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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

UGA has paid under $40,000 to recruiting services since 2009

The Oregon football program is reportedly being investigated by the NCAA over payments to a recruiting service. While using such services is not a violation, the NCAA is looking into whether a company helped steer recruits to Oregon.

But the use itself of recruiting services, while largely unknown to the public, is not unusual. Georgia is one of the many college football programs that use them.

In response to an Open Records Act request, UGA released five payments to recruiting services since 2009, totaling $37,619 to three different companies:

- The biggest expenditures were to LRS Sports, Inc., a service based in Springfield Ill. LRS states on its web site that it “delivers detailed, up-to-date, state-by-state databases of available high school and junior college athletes in the Southeast.”

In an invoice dated Feb. 17, 2011, Georgia was billed $12,519 from LRS Sports. That invoice specifies that UGA purchased reports and video on players in five states in the South. And twice in 2009, the Bulldogs paid LRS a flat fee of $4,800 for recruiting services.

- In August of 2010, Georgia gave $11,000 to Bluechip Athletic Solutions, an Atlanta-based company.

- And also in August of 2010, Georgia paid $4,500 to Elite Scouting Services, which is based in Hollywood, Fla. According to its web site, Elite Scouting Services provides a database of high school players, game film of players and access to scouts.

There’s nothing secret about the associations.

Bluechip touts its association with a couple dozen schools, including Georgia. Bluechip, established in November 2005, says on its site that it “provides a unique blend of Marketing Strategy, Technology and Supporting services designed to help collegiate coaches showcase their program.”

Elite Scouting Services lists Georgia among its many clients, numbering 81 college football programs.

LRS’ web site has quotes from a number of clients, including UAB head coach Neil Callaway, the former Georgia offensive line coach.

Georgia’s total recruiting budget is $600,000, according to the athletics department.

UGA associate athletics director for communications Claude Felton said the following about the team's use of the services:

"The recruiting services we subscribe to provide an assortment of information including video of requested high school games and various kinds of data such as names, phone numbers, email addresses, and testing information."

Since the Oregon story was broken by Yahoo Sports, several other news outlets have delved into what schools spend on recruiting services. The Seattle Times reported that the Washington football program spent just under $40,000 over the past year to nine different services. And Oregon State spends about $40,000 on services, according to the Corvallis (Ore.) Gazette-Times.


Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that the average payment for these types of services was about $8000. That's in line with what UGA was paying. And it further underscores how unusually high the $25000 payment Oregon made to that guy in Texas.

UGA69Dawg said...

That's what I like about journalists they have one original thought and then the rest of you just steal the other guys ideas. No wonder you guys get paid the big bucks.

Anonymous said...

Hey UGA69Dawg, let's see a list of your original ideas.

Anonymous said...

Seth -

Looking forward to your take on this Ohio State cluster f...

Anonymous said...

You sort of see the Richt era coming to an end.

Anonymous said...

Sure hasn't helped UGA on the playing field. Many of our ballyhooed recruits either have been busts or frequents the jail blotter. Well spring break is near and I wonder if our players will make it two in a row for the Fulmer Cup.

CSA said...

It wouldn't be Georgia football if something like this didn't happen. It's a relief to hear it's relatively minor though.

BicDawg said...

remind me again when UGA football was on probation and ineligible to play in a bowl game or lost scholarships due to recruiting violations? Yeah, I cant remember either.
Good job Richt and McGarrity keeping the program honest.

Anonymous said...

Bicdawg... How about players suspended for games idiot? AJ ring a bell? Fulmer Cup? Stay off the kool aid please.

BicDawg said...

Anon 9:44 and how is that Richt/ McGarrity's fault. Oh I forgot. You are OK with Mettenberger like behavior but dont dare drive a moped down a wrong way street. Arrests for dumb behavior by a teenager while bad is different than major recruiting violations which are on the heads of coaches and ADs. Player arrests and suspensions are common at every school. UGA is not exception. RIcht has taken zero tolerance since your beloved Mettenberger got cut. But you keep up the cheering for Mettenberger and condemning Caleb King. Sounds like you are the one playing favorites.

Michael said...

CSA: If what didn't happen?

It isn't against the rules to pay recruiting services for videos and such.

One of them had what, 81 programs on their client list?

How else are colleges supposed to get video? Have staff that go around the country video taping every single high school game in existence?

The point of this article was that Georgia spends a very reasonable amount on these services and thus there is no fishiness.

Anonymous said...

A typical single-state package from many recruiting services runs around $3000. Oregon bought a package covering 22 states for about $25,000. Nothing unusual there.

Oregon is tucked in the NW corner of the nation and decided recently to expand its recruiting to be national instead of 90% west coast.

We've experienced difficulty in the past getting contact and film from high school coaches (e.g. Adrian Petersen's) who were trying to keep their kids in Texas or Oklahoma.

So we need these services to help narrow the focus of our assistants to the best prospects out there, and get film and bio info on them.

It seems some coaches (e.g. Mack Brown and Lane Kiffin) are tired of losing good prospects from their sections of the country and then not having good seasons, so they try to stir up trouble and besmirch Oregon's legitimate recruiting efforts. Stay informed.