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About the Team Web Site Story

Hello, everyone. This is Eric Prisbell. I wanted to share some brief thoughts about the story I wrote with Steve Yanda on Web site proprietors getting involved in the recruitment of college basketball prospects. This was a story I had wanted to do in 2006, but I got sidetracked on stories about Renardo Sidney, then a ninth-grader, and the emerging nonprofit foundation scheme. I first became interested in the subject several years ago at ABCD Camp in New Jersey, where I witnessed a “reporter” from an SEC team Web site relaying messages back and forth from college coach to prospect. So Steve and I decided to do this story, and the Joe Davis/small-time middleman story, on the side while we pursued other weightier stories this summer and fall.

First, I want to thank everyone who has e-mailed and everyone who cooperated with us on the story. The reaction to the Web site story has been overwhelmingly positive. And I appreciate the fact that so many enthusiasts of college sports share my feeling that this is an issue worthy of examination. I can’t tell you how many e-mails and calls I received from people involved in college sports who believe that some fans cross the line and that it reflects poorly on the majority of reporters from team Web sites who do an outstanding job. And there are many who do a great job.

Leaving the reporting aside for a second, I have long found the message board portion of fan sites quite amusing. A Maryland message board has individuals -- often just hissing mad --- posting hearsay and rampant speculation under creative names, anything like Terpsettes, GaGaForGary, UncleWesForPrez, PapaDontPreachTerp, BooBooTerp, whatever the moniker of the day could be. While one college coach described these message boards as a cesspool, I take a different approach. I have always gotten a kick out of them, and the sincere passion and intense debate among fans are reasons why I love covering college sports so much. But what is less amusing, and actually quite distasteful, is when fans falsely post under names of administrators, etc., and make vulgar or derogatory comments, as has occurred at a few sites.

I appreciate the comments on various sites across the country regarding this story, particularly the one-page response on the Kentucky fan site The response by Marc Maggard is fair, and I also believe that the actions by some at Kentucky probably deserve further examination. And, of course, anyone wishing to offer feedback on this story, I encourage you to e-mail me at I will respond to every e-mail, and I welcome and appreciate all of them. Thanks a lot. And thank you for reading.

By Eric Prisbell  |  August 26, 2009; 1:01 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Friedgen's Good Mood



Posted by: Barno1 | August 26, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I guess the big Joe Davis scoop didn't make anyone forget Woodword and Bernstein at the Post. I was waiting for the big follow up after Mychal Parker commited to Maryland. Surely Gary did something illegal to get this kid, right Eric? How much did Joe Davis get to have him be a Terp?

I guess Prisbell will have to be happy with insulting the fans who write in to the message boards, OOPS HE JUST DID! SORRY?

Posted by: donmac1 | August 26, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

People who read message boards but don't post on message boards are known as "nervous perverts"

Come on Eric, post a comment down here if you're reading these things. Don't be a nervous pervert.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 26, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Terrapins Outsider

Posted by: geotherm21 | August 26, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

I love how you two morons consistently thank your readers for posting 'overwhelmingly positive' comments that are actually overwhelmingly negative.

Posted by: Mariolucasforthree | August 27, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

"I can’t tell you how many e-mails and calls I received from people involved in college sports who believe that some fans cross the line and that it reflects poorly on the majority of reporters from team Web sites who do an outstanding job"

Who exactly contacted you that was involved in college sports and at what level? Morgan Wooten? JT3? Gary? Or did Towson U's towel boy send you an IM? Did all these "handlers" email you and thank you for all the pub? Did Testudo call you at home? I know no one else from UMD would talk to you two.

And if the reaction to the story was overwhelmingly positive, why are all the comments which follow the story ripping you two? Reality awaits you.

Posted by: fushezzi | August 27, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Cannot believe you still think your "reporting" is even moderately respected in these parts. Where is the follow up giving props to Gary? You write a 3 day BS editorial lambasting Gary for not playing the recruiting game, then he lands a guy you just wrote a story about being the epitome of modern recruiting. You sir, should go away.

Posted by: WhoSays | August 27, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse


You are a fool.

Posted by: GoTerps2 | September 2, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

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