PARENTS JUST DON'T UNDESRTAND

Discussion in 'Pennsylvania Football Talk' started by sepafootballgods, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. sepafootballgods

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    Parents Just Don’t Understand !

    Characters: DJ, recruiting coordinator of a Centennial D3 football program and Will, head coach of a 6A District 1 Program.

    DJ: Hi Will, I would love to talk to you about players in your program that you believe can help our team

    WILL: You, bet DJ. I have two kids in particular that fit your academic and athletic profile

    DJ: Sounds great, you know that we put a true emphasis on “student athlete” here at Centennial College.

    WILL: That could be a real problem with one of them, Johnny Come Lately. He is really being misled by his parents--

    DJ: (politely interjecting) Let me guess….Because he goes to ABC Speed Camp and they have shelled out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to get him faster and more “exposure”, they think he is “at least a Division II player..”

    WILL: (chuckling) Yeah, we have seen this movie before, haven’t we? The reality is that our program has a saying that “water seeks its own level”

    DJ: Lemme guess, Johnny wants to get dropped off at some PSAC factory, where he will learn how to get pummeled on the scout team and be a tackling dummy for many that just do not care about grades or a total experience.

    WILL: I keep telling his parents that his measurables (height, weight, 40 time) just aren’t there. But his academics (GPA, ACT/SAT, AP/Honors courses, class rank) and his intangibles (DNA, coachability, toughness) are pretty strong. He could be a big fish in a small pond at Centennial.

    DJ: I see it all the time, Will. Many times we are able to make it just as cost-effective as the PSAC for a true student-athlete that is committed to being well-rounded

    WILL: We adopt the football gods’ motto that “the divine scales of justice balance, if not now, then hereafter.” This will not end well if his parents steer him to the wrong choice.

    DJ: I think what you are saying is that parents and their delusions of grandeur are the true problem here.

    WILL: You hear me loud and clear. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT bashing the PSAC, they have their value proposition. BUT, parents that never played or fell short of their own goals are vicariously living through their sons. It is a mistake to “force” them to “play at the highest level.”

    WILL: Completely Agree. I just got an email from a CYO feeder program parent. It was a YouTube video of his son’s 7th grade highlight film. Talk about a red flag. Do the parents really think this matters?

    DJ: I know, it is comical. The other red flags are when you see these kids transferring multiple times to various high schools. One raises an eyebrow, more than that is downright suspicious. Many times, it is not the kid’s fault, but the parents must be more cognizant of the negative perception and optics.

    WILL: It sends a bad message. It is easier for me to run away from competition, adversity or a challenge as opposed to battling through it and trying to overcome it. That pattern tends to manifest itself in the real world.

    DJ: Needless to say, our institution will avoid those kids and parents like the plague. We also have a ranking system with 5 levels: *, +, O, -, SD. (STARS, PLUSSES, CIRCLES, MINUSES and SLAPDICKS).

    WILL: Tell me more, DJ.

    DJ: Well, we apply it in general to players and then to our level. In reality, your STARS* are few and far between—your true FBS players. Plusses + are lower level FBS and your FCS talents. Circles O are the Division II/III prospects. Minuses – (aka CP for Can’t Play) and SD for Slapdicks that should not even be on the team.

    WILL: That makes sense, how do you overlay it to your level at Division III?

    DJ: It is fairly simple. Stars* are those handful of kids a year you are grateful to have because they slipped through the cracks, you just cannot count on a lot year in and out. Plusses + are those kids that have very good academics and measurables and are the true lifeblood of your program. Circles O are those kids that have a slight deficiency in either measurable or academics. We take these kids all day long, because if they work hard and want to get better, they will! They become Plusses + or even Stars*. Minus- obviously Can’t Play (CP) so are lacking in measurables. However, if they work hard and want it, they can become Circles O and can wind up contributing. SD Slapdicks will probably never play but you need a scout team. Many times they have strong intangibles and academics that add to team chemistry and they may eventually become a Minus-. EVERYONE has a role. Many times, the SD kids are very successful after college. They are willing to work, put in the time to get better and understand teamwork and embrace esprit de corps.

    WILL: There is a clear method to your madness. Well, the other kid I mentioned, Tommy Upandcomer is a general Circle 0 but probably a Plus+ for you!

    DJ: OK, great. What are his measurables, academics and intangibles?

    WILL: He is a 6 foot, 180lb linebacker with a 4.8 40. He has a 1050 SAT and a 3.45 GPA with all honors and AP classes and is in the top 10% of his class rank. He is tough as nails, a great leader and has no quit. His parents are middle income.

