Who's In Charge These Days?

When recruiting a high profile basketball player these days, who's in charge the student-athlete: high school, AAU coach or friends of the family? Read here for one point of view on the issue.

Chasson Randle of Rock Island High School is one of the most gifted athletes in the class of 2011. Not only can he perform on the basketball court, he excels in the classroom. Randle has a 4.0 GPA and ranks number one in his class.

Randle's success is not necessarily the case for other athletes. When a DI basketball coach recruits a player today, they better find out who is calling the shots for his services. We've all heard the phrase, "What's in it for me?" When the wrong person gets involved and they think there could be a heavy handout for their personal gain, it sometimes looks as though there's a bidding war going on.

Seems like a short time ago the only way to get to talk to a high school kid was through his high school coach; now that's not the case. A lot of college coaches know they better develop great relationships with their AAU coaches as well. Often times the AAU coach has more pull than family members, but that can be a bad thing. It's wrong to assume that everyone is out for "something", but many kids are being steered in the wrong direction.

Thom Sigel is the head basketball coach for the Rock Island Rocks and he said, "One thing that I think I have noticed is how the college coaches really look for where the recruit is getting the support and advice so they can take advantage of that. In their job, they have to find out who has the most influence and work with them pretty heavily."

The NCAA has rules that don't allow college coaches to contact kids whenever they want anymore. One rule is that while being a freshman, sophomore or junior they can't call a potential athlete unless they contact the school first. "Since they can't contact Chasson or his family directly, I am constantly getting calls or texts to see how things are going; how the recruitment is going; or to have Chasson call the coaches to talk or set up a visit. Therefore, I think in this case, they are working closely with me and his family. However, I also know that his AAU coach has a number of contacts and has worked to promote him as well."

For players that don't have that great networking system, sticking to those that have been by your side from day one is the best advice anyone could give. Get the work done in the classroom; make sure you keep the best company; and most of all, when you perform on the court - represent yourself well.


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