How do Nebraska's recruiting resources stack up to other football programs around the country?
This question has been floating in the wind around here recently. It's clear Husker athletic director Shawn Eichorst is aware of that, given some of his thoughts expressed in a letter to Nebraska fans that appeared on Huskers.com on Friday.
Included within that letter was this from Eichorst: "So how do we generally go about recruiting? By providing our coaches and staff all the resources, support and facilities reasonably necessary to recruit, retain and graduate the best and brightest student-athletes. For instance, this past year in football recruiting alone, we provided the most resources for recruiting in the history of our program. Our commitment likely will again lead the Big Ten and includes a number of additional full-time staff members assigned specifically to assist with recruiting.
"It’s important to note that our commitment and support of excellence is across the board. According to the most recent available NCAA Revenues and Expenses Report for all public schools (2011-12), Nebraska ranks sixth nationally and second in the Big Ten Conference in financial support allocated toward recruiting in all sports combined and since that report was published, our commitment has increased.
"Even though it’s extremely difficult to compare apples-to-apples, we are proud that our overall allocation of resources for recruiting consistently ranks among the best in the Big Ten Conference as well as nationally. Bottom line, we will continue to do what is reasonably necessary to put our programs in position to graduate our student-athletes and to compete for both conference and national championships."
While Eichorst's data about Nebraska ranking sixth nationally in financial support in recruiting from 2011-12 applies to all sports and not specifically to football, Husker coach Bo Pelini did offer public praise for the increased private plane usage coaches received the last month before signing day.
"It was huge because I thought we had a pretty good finish to this class, and you're not able to do that, the way things are now, just flying commercial," Pelini said on signing day. "We got tremendous support from the administration. I thought we were able to finish off strong and get a lot of places in a short period of time."
Access to private planes has become one of the hot talking points when it comes to the college football recruiting arms race.
As for how private planes will be used for future Husker recruiting, Pelini said: "I don't think that's going to be an issue going forward."
Financial and administrative resources was not the only issue about recruiting Eichorst touched on in his letter.
The second-year Husker athletic director also mentioned his concern about some of the social media attacks aimed at recruit prospects, current athletes and coaches.
Wrote Eichorst: "Finally, in recent weeks, we have seen an escalating national conversation on recruiting, sportsmanship and the impact of social media. I am concerned with the rising number of inappropriate actions and attacks via Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms on prospects, current student-athletes, coaches and staff.
"We spend a great deal of time during each calendar year educating our student-athletes and staff on compliance, sportsmanship, behavior, leadership, social media, and community service issues, encouraging all to operate with our core values—Integrity, Trust, Respect, Teamwork and Loyalty—at heart. We will do our best to prevent bad behavior and encourage our fans and supporters to do the same. When inappropriate behaviors occur, we are committed to take immediate action as well as necessary steps to prevent it from happening again.
"Given the educational pursuit of our endeavors, I believe strongly that all of us need to be more positive. Together we can show prospects around the world, visiting fans, teams and officials, what makes Nebraska unique—we win with class and are humble in defeat. That’s who we have been, who we are and who we must continue to be."