Posted: 11:05 am Thursday, March 27th, 2014

5 recruiting stories people are talking about … ‘Atlanta is SEC country’ 

By Michael Carvell

Auburn's Bruce Pearl: "Atlanta is still SEC country"

Auburn’s Bruce Pearl: “Atlanta is still SEC country” (AP/Bruce Dill)

Bruce Pearl loves Atlanta so much that he ought to be given honorary membership on the city’s chamber of commerce.

Since being hired as Auburn’s new basketball coach, Pearl has taken every media opportunity possible to speak about his affinity for Atlanta. Of course, it has everything to do with the city’s insane production of college basketball talent.

“Atlanta has got great coaching, they’ve got a lot of players, we’ve got a great alumni base in Atlanta,” Pearl said on his radio show via al.com. “And Atlanta is still SEC country. It’s not ACC country. Atlanta is SEC country and that’s where we’re going to focus a big part of our efforts.”

Since Pearl can’t recruit until Aug. 24 because of an NCAA show-cause penalty (he can’t even contact high school coaches over the phone or via email), expect the coach to continue chatting up Atlanta at every media opportunity. It’s a smart plan, given the restrictions he is under.

Here are five other recruiting stories this week people are talking about:

1. SEC AGAINST EARLY SIGNING PERIOD

Despite the fact that most SEC head coaches support some form of an early signing period for football, the guy who runs the SEC’s daily operations said that the conference, as a whole, does not support the idea at this point. “There’s not been an idea that’s been put on the table that adequately deals with all the issues,” the SEC’s Greg Sankey told al.com. “There needs to be a full consideration of the issues.” An NCAA committee will review the possibility of an early signing period at a June meeting. Of course, the biggest hurdle is that while a majority of college coaches across the country support a version of an early signing period, each coach has a different idea on how to do it – which, in my opinion, makes this issue more confusing not less.

2. CAN’T WE ALL GET ALONG?

Man, there are some sensitive hockey and soccer fans in Columbus, Ohio. Urban Meyer had to issue an apology (or clarification) after my Q&A with the Ohio State football coach. When I asked him why Georgia’s elite 2015 football prospect ought to consider signing with the Buckeyes, part of Meyer’s response was that Columbus is “a large city that really has no professional sports teams.” Even though he didn’t specify, I felt like was referring to NFL’s Browns and Bengals. And his tone of voice while making the comment certainly wasn’t condescending. But the fans of Columbus-based NHL and MLS teams had a meltdown on various message boards. Meyer texted an apology via the Columbus Dispatch: “I have great respect for both the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Columbus Crew organizations. The intent of my comment about football recruiting was that Columbus doesn’t have professional football. I should have made that point clear, and I do apologize for the misunderstanding. I am pulling for the Blue Jackets in their playoff drive and I wish the best for the Crew under its new leadership.”

3. THE OUTSPOKEN CHARLES BARKLEY

Charles Barkley loves the quality of basketball in Atlanta, too. Not the Atlanta Hawks, but the city’s high school talent. Barkley, an Auburn basketball alum, told a radio show last week, “Atlanta, Georgia is the preeminent hot spot for college recruiting right now. If you go and look at all these college rosters the last five or six years there has to be at least 25 players starting in major colleges that are from the Atlanta area. It is unbelievable how many players are from the Georgia area. That’s got to be our second priority.”

4. WHY CAN’T MARK FOX RECRUIT ATLANTA?

If you read message boards, this week’s running joke is that the reason UGA basketball coach Mark Fox can’t effectively recruit Atlanta is THIS.

5. SEC APPEAL OF NCAA RULE

Greg Sankey, the SEC’s chief operating officer, also explained in his al.com interview the reason the SEC is appealing the new NCAA interpretation of early financial aid agreements – where the NCAA basically says only the first college the kid signs the F.A.A. with will be awarded “unlimited contact.” The SEC’s big concern (and they are exactly right) is that unlike with the letters of intent, the colleges don’t have to share the F.A.A. signings with each other, and that could lead to colleges unknowingly committing NCAA recruiting violations. Again, they’re exactly right. Sankey’s reasoning sort of reads like legalese but here goes: “There’s an interest in changing the recruiting structure. That should be a full and complete conversation, not something that’s done interpretatively.”

