Georgia CB Rashard Fant commits to IU

Georgia four-star cornerback Rashard Fant has committed to Indiana according to his father Randy, giving the Hoosiers their third recruit of that caliber in the Class of 2013 with the possibility of more to come.

Fant, a 5-foot-10, 165-pounder from Our Lady of Mercy High School in Fairburn, Ga., picked the Hoosiers ahead of scholarship offers from Florida State, Kentucky, Mississippi and Utah among others.

Fant’s father said that Rashard had always considered his dream school and even though the Seminoles had offered him a scholarship and seem to be undergoing a renaissance as the No. 12 team in the country, Fant still kept his eyes open and liked what he saw from Indiana.

“I think it was a personal thing with Rashard,” Randy Fant said. “He’s the type of young man that’s not easily swayed by logos and trinkets and rankings. That’s not him. He doesn’t have to play at the powerhouses out here. He plays at a program that won two games his first year and had never had a winning season before. Now they’re going on their third winning season. Florida State was his dream school, but that didn’t keep him from looking at other options.”

One thing that swayed Fant was his relationship with cornerbacks coach Brandon Shelby.

“They didn’t talk a lot about what Rashard was doing on the field, but they talked a lot about (Shelby’s) schemes and techniques and how he trains his DB’s,” Randy Fant said. “… Coach Shelby is a younger guy. He’s not too far removed from being on the field. He did a lot of good things at Oklahoma. Rashard is a big internet dude. He does a lot of research on people and places and things. He looked into coach Shelby and thought this was a guy who could help him get better.”

Fant is the 12th member of Indiana’s Class of 2013. He joins two other four-star recruits in Ben Davis safety Antonio Allen and Pike defensive end David Kenney. The Hoosiers are also very much in the running for North Central defensive tackle Darius Latham, who recently de-committed from Wisconsin, and Avon defensive end Elijah Daniel, who is still committed to Clemson.

In Fant, Shelby will certainly be getting an extremely talented player to work with. The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder has posted a 4.48 40-yard dash time according to and a 4.11 shuttle run time. That speed has made him dangerous as a cover corner, wide receiver and kick returner at Our Lady of Mercy.

“I could tell you without a doubt that in 26 years of coaching, he’s the fastest player I’ve ever coached,” said third-year Our Lady of Mercy coach Mike Earwood, who said he’s coached more than 50 players in Division I schools in a lengthy coaching career at Georgia public schools. “They are getting a tremendous amount of speed with him. They are getting a guy who is extremely dangerous on kickoffs and punt returns. Nobody has kicked it to him in the last two seasons. If he gets the ball in his hands, it’s going to be a touchdown.”

It hasn’t always been easy to get it to him, Earwood said, especially after he took back a combined seven kickoffs and punts back for touchdowns in the first three games of last season. Since then, opponents have punted the ball out of bounds, on-side kicked and squibbed to make sure he doesn’t get the ball in his hands. Our Lady of Mercy’s passing game is such that it’s been difficult to get him the ball that way, so the squad has used an array of jet sweeps and has also used him as a wildcat quarterback.

But on defense, he has done just as good of a job at keeping the ball out of opposing receivers hands.

“They don’t throw his way,” Earwood said. “… He’s got great ball skills. He makes a smooth transition out of his backpedal. His ability and his speed to break and close on receivers. His man skills are really good. He can play press coverage and bump-and-run. He’s very gifted in that department.”

The one potential knock on Fant is his size. He’s listed at 5-10, 160 pounds, and Earwood said he’s not the most physical, violent hitter even though he does step up to stop the run. However, Earwood said Fant’s frame is such that he can easily put on additional weight and can become a more powerful defender and tackler without losing any of that speed.

“He’s got great muscle mass,” Earwood said. “In that 160 pounds, there’s not an ounce of fat. He’s cut from granite. He’s well put together. He’s got a sprinter’s body. He’s got really wide, broad shoulders. And he’s still growing. I’d say he can gain another inch or inch and a half. I can tell you his size hasn’t scared anyone off.”
It certainly didn’t scare off the Hoosiers, even though Florida State almost did.

UPDATE, 10:50 p.m. Fant said that while the recruiting efforts of the coaching staff were critical in his commitment, so too was the encouragement he got from other Indiana commits.

Fant said he had several conversations with Fort Wayne Homestead wide receiver Isaac Griffith, Ben Davis safety Antonio Allen and Pike defensive end David Kenney, who made a hard pitch for why he should come to Bloomington.

