As reported in the Miami Herald, the NCAA Legislative Council has recently lowered the grade limit on “recruitable” basketball players from ninth grade to seventh grade. This means that the ever competitive world of college basketball scouting is now in the middle schools, as college coaches start keeping their eyes on kids who are as young as 12 years old.
In Encino, California, an eighth grader named Michael Avery has already received a scholarship to play at the University of Kentucky in 2012!
Am I am spoil sport if I say this is totally ridiculous?
Twelve-year-olds are children. Does anyone remember what it was like to be 12? Puberty, hormones, crushes, harder classes, the conflict between wanting to be independent and still needing your parents. That’s plenty to deal with. The stress of worrying about impressing a college coach should not be added to that list.
And what message does this send to middle school kids about academics? I can’t imagine this wouldn’t discourage some kids from doing well in school because, hey, I’m going to be a famous basketball player.
There really are some things in life that are more important than college basketball. Like childhood.