Florida A & M Recruit Dave Montas Loses Offer On Signing Day Eve But The Lesson Is Clear

by Dirk Knudsen | Posted on Thursday, February 6th, 2014

On the night before he was going to send in his National Letter of Intent Hialeah (FLA) Offensive Linemen Dave Montas was all ready to go except for one thing.  Florida A & M who he had verbally pledged himself to during the Summer had not sent him a letter; something that he should have had in order to sign.  Federal Express did not deliver and neither did Florida A & M.  So as most of the other kids who had verbally committed took care of business yesterday he could not.   The FAM folks apparently are saying they dropped Montas after his test scores failed to come in high enough.  And they were his only offer as anyone else interested had already told Montas his grades and scores were just too low.

Hialeah -Florida Linemen Dave Montas is without a scholarship this morning after Florida A&M pulled their offer on the last night.

Hialeah -Florida Linemen Dave Montas is without a scholarship this morning after Florida A&M pulled their offer on the last night.

The outcry is now rolling across the Nation that this young man was robbed and that Florida A & M stole his future and that this is not fair.  I fully expect this to be all over the National Sports blogs and hell this one might even make CNN or Doctor Phil.  Shame on Florida A & M.  Shame on them for having a part in setting the stage up for this to happen.  They told his Head Coach Marc Berman that his test scores did not make it and that they were pulling their offer and they did it at the last minute. Bad Business for sure.

The fact they did it the way they did it is inexcusable.  Having said that the outcry that the massive linemen was robbed is partially misplaced and wrong.  Those of you who read any of my work know that I am a “players-first” guy as far as the high school kids go.  No one has advocated for player safety and a College Football Players Union more then I.  But this is business and every single recruit and their coaches and families have to understand that.  When your High School days are over your a piece of a machine and in many cases a machine that runs on Money and Power.  Florida A & M needs to be taken to the wood-shed for this one.  But let me tell you something.  So does Coach Marc Berman and David Montas school councilors and advisers.

Coach Berman has a school where kids come out every year and not just a few either.  This year according to this story by Marc Heim  Hialeah had 15 athletes signing to attend college on scholarships and they regularly put out huge numbers of kids.  When you consider the average school in the US had NO kids sign this shows us he has a Football factory on his hands which is a testament to his ability and the kids level of talent.

Coach however certainly knows better then to let all this slide and wait to see what happens.  When that letter had not arrived a week earlier he had an obligation to this young man to get on the phones.  Is it his job to manage recruiting for his kids?  No.  It is not.  But he clearly knew something was wrong.  He was clear on this tweets that David was wronged and we agree with Coach but still these things are way to important to leave until the end.

Additionally in his Tweet he said that Montas “has declined any interest from all other schools at their (FAM) level.”

Montas however told reporter Marc Heim, “A lot of schools came in with interest but were concerned with my test scores and I respect that. But they told me up front”.

So someone is a little off on this one.  Berman has now banned FAM from this campus and will be doing all he can to stop them from recruiting in his area.  He and Montas told Heim in his story that Montas was a Full Qualifier based on a sliding scale.  If he was why did no other colleges offer him?  No recruit wants just 1 offer because this is what can happen.

At some point Berman and his school staff had to have known that Montas was maybe not going to make it academically and maybe they should have been ready to prepare him for that.  If his Test Scores were the deciding factor it surely means his GPA was not going to work for a Division 1 School and therefore his only shot was to score high enough to bridge this gap.  When the test score came in to Montas and his family someone sent it to the college and they knew then it was over.    The article also cites the fact that Coaches can not contact recruits – but recruits can contact coaches and both Dave and his Coach could have and should have been on those phones for days and days until that packet came in.

@HialeahFootball posted this Tweet this AM.  However there is more going on here then we know and some of this info is conflicting.  Read the story by Mark Heim Here- http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/02/did_florida_am_pull_offer_from.html

@HialeahFootball posted this Tweet this AM. However there is more going on here then we know and some of this info is conflicting. Read the story by Mark Heim Here- http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/02/did_florida_am_pull_offer_from.html

So let’s make sure you all understand something.

Unless David Montas can produce a transcript that meets the NCAA Test Academic standards he was not really robbed of anything yesterday because he apparently did not have anything to be robbed of.  You can not take away a Scholarship that is never available to a kid on an Academic Level.  You kids and Coaches and parents and Aunts and Uncles and Grand Parents and Advisers— this is business.  This IS ON YOU!  This is not dream land where sunshine and flowers and magic happen because your a special athlete.  It is grades first everyday all the time.  You Take Care of the Athlete because the Colleges will not.  They don’t have to and as that Florida A & M staff was making a decision on his future the word “NEXT” was likely heard echoing across that War Room floor.  The fact they did not call or reach out is wrong and will never be excusable.

