Why basketball and not football prospects?

11 03 2009

Last week we wrote about the NCAA’s recent decision to categorize 7th grade men’s basketball players as prospects. We got a response from Steven Mercado who wanted to know why the NCAA lets colleges recruit 7th and 8th graders for basketball but not football.

Great question, Steven, and here’s our answer…

According to a Fox Sports article that ran on the topic, the NCAA made the decision “to nip a trend in which some college coaches were working at private, elite camps and clinics for seventh- and eighth-graders. The NCAA couldn’t regulate those camps because those youngsters fell below the current cutoff.”

Does that make sense? Quite simply, football (and other sports) has not evolved to the point that basketball has. Sure, there are plenty of talented younger football players, but there is currently no real showcase for these players to display their talents. Unlike basketball — that has year-round camps, clinics, AAU tournaments, and other events — nothing like that exists for football.

Also in the article, “Schools had expressed concern that the younger-age elite camps were giving participating coaches a recruiting advantage, pressuring other coaches to start their own camps.”

Like we said last time, it’s a perpetual cycle. To curb the problem and keep it from getting out of control, the NCAA stepped in and changed the rules.

Any additional questions on this topic or others, be sure to post them in the Chatter section, just like Steven did. Thanks for the question, Steven.
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To see the Fox Sports article, click here.

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