He's a college coach's dream. In addition to being a gifted athlete, McFarland is a solid student and president of his class. He's also the subject of one of the finest pieces of sports reporting I've read in a long time.
New York Times reporter Thayer Evans followed the 18-year-old's journey from blue-chip recruit this past summer to committed Oklahoma Sooner as of 12:01 Christmas morning. [Read the full story here]
After narrowing his choices to college football powerhouses USC, LSU, Texas and Oklahoma, in the end it came down to just Texas and OU.
Some of the details that emerge in the article about the schools' recruitment tactics are startling, but not entirely surprising.
They're startling for the simple fact that stories of recruitment transgressions and improprieties are so often assumed, glossed over and rarely printed in any reputable news sources. That the allegations appear in the pages of the New York Times makes you wonder whether the NCAA will follow up with a proper investigation.
The Times published part of a paper written by McFarland for his English class where he detailed a party he attended in Dallas that was hosted by Longhorn fans:
"I will never forget the excitement amongst all participants," McFarland wrote. "Alcohol was all you can drink, money was not an option. Girls were acting wild by taking off their tops, and pulling down their pants. Girls were also romancing each other. Some guys loved every minute of the freakiness some girls demonstrated. I have never attended a party of this magnitude."
He continued: "The attitude of the people at the party was that everyone should drink or not come to the party. Drugs were prevalent with no price attached."
The article also claims that Texas offered money to McFarland's mother. She claims in the article that the source of any offers did not come from within the Texas athletic department -- something she can only speculate:
And:"Allegations from the report upset her because she said she had received numerous offers of gifts in exchange for her son to attend Texas. She said she did not believe that Brown or anyone officially with Texas was involved or had any knowledge of the enticements."
"Earlier this month, a former classmate called Adams and asked if she would coax her son into attending Texas. If so, a banker had promised the former classmate any type of loan."
Longhorn fan sites, including Burnt Orange Nation, are blowing up over the issue, questioning whether Evans confirmed certain facts in the article and even claiming some eye-witness accounts of the party in question that dispute McFarland's take. Texas fans are also questioning whether Evans, who attended Oklahoma Wesleyan University (not OU, mind you) was motivated by alleged Sooner fandom in his reporting of this story. [Orangebloods.com]
What do you think? Should this prompt an NCAA investigation? Will it? Let us know what you think of Evans' article.