“They told me Indiana is home for them,” Fant said. “But they also saw a team that wasn’t really noticed and was coming up on the map and could use a little help. And they all thought, why not have this Class of 2013 be the one that puts them on the map.”

That resonated with Fant because at Our Lady of Mercy, he joined a program that had won nine games in 10 years before his sophomore year, but then went 7-3 and 6-4 in his sophomore and junior year and has a 4-4 record now with a good chance of reaching the Georgia state playoffs for the first time.

But so too did the words of Shelby, who impressed Fant by coming to one of his games the night before the Hoosiers had a noon game themselves.

“He came down to watch me play, and no other coach had really done that,” Fant said. “And he had a game, a noon game, the next day. I was like, ‘Man, this guy really wants me.”



  1. I need to research this kid, but to pull a 4 star player from an SEC state is huge for this staff. Hard not to be a little excited about this.

  2. this is huge. I’m pretty sure Latham is going to choose Indiana, but if we could get Daniel……………..DUDE

  3. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! He’s a talented versatile athlete, I mentioned him as a possibility a couple of weeks ago when I went on teh rant, most of all he’s highly rated, & I think the more 4 star guys we gat, the more 4 STAR GUYS WE’LL GET! Sometimes , perception is reality when trying to whoo these kids, & signing Fant is only going to help in more ways than 1. It’s happening boys(& girls)!!!!!

  4. Am I…Am I being punk’d? If so, just tell me know before this spirals out of your control, Dustin.

  5. Coach Shelby and Fabris were the lead recruiters. They got him to verbal w/o a visit. Has run a best 4.37 40 and a shuttle of 4.11. Serious #’s for a Jr/Sr. in HS. In watching his video every run, kick return or catch he made he was putting more and more separation between himself and the closest defender. This is the type of recruit IU has needed forever. Is projected to be a WR/CB/KR/PR combo in Bloomington.

  6. It is becoming increasingly obvious that highly regarded recruits are sensing that something special is right around the corner at IU. CKW and his staff are doing a tremendous job of selling this program. Apparently, this highly competitive very young team looks more and more attractive to these potential highly thought of recruits. This team is sooooooooo close to winning and these kids that are being recruited apparently want to be a part of turning this program around. Go Hoosiers.

  7. Google Fant’s name and you’ll see a listing of videos, including a highlight video 20 minutes long that shows him in all facets of his game. This is a serious athlete who can do a number of things very well, offensively and defensively. His speed is impressive and so are his instincts. His coach is right, he does hit bigger than his size.

    Very much worth watching some of these videos.

    Can’t say enough about the sense that our entire vision of Hoosier football is being changed, beginning with a change of culture that redefines ‘winner’ for us as it strives to slowly but surely reach the levels of Hoosier basketball, soccer, swimming.

  8. TTG, nothing has changed. Let’s see how many of these guys actually sign in February, which is a LONG way away. IU will be coming off of a 1-win season followed by a 2-win season, with not a single B1G victory…will this scare these kids away? I don’t care how they talk now, let’s see how they feel in February. And if they do make it to Btown, will they be any good? Too many “big shots” have tanked at IU to think otherwise. Things change ONLY when IU gets some W’s on the field. Until then, everything else is just noise.

  9. TTG, I think these young recruits all ready know last years record and have factored in the possibilities for this seasons record. Regardless of W-L records they are seeing improvement on the field and the playing time young talented guys can earn immediately at IU. to their thinking it is a win/win situation with this coaching staff in place.

  10. Keep the “They’ve got great families. Christian families” comments coming, coach Wilson. I would add a wholesome Sunday school comment at every press conference.

    Appears all this good recruiting news came on the heels of taking a page from Tom Crean’s playbook.

    Start tweeting Joyce Meyer and quoting Jack Graham and maybe we’ll land some big Christian farm boys from Nebraska taller than corn and wider than a plow.

    I like this strategy. Christ sells.

  11. I cant sit here and put my head in the sand and say unless we start winning a game or two that we should win some of these guys wont have second thoughts. It’s just happened too many times to be that naive no matter how big a fan I am. This team is really close in most of these losses and I think, for whatever reason (Woo Woo must be a hell of a salesman along with Chase), these guys are seeing the greener side. I hope we give them reason to close down any other options.

  12. Good coaching, great facilities, a very competitive BCS conference, a great campus, solid academics, and an opportunity to play immediately. What’s not to like?

