Jim Harbaugh landed in a mess this week after pulling scholarship offers from two recruits at Michigan. Offensive lineman Erik Swenson and defensive end Rashad Weaver made verbal commitments and were prepared to sign letters of intent Feb. 3 only to have Harbaugh go back on his word.
It was within NCAA guidelines, which says plenty about the NCAA. College recruiting in all sports is a slimy operation with the sales pitches and false promises. Harbaugh was neither the first nor the last coach to renege on an offer. The practice is more common than most realize, but it doesn’t make it right.
You could argue that recruits also vacate verbal commitments, thereby going back on their word. While true, it’s also not the same. A teenager and his family going through the process for the first time have more at stake and should not be held to the same standard.
Many students know the joy, and relief, that comes with picking the right school. It’s hard to fathom the disappointment that comes with watching the process blow up in smoke. High school stars should keep that in mind when a coach whispers sweet nothings in their ears.
In many cases, it’s all talk.
Power Takes are opinion blasts from Bucky, Sully & members of The News’ sports staff -- three will appear in Wednesday’s and Friday’s sports sections.
Today’s Power Takes
• Bob DiCesare’s Power Take: Manuel an administrator who does job the right way
• Bucky Gleason’s Power Take: An axiom for today’s world: Let the recruited beware
• Jerry Sullivan’s Power Take: Serena on track to be best female athlete ever