Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Keep It Quiet

***Updated Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - 9:37 p.m.***

Is it just me, or should the NCAA’s spring signing day (the day that high school athletes are permitted to sign a National Letter of Intent binding them to attend a university) should NOT be a nationally televised event? People forget that these are seventeen, eighteen, nineteen-year-olds making huge decisions, but decisions that should not be scrutinized by the media or fans of the colleges to which the student-athletes are committing. It’s too much hype, not to mention that it probably leads to a number of athletes with over-inflated egos.

It also leads to things like this report that a young man from Nevada verbally committed to Cal in front of his school, family, and television and news media – but never actually had an offer from any institution on his table. The student-athlete had been contacted by a man claiming to be a recruiter, who also apparently set up false phone calls with people claiming to be the head coaches of a number of top-tier universities. Turns out, there were no offers on the table, as neither Cal, nor Oregon (the school he supposedly picked Cal over) recruited him.

I’m wondering how this kid was duped for so long, and why he never took a visit to any of these schools – official or otherwise – to see them for himself. I know it’s a complicated process for athletes and parents, but you don’t get recruited for just a month and suddenly end up with a scholarship. You really don’t get a scholarship without meeting somebody from the staff in person on campus. It’s sad that people would take advantage of kids this way.

I know people want to know where the next great kid is going to school, but ESPN doesn’t have to devote an entire day, taking up all of one of its networks (ESPNU) to this. It’s stupid.


How about the dumb kid made the story about his recruitment-gone-bad up? Read more about it here. Sad.

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