Michigan football is in an era with a few powerhouses and several teams on the fringe of greatness. The difference is recruiting where the Wolverines fall short of Ohio State.No matter if it’s 1919 or 2019, There are good recruiters, and there are bad recruiters. Some have a remarkable personality that young men tend to gravitate towards, and some have more tools ($) at their disposal. Certainly, win-loss records have an immense impact, but the ability to write a check with endless zeroes also has a tremendous effect. Michigan football, unless they’re lying and are incredibly trained and skilled at hiding it, doesn’t have that luxury.Ohio State, however, has a history marred by a lack of moral or ethic boundaries rarely observed elsewhere.Karma wins in the end, it always does, or at least you hope it does. And it’s not always about vast investigations like the most recent F.B.I. probe into college basketball that exposed the dark side of collegiate athletics; sometimes, it’s the Chase Young‘s of the world that get caught for merely borrowing a few dollars to bring his girlfriend to a bowl game.As innocent as that was, the handling of the situation by the Buckeyes was both brilliant and absent of integrity. One of the best football players in all the country, an almost guaranteed first-rounder, suspended for their easiest two-game stretch of the year.It’s that type of corruption with the simplest of matters that can only lead to one conclusion: Where else are they willing to break or bend the rules?Talent gap explainedLook around the landscape of college football and what do you see? I see the rich getting richer. The most prosperous and elite schools are bringing in four, five, and sometimes six five-star recruits per cycle.Since Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach, he’s brought in his fair share of talent, but only five of his committals were anointed with a five-star rating from 247 sports, and one of them is arguably one of the biggest grabs in Michigan football history. His name: Rashan Gary.Gary grew up in New Jersey, and by his senior year, he was the No.1 overall player for the 2016 class.The hunt for Rashan was a heated one, and it was revealed earlier this year that not everyone that had the ultra gifted Gary in their sights was playing by the same set of rules.Talking with Sam Webb on the Michigan Insider radio show, John U. Bacon, the esteemed author and professor at the University of Michigan, shocked the sports world when he said that Rashan was offered $300,000 to attend a different school.No university was singled out as the culprit, but the damage was done, and all of the quiet suspicions were confirmed. Money is at the heart of great recruiting hauls.GlasshousesIn full disclosure, and for those who remember the 90’s, Michigan is living in a glasshouse. The Fab Five was caught in a scheme where a booster allowed a few of the young men to borrow money from him. The program was punished, tarred and feathered, and then returned to prominence and cleanliness under long-time head coach John Beilein.While that may be applicable to the current situation in the eyes of the casual sports fan, in reality, it’s a different sport, it was almost 30 years ago, and it wasn’t sanctioned by the university.Just pay the kidsThis is not an argument against playing the athletes; in fact, I genuinely believe these kids have every right to earn monetary benefits for their name, image, and likeness…when it’s legal to do so.The schools, coaches, and conferences are raking in millions on the backs of kids who are barely over the age of 18, and there is no system in place for remuneration (Outside of their scholarship and an inconsequential stipend). It’s wrong, but so is breaking the rules and regulations set in place, no matter how archaic they seem.Wolverines can recruitJim Harbaugh and company are not feckless on the recruiting trail. His classes typically rank in the top 20, and they’ve been as high as fifth in the nation. But without the ability to write a check or provide benefits that are not allowed under NCAA rules – along with the intense academic priorities – you’re not going to bring in the top kids.“Name another school that competes with the bluebloods athletically – we’re talking Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson – while competing with the bluebloods academically: Stanford, Northwestern, Princeton,” Director of Recruiting Matt Dudek said. “Most of the players we recruit are good enough to play for Alabama or Clemson and smart enough to play for Ivy League schools. If you don’t win in the classroom on Monday, you won’t be here for many Saturdays.”The moral of the story is Michigan football can recruit incredibly talented athletes; they’re just a few (hundred thousand) dollars short of beating out the Buckeyes.



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