In another episode of a continued series of bewildering and bizarre maneuvers, the NCAA's struck again, with their target being in the realm of Columbia, South Carolina.
The South Carolina Gamecocks won't be allowed to have former running back Marcus Lattimore join their coaching staff. New head coach Will Muschamp was looking to secure Lattimore, a former SEC Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-SEC member in 2010, prior to his acceptance of the job according to David Cloninger of The State, but the NCAA decided differently.
The NCAA has stated that Lattimore cannot join Will Muschamp’s staff at USC due to Lattimore’s status as a former player and his presence through football camps and foundation. The NCAA considers it an unfair recruiting advantage.
If you're catching wind of this story for the first time, and the emphasized bit doesn't make sense to you, well, you aren't alone. Why the NCAA considers Lattimore on the Gamecocks' staff in particular to be an unfair recruiting advantage is puzzling. Is it because he's a former player at the school? You could probably find a slew of former players becoming coaches on staffs at their alma maters. Michigan, for one, comes to mind. Tyrone Wheatley played running back for the Wolverines, and Wheatley is the team's running backs coach. Lest we forget who's running the helm for UofM either...
Chris Vannini of CoachingSearch.com and The Only Colors also brings to light another hole in logic:
MSU could hire Curtis Blackwell, but South Carolina can’t hire Marcus Lattimore? This makes no sense, NCAA. https://t.co/E0Qh8hbH7w— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) April 15, 2016
Curtis Blackwell's case isn't the same as Wheatley's at Michigan, or the case of former players at their alma maters. Blackwell graduated from Hampton and also picked up a master's degree at Baylor. Where the case of unfair advantages comes into play is what Blackwell did prior to coming to Michigan State back in 2013 as their director of college advancement and performance. Blackwell was a high school football coach in the state of Michigan, working with Detroit Martin Luther King High School as well as Detroit Mackenzie High School. What's more, as his bio at MSUSpartans.com would entail, is that he was a director of a football academy for high school students. Would his relationship with high school students not provide an "unfair advantage" in terms of in-state recruiting for the Spartans?
Like Vannini and many others have echoed, this just outright makes no sense at all. While Lattimore may not have ever wanted to coach, the fact that the NCAA has gone out of their way to negate any chances of it is perplexing, and the reasonings behind it seem rather faulty. Then again, that all sounds familiar, doesn't it?