Carver-Columbus football coach bans UGA recruiters

The coach of Columbus’ Carver High has “banned” Georgia’s coaches from recruiting players at the school.

As first reported by former AJC staffers Todd Holcomb and Chip Saye in the e-mail newsletter Georgia High School Football Daily, Carver coach Dell McGee is upset because he says the Bulldogs withdrew a scholarship offer to quarterback Devin Burns while Burns was on the UGA campus this past Saturday night. What made it worse was, according to McGee, Burns had come with his entire family with the plan of committing that very day to Georgia coach Mark Richt.

“To protect our kids and my program, Georgia won’t be welcome on my campus,” McGee, a former Auburn player, told the GHSFD. “They’re not going to recruit anybody.”

McGee reaffirmed that stance to the AJC at lunchtime Tuesday and said he stands by his decision.

“Rescinding a scholarship is not uncommon; that’s not my problem,” said McGee, who said his school’s principal is in agreement. “It’s really about how the situation was handled. It’s the manner in which it was done.”

McGee said Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo offered Burns a scholarship this past spring. He said Georgia coaches knew Burns was coming to Athens for “Georgia Night” this past Saturday and they knew he was bringing his whole family with him. McGee said Burns defensive end Corey Crawford was also going to commit. Now both players are looking “at other offers,” McGee said.

“Devin’s going to be fine. His family’s going to be fine,” he said. “But there’s some hurt and some embarrassment there.”

Calls to Bobo and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner were not returned Tuesday. Georgia’s coaches are in the midst of their annual “hideaway” before summer camp. But they probably couldn’t say anything anyway. According to UGA spokesman Claude Felton, “as per NCAA rules, Georgia is not allowed to comment on that situation,”

“Banning” certain colleges from recruiting a school is a drastic measure but not entirely uncommon in the emotionally-charged business of football recruiting. Earlier this year Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin was banned from recruiting Pahokee High in Florida after Kiffin accused the Gators of “cheating” to try to land one of its players. That ban was eventually lifted by the high school principal after receiving a formal apology from Kiffin. Also, Tucker High banned South Carolina for a similar situation this past January.

McGee being upset certainly is understandable. He feels bad for his quarterback, who clearly has to be disappointed and more than a little bit embarrassed. It certainly appears that Georgia mismanaged this situation and I’m sure the Bulldogs’ staff is moving quickly to rectify the situation.

But am I the only one who wonders if a high school coach should have the right to determine what schools recruit his players? Shouldn’t that be determined by the player and his or her family? At least two juniors at the school, running back Isaiah Crowell and defensive tackle Gabriel Wright, are high on the Bulldogs’ lists for 2011. What if it’s the dream of either of those players to attend the state university? Does McGee’s stance mean Georgia coaches can’t come evaluate them even if it’s the players’ hope that they do?

McGee said he talked to Richt Sunday morning. “He explained the situation and said they did a bad job of communicating,” McGee said. “He said he totally understands why I’m doing what I’m doing and said he’d do the same thing.”

McGee said the ban was not permanent but that “it’s going to take some time” for the relations to heal.

What do you guys think about the situation?

412 comments Add your comment

gtfanfrom1951

July 21st, 2009
11:35 am

BOBO the clown…great move

Darius

July 21st, 2009
11:39 am

The Columbus coach seems to have this nailed with his comments in the Georgia High School Football Daily. Offers are rescinded all the time, UGA simply handled this one very, very poorly.

WreckIt

July 21st, 2009
11:39 am

More than anything, I find it interesting how the media seems to be showing GT as the in-state recruiting darling and UGA as falling flat on its face. I don’t think that’s the whole truth of the issue, but it’s not what I’m accustomed to seeing. As for the “ban,” I would support a coach determining who is welcome at his actual practices, but that’s about it. Who’s at games, who’s at the homes of his kids, and who’s at his school but not at practice? Not his call.

brick

July 21st, 2009
11:41 am

At some point kids are going to realize if they want to go to a particular school they best pulled the trigger instead of shopping around trying to build of a resume of offers from different schools. Hate it happend, but he had an offer for 5 months, our numbers filled up and he got left out.