    DJ: Sounds like our kind of kid. I will find his HUDL video. He can play, huh?

    WILL: The Eye in the Sky Does Not Lie. He is one of the best “football players” we have had here.

    DJ: This young man should be able to come to Centennial College and with proper focus, get bigger, faster and stronger. He will get a top flight education, have a chance to be a major contributor at a price tag lower than the PSACs if mom and dad make less than $125k combined.

    WILL: Plus, the academic reputation of the school stands alone and it has a great network that should enable him to find a good job when he graduates in 4 years.

    DJ: We should have recorded this conversation, Will. PARENTS JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND!

    BREVIN WHITE, a top 15 ranked pocket passing QB from California has committed to Princeton. Why Brevin? “I want a roommate that’s smarter than me.” Interesting, after visiting 12 big time schools from Arizona to Tennessee and with a brother who plays at Arizona State, he still made this choice. Turns out he loves the idea of studying economics or psychology and the proximity to NYC. In addition, according to Princeton, students whose parents have $140k or less in income, usually pay no tuition.

    Listen up, the gods implore all parents to have the gumption to shepherd their sheep to the right pasture. Where can they thrive? Is it location or proximity to home? Academic reputation? Specific type of major or curriculum/program of study? “Playing at D-1” often turns out to not be what it is cracked up to be for many Stars*. That also applies to any level that a student-athlete is not suited, for that matter. Of course, the boy (and we emphasize that maturity level) is not always going to make a rational or sound choice. They are 18 years old, emotions and “what people think” as well as peer pressure can influence a decision too easily. With the proper guidance from mom and/or dad--sometimes it is the coach—(Hi Albie—see Tep, David or Goliath?) a more appropriate, realistic selection can be chosen.

    The top required reading on the gods’ syllabus is David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. Bottom line of the missive: be a big fish in a small pond. Essentially, unless you are in that handful of Stars*, go where you can stand out. Do not allow your successes and failures to be measured by those around you. Sitting on the bench as a walk on at Penn State when you could have played at Delaware and built up your confidence is likely a better outcome. Should I got to West Chester and maybe play by senior year, or attend Gettysburg where I can probably be a two-year starter and have a chance to shine and not be demoralized early on (and later regret quitting because “it wasn’t for me”).

    Heed the gods, parents! Buck the “conventional wisdom” of going to the highest level with the dangling carrot of “playing on TV”. The NFL is not a realistic goal. Log on to NetFlix and check out LAST CHANCE U to witness the harsh reality. Spend your $ on academics, not athletic training. Listen to your boy’s coach. Be realistic about his academics, measurables and intangibles. He is probably a circle O or a Minus-. Drop him in a small pond where he can swim in safer waters and grow to this full potential.

    For those informed parents of Plusses + or Circles O that want to be a disciple of Gladwell, look no further than the following four conferences for football: IVY, Patriot, NESCAC and Centennial. Close to 20 years of data. Point of emphasis here—these are NOT the only choices. But in SEPA the list probably starts here. Many other fine institutions that can also be considered (and the gods have plenty of data on those as well—ask and you shall receive).
     
  2. kitwor

    kitwor Well-Known Member
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    SEPA,

    This has to be one of the most interesting posts I have seen here and should get a ton of response. How many of us that are on this site and view players from both Rivals and Scout see kids that are suppossedly being looked at by multiple D1 schools and end up either not seeing a huddle in either non D1 program or not playing football at all at the next level? I would venture to say the percentages are in most cases over 60% (if not more).

    In the last five years I can remember covering a player from the Central League whom was ranked as one of the highest in his position in the state. He had listed offers from at least seven major programs. He was a decent player and was an incredibly bright kid with very high grades. After writing on one of their games I would usually get email responses from the parent about his son. Never the player himself. It was obvious to me that the player was being completely steered by the parent. This kid ended up at a D1 school and within two years transferred twice to D2 then 3, then ultimately ended up quitting football by his junior year. Bottom line, this player was never a D1 player.

    This is an extreme case but things of this sort happen quite often everywhere. Are the recruiters (even in D2 and 3) responsible for elevating the parent's expectations? Unfortunately in some cases, yes.

    As a result of this those whose job is even more strenuous is that of the HS head coach, who has to shoulder the responsibilities of handling the parents as well as getting paid virtually"nickels on the dollar" coaching their team.

    I'd love to hear from head coaches that go on here discuss what percentage of their time is devoted to coaching some of the parents.

