It's Funny because it's true.
Negative recruiting and a pay for play scandal? Yep, it appears TCU continues to climb the ladder into the big time college football world. A couple of comical nuggets I stumbled across today...
The first is a story from something called "The Thunderdome" regarding tactics in the recruiting of Johnathan Gray. Or, not so much tactics as the money. Yep, we've got ourselves a pay for play situation going on here! According to the almighty Dome, the Gray family watched the nice little nest egg Cam Newton built for himself before ever setting foot on campus in Auburn and wants in on the action. The price tag? $250,000! Of course, as a TCU fan, I'm not quite sure you can put a price on an all but guaranteed National Title as the Tigers did with Newton, but even counting for inflation, that seems a teency bit high, no? I mean, if the going rate is Cam Newton, and he only cost Auburn around $725 a pound, then Gray should be somewhere in the $140,000 range.
All jokes aside though, this rumor is about as credible as counselor's posting of Gray heading to Waco... except I'm pretty sure the Thunderdome isn't invoking their April Fools rights. Of course, being in the next golden age of filthy recruiting, any top player is going to have the stigma attached to his name whether it be fair or not, so it sadly comes with the territory even for a by all accounts good kid like Gray. And, if you need further confirmation that this rumor doesn't hold salt, think about this - if a player is only in it for the money, chances are TCU would never be in the picture in the first place. Gray may be like Newton in that he could lead his potential team to a national title and/or a Heisman trophy, but I'm quite certain he'll get to keep his when all is said and done.
As for the second story I heard circling today - this one from the boards at Purple Menace - it would appear that even with BCS status the Frogs can't escape the negative recruiting coming out of places like Waco and Lubbock. Having had the, "Well, if you want to play in a BCS game, you won't do it at TCU" methodology bitch-slapped from their mouths the past two years, and the non-BCS label gone as well, it looks like our Big 12 friends have tried to turn the Big East move into a negative on the recruiting trail. However, rather than go the standard, "The Big East sucks and shouldn't have a bid anyway" route, they're trying to make it sound like the East Coast is this barren abyss, much like the Australian Outback, by telling recruits they'll be completely overlooked in their home state if they join forces with the Frogs. Which makes a lot of sense because, you know, there aren't any major media markets or attractive travel destinations within the confines of that Conference or anything. I mean, New York? South Florida? Those places aren't fun to visit. I guess those 7 guaranteed games in the state of Texas - non con and SMU, same as it ever was - will really put athletes in the same "left behind" situation we've experienced since the arrival of Gary Patterson. And with ESPN being headquarted in Connecticut where, you know, the Big East has a pretty solid foothold if my March Madness bracket tells me anything, I think it's safe to say that a successful TCU team MIGHT get a little play on the four letter. But hey, I understand - it's hard to beat Manhattan, KS and Stillwater, OK for scenic, media friendly destinations. And who could forget Ames, IA?
The dividends clearly have years to go before we can judge the move as being a success, but the fact that it has our in state pals this riled up can only mean great things are ahead of us.
UPDATE: Looks like somebody was tellin' fibs because shortly after this post went up yesterday afternoon, the entirety of The Thunderdome blog VANISHED from these here interwebs. I'd like to take credit, but as it was a pretty contentiously argued web fight between aggy and UT fans on the main Rivals board, I'm guessing that had something to do with it. The good news about this situation is that it kills a ridiculous and volatile rumor and perhaps gets the guilty party slapped with a lawsuit. The bad news is that it is now being rumored that Gray could delay his commitment until all of this bullshit blows over. Pretty unfortunate that some asshole - SUPPOSEDLY an aggy, which seems quite counterproductive to their recruiting of Gray, no? - makes a false allegation that adversely impacts one of the biggest decisions of Gray's life for absolutely no reason, but that's the fallacy of the blogosphere I guess. Anyway, let's hope this gets cleared up ASAP so J Gray can stop hiding the fact that he's going to be wearing purple next year.