By Joshua Koch
HOUSTON – In the midst of a football season when a coach is dealing with injuries, gameplans and practices the last thing on their mind is dealing with another coach from a football program attempting to recruit one of their players away.
On Tuesday morning, Crosby coaches Jeff Riordan and Marvin Nash had to deal with that exact problem.
Crosby running back Craig Williams, who has multiple collegiate offers from schools including Auburn, Arizona State and Mississippi State, was contacted by IMG Director of Football Operations and Video Coordinator Tyrone Dixson via Twitter messages on Tuesday morning.
In the message, which was posted by Nash on Twitter, Dixon wished Williams good luck in their game against Dayton and followed that by stating, “… if you have any interest in our program we would love to talk to you and your family about the great things going on with the #1 High School program in the country.”
Once this message was relayed to the coaches, Nash took to his Twitter account and fired back.
“‘Coach’ (and I use the term very loosely), please refrain from contacting our kids about IMG. Here in Crosby, TX, we form great relationships with our players and believe in loyalty,” Nash wrote. “At first sign of someone coming to attack our family, our kids turn to their trusted coaches. So respectfully, stay in your lane and out of ours.”
When asked how frustrating dealing with these kinds of things can be, Nash said it’s the nature of the business but if you coach the right way and have a good relationship with the players then ungoverned entities such as IMG Academy can’t compete.
“Coaching is still all about relationships and our kids and coaches have great ones,” Nash said.
Under the governance of the UIL the recruiting of a player is illegal. Under the UIL Constitution in Subchapter M Section 409 it states the following.
“Recruiting is not only a violation by the student who has been recruited, but it is also a violation by the school and/or the school district personnel who recruited the student. It is a violation to recruit at all grade levels.”
The issue here is IMG Academy is a private school in Florida and doesn’t fall under the same guidelines as the rest of public high school football programs do here in Texas.
Riordan, who has built Crosby into a perennial winning program, said all they can do is make their coaches and players aware of the things IMG Academy is trying to do.
“We build great relationships with our kids and make our place as special as possible,” Riordan said. “They have no interest in being anywhere else. But wish there was some governing body that could control that.”