Presumably, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby knows that bitching about cheating in college football recruiting is supremely glass houses. Yet, there was the conference’s head honcho kicking off media days on Monday with a bag full of rocks.
He aimed them right at the NCAA’s enforcement arm:
Right now, if you want to cheat, you can do it and you can get away with it. And there are benefits for doing that.
And, of course, Bowlsby pointed the finger directly away from his own league.
I don’t really question the idea that Bowlsby believes the culture of recruiting in major college sports is repugnant. Bag men doing the dirty work behind the scenes to lure talent to their favorite teams sounds a lot like human trafficking.
Whereas Bowlsby’s conference once ruled recruiting in Texas, the barbarians have stormed the gates and are looting the Lone Star State. Texas A&M’s defection to the SEC has not only led to a major surge in in-state recruiting for the Aggies. Schools such as Alabama and LSU are starting to make a stronger push for recruits from the Big 12’s breadbasket.
Most notably within the Big 12, the University of Texas has long coveted its place at the top of the food chain in its home state. Bevo can’t take too kindly to seeing the best prep talent go elsewhere. The “everybody else is cheating” ploy has served UT well in the past when it comes to protecting the Longhorns’ home turf. Just ask Will Lyles and the Oregon Ducks.
In this case, I reckon that the other teams in the conference share UT’s concerns. Not to mention, the league commissioner is giving coaches in the Big 12 some cover in case their recruiting efforts have been a little subpar of late.
No matter how delusional they might have sounded, I suspect Bowlsby’s “cheating pays” barbs were seen throughout the league as doing his constituency a solid.