BONUS: UGA vs. Clemson

Round two of UGA DE commit Chauncey Rivers vs. Clemson OL commit Mitch Hyatt will take place at Saturday’s Rivals camp at Marist high school, if both show up. There was a lot of Twitter smack talk after the showdown (mainly from one side) between the two at last week’s Nike camp. Rivers is from Stephenson High School while Hyatt hails from North Gwinnett. And Scout.com has posted a new video (below) of the matchup:

 

 

49 comments
SvenOttke
SvenOttke

Bruce Pearl is as ethically challenged as the day is long.  And for hoops, Atlanta is all ACC.

GaTech_alum92
GaTech_alum92

Atlanta is ACC country --- when it comes to hoops!!!

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

Bruce Pearl hasn't yet figured out he is not at UT...he is at Auburn where basketball is about as important as maintaining the grassy median on nearby I-85. Good luck recruiting Atlanta...you'll need it. Auburn is the basement of SEC basketball...even worse than the exponentially underachieving UGA. No decent hoops player is going to sign with Auburn unless no one else offers. We'll have to watch and see what lengths Bruce Pearl will go to in order to find some players. But he won't come close to signing the level of talent he enjoyed at UT.

ATL25
ATL25

If you think Auburn people will care what your butthurt opinions are.. you're wrong. You're upset that your rooting interest isn't competitive on the national scale. Keep winning the low East and thinking it's an accomplishment. You talk about Petrino-gate, but Lowder had his power stripped. You talk about giving player's a second chance. Cam and Nick were both punished at their previous institutions and kept their noses clean at AU and were quite successful. Say what you want but you have no merit in your hateful wishful-thinking. Talk about Cam's moronic daddy, but it was Miss St that offered him money. The FBI investigated for 18 months and found no wrong-doing with AU.. Keep whining, it's comical

HighTechJacket99
HighTechJacket99

Auburn is like the home for wayward boys or a reform school. They take the castoffs from other programs and give them second chances. Did they hire Malzahn before Petrino was available?

Oakland
Oakland

Does Auburn sell season tickets for basketball?

SinceVince
SinceVince

Big Bonus already went to Clempsun 38 - 35 last season with our dawgs scoring a last minute garbage TD.

SinceVince
SinceVince

I bet Mark Fox understands now why its is called "Catlanta"

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

Rivers sure does have quick hands and a quick first step. Hope he sticks with us

TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

Auburn hires Pearl. Scum meets Slime.

P_The_Ricker
P_The_Ricker

Pearl is a great recruiter......or salesman.  He'll run into similar success at Aub that he had at TN on account of 2 major points:

-  Lesser academic standards to abide by in comparison to other local BCS conf schools

-  An AD willing to give a loose leash and not interfere with what may be working

      -Hamilton at UT hired Kiffin for crying out loud.  Had to look away to accept his antics

       -Jacobs has proven to have a minimum ethical standard around his program.  Took Chizik having an 0-8 SEC season to get fired.  That of course only 2 years removed from winning the BCS.  If he had a high ethical standard, he never would have allowed all the shenanigans to take place that did occur while Chizik was running the program.....instead only firing him when he finally was unable to produce results....after only 1 losing season.  Jacobs is of course part of the same regime that tried to fly-in petrino to replace tubberville during the cover of night.....and less than 2 years after their 2004 undefeated season and potentially best team ever.

.....of course Pearl may get caught doing something illegal or unethical by someone else, but no way that Jacobs or Aub turns him in or is watching after him.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

The cow college normally gets two sellouts a year and that is when Bama comes to the crop facility and if Kentucky is in town. Otherwise get out that old curtain.

gbal
gbal

All Bruce need to do is  contact certain blogornalist (formally call journalist) and he will get headline space in the state flagship paper.   Miles gets it, Saban, Mizo AU...

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Imagine how good Wilt Chamberlain could have been if he had followed Mark Fox' rules. 

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

If the players want to be considered employee of the college they attend then they should be treated the same as an employee as far as having to file a Federal Tax every year. As an employee they will be getting a regular salary every month that should not only take Social Security out but Federal and State Tax. They will also have to contribute to their Health Care. Fair is fair . They can't have it both ways. 

FGT
FGT

gt is the bb school and they can't win anything in bb. uga just simply needs new coaching.

