Football's Status

June 16, 2017

Football has enjoyed a status within our schools that is unmatched by any other sport.

It attracts more participants than any other interscholastic sport.

Unlike many other sports (think especially of ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer), football began in the high school setting and was not imported from community programs.

And until the past decade, football has not had to cope with out-of-season programs run by non-school groups and commercial entities that are so troublesome – think especially of basketball, ice hockey, soccer and volleyball, but really all sports except football, until recent years.

The growth of 7-on-7 passing leagues and tournaments is the most obvious concern as commercial interests move in to profit from a mostly unregulated summer environment, as began to occur in basketball 30 years ago and has spread to many other sports since.

The Olympic movement has fueled some of this as national governing bodies have engineered programs for younger athletes in efforts to increase medal counts on which the U.S. Olympic Committee bases funding.

The quixotic pursuit of college scholarships is another powerful stimulant; and while the NCAA could have banned its coaches from recruiting away from school venues, it has not done so; and non-school entities have begun to tailor their events toward convenient although costly recruiting venues.

We can expect these events to spread like an invasive species through football unless, learning from the past, the NCAA makes these events off-limits to its coaches, and/or organizations like ours across the country will not only regulate but also conduct programs during the summer.

MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 27, 2023

The Michigan High School Athletic Association, in partnership with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA), will be hosting first-ever Spring Evaluation Camps to provide athletes with aspirations of playing college football opportunities to show their skills and abilities to college coaches at one of five locations.

The one-day camps will take place between May 15-18 at Jenison High School, DeWitt High School, Jackson High School, Brighton High School and Detroit Country Day High School. The MHSAA’s involvement will allow for the opportunity for Division I college coaches to attend, and representatives from college football programs at all levels are expected.

Athletes who will be juniors or seniors in Fall 2023 may register to participate via a link on the Football page.

“This is an attempt by the MHSAA to help our athletes get exposure during the spring evaluation period in a way that does not intrude on spring sports,” said Brad Bush, an MHSAA assistant director and past high school and college football coach. “We are working with the MHSFCA to help put together a first-class experience for the athletes and college coaches.”

Cost is $20 per player, and each registrant will receive a shirt to wear based on the athlete’s graduation year and registration number so college coaches in attendance can monitor their camp performance. College coaches also will receive registration information for each athlete in attendance.

All athletes must have a coach from the athlete’s school staff present at the camp, and that coach must be a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

MHSFCA executive director Andrew Pratley called the Spring Evaluation Camps a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes in Michigan.

“We are very excited with the partnership with the MHSAA that allows our kids the opportunity to wear a helmet and do drills in front of college coaches in the spring at a minimal cost,” Pratley said. “College coaches are thrilled, and it's a unique opportunity to have the rules waived by the MHSAA at these events only in order to showcase the tremendous talent all over the great state of Michigan.”

The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) has been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. The MHSFCA has more than 2,500 members and provides several educational and development opportunities for members and their athletes, including an annual coaching clinic, an annual leadership conference for coaches and potential team captains, and the annual summer East-West All-Star Game for graduated seniors. Additionally, the MHSFCA’s Leadership Development Alliance is in its third year of training coaches and offering veteran members of the association as mentors.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.