Recruit: ‘Bama Media Tried To Influence Decision

Arguably the top high school football recruit in the state of Tennessee, Memphis tight end Cameron Clear, made an interesting accusation against members of the Alabama sports media today.

Cameron Clear accuses recruting websites of trying to influence his decision

(Audio of Clear’s comments below)

While appearing on Tony Basilio’s  WVLZ radio show in Knoxville, Clear said Alabama-based college football recruiting reporters deliberately distorted his comments during the recruiting process while also attempting to persuade him not to not attend the University of Tennessee.

Excerpts from Clear’s interview with Basilio:

Clear: “There were a couple recruiting websites, recruiting reporters that were trying to pressure me into leaving (Tennessee) and going to Alabama, Duke or Florida.

They (reporters) were big rivals with Tennessee and I guess they didn’t want the best player in the country to go to Tennessee.”

Basilio: “Wow, different websites? Whom are you talking about?

Clear: “Recruiting websites. They were trying to get me to commit to either Alabama or Florida.”

Basilio: “Wow, which websites? Do you remember offhand?

Clear: “No. At some point, during interviews, they would mix up my words. Throw in that Alabama was my leader.

Basilio: “So you’d get up the next day and your phone would be blowing up or your Facebook page (because it’d been reported that) Cam Clear says he’s leaning towards Alabama or Alabama’s his leader and you’d be going ‘wait a second where’d that come from?’

Clear: “Yeah, like ‘what’s going on?’

From sifting through media reports of Clear’s recruitment the past two years, I didn’t find any stories that indicated Clear was leaning away from Tennessee.  But that doesn’t include reports available only via subscription-accessible websites.

Though no one would be surprised if Clear’s claims were true, as most college football recruiting websites are run by publishers and reporters who are in the bag for the schools they cover.

In recent years, that has changed in some cases with a smattering of former newspaper reporters moving over to work for such sites.

But there are still plenty of homers running major recruiting online outlets, which is unfortunate since now anyone however remotely associated to a sports media network like Rivals, Scout, 24/7 and ESPN is treated as a full-fledged professional reporter.

Follow Brooks on Twitter for real-time updates.