Saturday, February 06, 2010

Signing Day--Followup

Just a quick addendum to our story about National Signing Day ...

Apparently, USC has now received a verbal commitment from Delaware schoolboy quarterback David Sills ... who is in middle school and all of 13 years old. That's right ... Sills accepted an offer from USC and gave the Trojans a verbal commitment to play when he graduates in 2015.

As Sills' father is quick to point out (several times, in fact) there is nothing about this that is against the rules. But it still looks and smells pretty bad. It probably also has much to say about pushy parents, USC coach Lane Kiffin (who in the past year has solidified his reputation as an oil-slick opportunist) and about a youth sports culture that has run amok.

And where do the sports media fit in to all this? It's not hard to connect the dots. The media have made college (and now high school) athletics big-time money-making operations. Internet sites, fan message boards and recruiting services feed the demand on a 24/7/365 basis. So now a kid who should be worrying about his freshman year of high school is thrust (or thrust himself) into the glare of the media spotlight (complete with an interview on Good Morning America). Just Google David Sills' name and see how many hits come up ... just from the past 48 hours.

David Sills may turn out to be the next Dan Marino; he may turn out to be the next Todd Marinovich. Either way, couldn't his recruitment waited at least a few more years? Not everyone has unanimously condemned what's going on here, but that doesn't lessen the tragedy. Truly sad.


Blogger 紅包 said...

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7:47 AM  
Blogger Will C. said...

Couldn't agree more. Shows the dangerous direction that youth sports is headed. Not that a verbal commitment means much these days, but really what is the point? Like you said, no one should be thinking about where they are going to college before they even enter high school. Sills is going to have unnecessary pressure on himself for his entire high school and college career, regardless of how he plays. No matter how he performs he will always be known as the kid who committed to USC when he was 13. Very sad indeed.

4:23 PM  
Blogger LockDown said...

You are completely right that Sills shouldn't have to worry about college at 13--I know I didn't. And wouldn't it be great if the sports media could just ignore the situation completely?

The immense amount of media attention is borderline irresponsible. That scores of professional adults are putting this kid in the spotlight he may not be able to handle is a sad reflection of just how bad college recruiting has gotten (I do recognize that a great deal of the blame for the situation is on Sill's father).

In addition, can you imagine the sense of entitlement that could develop? To be payed this kind of attention and given so much at 13 can lead to a superiority complex that will only forge a hostile relationship with other players and the media.

-Tyler Lockman

3:03 PM  

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