Sport in Control: Another word is needed to describe recruits, schools and their relationship

SPORT AT HAND • When we coach basketball, one of the things we try to include are lessons about other elements of life. You know, like words. Every once in a while we use a word that evokes blank stares. We get it. It’s an instructive moment. We explain what the word means. We call it our SAT word of the day.


• But it’s not just the vocabulary area this grueling test that we are concentrating on. words matter. Always have. Choosing the right ones can mean the difference between success and failure at many mediums, including this one.

That’s why we decided to embark on a solo crusade to eliminate the word “Engagement” from the recruiting lexicon.

It doesn’t fit anymore, if it ever did.

When a high school (or now a college transfer) announces its “commitment” to a school, oh and ah what that means for their school. The truth? Nothing at all. Even those who end up signing their names on the dotted line are not “obligated” in any way. Not on their side, not on the school’s side. It’s more of an engagement than a marriage.

And yet this term is not correct either. Most engagements don’t involve both parties making a public announcement and then spending the next few weeks looking around for someone else to marry — except maybe Jennifer Lopez or Billy Bob Thornton, who, although they’ve been engaged a dozen times combined, have yet to be engaged to each other.

Another term must be available, right? The word “engagement” just doesn’t work.


As a recent example, take what happened this year at the Five Star High School Safety Peyton Bowen.

In January, the Denton, Texas-based product announced its “commitment” to Notre Dame. And steadfast. Until Wednesday, the first day of football’s early signing phase. He told the world via social media that he is not signing with the Irish. Instead, he was on his way to Oregon. It was called (yes, you guessed it) an “obligation”.

Except he never signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ducks. Instead, he signed with Oklahoma.

Let’s summarize. For 11 months he was “obligated” to Notre Dame. He was “obligated” to Oregon for about an hour. And now he’s on his way to Oklahoma.

If that’s a “commitment,” then we’re the next coming of Ernest Hemingway.

We’re not, and the word isn’t right either. After all, up until a few weeks ago, there were more than a dozen players “dedicated” to Colorado. All were given assurances that their scholarships would be available no matter who the new coach was. Only they weren’t. Heck, a lot of the guys already playing for the Buffs didn’t survive the hyped Deion Sanders takeover.

Announcing a “commitment” is a two-way street, folks. It’s not even a one-way street. It’s a dead end if both sides want it that way.

A better label needs to be found for athletes who want to show the world that they really made a decision to attend a particular school, or, as is far too often the case, want everyone to know who is recruiting them, with it they can attract the attention of other schools further up the recruitment food chain.

Perhaps the term “announced” could work, as in “Player A has announced that he will attend South Central Louisiana State University.” From there, all we can say is that they’ve been “announced.”

It’s true but boring.

Perhaps “declared” is a better word. “Player B stated on Thursday that he will sign with Western University in the fall.” has a decent sound. Sounds a little more definitive, but doesn’t tie anyone to anything. It only allows the player and the school to put on record that they will one day get engaged.

Or even, if everything works out, walking down the altar together.



WSU: Do you know who bonded to each other? Mike Leach and Washington State for eight years. Which means Leach went through a boatload of quarterbacks. Theo Lawson spoke to three of Leach’s more successful passers and asked them to share their memories of the recently deceased coach. … Current coach Jake Dickert has thoughts on each of the program’s recent signatories. … The men’s basketball team took to the court last night in Hawaii to end a two-game losing streak. The Cougars did, defeating George Washington 66-64 on Jabe Mullins’ 3-pointer by 3 seconds. Colton Clark has this story. … Elsewhere in Pac-12 and college football, Jon Wilner spoke to Merton Hanks in the conference office about this the delayed soccer plan 2023. He shares in the Mercury News the reasons why it hasn’t been published yet. … Washington Another key player is coming back. … But we addressed that above Oregon’s recruiting classalthough highly rated, fell behind slightly. It did roster. … Oregon State welcomes a much-appreciated transfer to the offensive line. … Stanford has hired a former assistant from Wisconsin as defense coordinator. … Sanders’ contract was approved by Colorado’s regents. … The defence at U.S.C needs a strong Cotton Bowl outing. … Arizona had a strong recruiting class. … Kyle Whittingham has a great idea of ​​what Utah’s success means. … The January 2nd Rose Bowl game will be the last real Rose Bowl game. After this year it will be just another playoff game. … On the basketball news, Oregon State Offense caught up all season. … winning record for a head coach owes a lot to the assistants. … Stanford got a win. … Arizona defeated Morgan State and gave up coaches Tommy Lloyd a 45-5 record in his first 50 games.


gonzaga: We noticed former Eastern coach and GU assistant Ray Giacoletti sitting in the stands near the Bulldog bench during the game against Alabama. Jim Meehan caught up with him and has this story. … Elsewhere in the WCC, BYU got another win. … Pepperdine lost to Hawaii. … Santa Clara had a great second half and rolled over on a visit to Boise State.

EMU and Idaho: Around the big sky, as I said, State of Weaver lost at BYU. … State of Portland defeated Cal Baptist. … Northern Colorado has one employee who does everything. … on the football news, Montana had a few All-American players. … State of Montana remains focused on recruiting high school players. … So too U.C. Davis.

Preparations: Dave Nichols has a recap of Thursday’s prep action that wasn’t too busy.


Seahawks: Each of the Hawks’ Pro Bowl players responded differently to the honor. … Game on Saturday in Kansas City will be freezing. And it will decide what the rest of the season looks like. … Peter Caroll said Ryan Neal but will not play Kenneth Walker III will.

Octopus: A two-goal lead deep in the third third didn’t hold up and Seattle lost to Vancouver. … Still, the octopuses gain fans.

sounder: The World Cup takes place in Seattle in four years. And throughout the North American continent. It’s on our bucket list.


• See you on the other side – from Christmas. For the first time in more than a decade – as far as we can remember – we’re taking a few consecutive days off. Resting an injured shoulder is part of the reason. The rest? It just seems right. Until the second day of Christmas… Sport in Control: Another word is needed to describe recruits, schools and their relationship

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