Two weeks ago, USC head coach, Lane Kiffin offered a scholarship to 13 year old David Sills from Bear, DE.
Everyone got on Kiffin's tail about this, but I don't think it was that big of a deal. If Kiffin didn't do it someone was going to very soon.
No, the fact that someone else was going to do it doesn't make it right or wrong. If you are the parent of a pre-teen that can do something really well, and you tell his parents, when he's ready to go to college we'll pay foot the bill if he continues to build on his potential, what would you do?
You'd say hell yes in heartbeat. Does that make you a bad parent for easing your financial load? No. Does it make you a terrible person for offering a pre-teen that is extremely talented a free education if he continues to progress? No.
Also, Sills didn't just come out of nowhere to pop on Kiffin's radar. Check out this great story on him by CBS' Dennis Dodd written over a year ago. Here's a profile of Sills on QB coach guru, Steve Clarkson's, website .
Let kids be kids, why don't you. Why? I mean, child actors don't lead normal lives and yes many are wrecks when they get older, but it's more or less their lack of parenting rather than their early success.
Child sporting phenoms are different than child entertainers . Look at Jimmy Clausen and Sebastian Telfair. Both had older brothers or cousins that played collegiate sports. Telfair is the younger cousin of Stephon Marbury who went on to star in the NBA. Clausen didn't play contact football until he was in 9th grade, but was a highly touted quarterback in 7th grade because he was a 7-on-7 star in California.
Telfair isn't in the NBA spinning out of control. He is not the star everyone expected him to be, but that's because he didn't go to college.
Clausen went to Notre Dame, semi-struggled his first year, got better as a sophomore, and starred as a Junior. Clausen is on his way to being a first round draft pick, and I can only assume he will be a productive player.
The point is this: If a kid deserves a scholarship, give it to him. Why not give it to him before someone else does? A scholarship offer to a 12 year old isn't the same thing as putting a million bucks in his bank account too early which will presumably be the reason he spirals out of control before he turns 19. It's a freaking scholarship! Chill out. Once you watch clips of these two young cats, you'll understand why Sill was offered a scholarship and young Thomas Fitts will be offered one soon as well.
David Sills, 13 year old 7th grader from Bear, DE. He's already committed to USC.
Thomas Fitts, 12 year old 7th grader from Dallas, TX. After the first pass in this video you can see why he's cold! He's better than Sills if you ask me.