In Other News: 7th graders now considered “prospects”

11 03 2009

Today is Friday and everyone has been working hard all week. With the weekend almost upon us, how about an article on the lighter side of things? We’ll get to the humor in just a second, but first, a point from the serious side…

The NCAA defines a “prospective student-athlete” as someone who has begun classes in the ninth grade. In mid-January, though, the NCAA voted to change the definition of a prospect from ninth grade to seventh grade in men’s basketball.

The change was made largely to “protect” the growing number of talented basketball players that are emerging at an early age and gaining exposure through various camps, clinics, and tournaments around the country. When recruiting, college coaches try to find the best possible talent as early as possible. This gives them a jump on the competition and leverage down the road to say to a prospect, “I showed you love and offered you a scholarship before any other schools did. Sign with me.”

The new rule opens the lines of communication between coaches and basketball players much sooner than in other sports. The hope is that this will help, not hurt, those athletes as they go through the recruiting process. There are certainly more implications than just that, but you get the point.

Whether this decision is right or wrong is up for debate, and trust me, we’ll debate this in future posts. In the meantime, however, take a look at an article the appeared last week in Sports Illustrated. It provides some perspective (and humor) on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the recruiting process.
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To check out the whole story, click here.

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