Friday, February 4, 2011
Coach resignation upsets Huskers signee
By David Ubben
Nebraska announced secondary coach Marvin Sanders was resigning on Thursday afternoon.
Huskers signee Charles Jackson, an ESPNU 150 member and the only cornerback in the 2011 class, found out on Facebook from a stranger on Thursday morning, according to a report by Dirk Chatelain in the Omaha World-Herald.
Thursday night at 8, Jackson still hadn't heard from Sanders, Bo Pelini or anyone else at Nebraska.
“I think they should've told me before I signed,” Jackson said. “I didn't have any idea. They broke the guy code.”
Jackson, one of the nation's top cornerback recruits, looked forward to playing for Sanders, the former Blackshirt whose secondaries the past two years ranked among the best in the country.
Jackson hadn't spoken to Sanders in about three weeks, but Sanders talked to Jackson's dad “about two days ago,” Charles said.
Here's a bit more background on the circumstances surrounding Sanders' resignation on Thursday.
Jackson says he still would have come to Nebraska if he had been informed of Sanders' departure beforehand, but admitted that he didn't "think that was right" and he wanted to know "out of respect."
I get the other side of the argument here from Nebraska's perspective. The circumstances around any coach's departure are going to be sensitive. In Sanders' case, reports indicate it may be especially sensitive.
Additionally, if a coach doesn't know his status but his boss does, it's equally questionable ethics to ask a recruit to keep that kind of a secret from a coach who is recruiting him.
It's an awkward line for sure, and one with a ton of room for debate. It's easy to be sympathetic to both sides. Both are in difficult spots. Was it right or wrong not to tell Jackson that his position coach was leaving? I don't think enough details are definitively known to make any sort of black or white distinction in that area.
But this is no longer about Bo Pelini's sometimes contentious relationship with the media, a topic that resurfaced during Wednesday's awkward teleconference when reporters asked Pelini directly about Sanders' future at Nebraska and he declined to answer.
This is about his relationship with recruits, their families and their coaches, relationships that are infinitely more important to the program than those with persons who cover the team.
I can't speak to the prevalence of negative recruiting in the Big Ten, but if coaches wanted to employ the tactic, situations like this certainly provide ammunition, especially for a coach readying for the fourth year of his first head-coaching job, still gaining a reputation for how his program operates.
It's easy to lose details that complicate the situation like I mentioned earlier when time and distance from the incident grows.
There are still plenty of unanswered questions surrounding Nebraska's coaching staff, but Jackson's comments on Thursday night answer one of the biggest ones.
The answer to why Jackson wasn't told will have a lot to do with how much those relationships are damaged moving forward.