GTville

July 21st, 2009
11:45 am

H.S. Coaches should be there to guide and assist, but they can’t ban a school or prohibit a kid from going to a specific college. It would never hold up in court. The school could prohibit use of their facilities, but would likely need school board to make this ruling, not a coach.

Too bad for Burns, but we don’t know any of the reasons or details. Also, if it was not published here, most people would not know about it.

Question: What does an offer look like? Is it just verbal or is it written? Obviously schools give more offers than they have spots for, but what if someone lower on the list wants to accept early but someone higher on the list does not plan to commit until the last minute…how is this handled with the offers and recruits?

CT

July 21st, 2009
11:50 am

Definitely out of his control and authority to do so. I would imagine he CAN make it quite difficult for Georgia to land anyone if he doesn’t get over this quickly. This coach spends far more time with his players than any prospective college coaching staff. If he sheds negative light on any coach, staff or school, then I would think it would be tough for a school to overcome that – especially when other colleges are coming hard after these kids and will play that card against UGA all day long. There is no way he can ban it. It’s not his call to make.

mq

July 21st, 2009
11:51 am

This coach is a Auburn grad and I am not surprised he is bashing UGA. When a kid gets an offer they better commit pretty soon or their slot may be taken .

mts315

July 21st, 2009
11:51 am

Wait, what? UGA Fans have been telling me that UGA honors all of its scholarship offers and never pulls and offer from a recruit. How can this be?

BG

July 21st, 2009
11:52 am

Mr. Burns when you snooze you lose!

dawg mc woofterson

July 21st, 2009
11:57 am

WE DON’T NEED RECRUITS FROM COLUMBUS ANYWAY. WE RECRUIT NATIONWIDE. ITS NOT LIKE HE HAD FIVE STARS OR ANYTHING.

Ga Fan

July 21st, 2009
11:58 am

Hold up Chip! Take a deep breath. No one is saying that any of these – or future – players can’t be contacted off campus. UGA coaches can purchase a ticket and scout games just as any other individual so that doesn’t stop any evaluations of players or keep colleges from offering the student. High school kids dreams aren’t dashed just because the UGA coaches aren’t allowed to contact a player on campus. If coach McGee has determined that a school has mistreated his players, it’s his right and responsibility to protect them from recruiting abuse to the extent that he can. No one is lessening the kids chances of getting exposure – on or off the field – just not being able to contact them on the high school campus. Don’t make this into a traumatic situation when none exists other than for the young man who had his offer rescinded on his chosen campus with his family present.

CJJScout

July 21st, 2009
12:01 pm

Something deeper is going on here. CMR is notorious for honoring the offers they make. Maybe this kid told them no previously or something. Maybe it wasn’t an offer, just an expression of interest. It will be interesting to see how this unwinds.

macrotech

July 21st, 2009
12:01 pm

No high school coach has the ‘power’ to stop a school from recruiting one of his players….they can make it tougher…but, they can’t stop them. Sounds like this kid didn’t do his homework…a phone call before his visit would have been wise.

Gold and White

July 21st, 2009
12:04 pm

Yes he does have the right. He only banned recruiting on the schools campus. That does not prevent them from contacting the recruite directly off campus or the recruite contacting UGA.
Recruiting is almost out of control now and something has to be done to reintroduce some integrety to the process. It sounds like this HS coach is looking out for his players like he should and I commend him for it. If the UGA coaches do not pay some price for their actions they will not think twice about doing this in the future. They are adults and the professionals in this process, their word should mean something!
I know, I”m a Tech fan and people will say that I am just bashing UGA but I am not. I would be just as angry if Tech did this to this young man. I wish him and his team mates the best, and I hope they end up playing for some coaches with better integrity at the next level!

dawes

July 21st, 2009
12:07 pm

georgia want just the best players

JACKETfan

July 21st, 2009
12:08 pm

I remember when CPJ pulled the scholarship from a recruit last year, every UGA fan says how low that was and how UGA would never do that and how they treat their recruits with class. Funny how things work out…

FDawg

July 21st, 2009
12:09 pm

macrotech…I agree

JACK PICKREN

July 21st, 2009
12:10 pm

I think that this coach should have encouraged the player to accept Georgia’s offer sooner if he wanted to go there.
If he had of decide he didn’t want to go to Georgia, would he or his coach, or his family have worried about what the Georgia staff thought about it.
It looks like the coach drop the ball.

