The decision star recruit Ricky Seals-Jones made to commit to Texas A&M as a member of the Aggies’ 2013 recruiting class would have come as a bit of a surprise before last season. At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Seals-Jones was rated as the No. 23-overall player in the nation by 247 Sports and the No. 2 player in the entire state of Texas. Historically, those types of players have chosen Texas, but with Kevin Sumlin at the helm, times are a-changing in the larger than life state.
It’s not his commitment to Texas A&M that has raised eyebrows, but rather the recruiting tactics used by other schools during the process.
Seals-Jones’ father, in a new book entitled The System: The Glory and Scandal of College Football, claims there was something extremely fishy going on with regards to his son’s recruitment. In fact, according to Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel, there is a full chapter dedicated to that very topic in the book penned by former CBS News reporter Armen Keteyian collaborated with Sports Illustrated’s Jeff Benedict.
Seals-Jones’ father, Chester Jones, claims “Ricky was offered $300,000 in cash, use of a luxury suite during football season, eight season tickets and $1,000 per month for Ricky and $500 for the family to commit to a “top 20 program.”
“Oh, it was higher than that,” Chester Jones said. “It was a lot higher than that.”
“Chester Jones said the offers grew as high as $600,000 for his son’s signature on a national letter of intent – one SEC school and one ACC school said they’d double any offer – but he declined them all out of principle and the fear of inevitably getting caught,” writes Wetzel.
That is just a boat load of money, pure and simple. Generally speaking, we hear stories of boosters (sometimes with a coach’s blessing, but not always) trying to pay a player a few hundred or even thousands of dollars to help solidify a potential commitment. However, the amount of money Jones is discussing with regards to his son is more than a number of NFL players will make this season.
If anything here winds up being substantiated by the NCAA, some adults are going to find themselves in quite a bit of trouble.
We all know how credible recent reports and investigations have been in regards to collegiate athletics, so we advise you to take this with a grain of salt for the time being. It will be interesting, however, to see if this picks up any steam.