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Why Not Legalize HS Recruiting?


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There.  I said it.  In the old days, a hs coach had to go out of his way to recruit a hs player.  It was a rather egregious act.  Recruiting involved calling a kid's home, going to the kid's hs campus, approaching him at church, or hanging out at the mall trying to catch him there. 

It is such a different world now, yet we cling to this ideal that hs kids are off limits to certain people and we try to limit the kid's opportunities to explore options while in hs.  We want kids to have the flexibility to choose the school they attend, but whatever you do, don't talk about sports, even with your peers!  

"But the kids could be manipulated."  The feasibility of "protecting" the kids via institutional rulemaking has become, well...infeasible.  Trying to put the kids in a bubble is not going to work in today's world.  Kids are bombarded from all angles by creepy characters trying to manipulate them...like never before in history.  

As a society, we don't seem to be terribly offended by college coaches and their antics while recruiting.  Yet a hs coach suggesting to a kid he might have a better opportunity at another school is off limits, even if it might benefit the child. 

Being able to market one's self and negotiate has become a critical life skill that high schoolers need to learn.  We used to say, "Aw, let them be kids while they are kids."  Those days of innocence are long gone...kids having less time to be kids.  For years people were brainwashed to feel guilty looking for another job behind the back of their employer.  Now we are moving past that and recognizing we have to be continually searching for new opportunities or the world will leave us behind.  

I am not implying that institutions like the FHSAA should ditch all efforts to put safeguarding measures in place for the kids.  But we seem to be clinging to some old ideals and struggling to let go.  To try to stop recruiting at the hs level makes no sense to me when one looks at the world around us.  If we don't like hs recruiting, there are a lot of other things that should outrage us equally as a society, but don't.

We created the world we are living in today, and our choices come with consequences.    It is becoming more incumbent upon parents to be the gatekeepers.  The buck stops there.  The horse is out of the barn.  Draconian rules are not going to get it back inside.  

 

 

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Johnny Jones, a 7th grader at Eisenhower Middle School, recently picked up his fifth offer to play high school football.  The offer came from Westside High School, the only remaining school in the city that had not previously offered the 12-year old athlete.  

Westside Coach, Herman Boone IV, told reporters:  "Jones is a stud.  He's a foot taller than everyone else in his class.  We were worried that perhaps he had topped out; that's why we hadn't offered him yet.  But we had our doctors examine Johnny last week and they tell us that he has plenty of room to grow.  That was good enough for us.  Johnny's second cousin's great aunt on his mother's side was an Eagle way back when, so we're hoping that family tie will give us an edge over the other schools in town."    Boone was overheard talking to Johnny's mother on the phone last night and promising that Johnny's family wouldn't have to pay another dime for his public high school education.

Jones has had a strong season playing for his middle school flag team, playing on both sides of the ball. Coach Boone indicated that he was hoping to get Jones to make the 3.5 mile trip over to Westside to visit the campus and "see what high school life is all about."  Boone got into trouble a few years back when he was accused of arranging recruits to shadow with Senior cheerleaders who 'knew their way around more than just the campus.'   Boone has assured Westside administrators that he will assign Jones to "a certified 10th grade nerd . . . probably a band member, but we haven't ruled out a member of the drama club quite yet." 

Westside's rival, Central High School, first made an offer to Jones when he was in the 3rd grade at Roosevelt Elementary.  Central Coach Bull Spellacheck told reporters at the time that he "could just tell Jones was going to be a beast" and that he wanted to be like one of the coaches on the Voice and be the first one to turn his chair around for Jones . . . something he has reminded Jones of once a week for the last four years.  "Hey, it's worked for Kelly Clarkson, so it should work for me.  I even got Johnny a  cool 'Team Bull'  jacket to wear once he picks us." 

Jones is expected to announce his decision next month at a signing ceremony that ESPN88 will cover live. The exact time will be determined once the Jones family can actually find baseball hats for each of the five high schools in town to use for the ceremony. 

 

HIgh school recruiting???  Um, no thanks. 

