In December, Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck decided national signing day, a day supposed to be about his incoming players, was an excellent time to throw shade at Wisconsin football and their new staff publicly for “negative recruiting.”
This claim comes in reference to UW offering and attempting to flip Minnesota’s three-star defensive line commit — Martin Owusu.
One of my favorite insights from today that many coaches need to consider in recruiting – what you say to recruits will come to light 👀#Gophers HC PJ Fleck also discussed Martin Owusu who was a spark for this class. pic.twitter.com/3J6QjQlA19
— Kane Rob (@4KaneRobVideo) December 21, 2022
“Wisconsin even came in and tried to flip him early — he showed me all the text messages of them doing everything they can to negative recruit, negative recruit, negative recruit to flip us,” Fleck told reporters. “It didn’t work; we axed it.
“That’s what’s great; you get to see all the text messages. That’s the best part of negative recruiting; you get to see all these grown men negative recruit in text messages. It’s beautiful. I appreciate everybody sharing those with us because we don’t negative recruit.”
P.J. Fleck is Charmin Soft
P.J. Fleck couldn’t help himself; this egotistical loser had to make the most important day of his incoming recruits’ lives about him and steal their spotlight.
Negative recruiting tactics have existed since the beginning of time. It’s quite literally the job of recruiting departments to sell themselves and, in some cases, show why they’re a better option than other schools a player is considering.
In the case of Wisconsin — they’re objectively a better football program than Minnesota — why wouldn’t you exploit that?
The Gophers have tallied just one double-digit win season since 2005 and finished ranked once. On the other hand, UW recorded 10 double-digit win seasons in the same time-frame and fished ranked 12 times.
I’d probably fire the head of my recruiting department if they didn’t point out the stark contrast of success between the rival universities over the past two decades (you know, the time these kids have been alive).
I’ll give credit to coach Fleck for beating Wisconsin the past two seasons — Paul Bunyan’s Axe is a big deal between these bitter rivals — that matters. However, it would be gross negligence on my end if I didn’t at least point out that he inherited a 9-4 program at UM and has led them to a 26-26 (.500) winning percentage in Big Ten play across six seasons.
They’ve also never won a Big Ten West title or appeared in the conference championship during his tenure. Additionally, the Goofs haven’t made a NY6 bowl game during P.J. Fleck’s reign and the Badgers have made two (Orange Bowl/Rose Bowl) since 2017.
His crowning achievement as head coach of the Minnesota Gophers is going 3-3 vs. Wisconsin.
In closing, P.J. Fleck is Charmin soft, and Wisconsin football lives rent-free in his head.
Wisconsin Football HC Luke Fickell Responds to PJ Fleck’s ‘Negative Recruiting’ Claims
Luke Fickell chose not to take the bait when speaking with UW reporters. He did, however, state that he doesn’t negative recruit.
“I know nothing about (that),” Fickell said. “I won’t negative recruit. I’m not saying that somebody didn’t call, I know maybe (we) reached out to somebody. But I wouldn’t think that we would have said anything negative about a guy going anywhere. And we’ve got plenty of positive to say about what it is we do.
“Some people say, ‘Well, that’s recruiting.’ I don’t think that’s recruiting. We got enough good things to say about the program here and the things that we want to do, and where we’re headed to worry about saying anything negative about anybody else. So I don’t get involved in a lot of the negative recruiting stuff. Whether people say it about us or they say we say it about them. Really focus on the things that we do and the positive things that we’ve got going for us.”
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