THE THREAD [06.24.08] :: Walking Away

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The State maliciously reports what's going on. Emerson looks into the questions that C&F and others have had about the direction of Darrin Horn's basketball program. Of course, there's no "evidence" or "facts" to support the notion that C&F gave Emerson the idea, but we all know the score.

The other question is whether this is a huge deal. In the short term, a lot of people view this as routine for a coaching transition. Dave Telep, the recruiting analyst for scout.com, called what’s going on with Horn at USC "completely normal." Horn pointed to the situation at Indiana, where new coach Tom Crean has nearly gutted his roster. (Horn worked for Crean at Marquette.) ...

But Rich has also been a high school coach (two years at C.A. Johnson) and has dabbled in AAU. He thinks Horn might have trouble getting players in the talent-rich Atlanta area … for a year or two.

"For the very immediate future, it’ll h[a]ve an effect," Rich said. "But I think like everything else, it’ll probably pass."

Of course, reporting such disgusting and spurious rumors innuendos truth makes The State a pawn of the Team from the Upstate.

How much will this hurt Horn's recruiting. Anyone remember a couple of years ago, when Spurrier yanked the scholarships of some players and there was great weeping and gnashing of teeth among the high school coaches of South Carolina? It took, what, two seasons for Spurrier to have a consensus Top 5 recruiting class?

Not saying the same thing will happen here. But a winning coach with a plan can do a lot to soothe the hurt feelings of high school coaches who have their players' best interests at heart.

Barry Switzer, maid. Just one of the many amusing old war stories contained in a great piece on the history of recruiting on SI.com. But, really?

Gilmore enlisted Oregon students Brett Kautter, Heather Terry and Brian Merrell to create a one-of-a-kind recruiting tool that -- while still adhering to NCAA rules -- would make recruits think of Oregon as the nation's coolest program.

So when Oregon coaches identified their top 20 prospects for the class of 2005, Gilmore and his staff designed custom comic books starring each recruit as the hero who leads the Ducks to a national title. Because NCAA rules at the time only allowed programs to send letter-sized, black-and-white pages to recruits, Gilmore sent each prospect one page a week. After a few months, the recruit had the full comic book.

This is how kids are recruited nowadays? This sways the young men whose decisions affect the livelihoods of coaches and the fates of athletics departments?

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The teleporting(?) coach is a nice touch. As is the Hummer.

So, Steve, the only advice C&F has is: "Learn to draw." And, preferably, write better than these guys.

Mississippi State's pocketbook: Croomed! Sly gets the traditional monetary boost for getting his program turned around, though this boost is impressive in that it's a 74 percent increase over last year.

If Croom's raise gains the needed OK from the state board, which is normally a formality, his salary will jump from $975,000 last season to $1.7 million this year.

Yet, his salary status among fellow SEC coaches won't change much. He'll be tied for ninth among the SEC's 12 coaches in salary for the upcoming season with only Kentucky's Rich Brooks ($1,056,000) and Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson ($950,000) set to make less than him.

Again, Alabama paid Nick Saban $3.75 million, $1,000 less than NC-winning Les Miles. (And that with the Michigan-inspired new contract.) How's that working out for ya? And the Gypsy Coach of the South takes in $2.85 million a year, which should be enough to keep him at Arkansas for at least nine games.

The end of the road for MZone. Missed this over the weekend, but MZone has officially called it quits. Even though I didn't get over there nearly as much as I would have liked, MZone's perspective and humor was solid, and was one of those blogs that I looked to when starting the old Cock & Fire. Yost doesn't close the door on returning.

We can only hope.

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