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"Play Their Hearts Out" - strongly recommended


Referenced this book in the recruiting thread, but just finished “Play Their Hearts Out”, and it should be required reading for any realistic college basketball fan. If you want to keep your head in the sand and imagine that “attitude” is the difference between where we are and UCLA (and I sincerely do not intend to slight PC’s approach, or denigrate it), this book should wake you up to reality. Great muckraking without sanctimony, the guy who wrote it is a true pro.

It’s a freaking cesspool out there. The book chronicles the development of Demetrius Walker (once the hypester Clark Francis’s No. 1 eighth grader) and that of shoe company whoredom to the middle school level, but for us the most interesting (and fast moving) stuff is in the last few chapters, when college recruiting takes place in earnest. Suffice it to say, Tim Floyd was a dodged bullet. And Demetrius Walker dodged it, too, by changing his mind a few days before signing day by reaching out to Herb Sendek, who had never really pursued him.

When I was in high school, the PIAA banned high school coaches from running summer programs because they saw it as extending the basketball season too long for kids. I get that, but it opened up the gates for the whores and scumbags who now own the college basketball recruiting pipeline. Perhaps the PIAAs of the world don’t do anything about it because it only affects the top 500 or so prospects in the country, but the NCAA should shut it down by prohibiting coaches from observing the events (AAU and shoe company) and fashion the recruiting calendar around the high school seasons.



I agree with this take:

Penn State honored the author this past spring, too. I can’t believe I only heard of this because it was one of the “employee picks” at a local book store.


fwiw this book is written by the guy who did the SI article on OSU


A couple of weeks ago there was a thread about an article suggesting that PC (or PSU coaches can’t remember which) needed to get in bed with AAU coaches. Apparently this book exposes (although it’s already quite well known) what I was talking about when I said the NCAA needed to ban all contact with AAU tournaments or coaches. There isn’t a word I’m familiar with bad enough to describe how slimy the top levels of AAU basketball has become.

The sliminess of big time college athletics is reaching all the way down into DIII. If you have a moment please read this article about current turmoil surrounding Kean University athletics. Although it doesn’t reference recruiting, it talks about Grade fixing, the known use of ineligible players and more.

I probably didn’t put the link in correctly but you can cut and paste. It’s an article from the Newark Star Ledger. You’ll be shocked when you find out the Kean president and Academic Vise-President reacted to the situation.


Just ordered it, I will get back to you in the next three to five business days.


Just started this book last night, and am looking forward to reading a lot of tonight. First 50 pages are very invigorating. The image painted early on about Keller is more of a victim, but when you try to visualize him as a coach, you think he’s one of the biggest scum bags on Earth. Hard to put down for more than twenty to thirty minutes at a time.


I threw it on the Kindle as soon as Tim brought it to my attention and got through half of it easy. Haven’t had the time this week to get back into it, but I can’t wait to see what happens in the HS scene.


He’s also the guy who took down Clem Haskins and won the Pulitzer for it.

fwiw this book is written by the guy who did the SI article on OSU
He's also the guy who took down Clem Haskins and won the Pulitzer for it.

Well, and there’s that


I could not have felt more heart broken for those kids after they lost to Team Maryland. Which is interesting because I despise their coach. It’s like I want them to win in spite of their douchebag of a coach.


Aaron Moore and Roger Franklin’s fight was interesting. I know I felt bad for Roger, but I also felt bad for Aaron as well. He was unfairly treated by Keller. George Dohrmann is a hell of a writer. Aaron makes fun of Roger’s dead dad, and I still feel sympathy for Aaron because of Keller. Really intriguing stuff.


Just completed the book, and I have to say, it was everything you made it out to be tjb. George Dohrmann needs to be commended for one of my favorite sports books ever.