with recruiting being one of the few active CFB topics this time of year, thought everyone would enjoy reading this article from Texas Monthly exploring the seamier side of the process, especially the role of street agents and 7-on-7's.
Excerpts and then the link:
It wasn’t until three or four years ago ... that high school football was going the way of high school basketball. Basketball has long been overshadowed by the AAU, a league in which a high schooler often plays for different coaches and with different teammates. AAU coaches become so influential, it’s argued, that they manage the recruitment of players as their de facto agents.
The rise of 7-on-7’s has given Texas football its own shadow league, conducted outside the purview of high school and college coaches. “That’s when the kids are vulnerable. Especially the kids who don’t have very much money, maybe have parents who don’t understand what’s going on at home as much. They’re more vulnerable to someone who would try to come in and help them.” Mack Brown doesn’t just fear a shakedown. He fears a crack-up of the relationship between a player and his high school coach.
The real source of evil—the thing college football fans should fear—is the NCAA’s system of amateurism. It’s college football that puts a seventeen-year-old at an impossible disadvantage....In college recruiting, amateurism is a pair of handcuffs reserved for the person who needs help the most. The scary part isn’t that a seventeen-year-old football player would get himself an agent. The scary part is that, these days, he probably needs one.