A while back, we were all in an uproar over the scandal of Oregon paying $25K to Willie Lyles’ Complete Scouting Services recruiting service and the eventual – possibly related – signing of Lache Seastrunk. Later, it became known that LSU had payed CSS a few thousand and secured the commitment of Trevon Randle, a kid who had a previous relationship with Lyles. In both stories, there seemed to be a dark side that we didn’t know a lot about.
And the information keeps coming out.
This week, after a Freedom of Information Act request, Alabama and Auburn supplied their financial records detailing their use of recruiting / scouting services. Auburn paid just under $100,000 for the various services over the last three years, while Alabama ponied up for over $218,000 – over $80,00 per year twice in three years.
Supposedly these scouting services are only providing film and information about recruits, but that seems like a ton of money to spend for a little information (However, taking a look at Auburn’s and Alabama’s recruiting classes over the last few years, it’s easy to see that they are doing something right in recruiting.). In the article linked above, Tom Lemming – one of the best in the business – said of these figures:
“Wow. That’s mind-boggling to me. [My information] has been the same price since 1989. When you get up to $80,000, it doesn’t make sense. Where does that money go? The colleges use my stuff as reference but not as fact, to make sure they’re not missing anybody. Normally, they do their own work by evaluating film and seeing a kid in person. I don’t know how $80,000 winds up being spent on recruiting services.”
I think I agree with Mr. Lemming on this one. $218,000 sure seems like a lot of money for a little bit of film and information. But if schools are willing to pay it and nothing shady is going on, the NCAA says it’s legal.
Recruiting fans, I think it’s time to go buy a better video camera and hit the road. We now know of at least two schools who might be willing to buy your product.