Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pre-High School Athletes Being Recruited by Colleges

Still Don’t Think Sports Has Corrupted Higher Education?

And Why Are Ohio Soccer Players Playing in Florida?

The debasement of college athletics and higher education continues at a growing pace.  Apparently the norm today is for colleges to recruit athletes before they have entered high school, or when they have just entered.

Haley Berg, 15, at home with her sister in Celina, Tex. She accepted a soccer scholarship to Texas four years in advance. Cooper Neill for The New York Times
 There's one childhood lost

In today’s sports world, students are offered full scholarships before they have taken their first College Boards, or even the Preliminary SAT exams. Coaches at colleges large and small flock to watch 13- and 14-year-old girls who they hope will fill out their future rosters. This is happening despite N.C.A.A. rules that appear to explicitly prohibit it.

It turns out it is easy to get around the rules against colleges contacting student athletes this early.  They just contact the high schools who give the contact information to the athletes who then contact the college coaches.

And the practice is rampant.

The early recruiting machine was on display during the Florida tournament, where Haley played alongside hundreds of other teenage girls at a sprawling complex of perfectly mowed fields.

A Sunday afternoon game between 14-year-olds from Texas and Ohio drew coaches from Miami, Arizona, Texas and U.C.L.A. — the most recent Division I national champion. Milling among them was the most storied coach in women’s soccer, Anson Dorrance of North Carolina, who wore a dark hat and sunglasses that made him look like a poker player as he scanned the field.

Gee a soccer tournament in Florida with teams from Texas and Ohio.  What exactly are high schoolers from Texas and Ohio doing playing in Florida?  And obviously the money to support such activity must come out of the education budget.  Spending funds to send the team to Florida, how does that increase math scores?  The Chinese and Indian students must be laughing as they read this.

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