    If a football player goes to a top SEC or other top BCS-Conference school (like FSU), he’ll be one of many four and five star athletes in his recruiting class. Given Fant’s size, he may be considering, that at those top programs, the risk of not getting significant playing time for a couple of years. And he may appreciate that the next recruiting class at those top rated programs will include even more competition at his position. That’s the rub when a talented young man commits to a top ten football program. The competition for playing time is extreme. What a lot of people don’t really appreciate is that the transfer rates for a lot of those top ten teams is very high. You might be a two-time All State player in High School and find yourself fourth or fifth on the college team’s depth chart as a freshman and sophomore! Heck, you may never get a chance to play on anything other than special teams. Why delay your opportunity to play, and risk injury being a tackling dummy for a couple of years, when you have a great chance of being an immediate starter and getting experience and exposure at a school like IU?

    This is exciting news for IU football. Let’s hold the champaign until February 3rd, but feel confident that the recent news suggests that recruiting is moving in the right direction.

  13. I also have concerns about keeping these committments, but remember this, the guys that flip, Fant obviously not included, are pretty much safe in my mind, cuz’ it’s not often kids flip twice, Stunner Kiel not included. That is built in security, noone wants to look that wishy washy, indecisive, or basicsally just like a dipS#$t!

  14. In addition, yeah we’ve had a lot of guys flip on us over the years, but we’ve never had this many even give verbals to begin with. I would think the odds are in our favor.

  15. HforH; What’s with the sarcastic comments whenever an IU coach makes a reference to Christianity? What’s the problem with making a reference to a person’s faith? Did I miss the new law that says people in the public eye must run all their comments through a secular filter? Is it now politically incorrect to refer to a person’s religion, or is it only a problem when that person is referred to as a Christian? Would you have made the same comments had Wilson referred to a player as having come from a good Jewish family? What about a good Muslim family? Is your problem with references to religion in general or just references to Christianity?

    I agree that referring to a person’s religion is unnecessary and should be irrelevant, but it’s also harmless. I don’t get offended when I hear people make references to their faith or anyone else’s faith, unless their comment represents an attack on a person’s faith. I just don’t care about such references. I’m just curious, why do you?

  16. Actually Podunker, & I’M NOT 1 OF THEM 1st of all, but some people do get offended at the mention of religion, faith, etc..some people have very strong feelingd, in erevry direction regarding religion, any type of religion. I don’t care, nit calling you wrong, I just know people that would/do take offense to the mention of it..unfortunaltely. To sum it all up? IMHO? I take offense to people that take offense to things that I find so petty , and try discourage others from doing & saying things that I find harmless. In other words, I hate PC! Just my opinion.

  17. It may be harmless and his right…I just think it’s completely unnecessary. There is plenty of division in the world based on religious fanaticism.

    Please tell me the last tweet from Tom Crean that spoke of good Muslims, Jews, and their family principles.

    Quit playing the fool. Religion has no place in selling your own virtue to a teenager signing up to play a game of football or basketball at a public institution(personally, I think it’s just as irrelevant at a Catholic or any other private school of any faith/belief/denomination).

    Treat people like you want to be treated. Be decent for decency sake. Be kind without the emptiness your only action from your hollow heart is a fear in a righteous judgment of another man’s invention. Let your god take care of the rest.

  18. HH you are the one making a big deal about Being a Christian. I don’t hear other Christians
    ragging on you because your not. I agree this should be about sports and the kids so why don’t you practice what you preach and don’t bring it up. Let it go if it makes no difference to you anyway. If it does to the players and coaches that it their right. They are not asking you to join in but you do anyway as a slam on our players and coaches. You have a right to your opinion and we have all heard it enough already!

  19. Dunbar…sorry you feel that way; and that you feel the compulsion to rain on the up-mood that some good news on the football front are bringing. Not sure what is behind the negative tones in most of your posts but, personally, I do sense solid progress particularly in changing the generally depressed ‘Pigpen’ grey cloud that has surrounded our fans for far too long.

    BTW, the cloud that pursued Pigpen was not a rain cloud but a dust cloud, suggestive of his nearly eternal grey outlook on life. Even when Pigpen played in snow, the snow would quickly turn grey.

    It’s also a matter of choosing. I love IU and would do so even if we went another 10 years without a good football team. But, I am also a rational and, I believe, thoughtful and informed football fan. I was encouraged when we hired Hoepp, somewhat dubious with passing the baton to Lynch simply because I thought he did not have the qualities and strengths the job required (in fact, I thought we were very unfair to Lynch by putting him in that situation) and very convinced- even before the choice was made- that someone with exactly Kevin Wilson’s background, expertise, experience and creativity within his field, reputation for developing players, organizational skills, eye for talent and clear standards would be willing to take a chance on us as a career move. AD Glass handled it masterfully…and here we are, seeing some hope where we previously had none. It will take time but I feel the turnaround is near (though possibly not instantly). There’s no need to be so depressed Dunbar, unless it is a basic part of your character and personality. Of course, then, defeatism is a self-fulfilling condemnation.. Really do hope you can overcome it. It can’t be fun. Certainly, not as much as I am having hoping.

