NCAA slams the door shut on ‘Tiger Prowl’
Well, not Auburn’s “Tiger Prowl” specifically, by name, but ya know, they are looking in Gene Chizik‘s general direction. And glaring. And positively miffed.
The NCAA Thursday night approved a measure that would prevent,
Auburn, of course, created quite a stir last year with their “Tiger Prowl”, a recruiting tack in which assistant coaches would pile into a white or black stretch Hummer limo and visit high school after high school across the state of Alabama. This year, Auburn ditched the Hummers for what could be described as... well... an extravagant bus.
And the explanation from the NCAA on these new rules leaves no doubt that they were pointing their legislative shotgun directly at a school whose name rhymes with “Schmauburn”.
“Multiple coaches are appearing at the high schools of the prospective student-athletes just as much to be seen as to actually conduct an evaluation,” the new legislation reads. “Many institutions are unnecessarily expending resources in order to have multiple assistant coaches attend these evaluations as a result of the perceived recruiting benefit.”
In this case, the word “many” is Latin for “Auburn”.
Chizik seemed to sense that new rules were in the offing as he attempted to distance himself from the phrase “Tiger Prowl” Thursday evening.
“Tiger Prowl is an event at night that’s been really good with our people,” the coach said. “And our coaches are working really hard because they’re recruiting in the day and they’re going to these Tiger Prowl events at night. It’s kind of a fundraiser idea, kind of getting the fans excited, kind of a buzz thing out there and it’s been really great. The reception has been awesome, especially last minute, spur of the moment-type deal. I think it’s gotten bigger as the nights have moved on. I think the reception has been great.”
Needless to say, the NCAA heartily disagrees, which is why, as far as recruiting is concerned, “Tiger Prowl” is no more.
Still, it served it’s purpose while it lasted. It got the new head coach and his football program state-wide and nation-wide recognition, and played a role in Auburn pulling in a top-five recruiting class this past February.
And, in the end, that’s all that really matters. Well, that and those pesky “win” things.