Wednesday, April 8, 2009

NCAA and AAU Influence

I read today how the spring evaluation period is no longer beneficial to kids seeking exposure in an effort to gain basketball scholarships to division 1 schools. Seems the NCAA in its never ending wisdom has decided to limit the open period for colleges and the next time coaches can come out is after the spring signing period.

Let me put it bluntly! STUPID!!!! Why would they limit the opportunities for kids to get exposure? This might not hurt the kids at power or known HS basketball programs. But the kid who attends a school with a coach not connected, or not known as a place to find prospects gets hurt the Most. Sure the kids at Patterson Catholic, St. Anthony's, St. Pats, Rice, Lincoln, etc. get great exposure opportunities. But the kids from Leonia, Bronx Science, Seward Park, Midland Park, and even from Kennedy, Teaneck, Kennedy (NY), Plainfield, Neptune, etc. could benefit from having coaches come out and watch them in local and national events.

AAU and Travel basketball is a true necessity for kids who are under exposed. many kids at lessor known HS programs are discovered playing in after the HS season events. I would bet many schools in the MAAC, CAA, MEEAC, America East and NEC sign alot of kids they see between the end of the season and the start of summer.

Because of this kids are now looking at alternatives to gain exposure. Bogus groups are popping up offering to send profiles to colleges. People are running bogus exposure events with video taping. People are getting paid to make calls to college coaches. Kids are getting false promises. And Prep Schools have re-emerged as a great alternative especially if a kid has gotten through the NCAA clearing house.
Unfortunately this has opened the door for some serious bogus prep schools being run out of community centers and even store fronts. Charge the kids to attend and just play basketball. Some even put kids up in apartments and charge a dorm fee. Unfortunately the apartments could be over a drug den or in a dangerous area. Whatever happened to prep schools as we knew them? The ones with the grass and kids in shirts and ties. The ones with dorm parents and study halls and field hockey and parent weekends?

I really feel the NCAA should do a quick re-evaluation of this policy because it is not a good one. Coaches need to be able to get around and continue to watch prospects.

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