To Be or Not to Be Recruited
On this month’s ESPN magazine cover, we see a wide-eyed youngster ready to play football. When you dig in deeper in the story, we have a 15-year-old football player named Dylan Moses with exceptional athletic traits. He has college offers from a lot of major college football programs with the SEC top dogs LSU and Alabama being in the lead. Right now, he has God-given talent, but what age is it all right to be recruited?
The NCAA has a rule book on how college coaches can recruit. NCAA rules prohibit college coaches from starting contact with recruits before their junior years, but if an athlete calls a coach or attends a camp, a verbal offer can be made by the college. Nothing is set in stone; however, until an athlete signs a national letter of intent as a senior. Head coaches must have their program abide by these rules.
So, what age is it appropriate to recruit an athlete? Who makes that decision? Is it the parents, AAU coaches, college coaches, and sports agents? We hear more and more about younger athletes being recruited, and it amazes me that these athletes can't even enjoy their youth, middle school, and high school careers. I mean professional basketball follows athletes as early as the sixth grade. To me that's amazing and ridiculous.
Currently, we know there is more money to be had by signing a professional contract than ever before. Going to college to get an education or is it just a stepping stone. Hence a college career is the doorway to this money. Some professional sports have restriction when athletes can sign a professional contract, but money is always a key factor in an athlete’s decisions about what colleges will get them to the next level, being a professional athlete.
Therefore, college coaches are finding kids earlier and younger. It is just a new cycle that is becoming very intense and crazy as we can tell how early athletes are being recruited. To be or not to be a recruited today is a tough choice because of the money you can receive from professional sports. We are hearing more stories about it more and more. Can we just let the kids be kids during their teenage years? I wish they would.