SimplySaying

July 21st, 2009
12:12 pm

I feel sorry for the young man and his family but always remember that there are other schools. Georgia is the pride of the Peach State but GT is fastly rising, go where you are wanted and needed. Get the education!

Downtown Dawg

July 21st, 2009
12:16 pm

The coach is being a prima donna. Sure, you feel for Burns, who shows up with his family expecting to verbally commit. But, life’s tough. The coach is ultimately going to hurt his program by doing this. I guarantee some of his highly recruited players are unhappy by this supposed ban.

Class of '98

July 21st, 2009
12:20 pm

“the media seems to be showing GT as the in-state recruiting darling and UGA as falling flat on its face”

Huh? Have you seen UGA’s commitment list? We are cleaning up, bro. This is shaping up to be one of the best classes in UGA history, and that is saying something.

I don’t know what “media” you read, but you may want to find alternate sources.

Pete

July 21st, 2009
12:21 pm

s#!T HAPPENS!

Puddin'

July 21st, 2009
12:22 pm

The comment the coach made about coaches “won’t be welcome on our campus” is asinine. It is not “his” school. That school belongs to the taxpayers of the state of Georgia and Muscogee (sp?) County. The BOE might have the authority to ban people, and maybe the administration. But for a coach to make a statement like this is way over the line. He was obviously embarrassed for his player, and I respect his need to protect this players. But seriously, why wouldn’t Mr. Burns call or talk to the coaches to make sure his offer was still good? Could be Garner dropped the ball here, but I definitely think there is more to the story.

I feel sympathetic for Mr. Burns, and I hope he is successful wherever he goes. Good luck in the future!

MrHughes

July 21st, 2009
12:22 pm

I think pulling the offer while the young man was on campus visiting with his family was tacky. This isn’t a snooze/lose situation. I hope this young man goes elsewhere and has a couple of fielddays against the Dawgs. This coach has every right to say that he doesn’t want his kids exposed to trashy behavior. I applaud him for looking out for his kids. Recruiting has gotten completely out of control.

Tech man 69

July 21st, 2009
12:25 pm

Why would anyone discourage a free education from any college for their students? As a parent I would be pi$$ed.

Dawg1

July 21st, 2009
12:25 pm

Sure, any high school coach has that right. UGA blew this and knowing CMR, he will own up to the mistake. You hate it for the kid and you wish him well and hope that the school he ends up at – is actually a better fit for him academically and athletically.

That’s about all you can do or say.

not a prob

July 21st, 2009
12:26 pm

The coach will cave. With Georgia claiming that this was virtually a clerical error and all the dawgs in the community pressuring the coach, this goes away quickly. Look for a media statement soon.

Georgia Coach

July 21st, 2009
12:26 pm

As a former high school head coach I can assure you that colleges frequently rescind offers. And they do it at inopportune times in the recruiting process. I applaud Carver for taking a stand because there is no excuse for Georgia doing this unless the player is involved in some kind of major misconduct. Many colleges treat kids like pawns and they should be held accountable.
George Pugh, now coaching at Georgia State is one of the worst.

Glenn

July 21st, 2009
12:27 pm

I think that the high school coach has every right to try & protect his players . I think the coach is handling this well . Bring the story out in the forefront & let it be known why he is taking the action he is . I’m a big Georgia fan but for this young man & his family to be treated like this is totally unacceptable . He might not be able to stop certain recruiters from doing their job but the publicity generated should atleast be able to curtail some of these actions from taking place in the future .

