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Wednesday Hub Thought Dontae Walker Was a Toad

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The Merry Cutthroat Month of May: It's traditionally a hectic time for player evaluation, but in the middle of playing that angle, the Times Picayune suggests the Web has had a civilizing effect on May recruiting:

Before the Internet, May used to take on a more serious and frenetic tone. Because there was always the chance that a good player could slip through the cracks and go unnoticed, recruiting coordinators and coaches had to be more diligent in their scouting.

But now recruiting is a year-round job for colleges, and with Web sites such as Rivals.com and Recruiting.scout.com, most of the top players in every recruiting class have been identified, ranked and evaluated.

Most colleges subscribe to national recruiting services, which give them lists of the top players at each position at high schools across the country. And because of this major football powers like LSU, Southern California and Notre Dame go into each season with commitments from at least four or five highly sought-after recruits.
Bobby Burton, the editor of Rivals.com, said May's importance in the recruiting process is in a state of flux.

"So many times schools already have who they are looking for and they have commitments," Burton said. "May used to be the first time colleges got to see kids, but now it's a follow-up."

 The other secret to Spring recruiting: it's as much about sidling up to coaches as it their precious young talent.

Hoeppner Update: The best news out of Indiana would have been coach Terry Hoeppner's return to the team amidst assurances his absence this Spring was nothing more than a little precautionary, post-brain surgery R&R in preparation for a long season. It seemed pretty clear given Hoeppner's compulsively driven coaching ethic that wasn't the case, though, and a short statement Tuesday confirmed cancer is still taking its toll:

"I continue to receive medical treatment and remain inspired to return to coaching when my health permits," Hoeppner said. "I love Indiana University and Indiana football and will make decisions in the best interest of the program, as I have always attempted to do."

Any opinion that will get him back on the job, Terry Hoeppner will take it.
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Even after his second surgery to remove a brain tumor last September, Hoeppner watched a pair of IU games from the press box and was back on the sideline ridiculously soon, less than weeks after the procedure. But he missed the Spring game, and assistants had been handling most of the questions re: recruiting prior to his latest sabbatical. Tuesday's statement included no specifics on Hoeppner's condition or any timetable for his return, but the university has been telling recruits Hoeppner hopes to be back this summer.

Quickly: Nothing new on the recent allegations in Toledo, but USA Today runs down the history of point-shaving. The magic number for corruption? Ten thousand dollars ... Miami's graduation is Friday, and slain player Bryan Pata will receive a posthumous degree ... A book on "lost causes" finds its patron football saint in Bill Snyder ... First USC, now Jim Harbaugh disses his alma mater ... The Gainesville Sun has a boxy SEC Spring recap ... Following the state senate, the South Carolina House overrode the governor's veto of a bill that would raise the debt ceiling for South Carolina's proposed facility upgrades ... USC's annual coaches retreat in Cabo ended with assistant Dave Watson breaking his foot ... And far, far from the NFL, Jerry Glanville is revving up Portland State.


The Rap Sheet
Crimes, misdemeanors and eligibility-crippling issues legal, academic, institutional and otherwise.
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Suspended, with pay, East Carolina defensive line coach Donnie Thompson, who was arrested Tuesday for submitting more than $11,300 in false receipts for reimbursement racked up on recruiting trips. Charge: one count of obtaining property by false pretenses. Thompson was released on $10,000 bond.

Reports did not suggest some of Thompson's unapproved expenditures included:

• Seventy-three shares of a six-year-old gelding chaser for some jumping fun through the end of the year,

Definitely not purchased by Donnie Thompson during a recruiting trip, or left out back with two months' worth of feed, behind the pool house. Comprende?
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• Nine hundred copies of The Hurry-Up, No-Huddle: An Offensive Philosophy,

• Five hundred-fifty one-pound bags of Cajun-style smoked turkey jerky,

• Twenty-two wood figure Art Opus X cigar store Indians to complete his office's new Southwestern theme.

Benched, for the entire 2007 season, Georgia linebacker Akeem Hebron, arrested twice for underage possession of alcohol in a two-month span. The freshman acknowledges his responsibility for the arrests (just "being a college kid" away from home for the first time) and will enroll in Georgia Military Academy with an eye on returning to UGA in 2008, the same route taken by current Cincinnati Bengal Odell Thurman five years ago.

Rejected, an appeal for a new hearing by ex-Mississippi State running back Dontae Walker, one of the most impressive high school players I have ever seen. Walker will remain in incarcerated for marijuana and crack possession in the Washington County Community Work Center in Greenville, which, though I've never been there, specifically, in my mind still looks pretty much like this: