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OldSchoolLion

Why Does IMG Exist?

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...because there is a need...just like any business.  And the customers are college programs.  This article discusses the issue.  A few pertinent excerpts are below.  I am pretty certain IMG could care less what anyone else thinks about them as long as they are meeting the needs of college programs...getting players ready for college.

And why is there a need?  Look at the conditioning of some of the seniors playing high school ball.  Some, though naturally talented, are light years from being ready to start on a Power 5 team.  This is not a knock on high schools.  Many simply do not have the time, facilities, expertise, etc, to prepare a hs athlete to be ready to start his freshman year at Alabama.  If they did, there would be no IMG.  

https://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2018/02/business_is_booming_for_contro.html

"The team played a tough schedule, and many of the games were on national TV, but practices were actually more important for college coaches and recruiting scouts. Where is this place where wins and losses don't matter anymore?"

"the early window for athletes to bind themselves to schools with national letters of intent has increased the value of IMG Academy."

"For teams like Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State, which send so many juniors to the NFL every years, restocking with freshmen who are ready to play is a necessity."

"As of last year, and you see it more and more, and I talk to college coaches with guys declaring earlier and earlier, it puts more of a premium on having guys prepared as freshmen to come in and play," IMG Academy coach Kevin Wright said. "That's where it kind of fits us."

Here is a bio of their coach...quite a pedigree and resume.  https://www.imgacademy.com/head-coach-blue-team/kevin-wright

 

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IMG has a lot of kids from Florida-below are some examples. I cannot blame a kid for going to IMG if he/his family thinks that is what he needs to get him ready for college.  They are not stealing state titles from anyone and nobody is forced to play them.  Playing them can be a great way for schools to test themselves against some great players. 

Tons of us cheer for Florida universities as if they are "ours."  To me, cheering for IMG is not much different.  25 years ago, some of us were saying "what the heck" when hs games started being telecast nationally.  It was threatening to "our little world," which had a very "local" feel at the time Now look.  Well, academies like IMG might seem a bit threatening now, but they may be the norm in 25 years and your future children might be huge fans of one of them. 

Am not saying these academies are "right" or "wrong."  That's another discussion.  The evolution of hs football is out of my hands, so I figure I may as well embrace change.    

Trey Sanders(RB) 5-star transferred from Port St Joe

Montavious Brini(TE) 3-star transferred from Mater Academy

Evan Neal(OL) 4-star transferred from Okeechobee

Dontae Lucas(OL) 4-star transferred from Miami High 

Aidan Swanson(P) 2-star transferred from Tampa Jesuit

Trevon Riggins(DE) 4-star transferred from St Pete Lakewood

Josh Griffis(DE) 3-star transferred from Clay 

Jaleel McRae(LB) 4-star transferred from New Smyrna Beach

Mikel Jones(LB) 4-star transferred from Mater Academy

Briton Allen(S) 4-star transferred from Lake Highland Prep

 

 

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Well the school began in the 70's as a Tennis Academy and year round tennis training center.  "Established nearly 40 years ago, the IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis academy still sets the standard by which all tennis academies around the world are measured." 

 

They have expanded year round training of many sports and a few years ago decided that football would be a lucrative sport to go into. Now who convinced them to add football and why can be debated, but they have done so and are playing quite well. And their facilities have been used by numerous players and teams since. FSU trained for a week this year (hasn't seem to do them much good) and the Oakland Raiders came some years back and many work out pre NFL combine.

 

Their games aren't all that fun to attend, not like a real HS game, no band, no invested cheerleaders (they have them but they feel fake) and no parents in the stands, not many that is for sure. The students arrive late and leave early. 

 

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On 9/7/2018 at 1:20 PM, OldSchoolLion said:

...because there is a need...just like any business.  And the customers are college programs.  This article discusses the issue.  A few pertinent excerpts are below.  I am pretty certain IMG could care less what anyone else thinks about them as long as they are meeting the needs of college programs...getting players ready for college.

And why is there a need?  Look at the conditioning of some of the seniors playing high school ball.  Some, though naturally talented, are light years from being ready to start on a Power 5 team.  This is not a knock on high schools.  Many simply do not have the time, facilities, expertise, etc, to prepare a hs athlete to be ready to start his freshman year at Alabama.  If they did, there would be no IMG.  

https://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2018/02/business_is_booming_for_contro.html

"The team played a tough schedule, and many of the games were on national TV, but practices were actually more important for college coaches and recruiting scouts. Where is this place where wins and losses don't matter anymore?"

"the early window for athletes to bind themselves to schools with national letters of intent has increased the value of IMG Academy."

"For teams like Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State, which send so many juniors to the NFL every years, restocking with freshmen who are ready to play is a necessity."

