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No recruits, big problem


Last week Evan Tafoya-Vallo, a senior linebacker and guard at Rio Rancho High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, de-committed from joining UTEP’s football team after graduation.

No problem, UTEP always loses one or two commits before signing season starts. They will be fine without this multi-talented athlete, who can play offense or defense.

Yes, it might be all right, if only they actually had another commit.

At 0-8, UTEP football has been nothing less than disappointing this season—most coaches, players and fans would agree, to say the least.

The fact that Athletic Director Bob Stull announced his retirement in August and they still do not have a replacement yet when it is almost November is frightening.

With former head coach Sean Kugler’s departure midway through the season, it still seems like the program is far from searching for a new head coach.

But what adds the icing to the downfall cake of this program is the fact that the program is entering November with no 2018 commits.

To put that into perspective, every single program in Conference USA has at least one more recruit under their belts, according to 24/7 Sports. Even the two teams at the bottom of the C-USA standings—along with UTEP—Old Dominion and Charlotte, have 12 and eight commits so far.

Most coaches will agree that it takes about three years for a coach to settle in with a new program and find their niche with the team. But how can a coach establish any sort of program with no recruits? How does UTEP hope to attract coaches to their program when coaches can see how much of a rut the program seems to be in?

The Miners will lose 10 of 22 current starters after this season to graduation. With new coaching changes and such a tough season, there’s also the possibility of some players deciding to leave the program.

It’s understandable that the coaching staff is short-handed, thus making it more difficult to recruit. It’s understandable that high school recruits, who may have talked with the program, don’t want to come to UTEP. It’s even understandable if the coaches may not want to focus their energy on finding players, but focus on getting their names out in the coaching pool in case the new coach cleans house during the off-season.

But what isn’t understandable is how passive the athletic department is being about this. The front office is not only tainting UTEP’s recruiting numbers, but also potentially harming the program for years on end by not actively helping the program recruit.

Time is running out and the athletic department has two options at this point. First, they could actively pursue an athletic director, who in turn aggressively searches for a head coach to fill the program’s vacancy by mid-November, thus allowing the coach to actively grab high school recruits.

But the second and more probable option that the department seems to be taking at this point is being remarkably inactive about this matter, which will cause even less players to want to join the team.

Last year, the Miners received only 17 signed players on the team, with just three players having any stars on their recruiting name. During his weekly press conference, interim head coach Mike Price indicated that he, of course, is not recruiting, and barely touched on the other coaches recruiting. He also said how the Miners have 16 scholarships to give out, but up to six might be taken by greyshirts, which are players who are attending UTEP already, but are not academically eligible. That sounds like a complete waste and excuse for not recruiting as many players as they could.

Don’t be surprised if come February, the Miners find themselves in deep trouble if they don’t find some answers. 

  Follow Adrian Broaddus on Twitter @adrian_broaddus

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About the Contributor
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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    Joseph deantonaOct 31, 2017 at 5:00 PM

    Utep is only going to get worse. Hard to believe thats possible but get ready for it

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