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Why The College Football Recruiting System Is Broken

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The college football recruiting process is an exciting time for high school athletes. Where will they go? How can they contribute? However, the recruiting process itself is flawed, in that it favors what are often multi-million dollar institutions, and not always the best interest of the individual themselves.

From the time children can talk and learn, their told by adults not to lie. Yet, somehow many college football coaches do it, and they get away with it? They aren’t unique in this, but we are talking about grown men who make copious amounts of money annually, lying to young men because they know these teenagers don’t know any better.

Here is where it gets even crazier – outside of winning games, a coach’s biggest job is recruiting the student athlete. Yet, the pressure to get the best players and win lead many lie throughout the entire process.

🔊 LISTEN: Why former Ute, current Miami Dolphin Isaac Asiata hates recruiting

On the Special Forces Podcast, former Utah offensive lineman Isaac Asiata said he wasn’t a fan of the recruiting process. What doesn’t he like about it?

“Everything… I believe that kids deserve scholarships. I believe that they deserve success, but I don’t believe that they deserve to have their butts kissed by the coaches,” he said. “It’s kind of fake.”

Hypothetical Example In College Sports

Let’s assume you’re a high profile recruit and have many schools that are after your talents. One school comes to you and tells you that they think you are so talented that they can guarantee playing time your freshman year. Another school decides to tell the truth and inform you that they are a program that thrives on competition and you will benefit from it.

There is no guarantee you will play your freshman year. It all depends on your personal development and how you stack up against the rest of the playing group at your particular position. Which team are you going to choose? The decision isn’t that hard, is it? After all, you are a young adult who doesn’t know any better, and has a hard time reading what is the truth and what isn’t.

“You tell a kid he’s great, but you’re also brutally honest with him, a lot of kids these days are going to take your name off their list of schools they want to go to,” said Asiata.

How Would This Translate In The Workplace?

Think of it this way: if you went to a job interview, say for, a marketing job and the person conducting the interview tells you they want to hire you as the director of marketing. Then you go to another company and they tell you that you are going to start as an entry level marketing assistant. Which job are you going to choose?

Obviously, the company that offered you the director of marketing job. So, you accept the director position, and on your first day you realize you are the equivalent of an entry level marketing coordinator. You are not going to be very happy. In fact, you are going to be so unhappy you probably start looking for jobs again.

NCAA Rules Need To Change

The rules created by the NCAA generally favor the institutions. They need to change to favor the student-athlete. Without parameters in place, it’s the entire college athletics versus individual teenagers.

In the landscape of college athletics, if you wanted to start looking for other schools to attend, now you have the NCAA that dictates things. According to their rules, you have to sit out a year before you can play. (Granted, this rule only applies if you have not received your undergraduate degree, which will normally take about 3 years to complete).

How is that fair to the student-athlete? Shouldn’t the school that made false promises be held accountable for their actions?

One solution would be for the NCAA to require coaches to record every conversation with recruits. Then, let the student-athlete transfer if it’s determined they were mislead.

The easiest solution would be for the NCAA to lighten up their policies to make it easier for student-athletes to transfer – maybe not in all situations, but certainly there are times when the transfer is in the best interest of the student.


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