Just when you thought that the world of college football recruiting couldn’t get any more creepy, the CHICAGO TRIBUNE has a story that will practically make your skin crawl. Apparently, there is a new Web site ready to be launched that will evaluate the performance of junior high football players and promote the best players for notice by college recruiters.
(Todd Marinovich, age 18 months, ready for his first college recruiting trip.)
That’s right, for all the Marv Marinovich wannabes who can’t want until high school to drive their child into a downward spiral of unrealistic expectations and the relentless pursuit, you can now get a jump start on the competition and start putting the pressure on your 11-year-old to get that football scholarship…or else.
Of course Shaon Berry, the founder of SportsLink, doesn’t see his evaluation service as a way to exploit junior high football players by charging them $79 to promote their dreams of greatness. Instead, he says he’s just helping to nurture the football equivalent of musical prodigies:
Berry said good football players deserve to be celebrated young, just as gifted musicians or math whizzes are. Without services such as his, he said, “There’s no guarantee you’ll get noticed [by recruiters]. As a parent, are you willing to take that chance?”
Yes, because your son could be the next LaDainian Tomlinson or Matthew Stafford, and college coach might not know it because they didn’t get a chance to see them play in junior high. And if that’s the case, then your son will be on the path to working at a 7-11, cleaning out the Slurpee dispenser twice a day, instead of making millions as an NFL superstar. Then how would you feel about yourself, Dad?!?
As if star athletes don’t have enough sense of entitlement at a young age, do we really need them to come into their first junior varsity football practice with a chip on their shoulder because they shouldn’t have to run wind sprints with the rest of the team because they are a “five diamond” prospect? Even Ron Zook thinks this might not be a great idea, which should tell you all you need to know about it. No word on what Lane Kiffin thinks - probably because he’s too busy scouting Tennessee newborn nurseries for “natural athletes” in their crib.