In the wake of the news that broke of the former University of Miami players’ alleged involvement with renegade booster Nevin Shapiro and his eight year rampage of NCAA rules violations revolving around the football and basketball programs for the ‘Canes, I can only wonder as to where all this eventually ends?
As I’ve moved forward with a number of ideas surrounding player development at the professional level, the feedback I’ve received is that “by then it’s usually too late”. Many current and former NFL players have advised me that the best place to make an impact is to start at the high school level. High school?
My past experiences have always centered on the problems of NFL sports agents circling around the colleges and universities in hopes of plucking up the next big junior prospect. This competition has created long standing feuds between various agencies and individuals, forcing a number of good men and women (not willing to sell their souls) out of the industry all together.
Then there are the stories (if not jokes) of the “bag men” at the big schools, tasked with handing out the recruiting cash and taking the eventual fall for the “motherland”. Those tales seem to have long ago dissipated, now replaced by athletic administration “head turns” and “cover ups”.
Blame it on the pros
It’s humorous how often college coaches vent their anger on improprieties at the professional level towards the college scouts. Perhaps this is the ONLY group that works under any ethical guidelines, and or codes. It’s not the NFL teams trying to lure underclassmen out of their last years of eligibility, but rather the lifelong temptation of the “easy road” for players and NFL sports agents.
Blame it on the NCAA
A recent study by the National Collegiate Players Association stated the following;
The NCPA and Drexel University Department of Sport Management conducted a joint study, which blames colleges sports scandals on a black market created by unethical and unpractical NCAA restrictions on college athletes.
National Collegiate Players Association? I guess that gives new meaning to “student union”.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave”
I go back to the NFL veterans encouraging me to emphasize the educational aspect of these transgressions at the high school level. Yes, high school. The idea of college “early offers” and seeking commitments out of high school sophomores is beyond comprehension! I’m told that it’s the only way that some schools can maintain any leverage with a young athlete throughout the recruiting process. Really?
So now you’ve got a 15 to 16 year old kid and his family EXPECTING preferential treatment, perks and paybacks from that point forward. How can a kid at 15 even know what he’s interested in studying as an undergraduate?
Studying? My point exactly.
Perhaps a bit of reflection
I don’t get it. I really don’t. Is this how far we’ve come in the pursuit of “football success”? Where’s the NCAA in all of this (I had to throw that in)? If a college or university has to offer a “kid” athlete a scholarship before he’s grown into his shoe size or taken high school Algebra, something’s wrong with the system. And if the belief becomes that “this is how it’s done”, then why shouldn’t college players be offering their services early on to the highest “sports agent bidder”?
At what point do the college head coaches lose the right to any “grounds of disdain” for the NFL when their players choose to leave early for a “professional football payday”? (Harsh, I know)
At what point does this generation of young athlete realize that they’re “entitled” to nothing? (Harsher still, I know)
Perhaps when we begin to present them with the proper “context” with which they’re operating under, starting at the high school level. It’s not that difficult. Really, where have all the “adult” leaders gone? I’ll address that “context” in another post.
Hyp*o*crite (noun) somebody feigning high principles
Somebody who pretends to have admirable principles, beliefs, or feelings but behaves otherwise.
You know, they teach that in sophomore high school English.