Hood: The word "commitment" has lost its meaning


by - Senior Writer -
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Welcome to the world of college football recruiting, where a person’s word is good for only a day.

I have a friend named Bruce who cares nothing about college football or recruiting, a man who lives his life by a certain code, and he would rather kill himself than break that code. His word is his bond, and if he tells you he is going to do something, it will get done. He doesn’t cut corners, and words such as honor and commitment and integrity mean something to him and aren’t just something you see on a commercial about the Marine Corps or read in a book. It was something passed down to him by his father, and probably passed down from his grandfather to his father.

I kidded him via text not too long back - he was frustrated that the people and the bosses in his workplace don’t live by the same code that he does, and it has cost him money time and time again. He expects everyone to live by the same ideals he lives under, and when people fail to live up to those expectations, he winds up disappointed and disillusioned with the way that things are today.

I sent him a text and kidded him, told him that he was a dinosaur, a relic of an age gone by when gentlemen considered a handshake a binding agreement and your personal guarantee was a matter of honor. He laughed, and admitted that he belongs in another era.

And that’s a shame.

It’s also shame that more and more of our young people can’t learn a little something from my friend, a point driven home the more that I cover college football recruiting, where young men hold coaches and schools hostage and expect them to live by their word, yet offer no guarantees in return.

Clemson coaches learned that Monday morning, when previous commitments DeMarcus Robinson DeMarcus Robinson
Linebacker
6-3, 215
Memphis, TN

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and Ryan Jenkins Ryan Jenkins
Wide Receiver
5-11, 177
Alpharetta, GA

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announced – a month before National Signing Day – that they were headed elsewhere.

Robinson’s recruitment has been full of drama since day one, his school of choice changing almost daily. His high school coach wanted him at Clemson, his mother seemingly wanted him at Florida and the young man himself never seemed to make up his mind about where he wanted to be. The good news for all of the college coaches involved is that Robinson is supposed to enroll at Florida sometime this week – given another week or another month, he might have changed his mind four or five more times and held even more schools and coaches hostage to his whims.

And therein lies one of the true downsides to college recruiting – coaches had been allowed to over-sign on signing day and then cut prospects that don’t measure up, while recruits use their leverage to beg college coaches to not recruit anyone else at their position or try to get their buddies scholarship offers with empty promises.

Coaches have to deal with a prospect getting angered if another prospect that plays their position makes an official visit, yet see that same prospect spend hours each night on Twitter re-tweeting posts from fans of other programs. Where is the commitment? There isn’t any, it’s as non-existent as a verbal commitment can be, more of an idea than anything tangible.

Clemson has seen its share of this drama this season – No. 1 recruit and defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche Robert Nkemdiche
Defensive End
6-5, 275
Loganville, GA

View Full Profile
committed to Clemson last June, but only after he made it known that his buddy David Kamara David Kamara
Cornerback
5-11, 185
Loganville, GA

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would be a nice incentive for his verbal. He then made it known that he had another buddy in Ryan Carter Ryan Carter
Cornerback
5-11, 175
Loganville, GA

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, and that if Clemson’s coaches would pony up another offer, he would be as good as signed.

A few months later, Nkemdiche has fallen prey to his own immaturity and the legions of people who have input into his life, and the shame of it all is that sometimes the best voice to follow is the one you hear inside your own heart and mind. However, that voice is all but drowned out by those who want a piece of a young player’s future, the adults who have input and make a young man listen. Unfortunately for Nkemdiche – who is by all accounts a fine young man - his promises to the Clemson coaches are as empty as the Ole Miss trophy shelves have been over the past 20 years.

I see other Clemson commitments and commitments from other schools playing the social media game, using tools such as Twitter and Facebook to gain legions of followers who can stroke their ego at all hours of the day, grown men and women begging for a piece of a teenager and acting as recruiting agents for their favorite program.

There are a few that make a commitment and stand by it – Grayson’s Wayne Gallman Wayne Gallman
Running Back
6-1, 195
Loganville, GA

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has let everyone know he is a Tiger through and through and his commitment hasn’t wavered as his teammates play the “flavor of the day” game. It is young men like Gallman who turn into future leaders, but they don’t get the attention that the others receive.


In today’s day and age – the electronic age – the attention span of young people is no longer than the time it takes to send a quick text message that is barely readable by the older generation. What looks new and shiny today is old and forgotten by tomorrow. A school that impresses one day is forgotten the next as they move on to the next greatest thing.

I have often wondered about Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
View Full Profile
’s policy about not allowing verbal commits to take visits elsewhere. Deep down, I’ve wondered if his harsh policy hurts recruiting more than it helps, leaving young men to wonder if they’ve made the right decision.

I will wonder no longer. Swinney is merely doing what Bruce’s father did to him and my father did to me – trying to make young men understand that there are lessons to be learned from the old ways, and that there is more to being a man than just re-tweeting the ramblings of sycophantic followers on social media sites. Sometimes being a man means honoring something you have committed to.

Alas, I know that it will never happen. The good old days are gone, and men like Bruce Kingsbury will soon pass into lore, fables we will tell our children and grandchildren about along with other men of honor that have passed through history.

