The Negative Effects of National Signing Day

Peter LomuscioCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2010

he most exciting day of recruiting has finally come and gone. Many hardcore collegiate fans were at the edge of their seat watching live player press conferences to see if the hottest prospects would be attending their school of choice. Others were running to their computers to check ESPN class rankings to see where their university stacked up against the nation’s powerhouses. But amidst all this chaos brings up this question: Is all this attention necessary for these high school athletes, and is it a smart move to provide these kids such a big stage off the field at such an adolescent age?

Every coach out there is searching the nation for the next true stud playmakers, while at the same time trying to avoid the over-hyped duds. Every fan base will be bragging about the potential they see in the class that has been brought in, while others will be disappointed to see their rivals at the top of the class rankings. There is no denying that this is an extension of the excitement that is College Football, but at the same time there still is a bitter feel to it all.

It is understood we all want information as fans, and we deserve to know what kind of recruits we have coming in to gauge our expectations for the next season, but we don’t need to see these kids making their choices on live television with their girlfriends and their family.

It is not necessary to know this much about these young potential stars because the bulk of them won’t live up to the hype. There is a line we shouldn’t cross. This type of attention is something that should be earned while playing at a high level of play like the collegiate and professional levels. Some talent peaks in high school and has to do with minimal competition. This type of spotlight should be reserved for when you enter the professional world of football, like during the NFL Draft. 

No one kid should be given this thought that they are bigger than the sport or the University they will be attending. There is no need for it to be such a big spectacle for one recruit to nationally broadcast his decision live on TV. A lot of these athletes have a big enough head before this; imagine how they will walk into the locker room the first time after they are pepped up even more by their live-broadcasted, life-changing decision. College Football has been known to prevent such self-promotion acts like their strict touchdown celebratory rules, yet they let displays like live National Signing Day decisions go on. It seems quite hypocritical.

Is it really sending a good message giving the youth of football the belief that they are bigger than the sport or their team during their 30 seconds of fame on live TV? Is it really necessary for us to watch these kids disrespect schools with their choice of hat fake outs? In the end, I respect these tremendous young athletes, but I think it would be much more appropriate for a more humble entrance to the collegiate sports world than the current one in place.