Late last week, a link to the RutgersChop.com website started spreading throughout the Rutgers sports forums Scarlet Nation, State of Rutgers, and Scarlet Report. The site features a heavy array of graphics, licensed music, exclusive streaming video, and flash applets.
Upping the technological ante is nothing new for the Rutgers athletic department, which two years ago was the very first client for CyberSports's custom recruiting database.
There are literally 15,000 names of recruits currently in the database used by the Rutgers football program.
It took less than a minute for recruiting coordinator Joe Susan to figure out exactly how many of them had already been entered into the system for the Class of 2009. And he used his cell phone to do it.
"Let's see, I'm going to sort it by graduation year … [short pause] right now, for 2009, we have 1,800 names in the system," he said.
Somewhere right about now Ed Orgeron is by the side of a road shedding a single tear, while Urban Meyer sits in his office grinning from ear to ear.
A graphic on Rutgers Chop indicates that it was designed by Bluechip Athletic Solutions. Bluechip also appears to run a social network (featuring a video endorsement from former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer, who's promising to take your personal questions) designed to connect football programs and recruits (what, Facebook wasn't enough?)
Their business model seems to be creating custom recruiting websites for athletic programs. If the NCAA is going to continually crack down on other forms of social networking, this could very well become the latest salvo/front in the ongoing rat race between major conference FBS programs to gain any possible advantage over the competition. That is, at least until the NCAA compliance committee eventually legislates these sites out of existence.
Who ever could have thought that George O'Leary and Young Jeezy would be so perfect together?
Edgewater senior safety Henry Wright, who committed to the Knights, said he received a lot of recruiting material from the UCF about upcoming games, highlights from previous matchups, academic information and regular updates featuring quotes from famous coaches such as Vince Lombardi.
"I got some of the same stuff from South Carolina, but it seemed like UCF's stuff was a little nicer," Wright said.
The latest Knight Commission report decried the trend towards increased athletic spending in high level Division I athletics. With Bluechip Design's services averaging out to $500 to $4,500 a pop, RutgersChop.com and the many similar offerings likely will soon find a bullseye on their chest for that very reason.
It's all rather quite jarring to take in, especially when you consider that the Syracuse athletic department can't even get basic spelling and kerning right (page c3, and the link is time-sensitive) in its season ticket advertisements. Tsk, tsk. Somebody should have hired Dan Levy.
A couple other assorted thoughts from perusing through RutgersChop:
- For now, any interested fans are free to enjoy the lumberjack clip art animation and learn about the "Thought Box" at Rutgers Stadium while simultaneously cracking up the Juelz Santana and Kanye.
- I have to say, I really prefer having the Statue of Liberty/Empire State Building stadium backdrop to that ugly white apartment complex in Piscataway.
- The scheme comments are insightful too. RU's defense is compared to the Colts and Bucs (they use similar personnel, but Tampa-2 schemes typically eschew blitzing). It's more than a little conspicuous to not mention that it's harder for some undersized, speedy Knight defenders to break into the NFL, while completely accurately emphasizing the NFL-friendly offense (something that I've been screaming about forever).