17.Oct.2016 Recruiting Services, Paywalls, Paid Events

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I had another run-in with a recruiting service goon. The guy from the Nebraska Boneyard, Mike something or other. Big goon who is profiting off of harassing teenage boys for information and then selling the information to grown men in the form of a subscription to his site. In short, he is selling the grown man hope and excitement. Hope that their team lands a big recruit, the excitement of following that process (early Christmas present syndrome). On twitter, after his visit to the Indiana game, Quaran Hafiz posted something about “having to deal with all of the reporters now”. Mike, the Nebraska Goon, said, “Honestly I don’t blame him. We’re the worst”,  basically chiding a kid who is giving him free info that pays Mike’s bills.

Angie is a very big goon who not only takes advantage of the recruits to pay her mortgage, but then also bailed on her entire reader-base to move to a site full of bigger goons willing to exploit recruits even more (i.e. you have to assume she got a pay bump to make the move).

The paywall model: get information for free, rebrand information into a commodity, sell memberships. It’s basically the same as the mafia “It fell off a truck” model. A much more honest model would be free information (since the recruits give the information for free), and then charge advertisers if they want to be on your site. It’s still shady, but it’s much less shady.

I was talking to NiceBeaver privately about this issue, and he brought up a good point:

I wonder if recruits could benefit from telling reporter they can’t have the story if they’re not going to make the content free to the public? The sites would still want to cover the kids, just to have content and to be able to tell their subscribers they’re on top of things. But the paywall really limits the audience reading the kid’s story.  So, win/win for the kids if they put a condition on their interview that it must be free.

Correct.

Also, it’s not just the online recruiting services, but hosts of events (e.g. making college coaches pay 2k to attend an event where there are recruits they want to scout). These people are all low lifes. Those events don’t really affect us. The online recruiting services do, though. We can choose to not pay them and take a stand against the exploitation of recruits.

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  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    Does Tim Cook have one more year (i.e. medical redshirt)?

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    What about Tuli Wily-Matagi at QB? He doesn’t look all that bad as a QB in his highlight video. Is he redshirting this year?

    Would it make more sense to start getting Tuli Wily-Matagi ready as the back-up and try not to burn Moran’s redshirt? Right now I’m thinking it would.

    Who else do they have to be QB for the scout team?

    • angry angry says:
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      Really? With the first two posts you talk about something completely off topic?

      • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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        The way things go here as soon as there’s a new topic everyone moves over to it even it they don’t give a fuck about the new topic.

        That’s me. I don’t give a fuck about the new topic but I am interested in Cook’s eligibility and who’s left that could play QB.

        • Mammothboner6969 says:
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          I think we can extrapolate this to the sentiment most people have to politics.

  • mckalk says:
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    Personally, I am interested in recruiting from an overarching perspective per the Beaver program, but I could give two shits about the specific details of a 17 year old kid and would never pay for that information. Does that make sense?

    • angry angry says:
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      Yes, and that’s smart, but they’re selling hope to grown men who will and do pay. I don’t think those guys realize how exploited the recruit is…

      • mckalk says:
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        Yeah, the “selling hope” nails it. I recall one site would put photos of high ranked baskeball recruits on their first page and then when I would dig a little deeper on the internet, it would turn out that said player had zero or virtually no interest in OSU. Selling hope during the Craig Robinson era.

        • angry angry says:
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          Yes, the publisher just prays they get one small blurb where the recruit mentions their school (and usually this is easy because the recruit is polite and doesn’t want to offend the publisher). The publisher simply asks “do you like OSU” and the recruit says “yeah it’s pretty cool”, then there’s a hopium article up that a 5-star kid is interested in the school.

  • nicebeaver nicebeaver says:
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    It’s a pretty big industry if it’s able to support 3 major national sites (thinking Rivals/Scout/247) plus local media. And it depends on naive high-school kids who are willing to give access to reporters because they’re just excited to be in position to be in the news. I don’t say they’re naive in a bad way, but just that they are new to the whole process.

    I’d imagine it would be disappointing to know that the interview you granted a Rival or Scout reporter was only going to be viewed by some 50 fans on a message board (more or less, depending on the school/site)

    • angry angry says:
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      But the Goon at Nebraska must have hundreds, if not thousands of, readers.
      I’m not sure what a membership costs, but say $10 per month and they have 1,000 members. That’s a six figure salary from predating on recruits. The “members” are more like “enablers”. They can’t control their emotions and just wait an extra day for the news to be public, which is why I mention it’s like an Early Christmas Present phenomenon.

      Angie probably has 50 members, but still that’s $500 per month, so recruits are paying some of her mortgage just by giving a quote.

      These recruiting service publishers are some if the biggest lowlifes in the business.

      • Jack Jack says:
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        For $10/month I better be getting 120% of what Amazon Prime gives me.

        I don’t think reading what a high schooler said at a summer camp is going to get me there.

  • Beav in DE says:
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    It’s just an old business model from before everyone used the internet for information. You had recruiting information publications that would release information around Signing Day and charge for it because that was the only place you could find any recruiting information.

