South Carolina picked up a major commitment several days ago in defensive back Chris Singleton (5-11 185) of Fort Myers. Singleton is one of the fastest prospects in the state of Florida. But when does the rush to claim "breaking news" stop?
Russ Perry, the Editor/Publisher of Gamecock Nation on the Scout.com network vaguely mentioned the commitment Tuesday night in his weekly chat, but he refused to name specifics, instead opting to keep the commitment 'under the radar' for the good of the school and because of the Christmas Break timing issue.
"You don't want a commit like this being broadcast all over the Internet during the Christmas break dead period," said Perry. "Doing so opens the prospect up to contact by other schools at a crucial time ... a time when our staff may not be able to counter."
But Perry knew the news would be posted everywhere once other sites got wind of the commitment. "... and I knew they would claim they broke the story as well," added Russ. "They put spies in our chat. We're having to give them the boot all the time. Once they see our information they rush to claim 'breaking news' without any consideration for the good of the program and the delicate recruiting situation this new staff finds itself in at the moment ... boom. They (the other site) puts up news we were obviously already aware of and willing to share with our fans to a limited extent ... and then they claim they are breaking something. (laughs) It happens with them every day and it is why I have to be so careful with what news I put out in the chats. The fans on our site are willing to not always push for the story first - but by nature I am being forced to change that philosophy and that worries me. It's no longer about friendships and sharing ideas ... now it's all about breaking news, breaking news, breaking news and eventually it is really going to bite us in our collective arses."
Coaches at USC were unwilling and/or unable (by NCAA rule) to comment on the situation, and the news that an "under the radar" commit had been "outed," but it was obvious that there was a great deal of indignation being felt by at least two members of the staff towards the offending web site on another network - a Gamecock network site other than Scout.com.
"What this does is it pushes us to break the news ourselves rather than just sharing the good news that another prospect had committed," Perry concluded. "We almost have to break news and feed the fan monster these days ... so I don't blame it all on the other site, they've been disregarding the best interests of the Gamecock program for years. I blame part of this on the fans. The pressure is mounting more and more for breaking news, inside news, news that at times seriously jeopardizes the well-being of the program in my opinion ... and in the opinion of others. I think it is wrong - but our fans are insisting on cutting off our noses to spite our faces," Perry said with his head shaking back and forth in disbelief. "I dare somebody to claim all sites and all schools do this, because they do not."
"This has gotten out of hand," Perry added. "Everyone knew better than to break this one and put it out in the open on a national scale."
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