Sports 56 WHBlog Q

August 1, 2008

Boosters should know better

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg Gaston @ 10:06 pm

I know Dave Bronczek and I consider him a friend. He is also one heck of a nice guy and a powerful man (President and CEO of FedEx). As most people are aware of he’s a major contributor to the University of Memphis…aka…Big Booster. Yesterday’s news that he contacted the mother of top tier recruit Abdul Gaddy of Tacoma Washington, was quite surprising to me. Gaddy is considering playing ball at Memphis, and his mother happens to be an employee of FedEx in Washington State .

There are quite a few elements to this story that need to be addressed….First off, I don’t get why Dave needed to make the call? I don’t believe for a second that Coach John Calipari asked him to call. Cal is a relentless recruiter who normally seals the deal himself. He does rely on his staff to work their tails off, but with his clout, why would he need anyone to make a call on his behalf? Now I’m not naive to the fact that there is plenty of shenanigans going on in the recruiting wars, but this one was an obvious violation, (although likley a secondary violation), so why do it?

This would be major if Oseye Gaddy, the mother of the point guard, was promised a better job in the company if she moved to Memphis ad her so played for the tigers, but that’s not the case at all. This certainly was stupid because boosters know not to contact family members of perspective recruits. The problem is the perception of this story…..Why would a CEO of a Fortune 500 company call a lower level employee? Some people believe Memphis got VERY good too quickly, and there has to be something to it.

There is also the whole issue of how FoxSports.com’s Jeff Goodman caught wind of the story and broke it nationally. There are many who feel Goodman has an agenda against Calipari. Look, I have no idea what the guy thinks about Memphis, but what he reported was accurate, that we must first acknowledge. Now who leaked the story? It could have been a team battling for Gaddy’s services? Dan Wolken from the Commercial Appeal, the Tigers beat writer, says it may have been Arizona. Tigers Assistant Josh Pastner, a former Lute Olson assistant at Zona, has recruited Gaddy at both schools.

Bottom line is Oseye Gaddy likely didn’t think anything of the call from Bronczek because she spoke to Goodman very openly about it, feeling he had not broke any rules. Do you really think she would have put the Boss of the Company she works for in a bad light? As I said earlier, Dave made a mistake, and likely it won’t be too serious, but these are the games we see in Sports Recruiting.

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