The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Sports Talk-High-tech recruiting overstepping privacy line

By John Garces/sports editor

Football recruiting, and the perils that go with it, have gone high tech.

With a new football season in full swing, high school seniors everywhere have their last chance to show off their abilities to college scouts.

Recruiting violations are nothing new to college sports, unfortunately. Nearly every university has been accused of violating some unwritten “code of ethics” for recruiting high school athletes at some point in their history.

A simple, yet effective way of doing this is to promise a new recruit certain gifts, like a new car or a house for their parents.

In theory, these sound like good ideas, but they are often used as a way to take advantage of the kid and make him want to come to their school for purely athletic reasons.

They are also against the law.

Like everything else in the technology-crazed world we live in, recruiting the “next big thing” for the 119 Division I football programs in America has gone to the Internet.

Some recruits and their parents don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing.

College coaches have taken to the world of cell phone text messaging and social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook to contact potential recruits.

For talented athletes, though, it’s making their senior year downright miserable.

With the recent boom in cell phone and Internet usage, more and more high school athletes are reporting the high-tech invasions on their personal time.

They are receiving text messages from coaches or their recruiting representatives in the middle of class.

This practice just proves that 99.9 percent of all college coaches aren’t really in the business of college coaching to make their athletes better in the classroom.

It has also come to light that athletes are being contacted via their MySpace or Facebook accounts, either by fans trying to sway an athlete to go to their school or by fans of other schools recruiting against their rival, a practice known as “negative recruiting.”

In one such case involving a University of Kentucky freshman, the massive amounts of e-mail he received from UK boosters actually resulted in the Wildcats’ basketball program committing what the NCAA dubbed “secondary recruiting violations.”

Getting rid of the cellular or Net-surfing distractions is easy. Turn off the cell phone, set your profiles to private, and don’t embarrass yourself with the pictures you post.

Getting college athletic directors and coaches to let a kid be a kid during his or her senior year of high school, often considered the best year of a young life, is another matter altogether.

It’s one that won’t be getting better any time soon.

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