Tommy Tuberville has been the Cincinnati coach for a little over a month. If you go to Scout and look at the Cincinnati commit list, you'll see that 7 players have committed to Cincinnati. That doesn't include JUCO All-American Hosey Williams, who made his intentions to come to Cincinnati over the weekend. Tommy Tuberville is hitting the junior colleges and some of the high schools hard. Things look to be going well on that front.
Things though, are not going swimmingly on the public relations front. Massillon, an Ohio state power, publicly stated that Cincinnati was not allowed in after something happened with former UC recruit Kyle Kempt. The coach said
Cincinnati will not be allowed back in Massillon on our campus as long as Jason Hall is in Massillon
I've talked to someone at length about this, hi Courtney, and no matter how much I hear about it, it sounds like sour grapes from Massillon's part. Tommy Tuberville isn't required to take in all of the people that Butch Jones was recruiting. The timing of this story is what throws me off the most. The article that I linked early came out January 5. It was public knowledge, from Kyle Kempt himself, that he was de-committing from Cincinnati on December 18.
That hasn't stopped this story from picking up steam though. You find articles about Massillon cutting off Cincinnati on the Big Lead, SB Nation, and Yahoo. The Big Lead called the Massillon coach out on his 3rd person power trip, but the name of Tommy Tuberville was smeared. This is all coming off high attention being put on Tuberville after the story of Tuberville walking out on recruits the night before he left Texas Tech. Tuberville has denied, denied, denied that story, but it's something that people joke about and it's ingrained in minds.
That brings us to the present. Today, Georgia cornerback Demetrius Monday de-committed from Cincinnati. Monday is not quoted in the article, but his father is.
“They told us to ‘look other places,’” Monday said. “I’m in Los Angeles on vacation, and I just got the bad news.
“The thing is, we’ve talked to some other kids committed to Cincinnati. They say the same thing, that they haven’t heard from the staff. Basically (Tuberville) isn’t calling anybody, he’s trying to get the kids to de-commit on their own.
“It’s a bad situation.”
One of the quotes in the Massillon article is “It was an ugly situation." This makes 2 recruits backing away from Cincinnati for reasons that could be absolutely valid, but in situations that don't come off well for Tuberville. I think that he's getting a bad rap, especially in the Massillon case, but at the same time, this is not the public sentiment that you want out there. Neither Kempt nor Monday is a high profile recruit, 3 and 2 stars from Scout respectively, so the long term ramifications of those two going elsewhere aren't expected to be huge. I know recruiting rankings are crap and that players get better, I'm not saying Monday or Kempt are not going to be good football players. They could end up haunting UC for years.
The bigger deal is that a coach, that some of the fan base isn't high on already, has had his name sullied 3 times since he's come to Cincinnati. 1 of them has been publicly refuted, 1 of them sounds like sour grapes, the third makes me feel bad for Demetrius Monday to be honest. Tommy Tuberville has been around for a long time. He's recruited some great players. He knows what the hell he is doing and I'm not going to say he's not. What I will say, is that his Cincinnati tenure has gotten off on a rather rocky start. I am a firm believer in that you are who you are and the people who chose to speak ******** are free to be wrong. In something as delicate as trying to get high school kids to come to your program, your reputation can, and does, precede you. Let's hope these off instances have no bearing on the future of Cincinnati football.