How Young Is Too Young For A Student-Athlete To Be Recruited?
Student-athletes don’t always wait until their senior or junior year to get on a college’s radar. Some student-athletes are becoming prospects before they even get to high school, believe it or not. That’s the case for brothers Chaz and Cruz Lucious from Minnesota, who have become hockey prodigies at the age of 13 and 14.
The Luciouses have verbally committed to join the college hockey team of the Minnesota Gophers, making them the youngest commitments in the history of the college. This is where the question arises. How young is too young? Recently, this was the primary issue of discussion at a college summit in Chicago.
The side against early college recruitment has been very vocal about the fact that kids are being recruited without having even attended high school yet.
This is not a problem just in hockey though. Many college sports programs are offering scholarships to pre-teens like never before. It’s like giving a shoe deal to a pro rookie and hoping their career pans out well so the shoe company can get a good return on their investment. Colleges are gambling on “prodigies” by getting their commitment before anyone else can, even if they haven’t reached their full potential.
Early recruiting is more prominent in college hockey because schools have to compete with the Canadian Hockey League, which can attract players straight out of high school.
A rule that is currently being discussed is to not allow recruiting until a high school student-athlete is midway through their sophomore year. Not only is this being discussed to avoid such early commitments from student-athletes, but also to avoid the backing out of commitments by either coach or player, which is another issue.
What do you think? Do you believe stricter regulations should be enforced, or is recruiting student-athletes very early something that is good for sports overall?