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49 minutes ago, Perspective said:

Johnny Jones, a 7th grader at Eisenhower Middle School, recently picked up his fifth offer to play high school football.  The offer came from Westside High School, the only remaining school in the city that had not previously offered the 12-year old athlete.  

Westside Coach, Herman Boone IV, told reporters:  "Jones is a stud.  He's a foot taller than everyone else in his class.  We were worried that perhaps he had topped out; that's why we hadn't offered him yet.  But we had our doctors examine Johnny last week and they tell us that he has plenty of room to grow.  That was good enough for us.  Johnny's second cousin's great aunt on his mother's side was an Eagle way back when, so we're hoping that family tie will give us an edge over the other schools in town."    Boone was overheard talking to Johnny's mother on the phone last night and promising that Johnny's family wouldn't have to pay another dime for his public high school education.

Jones has had a strong season playing for his middle school flag team, playing on both sides of the ball. Coach Boone indicated that he was hoping to get Jones to make the 3.5 mile trip over to Westside to visit the campus and "see what high school life is all about."  Boone got into trouble a few years back when he was accused of arranging recruits to shadow with Senior cheerleaders who 'knew their way around more than just the campus.'   Boone has assured Westside administrators that he will assign Jones to "a certified 10th grade nerd . . . probably a band member, but we haven't ruled out a member of the drama club quite yet." 

Westside's rival, Central High School, first made an offer to Jones when he was in the 3rd grade at Roosevelt Elementary.  Central Coach Bull Spellacheck told reporters at the time that he "could just tell Jones was going to be a beast" and that he wanted to be like one of the coaches on the Voice and be the first one to turn his chair around for Jones . . . something he has reminded Jones of once a week for the last four years.  "Hey, it's worked for Kelly Clarkson, so it should work for me.  I even got Johnny a  cool 'Team Bull'  jacket to wear once he picks us." 

Jones is expected to announce his decision next month at a signing ceremony that ESPN88 will cover live. The exact time will be determined once the Jones family can actually find baseball hats for each of the five high schools in town to use for the ceremony. 

 

HIgh school recruiting???  Um, no thanks. 

The question is not whether we should have hs recruiting or not.  We already do.  The question is to what extent we should try to regulate.   If it is unhealthy for grade school kids to be solicited by hs coaches, what are we doing as a society from a regulatory standpoint to protect the kids from college coaches and scouts?

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52 minutes ago, OldSchoolLion said:

The question is not whether we should have hs recruiting or not.  We already do.  The question is to what extent we should try to regulate.   If it is unhealthy for grade school kids to be solicited by hs coaches, what are we doing as a society from a regulatory standpoint to protect the kids from college coaches and scouts?

Recruiting exists at the MS and HS level already. Kids that dominate in Pop Warner are sought out by HS coaches. In the two youth football programs that I have followed over the past 7-8 years, I have seen visits made to the youth teams by local HS coaches on an annual basis to give pep talks and speak of the merits of the local HS team. But, when it comes to recruiting, the 7v7 teams and the Florida policy of allowing students to attend any school they wish have opened up HS recruiting. The kids on "all-star" 7v7 teams recruit their teammates to join them to form a stronger team at a chosen school. The problem with recruiting is it creates such a competitive in-balance between HS teams and running clocks are becoming the norm as blowouts occur every week. More kids are going to be subject to serious injuries if the have-nots continue to play the recruiting teams. Maybe the answer is to have teams declare themselves an "open" level and play only other open level teams.

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The lack of a competitive balance can be attributed to the talent pool being so steeply different between urban and rural areas 

 

Let's take a team like columbia for instance, even if they pulled the best players from Hamilton, Baker, Union and Suwannee counties as well as all the top players in Fort White and Lake City

 

 

They still wouldn't pull enough talent to be on equal footing with any Miami Dade powerhouse and would still need some miracle to beat them at that point Or hope the Dade team has a slightly depleted roster or is banged up at the time

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I don't think anyone on here would argue with you that schools in urban areas have a distinct advantage over rural area schools simply because of denser and more diverse populations. Enrollments in urban schools are usually much greater in urban areas giving those schools a much larger student population to fill out their teams; that's why we have classifications based upon student population. It's also much easier for an athlete in an urban area to choose from various schools; many rural areas have only one or two HS per county, where the urban area may have two or three schools only a few miles apart.  The urban schools are definitely at an advantage, 