    Mike Pettine said it best when he echoed that he would rather have a team littered with PSAC kids then one who has several D1 potential players.

    Sepa, I'll bet that Brevin White ends up being an extremely successful businessman after school.

    Terrific post.
     
    2 kitwor, Aug 9, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  3. Franklinfield2

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    The kid should have chosen Penn!
     
  4. Fletchster1

    Fletchster1 Well-Known Member
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    Not many people understand how difficult (both athletically and academically) it is to play college football at any level.
     
  5. paul from philly

    paul from philly Well-Known Member
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    If a boy or girl goes through college while playing any kind of sport at any level, and they graduate, you have to take your hat off to them!!
     
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  6. 6daystosaturday

    6daystosaturday Well-Known Member
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    How bout we see a scenario of coach talking to parents! Maybe a tv series "when smart people do dumb things"
     
  7. HSFballFan19

    HSFballFan19 Well-Known Member
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    Very interesting take; I agree with the vast majority of your post. Like you said, the PSAC certain has their value proposition ($$$). However, too many parents look at the gross cost of D3 schools without going through the financial aid paperwork to determine their specific cost. Additionally, many parents do not realize what college truly is...an investment!!
     
  8. shfoot

    shfoot Well-Known Member
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  9. Fletchster1

    Fletchster1 Well-Known Member
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    Interesting take; I think true parity won't be realized until the Power 5 schools begin to require equal standards regarding admission and eligibility (just about impossible to monitor). College football has turned into such a cash cow along with a recruiting tool for non-football playing students that it would be hard to pull it away from the universities. This requires that the best athletes play college football, not a newly created Minor League Football League.

    "When was the last time 100,000 people showed up to see some kid do a science experiment?" - Coach Winters
     
  10. sepafootballgods

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    The gods are kind. Ask and you shall receive from thy bounty...


    “WHEN SMART PEOPLE DO DUMB THINGS”

    EPISODE 1:

    CHARACTERS:

    Dawber, recruiting coordinator at a D3 MAC school

    Burt, father of Steven, a 6 foot 2 260lb offensive lineman at a south Jersey HS. Steven is a circle, a bit chunky and not great feet, but could be a road grader on the offensive line down the road. He is a borderline student.

    Dawber has just walked Burt and Steven around the campus at MAC College after lunch and is walking back to the office. Steven is in the office with the head coach of MAC College while Burt sits down in the office with Dawber. It is early March, well after the signing period for scholarships.

    Dawber: So, Burt, what do you think about your visit today at MAC?

    Burt: (sheepishly) Well, to be honest with you, coach, Steven and I like it here, BUT—we think he has bigger plans.

    Dawber: (quizzically) What exactly are those plans?

    Burt: I think that Steven has a chance to play in the NFL and he probably won’t get drafted if he plays here.

    Dawber: Well, you are right about getting drafted from here. We have never had a player get drafted, but that is NOT why kids come here. They get a good education, get a chance to play at a competitive level and go pro in something related to his degree.

    Burt: Steven would step right in and easily start here---

    Dawber: (interjecting politely) Ah, no Burt. We have 4 starters back on our offensive line and that fifth spot is not going to be handed to Steven. He would have to beat out a rising junior with a lot of experience.

    Burt: Don’t you think he has NFL talent?

    Dawber: NO. Burt, the fact that you are talking to me and visiting here in March after signing day should tell you all you need to know. I am not trying to burst your bubble, of course he could get drafted and play in the NFL but it is a LONGSHOT. He can come here, work hard, get a good education and get a chance to play a lot. That is all I can promise you.




    EPISODE 2:

    Dawber

    Mrs. Oblivious, mother of Tom, 6 foot 4 250lb, first year player at a 6A PCL school. Tom is a minus, and has very little playing experience, very poor hip flexibility and knee bend. Due to his size, he is getting recruited, but is a real project that could become a circle.

    It is mid February, after signing date and Dawber is in the MAC College football office after dinner plowing through phone calls to prospective recruits that he visited in December and January. He is dialing up Tom. After talking to Tom at his high school and to his head coach, he wants to try to get him on campus for a personalized visit and tour to check out the program and school. He has not gotten any scholarship offers, so he is a good target and project to recruit.

    RING RING

    Mrs. Oblivious: Hello?

    Dawber: Good evening, I was calling for Tom. This is Coach Dawber from MAC College.

    Mrs. Oblivious: Hi Coach. This is Tom’s mom, Mrs. Oblivious.