  20. It’s my alma mater. I don’t feel this righteous culture was present at IU during my years of attendance. Maybe I was just doing too much weed to notice..

    I’m not sure the purpose or motive behind all the Christian references…Is it just the manifestation of societal movement…a Bible Belt movement? Is the Bible Belt swallowing a Bloomington that somehow remained decades outside the realm its influence because leadership that refused to politicize and be manipulated by faith? Is it the product of having horrible and evil men like Kelvin Sampson and now we’re going through a cleansing or public exorcism of sorts?..Did we stray from Christ by way of these terrible men that stole our sports mojo?

    Why should I want my memories of a university I always believed a breeding ground for acceptance and challenged thoughts now be poisoned with bigotry?

    I think the comment by Wilson was strange at best. It didn’t appear natural within the context of discussing which QB has earned a starting role on a football team. It sounded manufactured and disingenuous…Then again, nearly every figure serving in authoritative positions that offer up comments regarding religion or their seemingly supreme faith of choice usually leaves me with feelings of distrust.

    I don’t think tongues should be strangled..I don’t think this has anything to do with carefulness or political correctness. I think the statement was manufactured and that’s where my distaste for such actions resides.

    No different than Murdock’s recent comments. Indiana has enough image of unyielding backward blowhards living in the days of cavalry and bayonets…Our institutions always seemed separated from the intolerance and cultural time warp generally portrayed by the media of my homeland. We are the state of Dan Quayle comparing himself to Robert Kennedy..We are the state of Murdock wanting to have control of a woman’s choice in a brutal rape…Now we want to sell ourselves as having the sole favors of Christ in the corner at our public institutions when the opposition comes up against us on football fields and basketball courts…?

    Sorry, I’m just trying to understand why we have such a low self esteem that we need to subjugate women and litigate the womb(yet never vote for one public dollar spent to support an unwanted child abandoned by society), cozy up to Christ as if he’s only our best friend, and cheapen ourselves in shallow hypocrisy with such narrow judgments a family being “good” simply because they’re Christian…

    I personally don’t believe Wilson is from the world of Dan Quayle…If he is, I say we send him back to Oklahoma or up to Purdue where he belongs. I thought we were getting something less than superficial with this man. I hold out hope, but it is dwindling.

  21. I don’t want to get in the middle of this one (being from a good Christian family and all), but it seems to me HofH you are being just as much of a religious zealot in your antagonism to any mention of Christian beliefs than the most belligerent of Christian soldiers on this blog.

    I also think you are too smart not to know that the reference to ‘good Christian family’ is a reference to the content of the recruit’s family’s value system; to do no harm, to honor his word, to be open and truthful, to respect others, to be principled, etc. What surprises me even more is that while I may understand you make your statement in support of your value of openly supporting the ‘freedom of (all) thought (and speech and press…) we all support;, your comments actually violate in a very mocking and violent way that very concept of freedom of expression you are attempting to sustain. I’m surprised, mostly by the fact that your passion and biases do not allow you to see the contradiction with your own beliefs.

    Just be…and let be HofH. You’re best when that is your mantra.

    Now,I have to return a grandson of this good Judeo-Christian family. God Bless HofH. (not being sarcastic, really God Bless).

  22. I don’t care if they’re the sons of jackals if they can throw a football and move a team down field.

    We are all flawed and I tire of the pretense a faith bequeaths one man superior to another.

  23. HofH- Just read your #22. It’s my alma mater as well and I have no problem with the expression (nor would I have a problem if Wilson had said ‘he’s from a good Muslim family’ as long as it was a reference to a solid set of values represented in this kid.

    Shortly before I sat down to read the blog I had been watching the controversy over Murdoch. To put it in context, I was and am a very solid and disappointed Lugar supporter and admirer. Still, I thought Murdoch has every right to believe as he does without having it thrown in his face that he somehow supports the heinous act of rape.

    He’s merely voicing that the life of the child is the life of the child, a creation of life by God. That is his belief, God’s will put life in the woman, however it was given to her and the blessing is to humanity for receiving and caring for the child (innocent of everything) and having a God-given right to be loved by all of us. (May I add, be the rapist father rot in Hell to the end of days- though that’s in God’s judgment as well).