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1 minute ago, HornetFan said:

I don't think anyone on here would argue with you that schools in urban areas have a distinct advantage over rural area schools simply because of denser and more diverse populations. Enrollments in urban schools are usually much greater in urban areas giving those schools a much larger student population to fill out their teams; that's why we have classifications based upon student population. It's also much easier for an athlete in an urban area to choose from various schools; many rural areas have only one or two HS per county, where the urban area may have two or three schools only a few miles apart.  The urban schools are definitely at an advantage, 

I personally think classes should be divided more based on the realize size of the counties more so than school population

 

A team like BTW for instance with the open enrollment rules in place at any minute could become the Dade powerhouse it was a decade ago and would put them in a position to completely overwhelm 4a and they normally are not too far off from the other larger Dade powerhouses

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1 hour ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

I personally think classes should be divided more based on the realize size of the counties more so than school population

 

A team like BTW for instance with the open enrollment rules in place at any minute could become the Dade powerhouse it was a decade ago and would put them in a position to completely overwhelm 4a and they normally are not too far off from the other larger Dade powerhouses

How about this: if a school wins its district, say 2 out of 3 years, it automatically moves up one classification level and the team that finished last over that same 3 year period in that district drops down one classification level. There are some large schools that are doormats year after year and show no signs of being competitive, while you have smaller schools, like Madison County that dominate in their classification year after year. It may take a decade, but I think a competitive balance that would result from moving teams up and down would be closer if schools weren't classified simply by size, but by historic performance. A state championship and/or runner-up could automatically move you up one classification, without waiting two or three years. This could help balance out recruiting.

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10 minutes ago, HornetFan said:

How about this: if a school wins its district, say 2 out of 3 years, it automatically moves up one classification level and the team that finished last over that same 3 year period in that district drops down one classification level. There are some large schools that are doormats year after year and show no signs of being competitive, while you have smaller schools, like Madison County that dominate in their classification year after year. It may take a decade, but I think a competitive balance that would result from moving teams up and down would be closer if schools weren't classified simply by size, but by historic performance. A state championship and/or runner-up could automatically move you up one classification, without waiting two or three years. This could help balance out recruiting.

One downside there is would there be any way to ensure that classification doesn't become too large in terms of number of teams?

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21 minutes ago, HornetFan said:

How about this: if a school wins its district, say 2 out of 3 years, it automatically moves up one classification level and the team that finished last over that same 3 year period in that district drops down one classification level. There are some large schools that are doormats year after year and show no signs of being competitive, while you have smaller schools, like Madison County that dominate in their classification year after year. It may take a decade, but I think a competitive balance that would result from moving teams up and down would be closer if schools weren't classified simply by size, but by historic performance. A state championship and/or runner-up could automatically move you up one classification, without waiting two or three years. This could help balance out recruiting.

Maybe we could come up with fancy names to describe the teams that move up and down.   I suggest "promotion" and "relegation."  I have a feeling those terms might catch on.  B)

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2 hours ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

One downside there is would there be any way to ensure that classification doesn't become too large in terms of number of teams?

Yes, because when you move a team up because they are successful, you drop the lowest performing team in that class drop one level. Hopefully, the teams gravitate to a level where they are competitive.

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Just now, HornetFan said:

Are we trying to insert "political correctness" into this? :D

Please don't

 

If I see anything that starts drifting the topic in the political direction it's getting moved to the OT section

 

This discussion is a interesting football discussion but it needs to stay football because I won't allow this board to become like Florida varsity

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4 minutes ago, HornetFan said:

Yes, because when you move a team up because they are successful, you drop the lowest performing team in that class drop one level. Hopefully, the teams gravitate to a level where they are competitive.