    Dawber: Mrs. Oblivious, I visited and talked to your son a few weeks ago at 6A PCL school and we have a strong interest in him as a student athlete at MAC College.

    Mrs. Oblivious: Yeah, thanks coach, but WE think Tom is at least a Division 2 player. We are looking at Bloomsburg.

    Dawber: All due respect, Mrs. Oblivious, are you aware that the official signing date has passed and the PSAC schools have distributed the money that they have earmarked for their top recruits?

    Uncomfortable radio silence of about 10 seconds….

    Mrs. Oblivious: (clearly rattled and smugly) Well, coach so and so said that Tom can play for them and we think that he is better than Division 3!

    Dawber: (calmly and politely) Listen, Mrs. Oblivious, I respect and appreciate where you are coming from, do me this favor, if you would please?

    Mrs. Oblivious: What is that?

    Dawber: If Tom or YOU change your mind and it does NOT work out at Bloom, please let me know, we would be glad to have him. We think we can offer a competitive package and combination of academics and athletics where Tom could really flourish.

    Mrs. Oblivious: (offended) We are very happy with our decision but thanks for your time….click

    MORE EPISODES TO FOLLOW....
     
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  11. sepafootballgods

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    WHEN SMART PEOPPLE DO DUMB THINGS
    EPISODES 3 and 4


    “WHEN SMART PEOPLE DO DUMB THINGS”


    EPISODE 3:

    Characters:

    Dawber

    Becker, father of Chris, a 6 foot 1 190lb wrecking ball strong safety at an underperforming 6A Suburban One high school. He is a PLUS. Slipping through the cracks because of the high school and its poor historical track record on the gridiron (not great academically either). Good student, a legitimate Patriot League level player.

    After hanging up with Mrs. Oblivious, Dawber picks up the phone to call Chris, perhaps his top recruit. This kid would really make a difference at MAC college and based on his parents income and his grades, would get a really nice chance of merit and academic scholarship money. He has fallen under the radar and this would be a real steal.

    RING RING

    Becker: Hello?

    Dawber: Good Evening, this is Coach Dawber from MAC College, I was calling for Chris.

    Becker: Hi Coach, its Becker, Chris’ dad.

    Dawber: Hi Becker, I wanted to follow up after my visit to 6A underperforming high school and see if we could have Chris visit MAC college. He is our #1 recruit.

    Becker: Coach, thanks for the call. Chris will be attending Kutztown next year.

    Dawber: (disappointed) Really? I have to tell you, Becker. I really though Chris would go higher than Kutztown.

    Becker: (offended) There is nothing wrong with Kutztown! I take offense to you saying that.

    Dawber: I apologize if that came out the wrong way, Becker. Kutztown is really fortunate to get a student athlete of Chris’ caliber. I truly believe that some bigger schools missed the boat on him and that they will regret overlooking him. We were hoping he might slip down to us.

    Becker: (backing off) I understand, this has been a stressful process for us and we just want it to be over.

    Dawber: I understand, Becker. If you were willing to visit and apply I think we could offer a competitive financial aid package that could make it very close to what you would pay at Kutztown. Plus, we think Chris could be a major contributor on the field and we think our education and small classes could provide him a leg up.

    Becker: Thanks, but no thanks, Coach. We are moving forward.

    Dawber: Ok Becker. If for ANY reason, things do not work out or Chris changes his mind, please let us know. We would be glad to have him.


    EPISODE 4:

    CHARACTERS:

    Dawber

    Jerry, head football coach of private boarding school

    Cynthia, single mother of Howard, student at private boarding school. He is a dual sport athlete in football and basketball. African-American, great leadership skills and good grades, poor SAT scores.

    It is late January and Dawber is visiting private boarding school because he got a lead from the guidance counselor about Howard, a potential recruit. Dawber goes into the office and meets Lisa, the guidance counselor who thanks him for coming out based on her message and reviews Howard’s grades and transcript with him. Grades are mostly Bs, a few Cs and As. He is a hall monitor and universally loved on campus. Only issue is a poor SAT score. Lisa walks Dawber down to the football office to meet Jerry, the head football coach.

    Jerry: (gregariously) Coach, thanks for coming out! Lisa went over Howard’s academics with you?

    Dawber: Thanks for having me coach, it is my pleasure. Yes, Lisa was great. I talked to my admissions office at MAC and if we didn’t think we could get Howard into the school, I would not be here.

    Jerry: (excited) Man, that is great! Let me show you some film!

