Thursday, February 07, 2008
The Ultimate Recruiting Scam
Wednesday was the fiasco otherwise known as National Signing Day. It was the first day that hundreds of high school football players were able to sign a letter of intent to accept scholarships from NCAA schools. It is one of the most overhyped days of the year.
I have bemoaned the mushrooming of the recruiting process. I love college football. I like high school football. I hate recruiting. Talent scouts and recruiting analysts make a nice living off of selling their services and newsletter to any coach or fan that is willing to pay for it. Is this a great country, or what? There are lots of guys out there willing to pay $29.95 per month for premium recruiting information and player evaluations on prospects for their favorite school. There is something way out of whack about 50 year-old men getting worked up about the decision of an 18 year-old, especially when said 18 year-old has absolutely nothing in common with the adult male fan.
This week in a town in northern Nevada, the ultimate recruiting scam occurred. Kevin Hart, a 6-5, 290 lb. offensive lineman from Fernley High School was the honoree at a school-wide assembly, where he announced his decision to attend the University of California. He claimed to be choosing to accept a scholarship offer from the Bears over one from the Oregon Ducks. The only catch was that the Bears never offered him a scholarship.
It turns out that a middleman was posing as a talent broker, supposedly putting his name in front of college coaches. While Hart's film may have been getting into the hands of coaches, he was not offered a Division I scholarship.
This incident is now being investigated by law enforcement. In the meantime, a young man's future is up in the air.
How would you like to be a student or teacher that showed up at the school assembly to watch Hart choose the Cal hat over the Oregon hat? If nothing else, it was a good charade, but a really bad joke.