H.'s Reviews > Meat Market: A Season Inside College Football's No. 1 Recruiting Machine

Meat Market by Bruce Feldman
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's review
Apr 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction

Meat Market, as the somewhat unseemly title suggests, is a book about the somewhat unseemly business of recruiting potentially great athletes to play college football. Specifically, it follows a Red Bull-fueled recruiting season with then Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron. The fact that an entire book can be written about a single team’s recruiting tells you something about what college recruiting has become. Dave Cutcliffe was ignominiously ushered out of Oxford largely for recruiting failures. A few years later Ed Orgeron was ushered out for failures on the field. It appears that recruits are not enough (Houston Nutt was brought in to coach Orgeron’s recruits; he had a couple seasons of success and was fired after four).

There is nothing more groundbreaking or sordid here, other than an overreliance on Red Bull when coffee is so readily and cheaply available. If not properly salacious, something of the twists and turns of a recruiting is captured. Efforts are stymied by the administration’s insistence recruits have demonstrated some limited academic aptitude. Elsewhere they are stymied by Mississippi State coaches keeping the Ole Miss coaches from so much as speaking with a recruit (with help from his friends and family).

Groundbreaking? No. Entertaining? Yes. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about college football recruiting, whether you’re a novice or have a Scout premium pass, here is your opportunity.

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