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Letter from the Editor

The Name of the Game is Still Recruit, Recruit, Recruit
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Just like the real estate adage that the most important thing in buying a home is ‘location, location, location,’ the analogy is that recruiting is the name of the game in football and it goes on 365 days a year.

Recruiting used to be a seasonal activity while many teams stockpiled talent before the start of limitations on scholarships. The number of scholarships have been reduced dramatically over the years so selecting the right player for your institution has become mandatory; a coaching staff can’t afford many mistakes.

Coincidentally, the growth of college sports on television has grown while scholarship limitations have dropped. Over the years a recruits’ priority has changed in selecting the school of his or her choice; often times, today, it is not the school with the academic pattern that fits a need but rather the normal concerns about location, potential to play right away, and the ‘fitting in’ concept. But what seems to be a priority to many recruits is the amount of television exposure a particular school will have...

Today, exposure corresponds to the amount of TV appearances. Between ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN+, ABC and CBS, Fox Sports and the Fox net regional channels, many conference games are on a weekly basis. Even more so, with the advent of ESPNU, CSTV, and Fox College Sports, football telecasts at all levels are a weekly feature. Last fall a total of 18 different college games were on a fall Saturday afternoon and evening on either a local station, regional channel, syndicated station, cable channel, or network affiliate.

While this has meant increased exposure for colleges and conferences, it has fractionalized the audience. But research indicated that the sport is regional in nature. If it’s not a national championship, fans would rather see their local team. Twenty five years ago ABC was the only network televising college football. Many great games and match-ups were never seen because of appearance limitations. The visibility of outstanding players was severely limited. Today, a quarter century later, the argument can be made that the reverse is true. There are so many college football games televised today that you may miss the game you really want to see because either it’s not televised in your area or the time period doesn’t work.

While one of college football’s greatest appeals is that it is just once a week, all of the sports television exposure – for the most part – is in one of four ‘windows’; that is, early afternoon, late afternoon, early evening, or late evening. And all on Saturday. True, conference games are now seen during the fall on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon but, for the most part, it’s all day Saturday. And it all goes back to recruiting. There’s more and more emphasis on where you particular school ranked in terms of the next recruiting class.

This month’s issue touches on recruiting in a variety of ways: Tim Murphy and the Harvard program are profiled; Cincinnati’s state champion Colerain High School and their coach Kerry Coombs’ philosophy is described; and Bethany Coach Tony Johnson discusses recruiting at a smaller college. Additionally, a feature is included on the nation’s best recruiters and what ingredients all of them share. We hope you’ll enjoy this issue of American Football Monthly.

As always, please let us know if there’s anything we can do for your or your staff.
Thank you.


Rex Lardner
Managing Editor
American Football Monthly


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