- - Sunday, October 1, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

For those of us who advise high-school basketball players and their parents, your recent piece exposes an issue we have been struggling with for the past 25 years (“Column: A lot of nervous people wait for other shoe to drop,” Web, Sept. 26). Who has the students’ best interests at heart? Based on your article it seems it was not the coaches in question.

If you attend any of the national high-school basketball tournaments, summer basketball tournaments or AAU leagues sponsored by shoe and apparel companies, you see all the individuals who jeopardize a players’ eligibility. They have complete access to the players and are not supervised. This is where the types of agreements in your piece originate, since many of those games are played at ‘away’ locations and do thus not require NCAA or university supervision.

The results that occur happen because assistant coaches’ salaries are often dependent on their signing top recruits. And in the past 25 years the college athletic directors have been negotiating deals with apparel and shoe companies that have included total player access, allowing the assistant to convince players to sign with them. Coaches should not be recruiters — that’s where the line is crossed.

This may be the time to redefine the role of the assistant coach and let the recruiting be done by an individual unaffiliated with the teams. This will prevent misconduct and allow the NCAA to regain authority from university presidents over shoe and apparel deals.

GREG RALEIGH

Youth counselor

Washington


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