January 30, 2009

With signing day close, it's crunch time

We are getting closer to February 4th. That day of course is the second most exciting day after Christmas. National NCAA Football Signing Day.

In case you don't know, that's the day high school seniors are finally allowed to officially sign with the college they will be suiting up for in the fall.

Yet, with the special day just around the corner, some Universities are not making good on their promises.

NU pulls offer for Bodtmann
LINCOLN — Nebraska has pulled its scholarship offer to linebacker Shawn Bodtmann in the final days before the signing period opens for football. Bodtmann had been committed to NU since April.

He learned the Huskers were no longer interested last week, according to Mike DeAntona, his coach at West Scranton (Pa.) High School.

Commitments are non-binding until Wednesday, widely known as national signing day.

"When he committed to Nebraska, the type of people we are, we commit," DeAntona said. "We stopped his recruiting. He had other options then, but now we are in a tough spot. This is very disappointing, and to me it's unethical, particularly to do it to a kid who's been committed that long."

Nebraska coaches are prohibited under NCAA rules from commenting on prospects until signing day.

Bodtmann, after a senior-season injury, lost weight and struggled to match his level of play from a year earlier. In addition, the Huskers face a numbers crunch to accommodate a sizeable class of newcomers and deserving walk-ons like place-kicker Alex Henery after losing only 16 seniors on scholarships.

NU coaches have worked extensively to help find Bodtmann a scholarship elsewhere — so far, without success.

"That and a couple dimes will get you a cup of coffee," DeAntona said. "I always respected Nebraska and what they stood for. But obviously, there's a big question mark in my mind now, and there should be in other peoples' minds, too."

DeAntona said Bodtmann did nothing to lose Nebraska's trust.

"He's an all-star player with a 1,050 SAT, a 3.7 GPA, and he's never in trouble," the coach said.

His departure leaves the Huskers with 20 known pledges.

Now I think this is pretty low of the team. Waiting until the last days to pull the offer. The poor kid now is in bind. With grades like he has, he's obviously a smart kid. And not getting into trouble means he has smarts off the field too. Something too many college kids lack.

I hope Bodtmann finds a great school that wants him. Heck, come play for the University of Washington. In 2010 he can beat up on the Huskers in Seattle. Show them the player they missed out on.

Now I guess we wait and see what team is next to screw over a hopeful players. Cause you know more will come as the 4th approaches.

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