Let me take a one-minute break from Bison-Gophers.
Reporting and writing recruiting stories involving athletes from out of the area have a curiosity factor to them. Specifically, how good is the kid?
Take the case of Abby Plucker, the Parker, S.D. basketball player who gave NDSU a verbal commitment. As a general rule (and it’s been broken), if we The Forum haven’t seen a kid play, we’ll relegate the story to an inside page for that reason: we don’t know. It’s different for the elite area kid(s) simply because they are from our backyard.
She seems like a great athlete. Her coach calls her the best "athlete/basketball player in the state." Then again, South Dakota State didn’t offer her because, according to her coach, SDSU told her that it is already stacked at her position. If SDSU thought she was all-world, I have to believe it would have found room.
So how good is Abby Plucker? We’ll probably have to wait until 2007.
We do have a name for this newspaper philosophy, which was aptly named by Mike McFeely. It’s called the R.J. Romani Rule, named after the Ray Giacoletti recruit who couldn’t play his way out of a paper bag. R.J. was a hot recruit page 1 story.