We'll Never Get Selection Right...Reason #247

by Matthew Stollak on Tuesday, May 14, 2013

If you wonder why I continually write about sports and HR, take the trials and tribulations of former Detroit Lions 2nd round pick, Titus Young.  In Monday's column, Peter King highlights Young's on- off-the-field actions over the past year:
• Got into a fight with teammate and safety Louis Delmas.
• In at least one game, lined up wrong on purpose multiple times because he wasn't happy with his role in the Detroit offense.
• Shouted at receivers coach Shawn Jefferson on the sidelines.
• Was sent home during the regular season for insubordination.
• Was cut by the Lions.
• Was signed by the Rams, then cut by the Rams eight days later.
• Was stopped in California for making an illegal left turn, charged on suspicion of DUI, and arrested hours later for attempting to steal his own car from a police impounding lot.  (That's right....arrested twice in the span of 15 hours)
• Was arrested for suspected burglary, and charged with resisting arrest and assault on a peace officer.
Today, it was reported that Young has a brain disorder, but one has to wonder how much is real (which, if true, I hope Young gets the help he needs), or how much is it a father trying to protect his son.

Nonetheless, it demonstrates the vagaries of the selection process.  Young was the 44th pick in 2011.  The Lions had hours of game tape to evaluate his work performance.  He was prodded and poked at NFL combines.  He was interviewed over and over and over again.  Young was suspended for much of his sophomore year at Boise State after getting into a fight with a teammate. He was a first round talent who dropped in the draft because other teams considered him a risk based on the character flaws.  Yet, the Lions selection committee chose to take him over such talent as Randall Cobb or Torrey Smith (who both have had much more successful careers with the Packers and Ravens, respectively, while being picked later).

"Scout to me before Titus Young was drafted, 'I don't know if he'll ever be in trouble, but he's just not a good person.' ''
-- @Schottey, Bleacher Report NFL writer Michael Schottey, on Sunday.

Given the time, energy, and resources at the team's disposal, they still get it wrong.....a lot.  If an NFL team can't get it right, why should we expect most HR generalists with a one or two page application process, a small battery of tests, and an antiquated ATS to do it any better?

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