Semantics and Recruiting
I like the word “semantics”. I use it a lot because it just seems to fit well in a sentence – multiple syllables, good mix of consonants and vowels, sometimes it can make you sound smart when you talk. When looking for a definition on the web, a lot of stuff pops up, but the one I found easiest and most meaningful was “the meanings of words and phrases in a particular context”. Easy enough, and a quick reflection tells me that I haven’t butchered the use of the word too much lately.
I have been very critical on this website as well as in discussions with friends regarding recruiting activities – namely the use of the word (or action) ” commitment” – “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause” or “an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action”. There are more to choose from on the internet. I think that goes back to semantics.
I have decided that from my standpoint, the recruiting process is not broken (as I have argued in the past), it’s just that the way we describe the process is flawed. Maybe it’s all semantics. However, I couldn’t dig deep enough to find a definition of “commitment” that allows the process to function in the manner it functions. Players make commitments, schools honor commitments, schools recruit players who have already committed elsewhere, players break commitments, schools get mad when players flirt around their commitments, but schools don’t see the harm in flirting with already committed players. None of these actions, in my opinion, fits with the above definitions.
Strike the word “commitment” from the process. Early signing, late signing, anytime signing, whatever; just don’t let anyone “commit”. Maybe it’s not semantics, maybe it’s just bad behavior.