College football has evolved in to a multi tiered multi billion dollar business. The thirst for the next great elite athlete runs deep and wide. From division one to division two schools and even our beloved junior college system. The American family has been inundated with texts, emails and phone calls from the time little Joey becomes an elite middle school prodigy.
Many families get deeply involved and thrive in this environment even when it cost their child their childhood. We see many examples of this. Today we have the Ball family and the Darnold family. Two families with precious cargo where one lets the party come to them and the other tries to rip every dime out of the experience for the good of their fortunes or future fortunes. Right here in LA and many more across the nation.
These kids, by not fault of their own, are born with enormous talent and families that choose the path of high exposure or a normal existence. But to be frank, normal for an elite athlete is still a tad bit right of center if you know what I mean. College coaches getting phone calls from the high school coach who is motivated by his or her own recognition or is just genuinely trying to help the family and elite athlete. The constant pinging of the childs next move and trying to one up the competition leads to a transparent gawking of their lives to and from the field of play. The families of the elite athletes have to be careful. Careful they do not violate the amateur status of their elite child while at the same time some will push the edge to gain an advantage right or wrong. We don’t stop here though as we look at the expectations of the high school families. They want whats best for their child for the most part. With todays technology its near impossible to monitor or manage their childs moves. Look at some of the more chatty characters like Matt Corral who is constantly living his life experience live on the internet. Take away the technology? They will still find a way.
History has shown us when a family violates that line in the sand and how a school and elite athlete can be brought down by the mere slip of a receipt or an individual scorned who wants vengance. It takes years for a family and the institutions violated to rebuild the trust in the system and programs can be destroyed for years as we have seen. So how do these families cope? They hopefully try to limit the constant pounding on their child. They listen intently to their children and try to guide them through this very exciting time and try to place them in as comfortable position as possible and most importantly they support. Fight On