    When I was two I caught polio. It paralyzed me for many years, eventually was able to regain mobility and enjoy a nearly normal (by man’s norms) and, as I get older, some of the vestiges of the polio make themselves evident again and I gradually lose mobility. What Grace by God that I had the polio, what a gift! What a gift that I was able to overcome some of its aftermath to whatever degree I overcame it! How enjoyable a life it has bee. I was thinking the other day, without the polio my life would have been totally different. I would have probably married differently, had two different children, five different grandchildren…I wouldn’t trade you one hair on their heads or one second in my life. God Blessed me with it. As He Blessed mes with many of the other circumstances in my life that now constitute the whole of who I am. This is not bible thumping…in fact, I look at myself and my thoughts and conclude that God has a big sense of humor. So back to Murdoch’s statement (damn! Lugar should have won)…however conceived is our life and we must love it and respect it and nurture it equally…

    You know how grateful I am that when my dad first took me to the hospital when I contracted polio he refused to take the first recommendation to ‘put me in bed and let me die in peace’…?

    God loves the child HofH…even (though you my not believe this) the one in you.

  24. We do seem to be at the far end of the pendulum swing as far as religious zealots go, IMHO. When I was college age a Mourdock, Santorum, et al., would just be laughed at and we’d all move on. They be fodder for a Monty Python movie. Now they are national figures. Of course, back then there wasn’t a television network dedicated to making them semi credible. Whatever.

    I’m guessing it’s about to swing the other way (thanks largely to the same folks). Again, whatever.

    I’m on record as being passionately ambivalent on the subject.

    On a different note, campus visits and the beauty of IU come up frequently and rightly so. What I can’t figure out is how guys make visits to some ‘football schools’ and still go there. I’ve been to tons of those campuses. Georgia is nice. Florida is fine. Auburn is pretty nice. I hear Ol Miss isn’t bad. But have you ever been to Tennessee (my wife’s alma mater) or Florida State? Why in the heck would anyone subject themselves to 4 (or 5) years in a $hithole like those places? Tennessee is smack dab in the middle of America’s ugliest city, Knoxville, TN. Florida State looks like a WalMart distribution center.

    I can’t imagine what could possible convince a kid that, “Yeah, I’d like to live here for the next four years.”

  25. Good points two ways Chet.

    I don’t see the need to attack anyone’s beliefs, one way or another. So, generally I leave the issue alone. But, there is a limit and I respond, hopefully showing respect to the other’s right while making mine clear. We’ve never had that problem, ever; though I know we don’t completely agree. And, I appreciate it.

    On the other hand, I would have liked to see Lugar get a chance to be President. A good mixture of social responsibility, economic sense and vision (IMHO). The rest of my HforH post was about the life of the child and no further than that. Life is too important to be a ‘political position’ discussed by mindless talking heads on CNN.

    Now…for discussing on the Hoosier Scoop between us (disciples of The Sage and DD)…that’s different!

    BTW, regards to Mrs Chet.

  26. H4H you are the only 1 bitching. What does that tell you? No body else gives a crap, especially the recruits so eager to listen to IU coaching staffs. In fact the recruiting news has been much more positive with the inclusion of faith. Their spiels are working and yours is not.

    Robert Kennedy?

  27. Hotel Boy, you are again embarrassing yourself. You don’t have the least idea what faith is, so cut the crap and keep it quiet.

  28. We had polio in my household, too. Not me, fortunately…for me.

    My flying days in the Navy ended prematurely as it turned out that my eustachian tubes are slightly smaller than standard OEM equipment. That doesn’t matter as long as you don’t try to fly with a head cold.

    That was a painful learning experience, let me tell you.

    Anyway, my experience was similar to yours. Had I not NPQ’d (not physically qualified) I would never have met the love of my life. I never would have had the same children. I would never have had the amazing experiences life had planned for me. While I’m sure a long military career would have been fulfilling, I doubt I would have impacted as many lives, personally, as I did after leaving the Navy. Life has been pretty sweet.

    Forrest Gump had a point about that whole box of chocolates thing…

  29. BTW, I’ve never had anything but the utmost respect for Richard Lugar. Whatever crazy spell made Indiana Republicans so unceremoniously show him the door was everyone’s loss.

    He is a good man and the country is less secure with him on the sideline.

    To paraphrase Lloyd Benson, Richard Mourdock is no Richard Lugar.

  30. Carlton if I am embarrassing myself why is it you are the only 1 worried about it? There is no need for you to cut the crap and keep it quiet because you never have anything to say anyway.