"As of last year, and you see it more and more, and I talk to college coaches with guys declaring earlier and earlier, it puts more of a premium on having guys prepared as freshmen to come in and play," IMG Academy coach Kevin Wright said. "That's where it kind of fits us."

Here is a bio of their coach...quite a pedigree and resume.  https://www.imgacademy.com/head-coach-blue-team/kevin-wright

 

Personally I think IMG exists because it can make money doing what it does. How you may ask? Simple. There are enough wealthy folks out there willing to fork out obscene amounts of money so their child can pursue his/her dream no matter how elusive and unrealistic it may be. The money from these individuals and from friends in the state legislature (and for that matter whatever deals they may be able to strike with those associated with college sports), enables IMG to actually recruit some of the best athletes nationwide. 

It's not the kind of model I endorse nor would I send a child of mine to such an institution. With that said, it's no skin off my back that it exists and to some it may be beneficial. If I coached high school football I would probably never schedule them for a variety of reasons. But I don't condemn the schools that do. 

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4 hours ago, DarterBlue2 said:

Personally I think IMG exists because it can make money doing what it does. How you may ask? Simple. There are enough wealthy folks out there willing to fork out obscene amounts of money so their child can pursue his/her dream no matter how elusive and unrealistic it may be. The money from these individuals and from friends in the state legislature (and for that matter whatever deals they may be able to strike with those associated with college sports), enables IMG to actually recruit some of the best athletes nationwide. 

It's not the kind of model I endorse nor would I send a child of mine to such an institution. With that said, it's no skin off my back that it exists and to some it may be beneficial. If I coached high school football I would probably never schedule them for a variety of reasons. But I don't condemn the schools that do. 

Agreed.  I think there is another angle beyond the rich parents. IMG had a 6'9" 400 pound kid from Australia who I believe had never played football before he came to the states.  How does a kid like that end up at IMG?  Who got the "finder's fee?"  I can see college football being very interested in these "experimental" kids and "investors" secretly financing these experiments.  It's already happening in basketball.  The only way to fast-track a kid like that Australian is via a place like IMG.  In that sense, IMG has found a niche.  

 

 

 

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...sponsored by Gatorade at IMG.  This is not just some egomaniacal boosters wanting to win so they can beat their chests on a hs football forum.  This is big business that has arrived in hs sports.  Who knows what hs football is going to look like in 25 years.   

https://www.imgacademy.com/media/headline/sneak-peek-how-img-academy-gatorade-sports-science-institute-nba-gatorade-league

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Well it's been around over 40 years in some form or another. It has grown substantially as a campus in the last 7. They just added a new dorm with a club med type facility. "At the complex, students can gather and use a resort pool, lap pool, turf field, sand volleyball court and basketball court."   That makes 3 dorms. Also their school day is very different, half the kids go to school in the AM and the others go to sports and then they switch later in the day.  https://www.businessobserverfl.com/article/img-academy-bradenton-dorm-chris-locke-stu-henderson

 

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Through My Eyes;

I would send my Grandsons to IMG in a New York Minute If I could afford to pay the tuition for the next 4 years. The way I see it, they would require extra money for everyday stuff like Movies, malls, dates, etc... I figure it at around a minimum of another 45 G's a school year for a total of around $115,000.00 times 4 years.  Bet if you dig into the total cost for a student to attend IMG for 4 years it would be near or around at least a half a million dollars. 

On the flip side, they would get the very best of academics/sports/coaching/care 'that money can buy'. And they would be close enough for me to go to their games. :ph34r:

My grandsons, I have 2 that are very good at baseball, both are pitchers, and both would benefit from the environment if they could start for the IMG Baseball team. The goal would be to land a nice scholarship at a university or academy like West Point or Vanderbilt and not have to pay another half million for college.

They are both die hard Baseball players, And yes, both know about IMG and they would love to go there. As it is, one goes to Cocoa and the other goes to Merritt Island.

It's all in perspective to those that can afford it. 

justsayin...

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Anyone who has seen IMG play has likely noticed their giant 6'8" lineman, Evan Neal.  Here's an article about him that demonstrates the difference that IMG has made in preparing him for college.  I would think it would be easier to lose that weight in a disciplined environment like IMG than at home in Okeechobee.  This is exciting for college coaches because the work they would have had to do in the past is already done for them.  Such a kid will be good to go when he arrives at the doorstep.      

https://www.diehards.com/miami/evan-neal-miami-recruiting-spring

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Saturday’s game between No. 1 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and No. 6 St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.) has been canceled, St. John’s announced Tuesday.

"Both schools are working to potentially reschedule later in the season, and we will make another announcement if and when we are able to reschedule the game."

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