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Parents who believe their children should get scholarships

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Mr. X, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    When I sat down for the first time with a financial adviser last week and talked about trying to save a zillion dollars by 2023 so my one-year-old can go to Podunk U (make it three zillion dollars if she can get into Highly Acclaimed U), I understood a little where some of these parents were coming from. Not excusing most of their obnoxious behavior, of course. But I understood the sometimes-desperate tones of trying to get out of footing those massive college bills.
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Umm ... anybody ever heard of student loans?

    My parents didn't pay a red cent toward my college education. Not that they would if they could have, but that's a different story. The fact is, they couldn't, and they didn't.

    If Water Polo Parent's kid doesn't get a scholarship, that doesn't mean they can't go to college. Sorry. There are other options out there.
  3. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    My SID brother plans on staying in the SID business so his kid (currently singular, eventually plural) can go to school on the cheap.
    I know of another guy who left the news biz and took a college teaching job for the same reason.
    Anyway, back on point, I don't see a problem with giving advice. I'd even suggest doing a story or two.
  4. mpcincal

    mpcincal Well-Known Member

    Jay makes a good point that in some cases newspaper coverage may play a part (a small one) in a prep athlete getting a school's attention. And shotglass makes a good point that a college scholarship can be very important for a kid's family.

    However, I believe the point of this whole thing is that newspapers and reporters are NOT obligated to help a kid get a scholarship, and NOT obligated to worry whether or not he gets one. That's the whole problem here, a lot of these parents think prep writers are PR agents/scouts who are supposed to facilitate getting kids and college coaches together. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Local writers I'm sure have enough to worry about just getting all the results and stories into the paper without having that kind of responsibility thrust upon them.

    And if I were in a prep (or college beat) writer's shoes, I would be VERY careful about dispensing any advice about where an athlete should go or what athletes colleges should look at. When I was working my entry-level job at the San Diego U-T, our Aztecs beat writer was accused by the Aztecs coach of dissuading a prized local recruit from going to SDSU. Said writer denied it (which I still believe) and even got sworn affadavits from the athlete and his mom that the writer had no influence on where he went to school. Though he wasn't guilty, that showed me what a Pandora's box it opens if you even think about giving advice.
  5. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

    I still think a generic "If you want your child to get a scholarship, you should send a tape to the coach of his or her sport at the school he or she most wants to attend. That would help far more than any story I might write on him or her" in a conversation would not cause a conflict and could defuse the parents' requests for a story.

    I would also toss in "the key to getting a scholarship is observation by said coach, not anything I would write."
  6. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Tell the parent this:
    Have you talked with your child's coach about his/her chances of playing in college? Have you then talked with the guidance counselor at the high school since that is what they get paid to do? Basically push them back to the school, that will take care of most.
    Don't even get into advice.
  7. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    I fully agree that families have a difficult time sending their children to college and any scholarship help they get is a real boon. I also understand that in some cases, newspaper stories may bring to light a previously unknown player, and such "promotion" could help this kid get a scholarship.

    It was said earlier...journalists are not responsible for worrying about whether or not little Johnny gets a scholarship, nor should it at all play a role in our thinking about how to write the story or whether or not to even write one.

    And to pass on a little story....
    My niece's high school team was playing a Thursday night game at home, and since it was one of my nights off, I attended the game with my sister, sitting in the stands. For a good quarter and a half, the mom of the team's kicker kept bombarding me with requests to do a story about her son so he could get a scholarship.

    Finally, in a moment mirroring Slap Shot, my sister turned around and very firmly said, "He's trying to watch the game! Call him tomorrow when he's back at work!"

    With time running out, little Johnny Kicker misses a straight-on 35-yard field goal and my sister said, "Still want him to do a writeup?"
  8. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    At my first weekly, the AD of the local juco had a great scam going. He handed out cross-country scholarships to local jocks like they were coming out of a Pez dispenser. Never mind that none of these kids went to schools that even had cross-country teams, he just signed up all the athletes he could find.

    Right after my year was up, election time rolled around. Guess who ran for county school superintendant and rolled up a Hugo Chavez-sized margin?
  9. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Aside from the financial aspect, would you really want your kid playing for a coach who makes decisions based on a newspaper's coverage?
  10. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Does anyone else find it interesting/telling that so many of our threads end up with "this isn't our job" and "that isn't our job"?

    Not sayin' ... just sayin' ... I'm as guilty of it as the next guy.
  11. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    The reason I won't go down the "you should send a video" path:

    There are entrepreneurs who have hung up their shingle as "college recruiting specialists" or "video recruiting services".

    No longer is it Mom or Dad videotaping Junior at games and then splicing a tape with two VCRs. There are video professionals who will get digital video and put together snazzy DVDs if parents are willing to pay the price.

    There are "recruiting specialists" who will broker the kid to college coaches if the parents are willing to pay the price.

    I'm very skeptical of these services, personally. I think it's just savvy hustlers cashing in on the parental panic. If the kid is worth noticing, the college coaches will notice.

    But if you, as a professional in the sports industry, say "send them a tape" the next logical question from a parent is "who can help me do that?" - it opens the door to possible referrals to these "recruiting specialists". And that is CERTAINLY not our job.

    EDIT: to clarify, being a professional in the sports industry gives us an added credibility, even when it comes to things we know nothing about, such as recruiting services. Making a recommendation or pointing a parent in a certain direction implies an educated endorsement, which I think would be misleading. As someone else pointed out, we are not prep scouts or high school PR flacks but tend to get lumped in that category by working in the same industry.
  12. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    On one of these threads, somebody said they replied to a parent's request to write about their kid so they could play in college by saying something to the effect of "Why would you want a college coach to take my word for how good your kid is when you're already convinced I'm not inteligent enough to do this job?"
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