It’s About the Base

May 8, 2018

Former Southeast Conference Commissioner Roy Kramer, whom Michiganders like to claim as our own for his East Lansing High School and Central Michigan University coaching roots, seized the opportunity of an acceptance speech for an award he received recently from the Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation, College Football Hall of Fame and Knoxville Quarterback Club to deliver a sobering message regarding the game he loves so much – football.

His concerns were for the survival of football on college campuses “where their games will never be on television and will be played in front of less than 10,000 fans.” Which is the situation for 90 percent of the nation’s college football programs.

He also said, “I’m even more concerned about games on Friday night.” Mr. Kramer has been a long-time opponent of Friday night telecasts of college football games because they do poorly both at the gate and in television ratings, and they conflict with the tradition of approximately 6,000 high school football games played locally on Friday nights.

We Michiganders are sometimes criticized for our “conservative” views about the boundaries of a sensible scope for educational athletics. We come by this naturally, on the shoulders of people like Roy Kramer who, even after years in the glitz and glamour of elite college football, maintains his concern for more modest college programs as well as high school football.

It is this base of the game, not the few at the pinnacle, that is the future of a game under siege in dozens of courthouses and state houses across the U.S. – and worse, a game being questioned in many thousands of homes where football was once the game of choice.

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.