BSO- When asked about the satellite recruiting camps, most used by Jim Harbaugh and Michigan designed to reel in players outside of their region, Shaw explained why the prestigious Stanford refrains from that practice. Quote thanks to RuleofTree:
“I have no opinion,” Shaw said. “It’s never affected us. People do them, and people don’t do them. We’ve got great attendance at the camps we have here — we get a lot of guys we want to come….But I didn’t like the way that a lot of people have put this as the SEC against Jim Harbaugh. That’s not what this has been about. Conference by conference, this has been going on for three plus years, since Jim was with the 49ers. This has been a battle. As a conference, we had a long discussion three years ago about what we were going to do about satellite camps….I’m great with whatever college football says, because it doesn’t affect us. It doesn’t make sense for us to go hold a camp someplace where there might be one person in the entire state that’s eligible to get into Stanford.”
Okay, so I understand that saying there is only one person per Southern state that is capable of getting into Stanford isn't the most politically correct statement in the world. Especially since it's not even remotely true. I bet there are plenty of kids from SEC country that would be academically eligible for Stanford if they had any interest in going there. Unfortunately for David Shaw and staff, the students that want to play college football do not. His estimate of "one" that has people up in arms is actually a higher number than the amount of football players in Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana - intelligent or not - that if given the choice would decide to go to school in Northern California and play in the Pac-12.
His comment sounded offensive - mostly because it was - but as far as I am concerned, David Shaw was just protecting himself with the weapons at his disposal. As dorky as it sounds, his University's biggest draw is it's academics. Why not use that trump card to make the SEC literally look stupid? What was his other option? Say that he doesn't recruit in the South because no one from the South wants to play in the Pacific Northwest? That's probably just as bad for recruiting as saying that the average IQ below the Mason-Dixon line rivals that of a rock, but at least this way he comes away looking like he's defending his territory. The SEC is more often than not the best conference in college football. Everyone knows that. Does that mean that David Shaw is supposed to concede the fact that his football team has no chance to compete for players from that region, or is he supposed to give a fairly rational - albeit misleading - reason why they don't? It's obviously a generalization, but it's no more of a blanket statement to say "the West Coast is smarter" than it is to say "the South is better at football", and people say the latter on a daily basis.