Alex Collins, Arkansas Step Into One Big Pile Of Pig Suey

By Corey Elliot
Nelson Chenault-US Presswire

SEC recruiting was fantastic on National Signing Day; especially for Ole Miss, Alabama and Florida as all three schools inked some of the best talent out there. Arkansas, however, saw a nightmare unfolding in front of their eyes.

Unlike most signees, ESPN 150 running back Alex Collins didn’t wake up Wednesday ready to make an announcement and throw on the hat of the school he would be attending. He decided earlier in the week choosing the Razorbacks over in-state schools Miami, Florida and Florida State. After all, it is his choice to decide when he will decide and where he will be going.

Isn’t it?

Yes. But, due to the NCAA regulations on signing a letter of intent a parent-guardian signature is needed for prospects under the age of 21 for legal reasons.

Of course it is.

Only in America can you turn 18 and sign contracts, without any parent-guardian signature, and join the armed forces and put your life on the line to serve and protect our country. But to go play football and get an education you’re going to need nine forms of identification, finger prints, blood sample, hair strand for DNA samples, twenty five emergency contacts and signatures in eight different languages from both of your parents.

Spare me.

Yes, maybe it isn’t that extreme but there is reason for concern after Wednesday’s events. How does the saying go? “Save the drama for your Momma”?

Collins’ mother hi-jacked his letter of intent papers because she wasn’t on board with his decision. His decision; the decision he worked hard for. No, she decided that going to play for Arkansas wasn’t best for him based off of her personal preference. I understand not feeling like that is the best place for your son to play but look at the bright side; at least he isn’t a statistic via high school dropout or teenage crime rate. With all due respect, ma’am, There are a lot worse things than your son going to play at a school you don’t approve of.

But let’s not get lost in the fine print of this. The fact is the NCAA could make it a lot easier on universities and their coaching staffs if they at least found a loop hole in their legal guidelines—guidelines that seem to be flawed in every sport—allowing the player to make his or her own decision as long as they are 18 by national signing day.

This is such a rarity though that nobody will make it an issue that needs to be addressed. Besides, Collins’ father signed for him after Arkansas sent the papers back over. Most parents also realize this is something their children earned, not them, therefore they sign regardless of their desires.

And it’s not about the football anyway. It’s about the education.


New developments in Wednesday’s amazing mid-day soap opera though; Collin’s mother has reportedly hired the Cochran Law Firm in an attempt to begin the process of filing suit to get her son’s letter of intent voided and have him attend Miami for the “family’s best interest”.

And here I thought the Cochran law firm helped running backs.


you can follow Corey on twitter @CoreyElliot

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