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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

May 3, 2007 at 9:58 PM

Answering a couple questions

A couple of you raised the issue of former players and their involvement with the football team on one of the other threads.
One thing to make clear is that former players are considered the same as boosters once they leave school, and their involvement with the program — particularly recruiting — is governed by NCAA rules.
Here’s a brochure the UW athletic department published a few years ago that details exactly what the rules are for boosters in recruiting.
Here, as well, is a story from the LA Times detailing the Reggie Bush situation referenced by one poster, that further explains the rules regarding ex-players and recruiting.
The nutshell of it all is that contact of former players with current players is strictly goverened by the NCAA so they can’t just do what they want on behalf of the school anymore than can anyone else.
— As to the question of how involved former players are at UW, the general feeling has been that some players are getting more involved in the program now under Tyrone Willingham than they had been under previous regimes.
Former UW safety UW Lawyer Milloy said as much when he showed up for ann alumni barbecue with the current team a few weeks ago.
“He’s invited all the old players to come back and it’s good to that invitation,” Milloy said, implying that he hadn’t felt as welcomed previously.
But judging alumni participation, I’ve found, is always tricky.
Some ex-players may simply want to be more involved — or have the ability to be more involved — at certain periods of their lives than they do at other periods of their lives.
Milloy, for example, also said he’s coming around more now because he sees the end of his NFL career coming and has a new perspective on what he wants to do with the rest of his life, and wants UW to be a part of it.
Some ex-players will also inevitably feel closer to certain coaches than they do to others. Locale also plays a role — it’s a lot easier for players who live in the area to remain close to the program than those who aren’t.
As one poster pointed out, there certainly do tend to be a lot of former USC players on the sidelines at Trojan games, in large part because that’s just Pete Carroll’s personality to make his program as open as possible.
Other coaches may not have the same philosophy — Willingham, obviously, is a lot more reserved in how he handles his program so you don’t tend to see as many play.
But does any of that matter come game time?
In general, I’ve found that ex-players tend to hang around any college program a lot more when that program is successful, leading, I guess, to the old chicken-and-egg question of which came first.



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