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.
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.
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.