilson used profanity in the presence of a couple of RAs at IU's McNutt residence hall. Apparently, and I had no idea that this existed, there is a fairly nice apartment in the center building of McNutt (i.e., the building with offices, etc., not in the wings with the students) and apparently Wilson has been living there for now. He apparently got lost in the dorm, and when he asked a couple of RAs for directions back to his suite, they told him that he would have to wait until they resolved a disciplinary issue with some students. Wilson, according to reports, did not curse at them, but cursed in their presence. Frankly, if that's all it was, it's pretty pathetic that this news made the papers in the first place. The IDS would have had to dedicate part of the paper, sort of a "police blotter" feature, to monitor every time Bob Knight cursed in the presence of students. The only reason I mention it is because I'm sure someone will try to connect the dots between this and the assistant coach attrition and speculate that there is upheaval in the football program. I suppose it's possible, but I also think it would be a hasty conclusion. The assistants who have left have taken comparable positions with some of the best (either current or historically) programs in college football. If we lost an assistant to Minnesota or Ball State, I would be worried.
In any event, IU gained five more verbal commitments over the weekend. I won't waste any virtual ink on them until they sign today, but expect some major content today. It's a snow day here in Central Indiana, it's Signing Day, and I still have a basketball preview to post.