Whenever something unusually crazy happens at the college level that may adversely affect high school athletics, there are calls that the MHSAA do something to stop the stupidity. I can count on these requests whenever a Division I college program offers a scholarship to a pre-teen; and when it happened recently in Michigan, the MHSAA heard more complaints than ever.
What the critics do not appreciate is that the MHSAA has zero authority for NCAA recruiting rules and grant-in-aid policies. If we did, things might be much different. For example:
- There would be no recruitment in any form allowed before a student has completed 11th grade. There would be no offers or promises of scholarships prior to this date.
- Then, there would be no in-person recruitment allowed that does not occur at the student’s school and arranged through that school’s administration.
- When scholarships are offered, they would be for four or five years, irrevocable if the student maintains academic eligibility, whether or not the student plays a single minute.
All the commentary regarding the cesspool of college recruiting is wasted air or ink if it doesn’t focus on those who have the authority to change that environment. It’s the college coaches themselves, the administrators of those intercollegiate programs and the presidents of those institutions. Any corrective measures they suggest to high schools miss the point that they caused their problems and they alone can solve them. We are just collateral damage.