    It’s 2016 now and every recruit is on Twitter. The only value a recruiting service could possibly bring would be aggregating information from Twitter or the banal details you get reading interviews with recruits (“campus was great, the team was nice, blah blah blah).

    There are plenty of fantastic people that will aggregate info for free because it’s interesting to them and they’re generous, so that just leaves the boring interview stuff. Frankly, if someone wants to read that and recruits get a kick out of it, they’re welcome to it. Recruits shouldn’t feel obligated to do interviews, though, and if they want to control how information about their recruiting process gets distributed, good for them.

    Some enterprising, highly ranked recruit needs to start charging for exclusive access to updates on his recruiting process. You know one of these services would bite, and that would be a good way to make a little more money out of the CFB experience for the player.

    • angry angry says:
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      Some enterprising, highly ranked recruit needs to start charging for exclusive access to updates on his recruiting process. You know one of these services would bite, and that would be a good way to make a little more money out of the CFB experience for the player.

      I think it would be against NCAA rules.

      I’m not for pay for play. But I am against pay for quotes/information.

      • orangejulius orangejulius says:
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        That’s a good question. Can a recruit have a job? Can a recruit be self employed? Not much difference. Maybe the only way to get behind a locked Twitter account is offer memberships? Say $50.00 per month. Sure Mama Machado, I’ll be happy to add you, er, be your friend…

        • Beav in DE says:
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          They may have some clause about payment in relation to recruitment activities, though.

  • angry angry says:
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    Can someone post a link to this post on the Oregonian comment section?
    I can’t login to the site due to my browser security lockdown..haha. I think a lot of the guys who pay for memberships hang out over there, though, and maybe this will make them think twice before enabling those sites.

  • mckalk says:
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    It would have entertainment value for me if the recruits could be brutally honest, I didn’t come to OSU because X coach was a clueless asshole! Or the fuckers said they saw me as a safety and I said fuck you, I’m a QB!

    Now that might be worth something! As it stands, it’s bland, boring and so many recruits fall by the wayside for a myriad of reasons. I’m not buying what the recruiting sites are selling.

    • angry angry says:
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      That would be hilarious. Or if the publisher posted the quotes where recruits tell them off.

      “I asked Joe Five Star what he thought of Oregon State, and he said, ‘Fuck you, Mamma Machado. Get a real job.'”

      I still wouldn’t pay because I don’t believe in paying these goons mortgages for quotes from kids. But it sure would be hilarious and give them more cred.

    • SkepticalBeav says:
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      I would love this, and have asked for it specifically. No luck yet getting the real story.

  • Doozeldorf says:
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    Personally all the recruiting “news” causes such an emotional roller coaster. I was a lot better off when I just waited for LOI day to find out who we got rather than get my hopes up and find out all the guys we didn’t get. Even then, the LOI doesn’t mean shit until they’re on the field. So there is no way I’m paying for information that that can change every minute. It’s like paying for a weather forecast.

    • mckalk says:
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      Well stated!

    • angry angry says:
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      That’s a great comment. Interesting take on it that I agree with yet didn’t think up.

    • orangejulius orangejulius says:
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      Hey I bought tickets to Saturdays game, a monsoon was forecast yet there were barely any sprinkles and some wind gusts, I paid for a quality forecast and you said some torrential rainfall.

      • Jack Jack says:
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        Tickets were really cheap, and we made a run for it when the weather was what it was. I already have my chores for the next two weekends done, and all it took was a weather scare for me to get away with it.

    • Jack Jack says:
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      That’s a perfect metaphor.

  • angry angry says:
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    These recruiting services remind me a lot of paparazzi. Same type of model, where you just have a person getting in someone’s face and making a living off that.

    I guess the only valid counter would be that the recruit is getting something in return (exposure), but many of them don’t need that, and the terms aren’t laid out up front, so it’s almost a verbal adhesion contract in a way.

  • etyrt says:
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    Free market my friends. Some people are willing to pay. Fine. Some are not. Fine. I don’t hate on anyone who makes a living, as long as other are not harmed. I pay for recruiting services because it interests me. I understand if you don’t. I am lucky to be in a position to fork over $10 a month for it and I enjoy the conversation on the message boards.

    • Jack Jack says:
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      Yes, but the moral question is that it is not them “making” anything. It’s kids giving free product to someone and that someone putting a price tag on the kids.

      Or… these sites get their info from people who work for publicly subsidized organizations or, at least, programs that are funded by people like you and me who already gift monies or buy tickets. It’s against NCAA bylaws for those people to discuss anything about kids who haven’t signed grants in aid. But even if it wasn’t, why should you and I and everyone else get double-dipped for this info?

      So it’s not really a free market. It’s a manipulated product given artificial and/or redundant value and placed in a bubble market.

      • etyrt says:
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        The kids are not forced to give interviews. The kids want the promotion that the services can give them, especially those who may not be elite prospects.

  • scotty says:
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    The only recruits I care about are the ones that show up at OSU. I couldn’t care less about all the verbals, lists, and other junk.

  • cj cj says:
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    Although I’ve never subscribed to a pay site, I could see no reason for doing that. Personally, I believe I get all the info I need from AB and the folks I chat with via email, etc.

    I always thought paying for info was a big waste of $.

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