  31. The problem is Richard Lugar hung around so long, secure in the DC fortress, he became Caspar Milquetoast. For me it was money well spent.

  32. Sounds like a fantastic player. We are so close to winning alot of games here. These kinds of players will only help.

  33. Good catch, Clarion…Brain fart(not unusual for a septic system of nerve endings). I obviously meant Jack/John…The Bay of Pigs guy.

    Nothing like men being experts in rape and the consequences thereof. Here’s to Jerry Sandusky getting knocked up and showering his new baby with love.

  34. And the news keep rolling! Clyde Newton, LB from Florida just committed!! although he only had one other offer from Iowa State, he still looks impressive from the few minutes of highlight I’ve seen. Keep em’ coming coach!!

  35. Look at the speed we’re adding. Both of these signees today, this Clyde Newton may not be highly acclaimed, then again he may be in Florida, either way he’a a 4.6 LB. It’s clear what the strategy is for the coaching staff, it’s also clear tha they are successfully executing it.

  36. This is fantastic news.

    Well done commenters. Another 40 non-sequiturs about religion and politics. This is some of best news IUFB has had in a while (on the heels of a previous commitment) and it descends into this mess.

  37. Normally I’d agree w/you double down, It aggravates me when people use a chat room/message board as their personal diary to share w/ a few co-stars,(not hat anyone does that hre, they don;’t) but in this case, there is a presidential election coming up in a few days, right? I think you can let it slide maybe? Once every four years. Otherwise, these topics would be better left to the imagination. IMHO, as always.

  38. A few points in response to some of the last 27 posts on this this string.

    1. I considered not writing #17 for fear of having the string turn into a non-sports related topic. But it seems to me HforH never misses an opportunity to comment about an IU coach making a reference to religion/Christianity. He consistently draws attention to comments that I believe most people simply ignore. In this case, after reading Wilson’s comments and not even noticing Wilson’s reference to “a good Christian family,” when I read HforH’s post that dedicated four paragraphs and about 70 words to what I considered an irrelevant part of the story, I finally had to ask for an explanation. Sorry if that took the string off course, but after the constant effort to comment on these seemingly innocuous references, my curiosity got the better of me.

    2. HforH, your comments, “Treat people like you want to be treated. Be decent for decency sake” were encouraging. But aren’t they also hypocritical with regard to the way you consistently criticize Crean and Wilson for making references to Christianity? If not, what am I missing here? Maybe you should consider including the concept that since none of us are perfect, we should try to see the good in people and whenever possible, try to give those we disagree with the benefit of the doubt.

    3. Chet, while I agree that IU and Bloomington are far more attractive environments than UT and Knoxville, since I just attended the TN – Alabama game last weekend, I think you’re comments about Knoxville are too harsh. I’ve been to plenty of $hitholes in my many years of travel, and Knoxville clearly does not belong in that category. The stadium’s location next to the river makes the immediate environment attractive. But more importantly, UT football is BIG TIME. UT’s stadium, when filled with over 100,000 people (which it was Saturday night) is electric (even in a down year). The passion that UT fans have for their football is similar to what IU fans have for basketball. And man, do those people know how to tailgate! As a High School football player being recruited by both UT and IU, just going into the respective stadiums and witnessing the size of the respective crowds, and the difference in the noise and passion produced by the respective fan bases would give UT a huge recruiting advantage. And when you’re in the stadium and you look at the references to UT’s five national championship teams and the dozens of NFL stars they have produced, and you watch the high quality promotional videos, it’s not hard to see why a young man would choose UT of IU. And UT is a high quality school with high academic standards. UT football, even in down years, is still very attractive.

    4. I’m really getting optimistic about IU’s football recruiting class of 2013. High quality defensive players is exactly what we need.

  39. I think that’s when the slide really began in Indiana…

    In the last decade I’ve seen more and more Tennessee license plates trailing U-Huals…But unlike migratory birds, they do not go back. Bringing in Peyton Manning didn’t help. The Bible Belt invasion is in full swing. They have nested and they’re staying..It’s warm enough in Bloomington for larger flocks.

    They’re more of a threat to our university than Big Bird. Gone is the only wall our fortress we had against their influx: Bobby Knight…Now Crean is paving the way for a Billy Bob Crusades.

    Keep after me, Podunker. We can be like dueling banjos.

  40. HforH, I’m not “after you,” I’m just curious about why you seem so obsessed with two of IU’s coaches making references to Christianity. I’m trying to understand why you pay so much attention to what is, to most readers, rather innocuous references.

