Blogs / Features
Signing Day CircusFeb 5, 2013
Tomorrow is the big day! For thousands of Senior athletes tomorrow’s National Letter of Intent signing day will be the first of what they hope will be many monumental steps in their athletic career. Unfortunately over the last decade this day has turned into a circus as well. From live television coverage to webcasts and of course the Twitterverse and Facebook as well as Instagram will be churning tweets, status updates and pictures of numerous hats with college logos.
You have kids and their parents holding press conferences and media events to make their big announcements. You have college football fans hovering over their laptops and desktops and checking their Twitter feeds to see if their big recruit was coming to their campus or to someone else’s. Now keep in mind we’re talking about decisions being made by 17 year olds. Decisions that are being hailed or criticized by all of the sports fans, critics and so called experts.
You’d think based on all of the attention that this one day gets in the sports world that this 17 year old had accomplished something big, something special. Don’t get me wrong getting a scholarship offer no matter how big or small is something to be proud of but what seems to be lost on this over hyped day is that these young men haven’t done anything yet for their schools of choice other than add their name to a list of many who will be attending the same school and hopefully playing for the same team.
All this fanfare really doesn’t come as a surprise to me. This is the world we live in unfortunately. Praise is heaped on athletes especially the really talented ones at an early age so it becomes like a drug for them and far too often for their parents and family members as well. The word entitlement is often used when talking about some of these athletes and days like Signing Day do nothing to temper that feeling in the minds of many.
Last year we watched as one young man locally chose to have his big signing day event at his former elementary school only to delay the process and essentially hold the school, it’s young students and administration and of course all of the media on hand to chronicle the big decision hostage. Conversely this year another big name athlete and his father simply posted a simple note on the father’s Facebook page. Perhaps they recognize that while it’s a great accomplishment to be in the position to sign that letter it also guarantees nothing. A letter of intent essentially secures a partnership of sorts between the student athlete and the university for one year. At the conclusion of that year if an athlete chooses to leave he can or if they’ve failed to meet all of the necessary standards set forth by the program and institution they may be forced to transfer to another school.
With all of this in mind, AIA365 won’t be streaming a signing day event like we have the last few years. While we’re proud of all of the Arizona athletes who will put their names on the dotted line tomorrow we also know that it’s just a small step in their future. We’d much rather give attention to that same athlete3 or 4 years from now after they’ve completed their degree and taken an even bigger step in their lives.