Willie Mobley: Minnesota she wrote me a letter *

Posted by Vico in Recruiting, Shenanigans |

* Apologies to the Box Tops for butchering their song in the post title.

I really don’t know what to think about this, other than I know there’s shady political-like behaviour that goes into the recruiting — Andy Staples explored as much in the SEC — but this goes beyond shady to being just daffy.

I am not surprised by rumours, all of them unsourced by nature, to swirl about a recruit wanting to decommit. Everyone expects to hear a rumour once in a while of a recruit taking a visit somewhere or being visited by someone. As far as I know, authoring a phony letter from another coach advising a commit to go somewhere else is new. At least, it’s new to us. But this is seemingly the story of Willie Mobley, Ohio State and some other third party.

“I heard rumors every day until about two or three days ago,” Mobley said after signing a national letter of intent to attend Ohio State. “I knew all along I was going to be a Buckeye. It didn’t matter to me what anybody was saying.”

Along the way Mobley even received a bogus letter allegedly signed by Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel. The letter, dated Jan. 8, advised Mobley that his “football future would be best suited elsewhere.”

Of course, the curious reader immediately notes that, especially with respect to Midwest recruiting, how can anyone’s football future be better suited at some place other than Ohio State. We’ve noted before; others have noted elsewhere: you play for Jim Tressel, you play for Big Ten titles, national championship opportunities, and, when you’re done, you play on Sundays.

Somehow, the Minnesota question keeps entering here since Minnesota was, apparently, the third party to the rumour even if we don’t know it was the source of it. The most humorous of them for Mobley was having lunch at a restaurant with TE Brewster with Tubby Smith having his radio show ongoing in the same facility.

But the issue of the letter is all too important for me at least.

Mobley’s mother, Roxanne, said Tressel assured her the letter was not written by him nor any member of his staff. She displayed it at Wednesday’s signing.

Roxanne said she became suspicious because the letter, which was on Ohio State letterhead and postmarked Columbus, Ohio, read: “I know Minnesota has not had the greatest season, but in three years you would be eligible for the NFL. … If you come to Ohio State, you will be sitting behind upperclassmen for at least two years anyway, and then you never know.

Of course, the curious reader immediately notes why in the sam hell Ohio State’s football staff would author something so silly. I can’t speak for Minnesota’s NFL credentials on defense1, but I think ours speaks for itself.

I have to know who is responsible for that letter. Whether or not it’s Minnesota’s coaching staff or just some elaborate ruse from a third party aimed at benefiting Minnesota2, I’ll go so far as to say we all have to know who is responsible for that letter in the name of honest recruiting. Whoever’s responsible should naturally feel bad for attempting to manipulate a kid, whether or not there’s anything illegal per the NCAA about it. Of course, we credit Mobley and his family for seeing through the wool on this one. Special props goes to Mobley’s mother, since moms deserve props where appropriate.

Still, I don’t think at that age in my life I would’ve thought to verify such a letter if I had received one3. Who is to say another future recruit won’t?

  1. Brewster may have been recruiting him for tight end []
  2. like a special interest group, because American politics-type behaviour is oh so necessary for the operation of college football []
  3. but that’s probably because I’m an idiot []


Written by: Vico | full bio

Vico is the nom de guerre of the founder and current website chair of Our Honor Defend. He is currently living in exile in Alabama.


10 Responses to “Willie Mobley: Minnesota she wrote me a letter *”

  1. 1 Gabby Jay

    I don’t know, Vic. Surely we don’t know if Minnesota’s coaching staff was responsible or someone else like an interested HS coach or player with a copy of OSU’s letterhead from a letter of interest. But surely forging Tressel’s signature IS illegal. It would have to be, I would think. And I’m guessing misrepresenting the author of that phony letter as an official agent of The Ohio State University is illegal as well.

    Again, whether or not Minnesota’s coaching staff was part of this is beyond the issue at the moment, though I think it’s definitely worth looking into to at least clear their name if they’re not responsible. The forgery here, though, IS the issue, and what that author did surely is a crime, is it not? The letter was created under ostensibly false pretenses with a clear intent to defraud (which is the key here), was it not? That’s the textbook definition of forgery.

  2. 2 Vico

    oh goodness, I wouldn’t know, Gabby. None of us our lawyers here (and that’s by design), so what “the law”, as cute as it is to say at that way, is I wouldn’t know. Substantively I can see an intent to defraud; materially I’m not sure I do. I can see where there was intent to defraud Mobley out of a decision he clearly had given emotional value to (calling OSU a family, et al). Where there was an attempt to defraud Mobley out of something tangible (basically: money) I don’t see. He goes to OSU he gets a full ride; he gets duped into going to Minnesota he still gets a full ride. This also leads to the other issue of if defrauding has to be zero-sum. The author of that letter clearly had something to gain out of it, but as mentioned just earlier, it’s not clear where Mobley is a victim since his proposed losses weren’t tangible (if that’s what matters).

    That said, I see from your comment where OSU’s coaching staff and athletic department have every right to be furious about this. They probably have a bigger claim to forgery here, since their losses could be quantified (marketing gains from publicizing the arrival of Minnesota’s second-best overall prepster and so on). Moreover, forging Tressel’s signature and running around with an unauthorized copy of official letterhead? That can’t be right.

    As it stands, I’m more interested in finding out who was responsible for that letter so we can hang that person dead and pike the person’s head on top of the Olentangy River bridge on Lane Avenue as an omen for those who dare piss of Jim Tressel.

    But that’s just because I have a bloodlust, and it is unquenchable.

  3. 3 Ron

    This forgery, coming out of Columbus, at the same time of “rumors” circulating about his decision, smacks of conspiracy to me.

    It would probably be easier to chase down the rumors than the letter, though. Whoever started circulating the rumors also knows who sent the letter. Good place to start, at least there are trails to follow.

    I want DNA tests! Waterboarding! Whisk these suckers off to Kelleys Island, where they can be “interviewed” unfettered.

  4. 4 Rich Rodriguez

    Alright I admit it. I did it….but you’ll never prove it because I shredded the evidence.

  5. 5 Wil

    That’s more like it, you guys are the whip! (Yeah I’m bringing back the 90′s…..so what?)

  6. 6 Vico

    queuing problem is what it was, no harm no foul.

    And I still think we suck noodles.

  7. 7 Wil

    where you from in SEC territory? (saw you mention that on another blog)

    I have family in Valdosta, Georgia and Jacksonville Florida that I visit frequently. There is a BIG difference between the two also. Florida is much more like the North than Georgia.

  8. 8 Vico

    Alabama, at the very core of SEC territory.

  9. 9 Wil

    At least THEY have sucked recently.

  10. 10 Ron

    Bummer of a residence Vico.

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