It’s doubtful that many of those stories will concern the ideology of today’s young football players, the same players who happen to be the heroes of fawning fan bases.

And that’s a shame.

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Subject (Replies: 77) Author
Front Page Story: Hood: The word "commitment" has lost its meaning
B-Meist®
Seriously...did high school football players even do this
TheProdigal
In the old days it was even worse
Marshall®
Re: Seriously...did high school football players even do this
tigerinaiken®
What if everyone is begging you to commit?
TheProdigal
Commitments have been made and kept since the beginning
Tiger5
Re: Commitments have been made and kept since the beginning
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: What if everyone is begging you to commit?
Dugatiger®
Re: Seriously...did high school football players even do this
kiknchkn®
Re: Seriously...did high school football players even do this
gobigorange®
Really, a chicken fan talking about Dabo being
Tiger5
I'm much like your friend and agree. Dabo seems to be also
ColaTownTiger
The punishment for not keeping your word is...
ClemsonTiger1988®
Re: The punishment for not keeping your word is...
Dugatiger®
Re: The punishment for not keeping your word is...
Litefoot®
It doesn't matter when they de-commit, so I've learned; it's
Smiling Tiger®
Ding. Forget the "commitments". Let the kids decide
TheProdigal
Actually, I'd be all for that as long as the rules were the
Smiling Tiger®
I think contact with high school players should be
TheProdigal
I'd be all for it.***
Smiling Tiger®
Re: I think contact with high school players should be
clemtiger117®
It's a little more complicated than that. Commitments
ChucktownOrange
Re: It doesn't matter when they de-commit, so I've learned; it's
volk1
Re: It doesn't matter when they de-commit, so I've learned; it's
dougsss
I am just going by the reaction by many on here who
Smiling Tiger®
David Hood, You're kind of impressing me.
CUTigerDstomp
Re: David Hood, You're kind of impressing me.
omaha89
In defense of some of these kids, though...
tigersbite®
Its a reflection on society as a whole going down the toilet***
PioneerG
What if some person from an internet site...
TheProdigal
Huh?
PioneerG
Of course, it's obviously very simple for these kids.
TheProdigal
Give me a break, no one is holding a gun to their head
PioneerG
I don't see that. From what I see,
TheProdigal
And the ones with character stick by their commitment.***
PioneerG
I just think that's a broad brush you're painting with there
TheProdigal
I can see that some fans don't think that commitments in
Tiger5
Re: What if some person from an internet site...
tigerinaiken®
I'm saying the commitments are not real...
TheProdigal
No they arent. In fact Dabo stresses to kids NOT to.***
PioneerG
I hate to say it, but I don't really believe that.
TheProdigal
Re: What if some person from an internet site...
dgcannon39
"Depends on what the meaning of is .. is"
Miss80s
Re: Front Page Story: Hood: The word "commitment" has lost its meaning
Jonnybball22®
It's hard to get annoyed with a 17 year old for not
Stamos
Totally agree. We love to beat our chest about
TheProdigal
An even more appropriate response would be an early signing
jcope
"His promises are as empty as the Ole Miss trophy shelves."
dgwilli911®
Re: Front Page Story: Hood: The word "commitment" has lost its meaning
Batie Tiger
You hit on the key point ---
NortherTiger
Re: You hit on the key point ---
orangefan59
Re: Front Page Story: Hood: The word "commitment" has lost its meaning
Rhodyrams1987
unfortunately ours cases were empty for 20 years as well until last year
ninetytwotiger®
Yeah buddy just as Morris. Contract=Committment. Both ways!***
Tman84
Their Star rating should account for their character (word)
CUflanker
Its a sad commentary on those individuals and their
Clemson81to85
Contract = Commitment. Morris=Jenkins. No differnce.***
Tman84
Re: Contract = Commitment. Morris=Jenkins. No differnce.***
DUFFER®
Re: Contract = Commitment. Morris=Jenkins. No differnce.***
Tman84
Re: Contract = Commitment. Morris=Jenkins. No differnce.***
DUFFER®
Re: Contract = Commitment. Morris=Jenkins. No differnce.***
Tman84
This is coming from a society where we can't even stayed
ScottColeShow
It's not just high schools kids. Pro players renegotiate
joeyb®
A greater threat to society is grown men judging
josephg®
Great read***
Tigerfansince1972®
Re: Front Page Story: Hood: The word "commitment" has lost its meaning
jhawkes
It's like a law that isn't enforced.....
highcotton
Combo of Greed, Big Eyes, How raised, No respect, etc.
lightbulbbill®
Dabo Told It From Day One.
Xander5000
David, a lot of the blame needs to go to the outlets/gurus
surroundedtiger
Re:Exactly. They all are trying to make a buck off it.***
peanut
Well written; unfortunately, these recruits lack the mental
soccerkrzy®
Re Why waste time covering this stuff?***
peanut
That's nice. I like the part where you scold
Stamos
Re: Front Page Story: Hood: The word "commitment" has lost its meaning
DUFFER®
The problem, as I see it, is twofold: the pressure upon
hartins®
It's not just football. It's everywhere. People make a
clemsonsuzi®
Clemson coaches learned it Mon Morning? This has happened
SolidOrange007

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