Yes but you said state champs would automatically get moved up but the reclassification would be every 3 years so by design the highest classification would keep growing every year a few teams at a time because in addition to adding state champs in promotion automatically your also adding the best performer in a district and dropping the lowest performer but you have nothing to offset the state champ/runner up automatically being moved up within the 3 year window 

 

So either that portion would have to be scrapped or you would need something to offset it (like maybe 2 teams with lowest record automatically get moved down each year to offset the champ/runner up getting moved up)

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Also the other downside to automatically moving teams up like that is eventually in stronger areas/weaker areas you will see district sizes ranging anywhere from 2-3 teams based on how it's formatted to maybe 8-9 teams 

 

For a system like this to be applicable there needs to be a way to balance that

 

A promotion/regulation sounds good in theory and if it was in college it could be applied easily because travel isn't considered a big deal at the college level but at high school level and with the way FL geography is set up it would run into problems that would likely lead to coaches and Athletic directors from across the state turning on it regardless of it fixing the athletic imbalance of the classifications

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Just now, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

Also the other downside to automatically moving teams up like that is eventually in stronger areas/weaker areas you will see district sizes ranging anywhere from 2-3 teams based on how it's formatted to maybe 8-9 teams 

 

For a system like this to be applicable there needs to be a way to balance that

 

A promotion/regulation sounds good in theory and if it was in college it could be applied easily because travel isn't considered a big deal at the college level but at high school level and with the way FL geography is set up it would run into problems that would likely lead to coaches and Athletic directors from across the state turning on it regardless of it fixing the athletic imbalance of the classifications

Here's an old post demonstrating what it could look like.

 

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1 minute ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

Yes but you said state champs would automatically get moved up but the reclassification would be every 3 years so by design the highest classification would keep growing every year a few teams at a time because in addition to adding state champs in promotion automatically your also adding the best performer in a district and dropping the lowest performer but you have nothing to offset the state champ/runner up automatically being moved up within the 3 year window 

 

So either that portion would have to be scrapped or you would need something to offset it (like maybe 2 teams with lowest record automatically get moved down each year to offset the champ/runner up getting moved up)

A possible solution would be to move the teams at the end of every season, but that may be considered punitive by a school that normally performs well and just has a bad year. It would probably take a little brainstorming to work out an equitable process. In the long run, the idea would be to have teams are more equal to each other playing in the same divisions.

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20 minutes ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

Please don't

 

If I see anything that starts drifting the topic in the political direction it's getting moved to the OT section

 

This discussion is a interesting football discussion but it needs to stay football because I won't allow this board to become like Florida varsity

By PC, I'm just trying to say "make everybody happy". No political discussions implied or desired. :D

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1 minute ago, HornetFan said:

A possible solution would be to move the teams at the end of every season, but that may be considered punitive by a school that normally performs well and just has a bad year. It would probably take a little brainstorming to work out an equitable process. In the long run, the idea would be to have teams are more equal to each other playing in the same divisions.

Do you think something with a similar setup to what I sent you could accomplish the same idea of balancing the classifications a bit based on what you looked at?

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18 minutes ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

Yes but you said state champs would automatically get moved up but the reclassification would be every 3 years so by design the highest classification would keep growing every year a few teams at a time because in addition to adding state champs in promotion automatically your also adding the best performer in a district and dropping the lowest performer but you have nothing to offset the state champ/runner up automatically being moved up within the 3 year window 

 

So either that portion would have to be scrapped or you would need something to offset it (like maybe 2 teams with lowest record automatically get moved down each year to offset the champ/runner up getting moved up)

My thought is to have teams play themselves into a Division and Classification over time where they can be competitive, whether that's up or down. I think it would be good for student and fan morale to see their team playing competitive games week after week rather than being blown out or having to watch a 2nd half with a running clock. It would probably be safer for the players also.

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3 minutes ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

Do you think something with a similar setup to what I sent you could accomplish the same idea of balancing the classifications a bit based on what you looked at?

I like what you sent me, but that still locks teams into a fixed District in which they may not be competitive. Less classifications with the ability to move teams for competitive purposes, to me that would be a good change.

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2 minutes ago, ColumbiaHighFan2017class said:

Based on what I saw in that there is some good and some bad 

 

 

Like any idea there will be good and bad parts of it that require tweaking

The ability to tweak allows you to address participant's concerns and also assures them that they are part of the process. Allowing for input makes change an easier sell.

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