In the wake of unprecendented sanctions levied against Penn State, Michigan isn’t wasting time. Nor are potential recruits.
Ross Douglas, a cornerback from suburban Cleveland, announced Tuesday via Twitter that he had committed to the Wolverines for the 2013 season, a day after de-committing from Penn State. He'll be able to sign a National Letter of Intent - a binding commitment to the program - in February of 2013.
Just committed to Michigan!!!! #GoBlue— Ross Douglas (@RDouglas_21) July 24, 2012
On Monday, the NCAA announced penalties against Penn State and its football program, tied to the institution's role in enabling a sex-abuse scandal centered around former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Among the sanctions: the loss of multiple scholarships, loss of postseason eligibility and vacating 13 years of wins. And players would not be held hostage in the program. The NCAA announced it would allow players to transfer out of Penn State without being penalized.
At that point, it was only a matter of time before an exodus of players and recruits began. Several current Penn State players have annouced their intentions to stay in Happy Valley (not the best moniker these days, is it?). Others, such as Douglas, are exploring their options and the situation that suits them. Is it better to go into a program that’s forced to reconstruct itself, or one that’s established? That, ultimately, is one only a recruit can answer.
Quarterback Christian Hackenberg said prior to the NCAA’s announcement on Monday that he will honor his 2013 commitment to the Nittany Lions, but reports have stated he will consider other options this week. Likewise, USA Today reported that running back Silas Redd has not made a decision about where he will play football this fall, but Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said Tuesday on "The Dan Patrick Show" that no current player has announced his intention to transfer.
But you’ve heard the term “recruiting wars,” right? It’s definitely not a tidy discipline. So let’s leave it at that. While Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon told reporters this afternoon at the Big Ten AD Golf Challenge in Ann Arbor that he would not openly discuss the football program’s recruiting plans and strategies, it was otherwise clear that Douglas - and other Penn State commitments and players - are fair game.