Say this for Kirby Smart: The man doesn’t mind working, especially if that work involves the acquisition of players.
Last week in Macon, Smart was asked how he felt about the NCAA’s recent deregulation of texting and all other forms of electronic communication.
Love it, he said.
Just point him their way.
“I don’t mind that,” Smart said of the increased workload on coaches and staffs. “I just want players.”
Frankly, I’m surprised about the NCAA’s recent rash of liberalism with regard to deregulation. They just keeping adding more and more layers to the insanity. Satellite camps were initially banned by the governing body, only to be overturned a few weeks later.
Since then, those camps are popping up all over the place, especially in Georgia and Metro Atlanta, which increasingly is being recognized as a hotbed of recruiting. Just ask Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Louisville’s Bobby Petrino, who each plan to conduct camps here.
Now these camps really are not a direct threat to the UGA’s recruiting. The kids the Bulldogs are after are usually identified early on and invited to on-campus camps.
No, these satellite deals are more for the undiscovered kids that might otherwise slip through the cracks. But there’s value in that as well.
“There’s about 15 arguments to it,” Smart said. “There’s the argument, why do one in your state, because you’re going to get everybody on campus. Then there’s the argument to go outside your footprint, so we should only be going to Dallas, to Miami, to outside places. Then there’s why do them at all? We don’t have to do them. Get them to come to your place.”
The problem now is the camps are springing up all over the place. That is creating another dilemma. No school can have more than nine coaches away from campus at any one time. So where do you send them? And how many? Do you send nine to one place, do you send one to nine different places?
Smart indicated he indeed wants to participate in some of the Atlanta camps “to see young kids be developed and help the game.” But which ones it will be, he’s still trying to figure out.
“Our philosophy is to put them all on a calendar,” he said. “And they’re coming by the minute. Want to see my cell phone? There’s more of them popping up. I think it’s going to dilute the product. I think kids are going to be pulled in a million different directions. … I think the media is really caught up in where we’re going and what are our plans. We don’t know yet. They haven’t even stopped making them yet?”
Meanwhile, the NCAA also recently waved the bans on football coaches from texting recruiting prospects. Conceivably, that’s going to mean even more electronic engagement from the coaches.
Not a big deal, Smart says.
“I text a lot right now,” he said. “For me it’s not a major change.”
But it might be a big deal for the prospects, especially those that might qualify as “elite.” Those are the ones that Georgia and the rest of the SEC schools are primarily recruiting. They were already getting tons of attention.
“I know if I’m sending them 10 texts a day, they’re probably getting times-10 that,” Smart said. “That’s 100 and they’re sitting in class. So they’re dealing with the burden, not me. But I don’t mind the rule. I want to take advantage of it and go text as many guys as I can.”
Actually, college basketball coaches have been dealing with unlimited texting for a few years now.
“Mary Beth’s not going to like it,” Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox said of Smart’s wife. “You go to bed with your phone. There are times I’ve laid my phone on my cheek, just in case a kid texts you back. Now these kids pick and choose when they want to communicate, and they’ve got different hours than a lot of us.”
No problem, Smart says. Bring it on.