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How to “survive” a Wisconsin decommitment

B5Q’s Andrew Rosin gives you some helpful advice for those that follow recruiting, perhaps too closely.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Brigham Young Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I’m going to talk to you about a school who’s football recruiting was humming along quite nicely. Its start was so hot, that the program was the third ranked team in the country and were starting to pull off some coups on that trail.

All of the sudden, it lost a commitment. But that kid was a three-star, and those are twelve for ten cents. But then, a four-star commitment who was just tearing up camp season decided he wanted to go elsewhere, and there’s pain.

Why am I not naming names? Because this piece isn’t about the capricious whims of teenagers. This is about you, the reader. You’re probably not feeling good about your local college football concern right now. Let me, the inspirational Andrew Rosin, guide you through the healing process with these easy steps.

I won’t make you go outside, I promise.

Don’t use this time to tweet at the recruit

This should go without saying, and yet there always a coterie of goofs deciding that being mean to a teenager would allow them to feel fully formed and actualized. Which in and of itself is problematic because you know the thing that commits with valid options to go elsewhere love to see? You going into someone else’s mentions and being something other than your best self. That firms up the commitment like crazy glue.

Still, I get the urge. We’re in an internet world where it is easy and fun to dunk on people for being dumb, being mean, or daring to make any prediction about sports. So when someone makes the thing you like likely to be worse? You want to dunk on them.

My advice? Yell at a congressperson instead.

Before you go to the stick the sports route, I’m not saying you leave it for one side or the other. Any congressperson, no matter the letter behind the state, has probably done something scorn-worthy. Call them a dingus. Heck, say how dare they not have the decommit stay at your school. In fact, if you’re that mad, Twitter will likely shadowban you for 12 hours because of it so you can then tear into the recruit with impunity without them actually seeing it. Your spleen is vented, and the child is none the wiser. It’s win-win.

(Not, uh, speaking from experience or anything about that last part.)

See what else is out there

There’s nothing you can do if there is National Signing Day drama, but for literally 363 days out of the year, recruiting is a flat circle. There are options that can come back in. Now often times it is not at the level of star quality that replaces the recruit, but the scholarship is open, and there’s always someone in the six for a nickel bin that’s highly interesting. You could find a tall track star who would look spectacular on the go routes, or maybe there’s a slot guy who could be dangerous in space. It’s never the end of the world when a recruit decommits. You’ll get a player who likes you for you, despite your tendency to act with textual malice aforethought when rejected. Like yelling at a congressman, it’s only going to make you happier.

Remember this emotion when the Badgers get a player who was committed to be somewhere else

It’s never wise to get too hyped up about recruiting. I mean if you want to have fun with it, obviously go right ahead and enjoy yourself, especially if you’re smart and don’t use social media. But knowing that a recruit is going elsewhere and leaving yourself hurt and angry cannot be forgotten when it goes the other way for Wisconsin. And it will go the other way for the Badgers at some point this year.

I mean, particular top starters at the offensive skill positions could have been a Pitt Panther (Alex Hornibrook), a Rutgers Scarlet Knight (Jonathan Taylor, and a two-guard for the Furman Paladins (Quintez Cephus) just as easily as Badger offensive stars—but they are great Badgers, and yes be thrilled that they are in Madison.

Know, however, that a mid-major basketball program had someone go into a high schooler’s mentions to be mean to them for deciding somewhere else was the best fit. Fans like Cephus, as he’s been nothing but a great wide receiver and a much needed member of the Wisconsin Badgers family.

These kids deserve to go to the place that makes them happy.

Long story short: The best thing to do when a prospect decommits is nothing. You are not going to win them over by begging. You are not going to sustain a good feeling by being a prize jerkass online. I am not here to tell you to be sympathetic to someone who isn’t going to be helping you out because recruiting is a hard decision. Sympathy tends to need to be earned in some form or fashion.

What I am telling you is that if you cannot even manage the much easier level of being empathetic to someone who isn’t going to be helping you out because recruiting is a hard decision, nothing good will come of any response. Sit down, breathe, and wait until you find a better option for that cheap dopamine fix.

‘Cause until then, you’re just making everyone look bad.