Kneejerk reaction by Coach

July 21st, 2009
12:27 pm

Simply put – we don’t know the details of the situation or how it all played out. But if I was a rising senior being recruited to play D1 football, I would transfer schools before I would let my coach limit the schools I could potentially consider. What the coach should have said is that he will never “recommend” UGA as a potential school for any of his players. For him to say “They’re not going to recruit anybody” is way out of line. Be careful what you wish for Mr. McGee!

RxDawg

July 21st, 2009
12:28 pm

We already went through this with Kiffen and that Florida high school. It’s EXTREMELY unfair to all the kids. Are they forgeting that having scholarship offers is a privilege, not a right? It will be interesting to see how all this unfolds. Head football coaches tend to have big egos. Think someones feelings got hurt?

It’s too bad for the kid in this though.

spider

July 21st, 2009
12:29 pm

who does this high school coach think he is? GOD? i would never let my sons play for a coach like him, and no im not a DAWG fan at all

MattDawg

July 21st, 2009
12:29 pm

I really don’t understand why we offered in the first place. We do NOT need a QB in this class. Also, people need to grow up and realize that Georgia as well as many other schools put out more offers than they have scholarships. If you don’t commit early, it is your own fault that an offer gets pulled. I feel bad for that kid, but if you want to play for Georgia you better take that offer as soon as you get it.

Tyger

July 21st, 2009
12:32 pm

Well the coach does have the tapes, while he can’t prevent total recruition, he can discourage it by not cooperating. Its a double edged sword, the coach wants to protect his players from grossly negligent, unprofessional and unscrupulous acts – they’re his kids too – he feels.

However, to ban the flagship state football institution is bold, to say the least, but maybe its about time someone stood up to these football mills. How many kids have gone up the road to come back no better off than they left?

UGA cant blame anyone but themselves. Its tactless, reckless and demonstrates a total lack of sincerity in its promises to these impressionable young men. How difficult was it to pick up the phone call prior to families visit?

Clearly, UGA doesn’t HAVE to give the player a scholarship. They don’t HAVE to do anything, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. If they are this disrespectful in the recruiting process, I cant imagine what its like once you hit campus.

I won’t even get into the Black QB situation at UGA. I recall recently a GA AAA state champ going there, being moved to receiver and never being heard from again. It may in the kids best interest to take his skill set elsewhere – FAMU, Grambling, SC State, Howard, Hampton, etc. – where he will actually get a real, fair chance to play and get an education.

Huh?

July 21st, 2009
12:32 pm

Sounds like coach McGee is on a power trip and needs to get over himself. The only people that will get hurt by this ban are his own players. Georgia will just go down the road and get some other top prospect. This accomplishes nothing other than stroking his own ego more than likely. What a joke.

Wes

July 21st, 2009
12:32 pm

So what keeps the kid from going to UGA? if I’m a high school kid in the Columbus area and this coach says that certain schools can’t come and recruit, I’m going to go through whatever hoops there are to attend a different high school and to heck with that coach and that school. he’s only hurting the kids chances by “banning” any school from coming on to campus. Sounds like the Carver coach needs to grow up and not be so quick to jump to judgement on this, he’s embarassing himself and Carver-Columbus. I can understand he’s looking out for his player, but does that mean penalizing the rest of the team because of some issue that was mishandled?…..Unbelievable. I don’t think he can ban anyone from watching an athlete at the school, the BOE will decide that not the coach.

jimmy

July 21st, 2009
12:32 pm

we don’t know both sides of the story until we do,we csn’t make a sound decision

steveh

July 21st, 2009
12:32 pm

The whole recruiting process has gotten completely out of hand. However, we do not have all of the details so it is tough for any of us to make judgments about what Georgia did was wrong or not. However, if I was a football player with college level skills on that team, I would be pretty upset with the coach for effectively eliminating one of my possibilities. Where a player goes to college is not up to the high school coach.

