Today is National Signing Day. ESPN would lead you to believe that this day has some importance or relevance when in reality it is a chance for college football to flaunt their programs. All NCAA sports have signing days, the first day a school can offer and a player can accept a scholarship to play for the program. But in football, and to a lesser extent basketball, these days have become events.
Let’s ignore the fact that it’s Wednesday and the kid should probably be in class, but to have a televised gathering in the cafeteria to show which school they will play for (and I suppose attend classes…ha) seems wrong to me. Beyond that, most of these 17-19 year olds will not even suit up and play for these schools next year. Since the NCAA allows for five years of eligibility to compete four seasons only the supremely talented see the field in their first year. Most freshmen are given the redshirt designation and do not play in games. This leads me to my biggest issue: who is this day for? Surely the player gets a little spotlight but it’s really not about them it’s about the school. The school gets free publicity on the back of some high school kid who is projected to be hot stuff two years or so from now. These signings are nothing more than commercials pointed toward athletic boosters and other fundraisers at the universities.
Some of these kids will go on to fulfill the ultimate goal and become stars in college and move on to the NFL, but those are the vast minority. Most of these kids will make the team and ultimately leave the game behind once their eligibility expires. Hopefully, when it’s all said and done they have learned more than offensive or defensive schemes. Sadly, that is not the point of National Signing Day. And that’s all I have to say about that.