Texas A&M is surging in the SEC. The Big 12 is the country’s most competitive conference. Oklahoma has owned the Red River Rivalry. Palpable incongruity in the coaching staff. These are desperate times for Mack Brown at Texas, which may explain why he hired former Memphis head coach Larry Porter as running backs coach to anchor their recruiting.
Porter is an interesting hire for Texas from an NCAA perspective. The Longhorns came under scrutiny for some past involvement with Willie Lyles. Porter was the contact for Lyles at LSU until he took the Memphis job in 2009. Porter told FOX Sports Lyles was a “genuine” guy in 2011.
“I don’t know the conversations he’s having with these kids when we’re not around,” Porter said. “We’re not around him much. Who knows where the influences are coming at the end of the day?”
“I think the kids listen to him. I do. Some kids he’s probably closer to than others. Some kids know that he goes around to a lot of different universities so some of them like to jump in the car with him. What goes on and what’s being said, again, I have no clue.”
The broader question is why coaches having agents fomenting intrigue and engaging in backroom dealing is embraced, but players having an illicit representative advise them (since they are forbidden from having a formal one) is a pernicious danger the NCAA must eradicate.
Schools taking a six or seven-figure bath to subsidize corruption and bowl director salaries is a cherished part of the system, but we must crack down on these modest “scouting service” payments!
[Photo via USA Today Sports]
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