Inside the ‘dirty’ underbelly of college football's recruiting boom: from non-committable offers to non-binding promises

Nady said the “sniper-shot mentality” is increasingly rare.

“Or you’re going to carpet bomb,” Nady said, “and you’re going to throw a huge, large net over an area.”

That’s when the recruiting landscape becomes what Cedar Hill recruiting coordinator D.J. Mann called “a dirty, dirty game.”

Colleges can be creative – and deceptive – in building talented classes that often dictate their job security.

Mann said college coaches can tell players they must visit campus or attend an offseason camp before committing. Mann once had two players drive eight hours for a weekday visit with hopes of receiving scholarships that didn’t come – and didn’t get to appear on social media.

As an assistant with SMU from 2015-16, DeSoto coach Claude Mathis learned about “slow playing”: If a player called to commit – but the staff wanted to maintain that space as higher-ranked prospects decided – coaches could tell him not to rush or to bring his parents on a visit. If that didn’t work, Mathis said, they could say someone else beat him.

“All these coaches,” Mann said, “they don’t keep it 100 with you.”

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Underbelly sounds pretty accurate. College football [and basketball] has big money tied to it. And where there is money to be made there are corrupt people and/or good people doing corrupt things. Unfortunately, 17 and 18 YO kids are those impacted the most.

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