David Sills: Lane Kiffin's Signing of a 13 Year Old Is Going Too Far

Ryan VirginCorrespondent IFebruary 5, 2010

On Feb. 4, 2010, Lane Kiffin went too far.

He didn't make any more erroneous statements.

He didn't spurn a beloved college football program again.

He didn't blow up at the press.

But he may have started a trend that will be bad for football's future.

Let's go into details.

A day after the major college programs from around to league announced which future stars would be attending their school next fall, Lane made yet another recruiting trip to a child's home in Delaware. He came out successful. The child had verbally committed to USC and all things were good. 

What's the problem?

The kid is only 13 years old. Yeah, that's what I said.

He's not even in high school yet.

The 5'11", 136-pound quarter back is a seventh grader in the public school systems of Delaware and is expected, according to the doctors, to grow into his 6'5" frame.

"His skill set is off the chart," Clarkson told ESPN. "I've never seen anyone at his age do what he's been able to do."

This is the problem with the sporting world these days.

Cool, he's going to be a great player.

It's wonderful that his parents won't have to worry about paying for college or that the kid won't have to worry about being recruited to play college ball. 

But the kid won't be able to live a regular childhood.

I'm not a big fan of putting pressure on kids before they are even allowed to drive. As a middle schooler, I felt like I was on top of the world for playing on the local soccer club. I can't imagine how Sills is feeling.

Dangerously good?

This is how kids get in trouble. They feel invincible. They feel like that are entitled. And they end up not meeting expectations.

For all it's worth, it's a verbal commitment, making it possible that either parties could retract their offers and all would go back to normal.

"I'm as shocked as anybody," Sills' father David told ESPN. "I was just talking with friends yesterday about what it'll be like four years from now when David goes through the recruiting process. I never expected this to happen so soon."

Part of me wants to blame the parents, but, if my kid were offered a full ride to a great university, I don't think I'd be able to pass it up. That's why the NCAA needs to set the guidelines.

At least wait until they are in high school.

Recruiting for 2015 class of athletes is too early, because pretty soon they are going to be recruiting kids out of the womb.

Just let the kid be. Let him be a kid, and let him develop as a player without the expectations of greatness.

Right now, the kid has the keys to the world.

Let's just hope his parents can keep him grounded .


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