BS Patrol

July 21st, 2009
12:34 pm

This coach may as well be commanding the Red Sea to part. Would that also be newsworthy? Must be the slow season for football.

Ben

July 21st, 2009
12:37 pm

Chip,

Ask Ol’ Dell McGee if he banned players from going to his Alma Mater for what happened with DeRon Furr? Probably not is my guess…

Blackberry Cobbler

July 21st, 2009
12:37 pm

Colleges just don’t pull an offer out of the clear blue sky.

Student-athletes are given a scholarship offer and given a deadline by which to make a decision. Communication is constant.

If the student doesn’t or can’t make a decision by the agreed upon date, then the offer is pulled. Even then, a school wouldn’t necessarily pull the offer unless the pool is getting full and/or unless they’ve got someone else to go to.

Both the student and high school coach should understand this process. Coach needs to get off his high horse and realize what’s best for the students and the school.

CommonSenseRules

July 21st, 2009
12:38 pm

Your question: Does a coach of any high school have the right to determine what school recruits one of his players?
Answer: Coaches don’t determine who’s after their players, but they do control who comes onto their field/gym while practice is underway. If the h.s. administration believes that such a prohibition disadvantages their studetn-athletes, then let them take that issue up with the coach.
The field/court is the coaches domain to rule.

GA Faithful

July 21st, 2009
12:39 pm

CPJ pulled that scholarship last year out of spite b/c the recruit went to go look at another school after he had committed to ga tech. TOTALLY DIFFERENT. This happens all the time, this coach is just whinning and the school has every right to rescind a scholarship offer . Unfortanetely he was on campus but that was most likely coincidence and they had to do it before he committed or that would look even worse. So it is totally different from what Tech did last year.

Tony

July 21st, 2009
12:40 pm

Since this coach is From Auburn, he was probably expecting a kick back that UGA refused to pay. That being said no coach has the right to deny a kid the opportunity to be evaluated by a college. He should open his arms wide to any college that would give his players the opportunity to play at the next level. It could have been handled better by UGA, but I’m sure they did what was best for UGA. Carve-Columbus coach and recruit welcome to the real world. Now you suck on a lemon or make lemonade.

sj

July 21st, 2009
12:41 pm

1. It’s not like the player had already accepted the offer and UGA rescinded. Do we know he even had a legit offer???
2. Three sides to everything (his, hers, and what really happened)
3. Recruits do it all the time AFTER verbals..NuKeese, Chris Little, Dwayne Allen, etc….
4. When Auburn is in the mix there is always trouble…this HS head coach drives a large SUV, wears his ballcap backwards, has facial hair and likes to act self righteous…Scr$w him, he will be moving on soon anyway.

[...] Carver-Columbus Coach Bans UGA Recruiters "Carver of Columbus coach Dell McGee is upset because he says the Bulldogs rescinded a scholarship offer to quarterback Devin Burns while Burns was on the UGA campus this past Saturday night. What made it worse was, according to McGee, Burns had come with his entire family with the plan of committing that very day to Georgia coach Mark Richt.

marcus

July 21st, 2009
12:42 pm

to hades with the coach, irf uga or any other “banned” school wants a player, then the best way to recruit him/her is to invite the student/parents down and go from there. some of these coaches are overboard. what happened a coordinator position was not offered also?

AltamahaDawg

July 21st, 2009
12:42 pm

I’m guessing the period this BAN will hold up is hours and not days.

ttom

July 21st, 2009
12:42 pm

How can the coach justify penalizing the rest of the kids in his program that would have a shot at UGA? If I’m a parent of one of these athletes I’d be alarmed by this.
Also, if UGA pulled the scholarship they had a good reason. CMR and staff do their due diligence.

mudcat

July 21st, 2009
12:43 pm

The coach is protecting his players and that’s EXACTLY what he is doing. You boneheads that don’t understand that, I feel sorry for you. This was a royal screwup by the UGA staff and they need to rectify the situation. You don’t blame God if it rains during your picnic.