Tue May 18 11:22am EDT
Intensely sought-after Florida recruit Wayne Lyons (right) may or may not be the next Myron Rolle as a scholar-athlete, but he will be unusually well-informed when he finally picks one of the 40-plus top programs that have offered him a scholarship to date: Lyons and his mother have mailed a 50-question survey to each school, featuring practical queries such as, "What are the typical weather conditions during the football season?,""What is the coldest temperature your city gets?" and "Are there any provisions under his scholarship that would provide funds for clothing to accommodate the northern weather?" (They're somewhat preoccupied with climate.)
The list also includes questions about each school's graduation rates, admission requirements and engineering program, from which Lyons plans to graduate in two years before beginning work on his master's degree.
Of course, not every prospect can be an aspiring valedictorian and robot enthusiast with college credits to his name in tenth grade. Blue-chips come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds, but if they shipped off a questionnaire to prospective schools, here's guessing their concerns would look remarkably alike – or at least they would if I was asking the really important questions on their behalf:
• Does your team's "relationship" with local law enforcement extend to felony charges?
• What steps is the program taking to make the loker room and other facilities more "green"? (And by "green," we mean "willing to ignore at least five failed drug tests before taking disciplinary action.")
• To what extent is your program willing to alter its traditionally understated uniforms to meet the fleeting whims of my ostentatious adolescent fashion sense?
• Can I spend my under-the-table "stipend" freely around town, or should it be laundered?
• Where is the best fried chicken in your town? (If answer includes "KFC," school is automatically eliminated.)
• To which bowl games does your team's conference have annual tie-ins? (If answer includes "Humanitarian," school is automatically eliminated.)
• Name a few of your school's most famous alumni. (If answer includes "Supreme Court," school is automatically eliminated.)
• Which of these alumni will be regularly employed to perform skits at team meetings and practices? (If answer includes anyone who has ever received a paycheck by VH1, school is automatically eliminated.)
• In addition to football, I am also an aspiring [guitarist/rapper/stand-up comedian/slam poet]. Which local establishments can accommodate my craft?
• How many former players have graduated to multiple weekends at the Playboy Mansion? Please name them.
• How many time has your school been represented in a "Girls of the [insert conference]" issue? Please provide examples.
• I expect to earn my position in the starting lineup. Will the "competition" be decided in my favor before the season, or several games in?
• What is the minimum square-footage of my parents' new, rent-free home?
• Will other students, staff and professors actively bow as I approach, or will they merely scurry aside as I pass on a specially carved throne carried by the dance team, basking in my benevolent gaze even while studiously avoiding it?
• Will your school still honor my records and awards if my retroactive ineligibility costs the team existing wins and future scholarships?
• Can I wear No. 1? Please?
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.