OT: Skipping Senior Season of High School

Submitted by Zone Left on March 31st, 2010 at 1:10 PM

This is a rabbit hole that we might not want to see the other side of...a Memphis high school Junior is skipping his senior season to play for the Memphis Tigers.

Apparently, he's a solid student with enough credits to graduate, so good for him--but letting kids do this will may lead to some unintended, negative results.

Ed: this is different from the early enroll option that I'm a fan of simply because the idea of EE is to allow qualified kids to get a semester in prior to a football season. This basically pushes kids directly into the season a year early. I see two major issues here:

1. Athletically gifted kids are very identifiable early, but they may not be physically ready to withstand college football played against 5th year Seniors that are 22-23 years old. I doubt the players are getting that info from experts.

2. It seems like a great way for C-USA (or other lower tier league) coaches to sweet talk kids out of school early "to get to the league." Almost all of them probably wouldn't be ready to even be a true freshman physically, which probably means a redshirt--leaving them in the same position as if they played another year of high school.

It may be right for some kids, like those in really bad home situations, but I see a lot of potential pitfalls here.




March 31st, 2010 at 1:31 PM ^

Indeed. The state of Texas offers a $1000 scholarship for graduating a year early through any means necessary. It's well worth it for the state as the cost of attendance for a single student for a year is well over that mark.

I took summer school for original credit one year, and I know a couple that did the community college route for dual credit. I've heard of the same BYU classes, but I've never heard of anyone taking them.

There's also several classes you can request to test out of. I had the option to test out of U.S. History after Reconstruction, and probably would have passed it easily.


March 31st, 2010 at 1:43 PM ^

Me and Joe Paterno go way back. I was his original pupil. Back in those days we had different names, Socrates (the crazy old guy) and Plato (the reasonable writer). The corruption of youth charges forced us into hiding for generations. Had to execute some poor knaves in our place. We've thoroughly enjoyed the last couple thousand years.

Sgt. Wolverine

March 31st, 2010 at 2:16 PM ^

heard of somebody taking the online BYU classes. Michael Oher took a few of those to get his grades up enough to be eligible to play college football.


Of course, you might have meant that you've never heard of anyone you know taking them, in which case...you can forget you ever saw me here because I never posted this comment. Right? Right.


March 31st, 2010 at 1:58 PM ^

Probably the same way they handle sex-education in Texas. It is 100% unmentioned in anything. Abstinence only if anything. My health class discussed proper fitness, healthy diet, and our final in the class was looking up stuff in a red cross health safety book.

Having a tennis coach for a teacher, we also watched about 6 videos from COPS, 3 WHEN DEADLY TORNADOES HIT, and 4-5 when good pets go bad videos. It was like watching Fox evenings in the late 90s.


March 31st, 2010 at 3:59 PM ^

As a freshman in HS, there were a few choices for certain electives. You had your basic machine shop/auto shop/home ec variety, but in addition to those, there were a few others. One in particular was something like "intro to anthropology" or something. It was supposed to be a basic human studies course. for some reason, it was taught by one of the shop teachers, which resulted in a lot of class periods being spent playing Jeopardy. Not Anthropology Jeopardy. Usually it was "his favorite movie and tv show jeopardy."

"This fictional navigator flashed the bird at a soviet MiG pilot to "keep up foreign relations"."

"Who was 'Goose'?"

"Correct. You get an A for the day. I think we'll watch that later this week."


March 31st, 2010 at 4:16 PM ^

I took an anthropology class as a sophomore, but it was titled AP Human Geography. It was not simple or taught by a shop teacher as the "AP" tag might insinuate. Man do I wish it was though, as that credit earned me nothing.

But we had an "Environmental Topics" class that several football players took their senior year that was like that. They'd go out to the "marsh" retention pond and look for bugs or fish. Spend the whole hour out there doing nothing.

If only I hadn't been in AP Physics and AP BC Calculus my senior year, I might had enjoyed that.


