Former Oregon and new Florida State coach Willie Taggart said Wednesday he first heard from the Seminoles on Thursday.
That was five days before Taggart agreed to terms to be Florida State’s new coach. And during that time, Taggart was out recruiting on behalf of Oregon while responding to inquiries about his status with the Ducks next season by asking why he wouldn’t be the team’s coach in 2018.
Looking forward to a great day tomorrow with our team. Practice, find out where & who we play in the bowl game, 2017 Team banquet and then back on the road recruiting. Go Ducks! #TheMovement18
— Willie Taggart (@CoachTaggart) December 3, 2017
Taggart emerged as FSU’s top choice after coach Jimbo Fisher left for Texas A&M last week. Fisher’s resignation was official on Friday – so much like Oregon wasn’t blindsided by Taggart’s departure, FSU wasn’t stunned by Fisher’s.
After Taggart said publicly that he was contacted by FSU over the weekend, Oregon linebacker Troy Dye said Taggart lied “straight” to his dad’s face.
He lied straight to my dads face in my living room Thursday night. He didn't keep his word to me Monday. Lost all my respect. https://t.co/JIcv7j6YG7
— Troy Dye (@Tdye15dbTroy) December 6, 2017
Taggart said he was always open and honest with the UO players and AD Rob Mullens. But we all know that he wasn't always open and honest with the media. He just admitted that he first heard from FSU on Thursday. Taggart lied about that over the entire weekend. pic.twitter.com/GQjkRTOtWr
— Aaron J. Fentress (@AaronJFentress) December 6, 2017
Dye’s brother Travis is a three-star recruit in the class of 2018 and verbally committed to Oregon and Taggart.
Oregon players aren’t the only ones who felt mislead by a coach leaving this week. When Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel was announced as Central Florida’s new head coach, a few Mizzou players certainly seemed surprised on Twitter.
That’s crazy we’re suppose to be a family but you didn’t say a word.
— Trystan Castillo (@TCastillo55) December 5, 2017
Unfortunately, misdirections and half-truths are part of the game in football recruiting and contract discussions. That doesn’t make it acceptable, of course, but there’s also not an easy solution to prevent it. Perhaps letting players switch schools as easily as coaches would help.
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