We asked, you answered: How young is too young to start recruiting athletes for college and professional sports?
Our partner site, CafeMom, posted this question on their blog and their Facebook page. From all the responses it generated, it seems that most of you are not bothered by recruiters considering middle-schoolers for athletic collegiate scholarships. In fact, a lot of you would welcome such an offer and support your child in the recruiting process.
And while some of you think early recruiting is a bad idea, there’s one thing all of you, our dear readers, agree on: Education comes first.
Jessica S.: My son is an honor student and an athlete. We are very hopeful he gets a full scholarship to college. If that means recruiters start knocking on our door and filling our mailboxes as he enters eighth grade, so be it!
Natasha S.: My son is 14 and has been an athlete since he was 6. He is already being looked at by scouts because he has the talent and the grades. If a recruiter from a college that he is interested in attending wanted to sign him, I would allow it. My husband and I are not pushy parents, but we understand it is his dream to go pro and support it just like if it were anything else.
Jesica G.: As the mother of a very driven and athletic 8th-grader, I don't see a problem with this. If my son was approached by a recruiter, it would only increase his dedication to the sport and to making sure his grades are kept up. To a child who dreams of playing sports in college and beyond, this is just additional motivation.
Chris D.: Motivating kids to get better grades is fine, but let's remember why they're in school to begin with: To learn. There is far too much focus put on athletics and not enough focus on academics or arts. If parents want to set grade requirements, that's one thing. For college recruiters to approach kids is another thing.
Erin L.: There's nothing wrong with early recruiting. If anything, it will boost their confidence and make them want to play even better.
Iesha C.: No, education is way more important! Plus, if they are good at the sport now, they will be better in high school once their bodies and minds mature.
Tracy S.: Perhaps the recruiters should talk to all the middle school kids and explain that what they do now can directly impact them later. Yes, parents and teachers try to get this idea across, but coming from an outside source, it can be very meaningful.
Allison L.: If it motivates them, awesome! My only concern is how it will affect the kids if they are injured or can’t play anymore.
Crystal-Joy C.: I think athletics are important to keep our kids active and healthy, but that's about it. I think we should be encouraging our kids to focus on academics over sports.
Caroline R.: If it helps get my kid into college, then I am for it. I am the parent, so I get the final say when it comes to my kids, but if it gets them heading in the right direction, why not?
Amber S.: I hate how kids are forced to grow up so fast! You see college athletes missing out on their youth and acting like idiots and they just end up losing scholarships anyway. I would rather my boys focus on school, youth, and friends in middle school.
Diane C.: I wonder how parents would feel about military recruiters taking their middle school-aged kids. I wonder how much of early recruiting is about money versus what the kids really want to do.