    As one other poster pointed out, and as I alluded to in #46, you bring far more attention to the coaches’ references to Christianity than the stories their comments originally appear in. Being primarily interested in the sports news, I don’t even notice those comments when reading the stories. So ironically, by posting your sarcastic comments and criticisms about references to Christianity, you actually draw more attention to a subject matter that seems to be bothersome to you! Why draw attention to a subject matter that you would prefer not be present in the first place? Do you actually think you’re going to persuade Christians that references to their faith, made by other Christians, are inappropriate? Good luck with that? Do you hope to gather support from others that share your opinion on this matter? Or are your comments on this subject therapeutic?

  41. I don’t need the majority of five regular bloggers of Scoop to secure in my heart what I believe the disingenuous use of proclamations of faith.
    I can only imagine how many ears “he’s a good Christian” went into the family living rooms those that entrusted their children to Jerry Sandusky. The power of religion(it’s potential to be abused and used to intimidate and segregate) has no business in luring people to jobs, basketball courts, or showers in locker rooms.

    The escalation and fanaticism surrounding the selling of faith within the context of acting as a basketball coach at a public institution obviously bothered some enough to have the IU logo removed from Tom Crean’s Twitter page.

    Keep pretending.. There are still voices that have more influence than a Scoop majority. There are still those that don’t give up their spines because basketball is more important than principles.

  42. Po, suit yourself. Along with Knoxville being a $hithole IMHO Neyland stadium, all 100,000+ in attendance, is easily…easily the biggest $hithole of a stadium in ALL of collegiate athletics. I’ve been to at least a dozen games there and each one was worse than the last. Maybe you had a high dollar luxury seat but mine (held by a 30 year season ticket holder and donor) could pass as minimum security prison holding. The restrooms and concessions should be Superfund sights.

    Now, I’m there a lot, so maybe you just had a wonderful afternoon. Who knows.

    We have family there and we try to incorporate as many trips into a single one as we try to avoid that $hithole as much as possible. I’ll take Detroit any day.

  43. I trust Chet’s word…I’ll happily wash his car in Knoxville. Least I can do for a good friend that has taken my sh*t and is still willing to stand in the crossfires when avoidance and neutrality would be the simpler choice.

  44. General Electric, smart money says you’ve never been there. I hit that dump for a game every season. My love of college football overcomes my loathing of that stadium. I have free tickets to every home game. I go to one a year, with trepidation. I’ve never been to a high school stadium with worse facilities.

    My wife (an alum) refuses to go until they build a new stadium. This is a gal that camps in Montana in January. It really is THAT bad.

    Here’s an example. The urinals on the main level are pieces of guttering stapled to a piece of plywood (perfect for soaking up urine) so you’re basically standing in a river of pi$$ once you enter the bathrooms. Most main level restrooms have a single toilet with no stall door.

    Total opulence.

  45. Podunker,

    What a coincidence. I was at that football game too! It was an incredible atmosphere, and the stadium is beautiful, as are the co-eds. 🙂 Knoxville is OKAY, but certainly not as bad as some cities I have seen down here (or in Indiana- Martinsville, anyone).

    Anyways, great get by the Hoosiers. I am not really a Hoosiers football fan, but Wilson is certainly turning this program around, faster than even I expected he would.

  46. I had good seats, so I cannot comment on sitting in a garbage location. The atmosphere was great though, but it was against #1 Alabama, so again, I cannot comment on what it is like for lesser opponents. I do not need to drink alcohol and/or get concession stand food to complete the experience, so I do not give a s*** how crappy the bathrooms or concessions are. I did not leave my seat the entire game. I am sure living in Asheville, NC, largely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S., clouds your judgment of what “regular” cities look like, but Knoxville is not that bad. UT’s campus is fairly ugly, but I really loved the stadium and its location on the Tennessee River.

    Sky is black right now.

  47. Gents, I’ve been to games in Neyland twice, it is not LOS but it is not a shit hole either(it is for certain electric), I’ve been to Knoxville many times, it is not a shit hole(the UT campus is unattractive). I draw this contrast from experiencing both Detroit and Gary, they are indeed shit holes of the 1st order and I avoid them with fervor.

  48. Obviously, everyone has a right to their opinion. My wife is from Knoxville. We dread our quite regular visits. It’s one big strip mall. Driving through the city is just a display of chain stores, chain restaurants, car dealerships, and parking lots. Father-in-law is a big UT donor (he owns a bit of that lakefront) and has had football and basketball season tickets since Bobby Majors and Ray Mears coached there. We usually catch a football game once a season. More basketball games. Their basketball arena is one of the best around for comfort. I think it seats 20 some thousand. Something I can’t quite put my finger on doesn’t lend itself to fan excitement. It might be because the low balcony tends to make to lower section feel kind of enclosed so the fans can’t view the rest of the crowd in a lot of the seats. There’s a good view of the floor just not the crowd. I don’t really know what it is but games feel more like a social event than a sporting event, if you know what I mean. It’s very comfortable, though, with TV monitors built into the bottom of the balconies instead of a giant Jumbotron.

