Published July 16, 2012 - 7:47am
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The process known as college football recruiting has reached new heights – or new lows – depending on your point of view (or your team). 17-year olds calling their own press conferences? No biggie. Commitments and flip-flopping seven months before signing day? Standard stuff in today’s game. Potentially setting up a school by committing to them with intentions to eventually flip to the hated rival? Now we’re talking.
Reuben Foster has managed to take the Auburn-Alabama rivalry to Harvey Updyke heights with his recent antics. Foster, who originally committed to Alabama, of course flipped his commitment to Auburn last week. The flip was not a surprise since hearing the news of Foster calling for a press conference for the end of last week. What was a surprise was his speech. As we already mentioned, Foster utilized the same speech word for word from TJ Yeldon when he flipped from Auburn to Alabama last year – a clear jab at Yeldon and Alabama.
Over the weekend, it came out that Foster got himself some new ink. The new ink being a fresh new Auburn tattoo. Add it up, and it doesn’t take long to weave together a juicy new story in the Auburn-Alabama rivalry starring a high school linebacker. Speculation? Sure, but how can you not?
While we likely won’t know if Foster initially committed to Alabama with the purpose of spurning the Tide, Foster sure has solidified quite a reputation prior to any involvement in the actual rivalry, prior to stepping foot on either campus as a member of Auburn or Alabama.
It’s not hard for today’s young athletes to see how the game is played. It seems that the world of free agency or recruiting is more about getting people to talk about you rather than finding a place of employment or the right University to attend.
Consider the nonsensical progression of NBA star Dwight Howard’s drama in Orlando. One of the games’ top talents has essentially spent over a year holding his organization hostage with trade demands, flip-flopping and clashes with management. The sports media of course is complicit in this as they report each and every movement. In between columns, we have tweets by the athletes themselves to keep us busy.
It seems that in today’s game it is not enough to excel on the field or the court. No, you need attention and lots of it. You’re not a star unless you’re talked about incessantly. You’re typically not talked about at length in the media unless you’re causing or taking part in drama.
Lebron James reaped the aftermath of his nationally televised “Decision.” While comparing Reuben Foster to Lebron James is completely ridiculous, you can bet he’ll secure a similar reputation at least within the state of Alabama.
Even better, we potentially have a new bar set in the circus of college football recruiting. Don’t expect it to last long, however, because that’s the point of the game. Outdo everyone. Gain the attention of the crowds. Make your name known. Circus Maximus.