Today there are a lot of people emotionally invested in the world of college recruiting. Nothing shows that more than National Signing Day, which is currently all over the mean streets of Twitter, the Internet, and television. For literally a whole day, every college football writer, website, and fan, stop in their tracks to follow the decisions of a bunch of 17-year old kids. For coaches, it is the time of the recruiting season where a year’s worth of stalking young men will finally pay off.
Some teams are downright dominating at the moment, others are showing that they can no longer recruit with the big boys. However, regardless how dirty it may feel to watch adults exploit kids for financial gain, it does make for good TV and helps generate hits for websites. You can’t deny the popularity of Signing Day, you can try, but you just can’t.
Being that the world of college sports has always been about making a profit off of student-athletes, and the greed with institutions of higher learning need to fulfill with money, I wonder how long it will be until they try to parlay college football’s Signing Day success to college basketball. Sure, there are plenty of differences between the two and some of the tense moments might not be duplicated for college hoops. Nor is college basketball nearly as popular as its football cohort. Yet, that never stopped anyone affiliated with college sports to try to milk every last dollar that they can out of these amateur athletes.
I’m not saying it’s a moral idea, I’m not saying it is a good idea, but it’s an idea that will eventually happen. Like plenty of other folks out there, I too feel this icky feeling watching these young men being put in the national spotlight for other’s benefit. Yet, much like a crack addict, I know what is going on is a very bad thing but I can’t stop watching, much in the same way a crackhead can’t stop doing crack.
There are other nuances that will be different when college hoops Signing Day is born, especially compared to football’s version. A person who might be the most polarizing figure in all of college sports, John Calipari, would likely end up being the person shown on your TV so much that it permanently ingrains an image on the TV-set forever.
Also, many High School athletes commit to colleges way before their senior year, some as early as eighth grade. Yet, I am sure the NCAA, universities, and networks, would find a way to change the system so it benefits them in the short-term financially, even if it is against what coaches want. Coaches, dictators, need to control everything. They wouldn’t want the chance to have a kid commit when he is in diapers taken away from him.
A day will come when I will be sitting on my computer, bashing out 50 articles in a day to tell folks where kids are going to play college hoops. I just don’t know if I should be excited or not.
But I don’t cover football, so I am hypocritically going to the Rant Sports College Football Big Board to see if my team got any new commits!
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone