Tricks of the recruiting game

Off the beat

January 13, 1991

Skip Myslenski of the Chicago Tribune has a couple of examples of just how silly (to say nothing of how wasteful) some college basketball coaches can be on the recruiting trail.

One Big East school took a film of its conference tournament title game, superimposed the name of the prospect on the back of one player's jersey, then dubbed in an audio play-by-play that roared out that prospect's name each time he made an important basket.

Then there's former N.C. State coach Jim Valvano, who spent six figures to build something called the Room of Dreams. When a recruit made his campus visit, he would be taken into this room and settled into an easy chair, and then the lights would dim, and championship balls would start blinking, and there, up on a screen, was Valvano in a huddle at the end of a game. Then, suddenly, he pointed at the camera and shouted out the recruit's name, shouted it out while telling him that he was the one who would hit the winning shot.

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