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Scholarships And Recruiting In 2008

I've been spending the past two weeks recovering from the "worst cold I've ever had in my life", so apologies for not talking about the upcoming week in Lehigh sports (although I'm beginning to think I shouldn't, since as soon as I skipped the preview the wrestling team, men's basketball team and women's basketball team all sported big upset victories).

As we're in the long offseason, we catch glimpses and rumors of players that may be committing to the Brown and White for the class of 2012. Starting next week I'll start posting more information on some of these "potentials" as more information starts to become available.

But deserving of equal time is the ones that don't choose the Patriot League - over, presumably, a free education. Looking for Lehigh recruiting information, I stumbled across this:

Two-way linemen Austin Kugler of Toms River River North and Mike Murphy of Toms River East said Saturday they have made oral commitments to play football at Monmouth University.

Kugler, a 6-3, 225-pound defensive end/tight end, and Murphy, a 6-4, 254-pound center, defensive end and defensive tackle, were 2007 Asbury Park Press All-Shore first team selections.

Kugler said he was impressed with the scholarships offered by Monmouth and with its plans for a new athletic facility.

"They're building that new sports complex for basketball and for football locker rooms and things like that," he said.

Kugler said he was recruited to play defensive end.

"I really didn't care what position," he said. "I liked them both. Whichever one they thought I was better at was fine with me."

Kugler said he also was recruited by Albany, Bucknell, Lafayette, and Lehigh.

This is becoming a more familiar refrain around the Patriot League these days. Division I football athletes, "impressed" with scholarships, picking a less selective school because his education at Monmouth is paid for.

It's just a stark reminder: scholarships at schools like Monmouth are truly taking a hefty slice out of former Patriot League recruiting strongholds. And it's probably going to take more free education to have these same athletes -who obviously have the grades to be considered at Bucknell, Lehigh and Lafayette - consider going back to a Patriot League school.

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