David Montas appears to be a good player.   He was good enough on the field to earn a Division 1 Scholarship and in fact he should go to a Junior College and earn his way back.  The deal he was dealt by FAM was WRONG.  They have harmed him but there is nothing he can do nor could have done.  Signing period is Open Until April 1st, 2014 and I imagine the JC’s and smaller schools out East are all scrambling to get his HUDL film.   It feels good in the Social Media circles to take a shot at the Big Bad College that abused this poor kid but only for a minute.  

If David is going to make it he needs to regroup and move ahead.  I would not bet against him.

 The 6’2″- 285 lb hard nosed linemen can be viewed here-  Let me be the first to say he looks solid.  Coaches his Views are at 425 – would you all go look at him?  I see a player and I can see why FAM wanted him.  If Montas is a Full Qualifier as Coach Berman says he is then boy he is in great shape.  Because a lot of schools will pursue a kid like this right now.

Coach Eric Jackson who we ran a story on has unlocked the key to grades and test scores and we covered his story back in January.  In essence the 29 Year Veteran of the NCAA has established a service and a Spread Sheet that allows anyone to type in the Core Grades and Credits an Athlete has and then add their ACT or SAT scores and see with the Click of a button if they are going to make it.  The Coaches in College use something like this.  The Core Calculator as Coach Jackson has named it is available for a small fee.  Every Head Coach, School Councilor, and player and parent need this.  Had Montas or his Coaches and families had this he would have never been in the situation he is in today from the standpoint he would have known.  And by 2016 kids like Montas will have not chance to get straight to Division 1 anyway as the rules are going to eliminate as many as 35% of all recruits who are making it through now.

Get help players.  Ask questions. Use these tools to win the Game.  Hold these schools that lie or deceive like FAM did accountable for sure.  But hold yourselves accountable too guys.  It has to start with you.  Coaches and School Staff- look I know this is brutal stuff and your all in with these kids just like I am.  But it is time we all use the technology and tools out there and experiences like this one to stop it form happening because as a matter of fact it happens all the time and many many times every year.  This year David is the one in the news.  Let’s not let this keep happening.

Thanks for reading.

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Dirk is a lifelong resident of the Pacific NW; athlete and Merit scholar. He runs camps, clinics, and has been a sports writer and analyst for nearly a decade now; mostly with Rivals.com as the editor of OregonPreps and WashingtonPreps.com. Dirk is the founder of NWPR & BrainChampions.org; a charity for injured athletes suffering from Brain Trauma / Concussion. He is a father of three and married.

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Displaying 12 Comments
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  1. AM says:

    Great Story Dirk. 41 Sports

  2. chris says:

    So let me get this straight because he is some great player he doesn’t have to be responsible for anything… for contacting the school or; getting good test scores. Someone else will do all of that for him. What about all the good players with great test scores out there why isn’t anyone screaming unjust for them. This kid said he knew his scores were low early on..He probably figured someone else would fix this for him. What ever school takes him better be ready to take care of things for him for the unforeseeable future because after this that is what he will feel he is owed.

    • Pah says:

      Dirk, your article is the only one on this “pull offer” topic that questions an other entity other than the University in Florida (FAMU). Even still, do you in fact know that Dave Montas does NOT have NCAA-acceptable test scores for Div1 aa ball? I know your one sentence on that was “Unless [He] produce a transcript that meets the NCAA Test Academic standards…” so, if he does, then is he simply of questionable nature or risky character unlikely to ever graduate through a 4 year institution of higher learning? You raise the most excellent question in this entire fiasco, but it doesn’t help if no one knows whether NCAA standards have been met or not by Mr. Montas.

      • Dirk Knudsen says:

        I agree with what your saying and have already messaged his Coach and asked for the Transcripts or any proof that the clearing house has been met. I never questioned his Character or any of that. I watched his film, shared it, sent it out to some coaches, and contacted the athlete and let him know I was rooting for him. The Tweet that was posted by the Football Program put this all on the A & M folks. And a lot of the blame is on them… but not all. The inconsistencies with the statements that the player and coach made indicate that someone is a little off in what is happening. I believe in this kid and all kids– they need guidance and help and the tools out there create a new standard of care that we as parents and coaches and supporters must be held to. It is not enough to say “He is a Qualifier”. Coaches pull transcripts when they come to schools right? And id kids wait too long to take the ACT or SAT it puts them in a bad spot. Dave Montas will be fine – he is going to push ahead and be as good of a player as he can be. Hopefully he will be even a better student and gain much in life by attending the college or colleges of his choice. I never once questioned his Character or Nature – not sure where you got that. Thanks for engaging the topic!

