Auburn deal hurting recruiting? Don't think so !!

Some would have you believe the incident between Coach Petrino and Auburn would have a negative impact on Petrino's ability to recruit. But if Louisville's latest committment is any indication, the naysayers are simply wrong!

You understand the logic. You've read about it in the newspaper and seen it on the local news for a week now.

It goes something like this: Bobby Petrino's credibility has been severely damaged and will hurt Louisville's ability to recruit top football prospects this year because they won't trust or believe in him after the incident with Auburn.

Some in the media still choose to continue to hammer the first year coach about the incident instead of discussing the Cards bowl invitation, the thrilling season-ending victory at Cincinnati or the latest commitment. The self-rightousness and hypocrisy by some in the media in this town is simply amazing.

But the point here is that the naysayers are flat wrong! And in evidentary terms, Johnnie Burns' commitment to the Cardinals last night is Exhibit A.

My contention is relatively simple. It's not rocket science here, folks. If Coach Petrino no longer had credibility or trust with his players and recruits after the Auburn thing, why did one of the top linebackers in the state of Florida with opportunities to attend Florida State, LSU or Georgia Tech choose Petrino and Louisville?

The answer is obvious. Despite what some in the media want you to believe, Petrino's credibility has not been damaged where it matters most..on the recruiting trail. Quite the contrary. When a talented prospect like Burns decides he wants to spend the next four years at Louisville he's doing it for one basic reason: Coach Petrino.

Despite the published attacks, the nation's top quarterback prospect, Trinity High's Brian Brohm, told the paper where the attacks have been frequent that he still trusts and believes Coach Petrino is loyal.

Want Exhibit C? David Lonnie, who appeared on Inside The Ville Radio last night to talk why he has Louisville in his top three, said he enjoyed the family atmosphere of Coach Petrino's program. So obviously he feels comfortable with the coach and his credibility. Lonnie also happens to be the nation's top kicker.

And we have strong indication from top prospects that the incident will have little, if any impact on their decision. Prospects, you see are more concerned about playing time, the ability of the coach to prepare them for the NFL, television exposure and bowl opportunities.

Sure we all wish the Petrino-Auburn incident hadn't occurred, but it pales in comparison to money orders in the mail and the like. It happened, it's in the past and that's where it should be left. After all, Petrino's first team just ended the season 9-3, accepted an invitation to play in the GMAC Bowl and received its second commitment from a talented linebacker prospect.

So let's keep our eyes on the real story lines here!


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