Published July 7, 2011 - 4:09pm
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When the NCAA starts snooping around a school, it usually doesn’t turn out well. We’ve already seen the impact of NCAA investigations at schools like Southern Cal and Ohio State. With situations like those, the results of the NCAA’s presence has been very tangible: reduced scholarships, post season bans, and fired coaches to go along with a lot of other restrictions.
But with the story of high school recruit Sheldon Rankins, we see another side of the NCAA impact.
Rankins is a defensive end from Covington, GA, but he’s heavily favoring the UNC Tarheels as his college destination. And in an article in the AJC, Rankin basically said that if it weren’t for the possibly pending NCAA sanctions, he’d already be a Tarheel commit. Instead, though, he’ll wait until October at least before making a decision. He wants to see how the school stands after meeting with the NCAA Infractions Committee before making his decision.
Even with the nine major violations and all the trouble surrounding the UNC football program, Rankins says the UNC coaching staff is still selling the idea that all will be well in Chapel Hill once this situation is finished. The problem with that is that we’ve all heard it before.
Remember Lane Kiffin telling the recruits over at Southern Cal that they were going to appeal the NCAA’s harsh sanctions? He was filling their minds with the idea that Southern Cal would have their penalties reduced to nothing more than a slap on the wrist. And the impressionable high schoolers bought it. Now, they are stuck in L.A. with a football team that will have huge hurdles to overcome before rising back to national prominence.
Now, it seems like Butch Davis and Co. are utilizing the Lane Kiffin approach in Chapel Hill. They know they messed up and violated a bunch of NCAA rules, and how they’re telling the recruits that it’s all going to be swept under the rug. And if they believe it, then they could very well end up with at UNC with their football futures dead on arrival.
So, I like the approach of Sheldon Rankins. Instead of buying what UNC is selling, I like that he’s going to take his time and see for himself the outcome of the investigation. And I hope he makes the best choice for his future in the end. As far as SEC schools go, he has offers from Kentucky, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt, so we could be seeing him in the SEC if he decides against UNC.