        • tech says:

          UGA (Georgia) pulled scholarship offers last week due to test scores. UM (Miami) snatched 4 last week. Why haven’t we seen this go viral on social media? Too, if the kid was a “qualifier” as the coach tweeted, even on a sliding scale, AND he’s as good a player as reported, then why did he not receive any other offers? that in itself raises a red flag for this poster that the Hialeah coach is lying.

          • Dirk Knudsen says:

            Thanks for you comments… it’s not a matter of anyone lying. I think the Coach was mad and reacted. Dave is not the biggest kid- but has a huge motor. I think he will make it and the reason stories like this one do not go viral is that the topic is something people don’t want to deal with. Still er are pushing 1,000 shares and that is no joke,, especially for a hack like me from little Ol’ Oregon on my personal blog. Thanks for reading!

  3. Walter Brantley says:

    I was in the same situation but it was a couple of weeks ago..but here’s my tape http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1186060/highlights/73573395?autoplay=1

  4. pah says:

    Wow, huge miscommunication. I meant only to question whether the student-athlete’s ABILITY to complete a 4-yr curriculum of college is of a QUESTIONABLE nature. I shouldn’t have written the word character, but simply whether he’ll be a perpetual at-risk student to finish college, therefore FAMU simply didn’t want to invest to teach up (coach up) and remedial-tutor Dave up to par with other college students. Florida does a terrible job of educating her students and remains in the bottom 5 states in spending the least $$$ per student. I suspect that he might be a minimum NCAA qualifier and clearly a risky academic classroom performer. Unless his playing ability is off the chart, the college feels that it would take too much teaching effort to keep him eligible and so ruled him too much of an academic risk and pulled the offer. His H.S. and coaches should have done a better job educating him and his coaches should have been on top of the fact that D.M. had never received the NLOI.

    • Dirk Knudsen says:

      It’s Ok. Thanks for clarifying. I will say this. This young man properly taught through a good JC can get himself ready for the bigger schools and I think make it. The JC experience is as beneficial academically as it is football wise and we have seen that play out time and again. College is hard. But one thing I have experienced with my own kids is that where Public High schools grind them out and do a poor job college seems to be a place where they do better by the very fact that they are there by choice and that they grow up a little. I bet Dave is a smart kid and that he is going to make it. Let’s sure hope so.

  5. Appreciate your reply, as it has been tough on my alma mater in the court of public (social media) opinion this week after the original Tweet dropped. It doesn’t help that the coaches can’t speak on an athlete who hasn’t signed an NLI, so we only hear half of the story and none form the FAMU side. There has been speculation on what D. Montas’ test scores were, but another consideration is that the sliding scale for NCAA eligibility and the schools ‘ admissions standards aren’t necessarily apples-to-apples. Based n the rumored ACT score and comparing to FAMU’s general student body admissions standards, it was entirely possible that D. Montas has NCAA Freshman eligibility per the scale but not admissible scores and/or GPA for FAMU. I was hoping he would be one of our signees last week then all of this het the fan.
    I do hope this is a wake-up for all involved, from the HS coaches and looking out for their kids overall well-being vs. getting a rep as a talent producer, the college coaches being sensitive not only to the life-changing vent Signing Day has become to HS kids, but also the perils of social media, and most importantly the kids to take care of academic business 1st.

    • Dirk Knudsen says:

      It is what it is Marcus. Coaches in HS have a lot to do and most dont work in the recruiting arena- even if they did it changes all the time. Every school needs a go to person on these issues and it may have to start with the Coach but I think it is better if the AD’s office has someone. Sad that in the day of technology like what we have that not every kid has access to good info. Go watch the video and story I made on Coach Jackson’s tool. Watch this killer tool work at the 5:49 Mark of this Video — this would have helped this entire situation- Dave, The Coach, and the Power would be in their hands. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5bF3WHMqCuM#t=345 Most likely this story would have never come out as this would have never happened! Thanks again Marcus for caring about kids and joining the conversation!

      Best regards;

      Dirk

  6. […] Do Not Put Your Recruiting Future In The Hands Of One Offer With No Grade Verifications- Schools Wil… […]

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