While guys like Mack Brown and Urban Meyer complain about the deregulation of recruiting, the SEC—Auburn and Alabama to be specific—are putting boots on the ground and making it work for them. As with most things, when you're a part of the "in-crowd" it is most certainly a good thing.
As Josh Bean of AL.com points out, both Alabama and Auburn are playing the game. They've hired high-profile high school coaches with ties to their recruiting areas in an effort to build even stronger relationships with the high school coaches whose players they recruit.
Before you get your undies in a bunch, realize that hiring high school coaches to strengthen relationships isn't a new thing. Prior to the passing of the new recruiting rules "stand up guys," like Georgia's Mark Richt, were hiring high school fixtures to help galvanize things.
The route 'Bama and Auburn are taking are merely a revving up of the process, thanks to the new rules. Instead of giving up a staff spot, they just created a new position that is truly responsible for the same job.
And it is a win for everyone except the people who are not, or cannot, do the same.
For high school coaches in the state, and all over the region, you get a guy that you know and that you can trust. That's your "in" to the program. He understands the high school game, the struggles and the successes and most importantly, he gets what you're looking for from the next level.
How do you feel about colleges hiring high school coaches to staff their new recruiting departments?
Everyone talks about recruits trusting colleges, but what they don't realize is there is never a player-school relationship if the high school coach doesn't trust the school to begin with. Having a high school-friendly ally helps bridge the gap that exists between the thousandaire high school coach in rural Alabama and millionaire college icon in Tuscaloosa.
If you're a college coach, you're getting the same win-win situation.
You have a built in relationship, and you don't have to do the building; someone else will do it for you. That's a foot in the door all over the state. That foot in the door is the start of a relationship, and recruiting is about building those relationships.
In the grand scheme of things it is more work and it is more money, but in the end it is worth it. So, while guys like Meyer and Brown complain, and other schools cannot afford to play the game, Auburn and 'Bama are getting better.
Getting better, in the college football world, is certainly a good thing.