Writing for the Hartford Courant, Sally Jenkins provides a very acerbically satiric, first-person response ostensibly from University of Connecticut football coach Randy Edsell to the furor now surrounding his decision to rescind a scholarship offer to a player recruited by his predecessor:
“Over the course of my long and distinctively insincere career, which includes a 96-103 record as a head coach and an appearance in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, I haven’t changed my values. You can tell that by the fact that I’ve arrived back at UConn in exactly the same way I left it: with a strong statement about trust.
“Back in 2009 after a bowl game loss, I insisted one of our players stand up in the locker room and tell his teammates to their faces that he was breaking his commitment to UConn and leaving early for the NFL. Right after that, I broke my commitment to UConn and left for Maryland, and proved how much I mean what I say by giving my players the news by cell phone and text message, instead of in person.
“When UConn rehired me in December, I said, ‘I just hope I will be able to earn the trust back from you wonderful fans, because what I’m doing now is I apologize for how I left. It was wrong. I take full ownership and accountability of that.’
“You can tell how much Randy Edsall believes in trust and accountability by the fact that I used the cell phone again just this week, when I reneged on a scholarship offer to a 17-year-old.
“See, Randy Edsall lives up to the letter of my agreements; luckily, I got to this agreement before any letters were signed. Seven months ago, high school linebacker Ryan Dickens agreed to play for UConn. He wore UConn shirts to school every day and rejected overtures from other schools, even after the coach who recruited him, Bob Diaco, was fired. When I was hired I called the kid and told him the scholarship stood, and according to his parents, said, ‘You have my word.’
“But a verbal offer is non-binding under NCAA rules, which enable coaches like me, Randy Edsall, to be nothing if not a shaper of idealistic boys into hardened grown men. And, men, Randy Edsall is all about the real meaning of commitment. So with just two weeks left in the recruiting process, Dickens’s cell phone rang, and on the other end was the voice of me, Randy Edsall, saying the following, in all sincerity: ’We just decided we’re going to go in another direction. We don’t have a spot for you.’
Sally Jenkins’ complete article is available at: http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-football/ct-randy-edsall-signing-days-sally-jenkins-20170119-story.html.