March 31st, 2010 at 1:25 PM ^

When an overachiever in the classroom signs to play with any school, what alone a school with a reputation as "challanged" as that of Memphis, it's a positive. If he can handle it physically, he'll play this year. If he can't, he will get a redshirt year to get ahead in his academics.

As far as "skipping" a year of HS, he graduated ahead of his class. That is not "skipping" anything, but getting one's work done a year early.

Zone Left

March 31st, 2010 at 1:37 PM ^

The physical aspect is one of two things that worry me here. I doubt a kid from Memphis public schools is going to get a valid opinion on how close to fully developed his body is at 16. That year still matters a lot developmentally.

I also wonder about 2nd tier schools using this as a ticket to get kids they wouldn't get by enabling them to "get to the league early" or some such BS.

I'm always a fan of EE for qualified kids, and I think it would probably benefit almost everyone to have a school semester under their belts prior to football season, but this kid isn't getting that benefit. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up redshirting anyways because he needs another year to be physically prepped--which makes the coach seem like a con-man (at least to me).


March 31st, 2010 at 1:28 PM ^

How does this affect going to the NBA? If you finish high school a year early, it the rule still "one year out of high school" before you can play pro ball? If so, we might see a bunch of 18 year olds in the NBA again, if they can put the work in.


March 31st, 2010 at 1:28 PM ^

...this kid's particular situation, it's hard to say if this a bad thing. Maybe he has a later summer/early fall birthday and started kindergarten a year later than he could have (certainly a trend). Maybe he was held back a grade in elementary or middle school but got his act together for high school. Maybe he's incredibly mature for his age (emotionally and physically) and this is the right thing for him. Maybe none of those things are true and this will turn out poorly.

Not disagreeing with you about the possibility of unintended negative consequences, but if someone is athletically gifted enough to garner a scholarship offer prior to his senior year and has done what's required to earn his HS diploma, he should be allowed to enroll in college assuming the offering college wants him for originally offered class year minus one.

Sgt. Wolverine

March 31st, 2010 at 1:30 PM ^

Michigan has had its fair share of early enrollments. Graduating prior to the senior season isn't that big of a step from graduating in December, which plenty of kids already do.


March 31st, 2010 at 2:10 PM ^

How is this different than Tate Forcier or Devin Gardner graduating a semester early (missing half or their senior year)? I also don't see how this is different from kids who do running start programs or accelerated programs in HS, and may start college at a younger age.

The kid did the work to graduate early and should be commended. In a day where we're worried about kids making it through clearinghouse and qualifying, I find this refreshing.


March 31st, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

Yeah this is the opposite of someone who just flat out dropped out of High School to go play Euro-ball for a year or two.

This is something to be commended actually. He's getting his High School Diploma and going to college sooner. Hopefully he can make something of himself at the next level and if he can play right away then good for him. If not then he can redshirt like stated above.


March 31st, 2010 at 2:10 PM ^

Amobi Okoye ring a bell he was drafted to the NFL at the age of 19. I would say some kids can graduate early from high school and be ready for the collegiate level. Maybe this kid that is going to Memphis can do the same thing.


March 31st, 2010 at 2:33 PM ^

This has been happening a lot more in hockey lately. Minnesota has had a couple of kids accelerate their graduation to get into school a year sooner, Jordan Schroeder and Aaron Ness a couple of years ago and this upcoming year they have Nick Bjugstad coming in. All of these kids are high NHL draft prospects so there is a precedent in hockey.


March 31st, 2010 at 4:28 PM ^

Planned red shirt. If a kid show that he is mentally mature enough to handle it by graduating early, then a year spent with college coaches, equipment, women will be more beneficial for him then staying in High School were he is likely to dominate everyone.


March 31st, 2010 at 7:50 PM ^


Reading the headline I assumed that due to the nature of the sports that this was a basketball player.

This is a horrible idea on so many levels.

Why would you ever want to give up your senior year of high school? I understand EEs give up a portion of the year but they still get to enjoy most of it. Not to mention the mental and physical development that one experiences playing another year of high school football, being looked up to as a senior leader and all that one learns through that process.

Dumb idea that needs to be squashed immediately.