Saturday, February 21, 2009

Leave the Sophmores Alone...

I realize that this post might have the repugnant odor of sour grapes. I assure you that 'fragrance' is misleading. This is a pure, unadulterated, logical opinion on an aspect of the world of college athletics. Whew, I'm glad we cleared that up! Now on with the cause... Just this week the University of Tennessee offered a football scholarship to a high school sophomore. That's right, sophomore, as in two years away from his diploma. This is where I dance around those aforementioned grapes: the kid is a Georgia prep player, and I, yes, am a die -hard Georgia Dawg. Nevertheless, I don't agree with the practice of offering college scholarships to kids that young. Or to be more precise, that far from graduation. It doesn't matter if its Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, or any other NCAA member. For starters, I don't think they've earned that offer at that point, irregardless of their talent level. More importantly, it isn't fair to the athlete nor the university. Too much can happen during his last two years of high school. Too much can change. Going perhaps a step further, I don't even think juniors should be offered until they have qualified academically for their senior years. Let's narrow this thing down some. Level the playing field, if you will. Not between different schools, but between the high school player and the pursuing college. Allow the prep student-athlete to be teenage undergraduate without any additional, unnecessary expectations. It isn't like college coaches don't have enough on their respective plates already with 85 young men already enrolled, plus a wish list of aspiring juniors. Let the sophs' continue to swim in the sea; learning, growing, and exploring. There will be more than enough time to cast the nets when they can see the light at the end of that high school tunnel. Until then, swim on boys (and watch out for those sour grapes)!

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