We all get fooled once in a while with recruiting stories. I did. But it's hard to avoid because of the slick marketing - and high tech tools - that are available to just about anyone. And the kids have to be impressed, if not overwhelmed, by the attention.
But the other day, I saw this:
Let's review that comment one more time: "Most talented middle school athlete in NJ in a long time". Middle school athlete....and there's a tweet out about where he's decided to go to high school.
And I was more than a little taken aback by the fact that a) there's someone, probably many, who are tracking outstanding middle schoolers, b) that we're tracking where kids are deciding to go to high school (don't get me started on recruiting) and c) it's getting publicized like this. But why am I surprised since ESPN, in order to fill 24 hours of programming every day, is nationally televising high school games. And you can even go back and watch past shows. And Fox Sports 1 is doing the same. But is it right? And where does it all lead?
There are pros and cons to the conversation about televising high school contests, although personally I'm having a hard time seeing the pros. When I saw that tweet from Scout Al Pops, though, I tweeted back that I was somewhat appalled. And this was the reply:
You've got a list of the 450 top eighth graders? Really? And then.....
Well, it is the SEC, after all. But really? Then reality set in, with this tweet:
All I can say is, at least we waited til he was out of middle school. As our friend vinman wrote about another recruit:
all that attention must make it really tough for these kids to stay grounded
You can say that again.