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Daily Times assistant sports editor Terry Toohey covers the college sports beat like no other reporter. Catch his latest updates here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Savage situation signifies a need for change

When Cardinal O'Hara grad Tom Savage decided he was going to leave Rutgers, he found himself in a world where football coaches, coaches in general, had the final say.
First, he had to be released from his scholarship obligation, but even when he did, Savage was not free to go wherever he wanted.
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano could and did block Savage from talking to some of the schools on his wish list, notably Florida and Miami.
It's time to end this practice. No one should have that kind of power. Once an athlete decides he or she wants to transfer, they should be allowed to go wherever they want.
It doesn't make sense for a coach to follow this practice. Why would you want to tick off an athlete who doesn't want to be part of your program anyway? Isn't it best to take the high road, cut ties and move on?
It certainly is from a recruiting standpoint. Athletes have friends, among them their high school coaches. Someone on your staff may have to go back to that school in the future and you want that high school coach to be a friend, not an enemy.
Here's another thing that has to change. Coaches have to treat verbal commitments like letters of intent. Once a player makes a verbal commitment, the recruiting process ends.
And the athletes have to share some of that burden, too. Don't be in a rush to commit. Take your time. But once you do decide, stay true to your word.


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