Tonight (May 4th, 2016) a lot has happened in the college recruiting world. As a HS football coach and father of a D-1 hopeful I see DAILY what these young athletes go through both on and off the field and in the class room and how it effects them mentally and physically.
The pressure the players are under is ridiculous. Fans, schools, "friends" and "family" put so much pressure on these kids (who also bring it on themselves) is beyond unfair. While in today's world social media attention is out of control by BOTH the players, colleges & the fans of the schools they are being recruited by. Am I the only one tired of the "I am so blessed to have my umpteenth offer from (insert school)..." because, to be honest, it's just meaningless words and cliché.
As a father, I am teaching my son about "embracing and falling in love the process of training, getting better day by day and (hopefully) being recruited", but more importantly respecting the process, as well as the players that played the game before you, played with you and the game itself. A lot of kids wish to be in the position some hard working (and lucky) high school athletes are in and would love to have the opportunity to get a free education at ANY institution of higher learning, not just a D-1 school.
But fans, a lot of which have never played a sport at any level or beyond HS or even attended a specific university they root for, feel they need to take cheap shots at players for not committing or changing their mind about attending their (favorite) school.
Let's be clear:
1. It's not YOUR (the fans) choice, it's the players. They earned that right by putting in work on and of the field.
2. If it isn't your kid, player, relative or close friend and you haven't been asked to be a part of the decision making process, you have NO RIGHT to rip a kid for a decision he and his closest family and friends make about THEIR future.
3. It's not your life, it is theirs. This is THE PLAYERS choice about THEIR FUTURE, NOT THE FANS.
Do you see the pattern here?
The decision making process is hard enough a 17 or 18 year old kid, they need to have guidance from people they trust & love. Fans speak from their heart (or obsession) for a school, they don't know what the player is looking for in terms a major or a future career outside of sports. Then the media outlets want them to commit on TV for the world to see, even if the player won't honor that commitment they make (whenever they make it) or the may have second thoughts about committing to a school at that time but do it anyway.
The players, whether they are heavy on social media or not, don't need to have grown people telling them that by not choosing to go to a school they root for the player is wrong, calling the player names or killing the kids character. They are YOUNG ADULTS (ok, they are still kids) that are trying to figure it out themselves, something that the people killing these kids apparently still haven't done.
Choosing a school is the players choice, not yours, their family, friends, coaches or fans. They will make a choice that fits THEIR BEST NEEDS for an education (and playing future)...not a person living in (insert city) that wears (insert university) gear every day and call into their local sports talk station to do a daily countdown until the school they root for plays it's rival.
Sorry for the rant but we need to show a little respect for the players that are making a tough choice about their future.