National Signing Day Feeds Sense of Entitlement, Shows Immaturity
On Wednesday, several TV networks offered essentially an entire day to coverage of college football’s National Signing Day. Top recruits from all over the country were asked to announce on national TV where they would be playing college football and far too often it becomes a spectacle of self-indulgence. These are kids — generally huge kids, but still kids — and many don’t seem to have the maturity necessary to handle the big stage.
While some handle it as well as can be expected and have a little fun with it, others handle their announcements like spoiled children. Some, like highly-rated offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio, announce they will be attending one university (Auburn) before reconsidering and refusing to sign their letter of intent. Obviously, Kouandjio should go where he wants and is allowed to change his mind, but it’s not like he didn’t know this day was coming. Jadeveon Clowney, widely-considered the No. 1 recruit in the country, refused to announce his decision with everyone else, instead choosing to make his announcement on Feb. 14, his birthday.
It’s not just the kids who show an inability to handle the spectacle. Highly-touted defensive back Floyd Raven’s mother actually forged her son’s signature on a letter of intent to Ole Miss. Raven reportedly had been leaning that way before settling on Texas A&M, but his mother apparently had her heart set on the Rebels.
So, many of these kids and parents aren’t quite ready to make a big decision like this in a mature manner, but there is a bigger issue here. The media outlets and personalities that will admonish a kid who takes advantage of his celebrity and talents and receives improper benefits are the same ones that are feeding their egos with these over-the-top Signing Day specials. That’s not to excuse the actions of players like the five at Ohio State, only to acknowledge that at least some of the responsibility has to fall on the media outlets that give young kids a forum that puts them on a pedestal before they’re ready or have even played a down of college football.