The college sports committing process has finally hit Level Insane.
What, pray tell is Level Insane?
Go to Twitter, or MyFace, Spacebook or whatever they’re called. Or visit YouTube or wherever else you can watch videos and Google Jeremy Ruckert. You will find something called The Commitment Grand Prix. Long story short, Ruckert — the nation’s top-ranked high school tight end — races four cars representing his four final college choices: THE Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Notre Dame and That Team Up North.
At the end, the Ohio State car wins (beating TTUN, of course) and then Ruckert unzips a jacket, says “Go Buckeyes” and is mobbed by his friends.
I’m glad numero uno (how in the H E double toothpicks do we rank these guys anyway?) chose the Buckeyes.
But geez Louise, whatever happened to the days of an athlete sitting at a card table in a gym with his fellow students and just reaching into a bag and pulling out the hat of his favorite team?
Yes, we live in the social media age, and more and more TV networks are emphasizing high school recruiting. ESPN periodically shows athletes committing live during all-star games.
But folks, as Molly Hatchet sings, we are flirtin’ with disaster.
These student athletes are 16, 17, 18 years old. They see their names all over the internet, all over the newspaper, all over ESPN. They are put on a pedestal and made to feel they are a lot more important than they are.
When they get to college they have this feeling of entitlement because they are a Five Star recruit who had offers from every top program and when they made their college choice known, it was treated like a visit from the Queen.
Now, before I go to far, I have no problems with the student-athletes Tweeting and Facebooking when they get college offers. I’m following Xenia senior Meechi Harris on Twitter and couldn’t be happier that he has all the offers he has. He recently tweeted his finalists. And again, I have no problem with that.
Shoot, I don’t have a problem with the student athletes getting on Facebook and Twitter to make their choices public. But just announce it. Or as Nike says, Just Do It.
We don’t need all the allegedly cute theatrics. The only thing it shows is that the student-athlete is creative. It almost seems as though top recruits are trying to outdo each other now. And at least to me, it comes across as being extremely cocky and full of one’s self.
What’s next? Joe Jones from East Western High School will jump out of a plane and parachute into the stadium of the school to which he is committing.
Or maybe Phil DeBucket will throw a bowling ball and knock down pins of every school except his college choice.
I’m not trying to Scrooge the recruiting process. But parents and, coaches, pull back on the reigns a little bit.
Let’s not inflate egos before its time.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.
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