    Jerry runs through some game film where Howard is catching everything thrown to him, scoring touchdowns, returning kicks and showing very good skills.

    Dawber: I have seen enough. Who else is on him?

    Jerry: Only a junior college in New England. Many schools are backing off because of the SAT and because our level of competition is not strong.

    Dawber: Jerry, we are TEST OPTIONAL. Based on his grades and recommendations, we can get him in. One catch, he may have to take a summer class. If he passes that, he is in and the grade counts to his GPA.

    Jerry: Let me call him down to the office….

    Howard comes down and meets Dawber. A very engaging, affable young man. Very sincere, firm handshake and looks Dawber right in the eye the whole time. “Yes sir” and No sir” answers. Howard is very excited that someone is willing to take a shot and give him the opportunity as an African-American young man with a single mom to go to a 4 year college and play two sports. Howard is willing to take the summer school class and enroll pending financial aid and “mom’s blessing.” Howard goes back to class and Jerry and Dawber call Howard’s mom, Cynthia, at home from Jerry’s office.

    RING RING

    Cynthia: Hello?

    Jerry: Hey Cynthia its Coach Jerry. I am calling from my office with Coach Dawber from MAC College. They are interested in Howard attending MAC as a two sport athlete.

    Cynthia: (surprised) Really?

    Dawber: That’s right Cynthia! This is coach Dawber from MAC College. I talked to Jerry and Lisa about Howard. We are very impressed with him as a student and athlete.

    Cynthia: You gonna take care of my baby?

    Dawber: Yes, Maam! We have a full team of support including other coaches, tutors and professors in a small classroom setting to give Howard the attention and resources he needs to succeed.

    Cynthia: How about his SATs? No one will touch him because of them!

    Dawber: Cynthia, we are TEST OPTIONAL. We can get him in based on grades and recommendations. HOWEVER, he would have to take a summer school class in July. No extra cost, if he passes the class, he is fully admitted and the grade counts towards his GPA and is a credited class.

    Cynthia: I cannot believe this! How much will it cost?

    Dawber: Well Cynthia, we need Howard to fill out the application. We can waive the fee. I have his transcripts from Lisa, we can render a contingent decision on summer school within a week to 10 days. In the meantime, fill out the FAFSA form and we can put together a financial aid package to see if it works for you and Howard.

    Cynthia: Can we come out and visit the campus?

    Dawber: Of course, I will personally take you and Howard around


    3 out of 4 times, PARENTS JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND! The other 25% that heed the gods, have a better shot to provide their son with a chance to be a big fish in a small pond. It is frustrating when SMART PEOPLE DO DUMB THINGS, but there is hope. Parents, follow the script. No one cares in the long run that Jimmy played Division 2 instead of 3. Steer him where he can have a good academic and athletic experience and have a chance at playing, or at least establishing a role on a team. He will have to figure that out in the real world, why not give him that preparation now?
     
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  12. D1football22

    D1football22 Well-Known Member
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    SePA-

    Very well written (as always) and on point. This is your best work to date. Unfortunately, most parents won't get it as parents elevate their kids at least 1-2 levels. I played another sport at a Centennial Conference school, and got a great education and played 4 years. I have always said to parents to make sure your son chooses a school that he wants to go to first, not where he thinks he wants to or can play. For most kids, the athletic part will not work out the way they envision. If you don't like the school, the kid will transfer. Make sure the school is a fit academically and athletically. Most parents also don't understand the finances around D3 schools like you talk about. They see a big number and no athletic "scholarships". They don't understand grant in aid,mets. They think "scholarship" first due to ego. I think west Chester only has like 15 full scholarships for football. Spread across 80 players.
     
  13. Fletchster1

    Fletchster1 Well-Known Member
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    WCU has less than 8. The PSAC East is way behind the West is this regard.
     
  14. JHoops

    JHoops Well-Known Member
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    I also played another sport at a Centennial Conference school. I'm not getting the gist of this thread, that a CC school price will be on par with a PSAC school.

    Just looked it up, my school is 66k a year. West Chester is 26k. So your saying the CC school will come down 40k a year? If so, I must have missed the email.
     
  15. D1football22

    D1football22 Well-Known Member
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    I never said they would come down 40K. What is said was they can be competitive financially, given the right Financial situation of the parents. As SePa said, if parents make less than 125k combined, the grant in aid given by a CC school can be very large and be competitive. Parents just don't do the work to see what is available. I can't go into specifics, cause it depends on income. Given the right situation, some parents can pay less than 30k for a CC school. It's a shell game.
     

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