Friday, February 5, 2010

NCAA: Enough Already

I didn't agree last year when I heard that several high school sophomores had verbally committed to certain colleges. That's just rushing things a bit, getting the cart before the horse, if you will. Now this story out today regarding a thirteen year old's commitment to Southern Cal. Yep, you read correctly: thirteen years old. That's 'thirteen' as never been inside a high school classroom yet, doesn't even have a learner's permit to drive yet, and hasn't even thought about putting a razor against his cheeks yet. That's absurd. It's crazy for the kid at this point, and crazy for the college as well. However, according to the story, none other than Lane Kiffin has already given David Sills a "verbal" scholarship offer. (Note: We all know how much Kiffin's word is worth.). This is where I think the NCAA should step in and put yet another rule for college coaches to abide by. I know, most of their rules aren't even worthy of the paper they're typed on, but I think this one could be good: No offer of a football scholarship can be tendered to a high school athlete and no verbal commitments can be made before September 1st of his SENIOR year. That might sound late, but think about it. It would give the player the entire summer before the 12th grade to attend camps, travel to different campuses with his family, and determine which schools he wants to take official visits to (it wouldn't hurt to reduce the number of official visits as well). That would also give colleges more time to study film and talk to high school coaches before extending offers. They would know who they wanted to offer before football season begins, so there would be no problem there. Both parties would have over five months at that point before National Signing Day. Perhaps this process would make recruiting easier and smoother for everyone involved. And at the same time let thirteen year old players be thirteen years old.

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