articles made many good points and sparked a necessary conversation. However,
it’s nearly impossible to mention Mack Brown’s name without inciting those who
have replaced their orange colored glasses with those that only see red.
recent statements about still being in the research and development stages
didn’t convey enough urgency to some (perhaps even myself) but what’s being
lost in the shuffle is the new rules don’t take place for nearly six months.
That’s a lot
of time; the Astros will have gone from zero to 85 losses by then. I will have
gone from some sort of pale off white to Apache.
Much of the
consternation stems from the creation of this body appearing to be a time
consuming and painstaking process. It’s not; at least it shouldn’t be for Mack
Brown. As the de facto manager of the football team, all he needs to do is make
one solid hire, that of director of scouting. The person hired needs to have
the vision and creativity to carry out the desired plans and the network to
staff such an undertaking. Mack should be relatively hands off. He has a team
to coach after all.
in internet rage is the need for money to be apportioned by the Board of
Regents. Once a budget is outlined, Mack will have an understanding of just how
sophisticated his new hire can make this operation. If the money is
insufficient to create one of the best recruiting machines in the nation, blame
would lay at the feet of those who control the purse-strings, and that’s not
The above is
me giving Mack the benefit of the doubt because we’re six months away from full
implementation. That said, I am a bit concerned about him understanding the
need for new staff. Mack’s circle of trust is actually the Venn diagram where
insular and paranoid overlap. Here’s a small illustration: O
heads up the most private staff in America. A guy who does that isn’t going to
be quick to let in 20 “outsiders,” and if he does, new evaluators are going to
be led on some wild goose chases. “Look, man, I can’t TELL you his name, his
initials are DW though. Now go scout him!”
I kid, sort
Like I said,
Mack needs to only make one slam dunk hire to alleviate him from the hands on
tasks. Burton did a good job outlining the qualities necessary for the
position. Texas needs somebody young, energetic and a personnel man through and
through. He needs to have vision and creativity. He doesn’t need to adapt,
there’s nothing to adapt to. He needs to innovate. He needs to be slick like
Nick Naylor while possessing the evaluating chops of Gil Brandt.
Hmmm, I may
be on to something. What happens if you push Naylor’s and Brandt’s face
together really hard? Exactly, you get Mike Mayock.
Go get him,
Mack’s ability to start this process off on the right foot there are a lot of
new angles to protract. I’ll break this large situation up into a few different
smaller points I’d like to make.
shortsighted as usual
know the NCAA’s intent with these new rules? If they’re intentionally trying to
ruin the sport, they’re on the right track.
this benefit the student-athlete? They’re already bombarded during contact
periods by coach after coach, and by JAGs like me year round, now the NCAA
wants to allow unlimited contact with them?
must know they have a problem with dirty programs. I don’t know for sure based
on their inaction, but they have to know, right? If it stands to reason there
are far too many dirty programs in the country, why would you make their
football specific staffs larger? If a program is dirty, then by extension their
scouting department will be as well. These scouts (or “$cout$”) have year-round
access to the players and will start serving as concierge.
I’ve seen it written that the only contact the
new personnel can have is on-campus. Okay, I’d love to see the NCAA enforce
that. The NCAA could have Scout X from College U on tape at Disneyworld with a
single mom and her triumvirate of talented sons and they’d justify it as
coincidence. They got lost at the Under Armour game, you see…
rules are going to be bad for Texas and the Big 12 as Nick Saban climbs aboard
that inexplicable elephant on the Crimson Tide logo and rides through the piney
East Texas woods like a modern day Hannibal. Destination, Metroplex.
If Texas is
smart, it will embrace these new challenges and meet them head on. The Fabian
strategy will not work here.
advantage of a sizable warchest
Longshanks’ war chest and resources, but it needs to be matched with Wallace’s
thing UT needs to do is fortify the castle (Texas). Once that’s done, Texas can
either pursue land and title, or go on a Crusade, depending on your point of
view. I don’t care what you call it, but Texas needs to be the aggressor.
being zero limits imposed on the size of the new staff, Texas should put 4-5
people in both of the state’s recruiting hubs. East Texas could be serviced
from Dallas, while Southeast Texas would be covered by the Houston group.
Central Texas/San Antonio would have to be addressed as well with a few scouts.
theoretically covered, it would be time to branch out. I’d have two guys in
Louisiana (Torshiro Davis’ old coach comes to mind, DeCarlos Holmes) and a few
in Montgomery, Alabama.
theory previously held that SEC country was a waste of time for Texas to
recruit. This is something I largely agreed with, but with this being a long
term process where real, lasting relationships are made, I tend to think Texas
could make some in-roads especially since scouts have more time to identify the
type of kid they’re after. Think Georgia Tech when it comes to quickness in
their head, with an Alabama first step.
I’d station four scouts in Southern California. They would also be charged with
Northern California, Las Vegas and Arizona.
definitely consider putting someone in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest and DMV
corridor, but at some point Texas would be a bit over extended. Class sizes are
still only 25, after all.
in the field would answer to the Director in Austin, who works in concert with
the staff. Scouts would know each coach’s personal preference. If Darrell Wyatt
likes explosive receivers, you keep your fondness of gritty Steve Largent types
to yourself. Unless of course they’re the second coming of Steve Largent.
be no management in field offices because there would be no field offices.
These are scouts. They work from their computers and phones in crappy
restaurants and motels. It’s not sexy.
is your friend
One of the
first things I would do is have an internal database, not unlike a recruiting
website, set up. Anything important would be stored here and it would be the
field hands job to keep it updated with logs of live scouting, a running list
of pros/cons, character concerns, grade concerns, coach’s comments, and any
#149T showed up to Jack Yates high school in a crimson Cutlass, license plate
reads BAMABOI, may be time to eject”
at OU under Switzer, asked about dorm hoes and handouts.”
database would be accessible to any person that passes the Mackground check and
would ensure the entire staff is on the same page at all times.
Porter is going to see some running back that a scout has made positive
in-roads with, all he needs to do is check the database to get fully up to
speed. An increase in scouting of this magnitude means a much wider swathe of
recruits. Remembering all of them well enough to make a connection would be
hard to do without ‘at your fingertips’ background information.
many more moving parts in all of this that I’m sure we’ll get to as this new
practice starts to materialize, but for now these are the thoughts I’m having.
still has plenty of time to get this operation jump started, but the key is
making the correct initial hire. After that, it will be fascinating to see how
this plan of action unfolds.