NCAA Should Lighten Up On FNL

Friday Night Lights was another resounding success from the standpoint of attracting scores of high level prospect to Gainesville for the one night event. Unfortunately, paranoia over the recruiting aspects of the event in Gainesville as well as on other college campuses has made the event less than it could be.

It's time for the powers that be to lighten up on publicizing these events for the good of all concerned.

There are just a few things I would like to see done to make the event more viewer friendly, less uptight and better for the participants.

Publish rosters ---- Let people know for sure which guy is which. Since you are going to have local kids taking part in these events, you are going to have fans of those high schools watching as well as those who are primarily interested in the elite players who are headed to the big time programs. If you are going to let people watch, help them understand what/who they are watching.

Have a P.A. announcer ---- On that very same line, what would be wrong with pointing out what's going on as the event progresses? It would add a level of excitement and understanding.

Encourage media coverage ---- The media is going to cover the event and the elite prospects no matter how many road blocks you throw up. However, opening up the process allows others to get more attention for their efforts. Again, it's about helping all the kids who take part get notice. The very best players, the ones the host schools are most interested, will get their props. Let's help the others get better opportunities.

Make it a true combine ---- Go ahead and measure and weigh them. Time the prospects in the 40, do the vertical leap and bench press and post the results on the school's website. Not only does it document the measurable qualities of each participant, it lets the prospect know where they stand and provides crucial information to other schools that might become more interested in those youngsters. The players with the most to gain from FNL, or any similar event, are the second tier guys who open eyes. Why not make that information available to anyone who wants it? It's clearly in the best interests of the student-athlete.

Have an outside observer ---- To ensure that things are done properly make sure that these events have someone monitoring the festivities. The most logical person would be someone from the conference office of the host school. It's important to see that the measurable info is accurately and promptly reported.

Let's face it. These one day "camps" are pseudo combine workouts anyway, so why not make them true combines? It would be more upfront than the way things are now and would probably help the second and third tier prospects. It would also benefit second and third tier schools which would get information on kids they could never get otherwise.


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