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

we cant recrut basketball because our cheapskates that run the university wont build a new stadium.  stegman is a dump compared to the state of the art arenas around the country.  there is no reason that we cant have uga competing for national titles in basketball every year.  we do it in football heck we were a top 5 preseason last year and 5 yards away from a title 2 seasons ago. we could make a statement and play some games at phillips and some football at the new stadium a few games a year til they upgrade we could even transplant some of the heges for those games.

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

Pearl may be to Auburn what Spurrier was to Florida. New arena, close to Atlanta and now a big time coach. Not been done before where all three conditions met.

hbrsj
hbrsj

........and Auburn beat UGA this year...........on our way back, baby!

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

@Bubbatavious  finally came out of hiding eh? fake dawg fan cant name any favorite players why your a dawg fan or even say anything nice about our program. makes me want to throw up.

GetontheGusBus
GetontheGusBus

@P_The_Ricker Jacobs is just like any other AD. Once you start losing the fans will get the coach fired not the AD. Until you know the person I wouldn't say he is unethical. Tell us those lesser academic standards! I have relatives at both UGA and AU and both are the same. 

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

You are out of your mind if you think Pearl will match his success at UT. Comical!

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

@P_The_Ricker  

What I can't understand is the SEC knows what type program is run at Auburn and lets it continue. Auburn has been on probation so much they know now how to not get caught. 

I will agree that the 2004 Auburn team got screwed by ESPN . Any team that could beat a very good Georgia team as bad as they did that year , late in the season deserved to play Southern Cal for the National Title . I predicted within 5 points the Southern Cal - Oklahoma blowout. The easiest pick in the last 10 years.

I think Malzahn is a deceit guy but he will be ruined the longer he stays at Auburn. He either turns a bind eye or is out of the loop as to what really takes place over there.

MM2
MM2

You are mindless! UGA hasn't competed for a NC in 30 years!! And will not compete for one as long as Mr. Tan is coaching the mutts!!

MichaelCarvell
MichaelCarvell moderator

@MoistDawg  I like the idea about playing some games at Phillips arena. And I think Mark Fox made a big mistake by not hiring an assistant who has real Atlanta ties. That has probably hurt him as much as anything

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

Sure he is. They have a new arena? Link please....don't think so. Still the gutter of SEC hoops regardless.

P_The_Ricker
P_The_Ricker

@C-Kirk @P_The_Ricker

It really is amazing.  The institution has accepted that they're not up to par with the Alabamas, LSUs, UGAs and UFs of the SEC.....so they've completely buried their conscience and ethical guidebook in the dirt and are prepared to compete at any cost, even if it means the lost respect of other schools/fan bases and potentially punishment from the NCAA.

Agree that Malzahn comes across as a good guy...but there's no way he's blind to what's going on over there.  I will give him credit though for not retaining trooper taylor.

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

No one under the age of 50 even knows who Wilt Chamberlain was.....

Lambert Dawg
Lambert Dawg

@MichaelCarvell @MoistDawg Carvell - Thanks for that link to the reason why Fox can't recruit Atlanta. Great Journalism.  Crap like that is what makes reading about sports on the AJC so difficult. You should be ashamed and embarrassed.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@MichaelCarvell

The UGA-GT game should be at Phillips.  UGA might want to think about playing UK there as well - they will fill the arena.

GetontheGusBus
GetontheGusBus

@P_The_Ricker @C-Kirk What? Tell us what un-ethical thing that AU did??? Another UGA fan that got his feelings hurt over the loss. Why don't you ask the beloved Dooly what he thinks of AU!!!!

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Chuck_UGA  

Sure they do - he was the really tall guy in Conan the Destroyer

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

Durham did not have many Atlanta star players. Roger Mason or whatever his name was recruited the Final Four team and others until Auburn's Sonny Smith stole him leading to the signing of Chuck Person and Barkley for Auburn.

HotDawg
HotDawg

I agree that was a very trashy link to post to an ajc article. Penthouse Forum next?

Family newspaper MC.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Chuck_UGA

"That punk who covered the story on that blog clearly has zero respect for women...a sign of his likely Muslim heritage. Strong words are also a sign of a weak mind"

Some people don't get irony

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

That punk who covered the story on that blog clearly has zero respect for women...a sign of his likely Muslim heritage. Strong words are also a sign of a weak mind....and if you looked at his pic, you can see he is so thin he'd have trouble beating his way out of a wet paper bag.

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

Yeah...right. Fill Phillips Arena with UK fans!