Each year, the football recruiting world goes haywire on National Signing Day. The craziness hit a new level this year, as I’m sure many of you have heard, when 4-star cornerback Floyd Raven’s mother forged his signature on a National Letter of Intent to attend Ole Miss. Raven’s true intentions lie at Texas A&M, where he will attend next year now that this forgery business has been taken care. Maybe she thought she should have the last say in his recruitment, considering that he stole her hairstyle and extensions. I would like to say this is punishment enough for Ole Miss beating us last night, but until a public shaving of Chris Warren’s beard occurs in downtown Lexington, we still owe them one. The Rebel’s athletic director, Pete Boone, commented on the ridiculousness, terming it a “soft signature.” Until now, the only soft signature I had ever heard of was the one Pitino signed the check with when he closed up shop at Porcini’s.
Time and time again, parents play a major role in the recruitment of these young athletes. Whether the kid wants to stay close to his family at home or mom and dad just can’t seem to let him go, teenage stars are forced to find a way to cope with the many directions they find themselves pulled.
We have seen plenty parents of players in the headlines in recent history:
– The Cam Newton debacle shed some light on the shady underbelly of NCAA football, as his father solicited him to SEC universities.
– Last year, we saw the softer side of family ties when Terrence Jones struggled with his decision to leave friends and family behind on the West Coast in order to enter the beloved Bluegrass.
– If we travel further back, we recall that Peyton Siva‘s dad forced him to sign with Louisville after trying on a Card jersey and realizing how magnificent he looked in it.
– Xavier Henry‘s parents came to a split decision on where he would attend once Cal took the helm at UK.
– Alex Legion‘s mother took blame for his leaving Kentucky after her brush with the oracle.
– This trend continues into the professional level as well; LeBron James‘ mother, Gloria, recruited Delonte West to Cleveland for ‘personal reasons’ (hope that isn’t herpes on your lip there, Delonte, for your’s and the James’ family sake).
– And there’s always the classic tale of Jesus Shuttlesworth‘s struggles with his father Jake’s desires to get him to Big State, chronicled in Spike Lee’s film He Got Game.
This pandemic will never end, considering most teenagers struggle to decide how many O’s they need to put in legggooooooo. Parents have a say, and with very good reason. These guys (and gals) are young and inexperienced as far as the real world goes. The parents raised the kids. They put in the time, effort, and money (unless they are Jake Shuttlesworth) to place them in a position to succeed so as long as they continue working hard.
But, sometimes, and rightfully so in Raven’s case, the athletes will be left realizing: