by DOMINICK PUENTE//Editorial Assistant
Graduating high school athletes are preparing to make a long-term decision for college, but college coaches have developed a bad habit of pulling scholarships days before signing day.
Most recently, head coach Randy Edsall of the University for Connecticut pulled a football scholarship from a high school senior two weeks before signing day, leaving the senior searching for any offer he could get.
Doing this to athletes is a disappointing action by coaches, universities and the NCAA.
Although the high school student was scouted by the previous head coach, Edsall, the university and the NCAA need to understand that pulling scholarships with only a few weeks to sign can possibly ruin a young man’s future.
Along with Edsall pulling the scholarship, the athlete had already contacted the coach a month prior to having his scholarship pulled and was assured his scholarship was still in tact and his spot on the team was not taken.
Along with this high school senior, many high school athletes who decide to continue their sporting career in college and pursue an education do not have multiple options to choose from if they are not five-star recruits.
If the young man was ensured his spot was still available, Edsall should have upheld his deal, no matter the circumstances.
Collegiate athletics may still be a business. However, a coach still holds the athlete’s chance of receiving an education and furthering his or her future in the palm of his hands.
Winning and building a program that brings in massive amounts of money and notoriety may be top priorities, but those schools would be nothing without the athletes and students who attend that college for an education.
For the recruiting process in any sport, a high school athlete should be granted enough time if the coach is pulling the scholarship a few weeks before.
There needs to be a rule established that enforces a deadline for coaching staffs to pull a scholarship from an athlete if it is necessary.
Coaches dislike players waiting until the last moment to sign with their teams, but have no problem pulling a scholarship from a player who has already decided he or she is fully invested in that coach months prior to the deadline.
If the coaches can express their concerns about rules and regulations within their sport to the NCAA, then student athletes need to be able to have a voice instead of being treated as naïve children.
As an organization that prides itself on producing quality young men and women in sports and in life, they do not treat these men and women with enough respect to hear their concerns in any sport.
The NCAA is more concerned with making money off student athletes, adding zeros to their own paychecks and making sure universities make a dollar instead of doing everything within their power to help the student athlete become the best he or she can be in the classroom and on the playing field.
The recruiting process cannot be perfect, but there is enough room for improvements to be made on both sides of the spectrum.
There needs to be a happy medium for both coaches, universities and student athletes to keep the players, coaching staffs and NCAA members happy.
For some student athletes, playing sports in college is their only way to obtain an education and gain a degree.
Having that one offer could mean everything to that student athlete and can ensure that the student will be able to enter the world with a degree and earn a substantial living.
By giving that student false hope and then pulling that scholarship away is taking away any chance of attending college, playing sports, and earning a degree could possibly never happen for that young woman or man.
Thankfully, that young man found a last-minute college that was willing to offer him a chance to attend college and play football.
The University of Connecticut, Coach Edsall and many other colleges are wrong for taking away dreams of playing sports and attending college.
Rules need to be enforced in order to fix the problem in the recruiting process, and the NCAA needs to correct it immediately.
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