Tom Lemming, the Barrington-based football recruiting analyst, has his share of critics, to be sure. He can't say anything positive about Notre Dame without incurring the wrath of fans from Illinois and Michigan. And if he says something positive about Illinois or Michigan, you can be sure that Notre Dame and Ohio State fans will roast him. Evaluating high school players is a no-win situation.
But every once in a while something happens that makes it all worthwhile. Lemming, who has been evaluating 18-year-olds for nearly 30 years, has been named one of the 10 most powerful people in college sports by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a weekly newspaper covering the world of higher education.
Recognized as the nation's leading expert on college football recruiting and high school talent, Lemming has worked for USA Today and ESPN. In June 2005, he joined CSTV and serves as host to "Tom Lemming's Generation Next," the only national, weekly high school show focusing on football recruiting. He is profiled in the current book, "Football's Second Season," a chronicle of Lemming's involvement in the recruiting process. And he is editor of "Prep Football Report," a 300-page magazine which annually highlights the top seniors in the country.
According to the article, "Lemming's work has spawned an entire industry...his conclusions help shape athletes' destines, influence coaches' recruiting strategies; and raise fans' interest, for better or worse, in their favorite programs."
"Tom has earned remarkable credibility through his relentless work ethic," said Tim Pernetti, executive vice-president, Content, for CSTV. "He truly loves what he does and his passion has translated into his position as the industry leader. Not only does he help universities identify talented student-athletes, many times he helps high school players find the perfect school."
Lemming joins Greg Shaheen, senior vice-president for basketball and business strategies for the NCAA; Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt; Maryland athletic director Deborah Yow; Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive; Walter Harrison, president, University of Hartford; Dan Parker, president, Parker Executive Search; USA Today sports reporter Steve Wieberg; Chuck Gerber, executive vice-president for college sports, ESPN and ABC Sports; and Susan Donohoe, vice-president for Division I women's basketball, NCAA/
Interestingly, in a Business Week cover story this week which highlighted the 100 most influential people in sports, only two college officials were listed--NCAA president Myles Brand and Big 10 commissioner Jim Delaney. In its survey, The Chronicle of Higher Education surveyed athletic directors, university presidents, conference officials and NCAA officials and asked only one question: Who are the 10 most powerful people shaping the college game?