LOL SMH @ everything…

So this will be a little all over the place, filled with lots of hypotheticals but that’s pretty fitting for the subject matter. I’ve given this a lot of thought, asked a lot of questions, and had a lot of conversations — this is not a Chicken Little “the sky is falling” reaction. This is an informed commentary (at least as informed as can be with such limited details).

Today, the NCAA said college coaches will be able to attend events during the last two weekends of June if the events are approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations; organized by groups affiliated with high schools or high school coaching associations; and occur at middle schools, high schools or colleges.

(FYI — I’m a high school coaching veteran of 18 years. I don’t remember being asked my opinion — and I’ve yet to hear from a high school coach of any experience level that was).

The general public thinks this is great, “let’s eliminate the problems by squeezing out the dirty people”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way at all. The people didn’t cause the problem; the money caused the problem. Taking “power” away from an AAU coach and giving it to a HS coach doesn’t solve the problem, it just transfers it.

MONEY CORRUPTS.

So here’s the hypothetical that scares the mess out of me. Top AAU teams have always been given perks to attend certain events. Top teams (top players) mean tons of college coaches (that pay to attend the event). This has been the case for 20+ years. The crazy thing is, that this money is usually used for the right reasons and benefits the kids. Go price a plane ticket from ATL to LA. Now multiply that by 20. I don’t know about you, but if I had a choice, I’d take “event stipend” over 3 months of car washes and doughnut sales every time.

What changes with this new high school format? NOTHING — now the top high school teams will be enticed ($$) to play in certain high school camps for the same reason as top AAU teams. Top teams (top players) mean tons of college coaches.

The NCAA has directed the NFHS and each “state association” to organize and create high school evaluation events. (For the record, each state has numerous associations — a traditional like GHSA, an independent like GISA, and usually several others.)

HOW?

Does this mean each individual high school does it?

That’s great…if I’ve got 5 D1s.

It stinks for those that don’t.

What is to keep me from doing the same thing that happens on the circuit? Can I charge a ludicrous amount for a “coaching packet”? Can I entice other top schools to come to my high school event (top teams — top players — more coaches)?

If the answer is no and these high school events are highly regulated (i.e., no 3rd party involvement, all monies reported to state associations) then that creates a host of new issues.

I coach in one of the largest school districts in the nation. We have 19 public high schools in our county and probably 25 total when you include the private schools. By my count — there’s about 20 rising seniors that have a realistic chance of being a D1 player. TWENTY, that’s it. We can put on the greatest event in the history of events but 20 kids ain’t going to move the meter and get tons of college coaches. We’ll have coaches show up, yes — but most likely not even as many as a lower level July AAU event.

College recruiting is not equal opportunity. Just because you have some games — doesn’t mean the baseline will be packed.

SO, now what? Are we just going to invite the top teams to these state association events? Again, great for me if I have multiple dudes, but the other side is out of luck.

Okay, so let’s do a state wide team camp, everybody comes (all 400 of us). Awesome. How? Where?

News flash — colleges already use their campuses in June FOR THEIR OWN CAMPS THAT THEY MAKE MONEY OFF OF. So I doubt they are going to give up their space for free. Who pays for that?

No problem, then we’ll use high schools. Okay, cool…but…

What state in America has a high school big enough to host a giant event like this?

Are we using multiple high schools?

So this just becomes Vegas, times 50 states.

Coaches jumping from gym to gym chasing kids. Can’t regulate that, can’t police that.

Who pays for these mega team camps? There are significant costs — referees, security, facilities, score and clock workers, food, equipment, insurance, etc. Is every team in the state going to pay an entry fee? Why? My teams haven’t participated in a team camp since 2012, so now I have too? AND PAY? Thx, appreciate you dictating my coaching philosophy.

(SIDENOTE — do we play to WIN or SHOWCASE? I’m wired to win, which might not be the best news for players #7–12.)

Fine, then we won’t charge an entry fee. Perfect! But still…how do you pay for it?

You know how you pay for it?

Sponsorships and packets.

Exactly what they thought they were going to eliminate.

By the way, the D1 in the single stop-light town — he’s S.O.L. and if I’m his parent (and have the means) — I’m out the first chance I get to the high school team that pulls the coaches. It sucks, but as a very knowledgeable friend told me today — “that’s the unintended consequences”.

It simply is MIND-BOGGLING — once you pull the string it just doesn’t stop.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention all the non-traditional “high schools” that rent a townhome for math class — no state association for them, so who regulates?

But at least we got basketball back from the dark side… lol smh.


About the Author

Jesse McMillan is the head boys basketball coach at Norcross High School.

You can connect with him at CoachMcMillan or on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.

Like what you read? Give Jesse McMillan a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.