STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 12: The Penn State band takes the field before Penn State plays Nebraska at Beaver Stadium on November 12, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien had this interesting quote earlier this week. Penn State has been a beacon in terms of giving good education to good students, but they have only gone to the Rose Bowl twice in the past fifteen years. This tweet is sending a message to Penn State recruits, the Nittany Lions want to win, and if you want to play here O'Brien will get you in.
If you want to be competitive, where do you draw the line in terms of academic standards? Is O'Brien implying that he is going to get the best athletes in order to win, no matter where they stand academically?
One of the biggest sources of pride for Boston College athletics is our academic standards. Many of the elite recruits have no shot of getting into BC based on their academic track record, and others (Dominique Davis, Clyde Lee) have been kicked off the team due to failing to live up to BC's standards.
The landscape of college football is changing, and it is clear that in order to win that needs to be your team's priority. Look at the teams down south, they place a premium on winning football games and academics are not nearly as important. Most elite prospects want to hear about coaches, their roll on the team, their chances of getting into the NFL and winning.
Now I am not saying that BC should turn into an SEC factory school that allows any recruit to get a degree. But if administration change happens in the near future, should the next AD push to be more flexible to attract higher caliber recruits to the Eagles? If BC continues to struggle to recruit, and especially if they struggle this season, this might be necessary to get the program back in the right direction. BC can always hope that they will find academic high flyers like Luke Kuechly and Matt Ryan, but is that going to be enough to be a successful program moving forward into the future?