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Look, Miami head coach Manny Diaz isn’t the first coach to tell his committed players to shut down all recruitment and not visit other schools. He will not be the last. He is one of many to do so.
But when it’s Manny Diaz demanding absolute loyalty from his recruits mere months after he showed the exact opposite to Temple, that deserves to raise more than a few eyebrows.
Manny Diaz wants players to do the opposite of what he did
A profile from Manny Navarro of The Athletic shed some light on Diaz’s recruiting practices, and one account from Miami commit Marcus Clarke on how Diaz handles his players sure sounds rich given how Diaz left Temple.
From The Athletic:
“He told me once I’m fully committed, he didn’t want me to take any more (official) visits because Miami is the place to be and no other place is really worth visiting if you really want to be committed to the new Miami,” Clarke said Tuesday night.
“I was kind of shocked. … Usually coaches are like, ‘Go ahead and take your visits because you don’t get a lot of them.’ I do kind of feel like I still want to take my visits. I’m still thinking about it right now. But I do just want to stay humble to Miami. So, I want to see (the next) game, see how it goes.”
As you might remember, Diaz was named the head coach at Temple last December after a strong three-season stint as the defensive coordinator at Miami. He signed a contract, held a news conference and started recruiting players.
And then Miami head coach Mark Richt retired.
Diaz, who was born and raised in Miami and is the son of the city’s mayor, was the obvious choice to take the open position. Despite his commitment to Temple, Diaz was reported to have taken the job just 17 days after his introduction at Temple.
So with that background, you might wonder why Diaz would be demanding stuff like this from his commits:
“We all went inside the meeting and Coach Diaz was talking to us and he went over that,” Restrepo said. “He doesn’t really want anybody to take official visits and be in contact with other colleges because at the end of the day, if you’re committed, you should be 100 percent committed.
“Like Coach Diaz said, you’re either going to be with Miami kicking tails or you’re going to go against Miami and get your tail kicked.”
Granted, Diaz left Temple for what was by all accounts his dream job. But the same can be true for his recruits.
What if their dream school comes knocking? Should they really be forbidden from at least hearing out a potentially better opportunity than the 0-2 Hurricanes, lest they risk their offer being pulled? And couldn’t this all be self-defeating if you’re immediately surrendering all the recruits who are even talking to top programs and keeping players who you prevented from evaluating as many options as possible?
This is just the latest chapter of coaches demanding loyalty from players present and future despite the possibility they themselves could leave the second a better job opens up. It’s a power dynamic that has existed for decades, and has become only more blatant as coach income goes up and player income stays in the same place.
Between Diaz’s offseason and his current demands, he might be the prime example of this hypocrisy upon which modern college football has been built. And yet he’s still complaining about today’s world of recruiting:
“If we all love this great football program, we should not let others defile it, in my opinion,” Diaz said. “And for whatever reason, that’s happened too often in recruiting in the last few years and that’s one of the things we’re really trying to change and stamp out and make these young men in South Florida understand.”
Diaz might want to worry more about what Florida and UNC have done to defile his program this season instead.
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