    If you like I’m glad for you. My wife considers her home town among the ugliest in the country and getting worse with each visit. She says when her parents are gone she’ll never go there again if she can help it.

    Lane Stadium at Virginia Tech is my favorite. Fantastic facility and a setting similar to the one at IU.

  49. Yes, Chet, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m not saying Knoxville is a great city, or even a particularly attractive city. It’s not nearly as nice a college town as Bloomington (but few are). And while I will concede that you have spent more time there and been to many more UT football games, I’m just saying that Knoxville does not qualify as a $hithole relative to the many $hitholes I have had the unfortunate experience to visit. I visited the mens room twice while in the stadium. Since I’m not in the habit of rating mens rooms, all I can say is that I’ve been in worse and that the one I visited was functional.

    But my key point is this. Compared to an IU football game at Memorial Stadium, a UT game in Knoxville, played in front of 110,000 very enthusiastic fans gives UT an advantage in recruiting over IU. UT football a “big time” event compared to an IU football game. On average, or at capacity, it’s more than twice the crowd, twice the noise, twice the pageantry. And I believe that enthusiasm and the size of the crowd and the winning tradition of the program has more impact on a football recruit than the quality of the men’s rooms in the respective stadiums.

    To put this in perspective, I have had many friends, who never lived in Chicago area, visit WF for a Cubs game. While every one of them has told me that they really enjoyed the experience, they also said that WF, relative to other major ball parks they’ve been in, is a $hithole. Being a life long Cubs fan, I can concede that WF may not be as nice a ball park as the modern ball parks, but I could never agree that Wrigley is a $hithole. While at WF, you don’t really care about the quality of the men’s rooms, it’s the atmosphere and vibe that matters.

    I long for the return of the days when IU football created a buzz throughout Indiana, Memorial Stadium is sold out on a consistent basis, and the fans are going crazy for IU football. I’ve experienced it a few times in my life and I want to experience it again before I leave this world. There is no better sporting experience than being in Bloomington, on a beautiful fall day, and watching a sold-out Memorial Stadium cheer IU on to victory.

  50. There is no better sporting experience than being in Bloomington, on a beautiful fall day, and watching a sold-out Memorial Stadium cheer IU on to victory.

    Have you also noticed all the palm trees in town, then?

  51. Well, it’s just one of those ‘eye of the beholder’ kind of things.

    I’ll stand by my $hithole assessment.

    Enjoy your visits there, I’d rather go to Cleveland.

  52. psych, I don’t drink alcohol at games, either. For the most part, I rarely drink alcohol outside my home if there is any driving or judgement necessary. It’s just not worth it.

    Having gone to games there for a couple decades it seems as though stadium expansion is accomplished with a paintbrush. Seats are just made smaller. I haven’t been able to sit with my knees forward since the last ‘expansion’ as I’d be well into the next row.

    I do find it interesting that the last two ‘expansions’ added seating while not changing the footprint of the stadium.

    It’s true that 104,000 rabid fans can generate quite a bit of excitement. It shows every one of its 90 years, though.

  53. H4H, we all miss Tre, if only ’cause it’s. much more fun to to watch an offense with a QB who can take off on the run when it’s called for. And despite the fact that many of us think Sud should be starting over Coff, it can’t be denied that IU is racking up serious points v. decent teams. Which makes it not so surprising that that good def. prepsters might want to come to IU.

    Obviously, our D stinks. Thus the chance to play much sooner than at a “name brand” program. But there are plenty of programs with lousy D where the same opportunities lie. But not too many of those programs have an offense to match IU’s. So why go to one of those other “lousy D progams” and still be on a crappy team? Come to IU, and if you can help the D become solid, you are playing for a winner.

    Think about it. IU is halfway (offense) to being a serious competitor. Only halfway (defense) to go!

  54. Podunker!!!….Four thumbs and two big toes up!!!!!

    (I do have a question…if two palm trees fall and there are no Hoosiers around to argue about it…do they make a noise?)

  55. davis, interesting point. If you’re a recruit, an offensive player, would you rather go to a team that is losing to quality opponents 9-6 or a team that is losing 52-49?

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