Two weeks ago I received an email asking me about the credibility of a high school football all star game held over the Christmas break. Checked it out a little, but due to this being a busy time of the year, did not do much research.
Honestly, the only all star games I have much knowledge of are the US Army All-American game in Texas and the Under Armour All American game in Florida. Both, I believe, are in early January. I have heard of the Blue/Grey game, but I don’t know much about it.
Questions to ask if I have been invited.
1. Is there a participation fee just to play in the game?
2. Does the game pay for the flight or other transportation to and from(round trip)?
3. Does the game provide for housing for the player and/or the parents?
4. Does the player have to provide his own equipment?
5. Is the player guaranteed equal playing time? Kind of unanswerable, but ask
6. What is the insurance policy?
7. What are the rewards for playing in the game? Both recognition and free stuff.
I am sure that there are other questions to ask, but these are the first to come to mind.
I look at any all-star game in any sport as a “reward” for having a good high school career. A reward that colleges have offered the player a scholarship? A reward to play that final high school game. A reward (in this case) to play on national television. A reward to meet and play with and play against highly profiled high school players from across the country. Finally, a reward to spend some family time together on a mini vacation.
Probably – ??? The Army game and the Under Armour game are ” no brainers.” Probably! The problem – so much hype, so much fake adoration, so much credence given to the “Star” system, So much silliness from the media and, at times, the player. Just kids – getting baited by the recruiting media.
Don’t know if the US Army game and UA game pay for the expenses. I would guess so, but not sure.
As far as if a player has to pay some or all of his expenses – don’t know about those games. A big part of me, says -“NO!’ Flat out – “NO.” But a another part of me says, IF a player can get sponsored, or if his parents can put together some money – “go for it.” Only chance a player, including his family, has this opportunity. The exception would be the North/South Classic here in Ohio.
Since I started the football recruiting “stuff,” many things have changed. Obviously, internet media has arrived. So much and too much power and influence. The flip side is that players and parents and high school coaches(sometimes) believe all of the hype. No way. Recruiting reporters and evaluators and interviewers have to make a living, but that does not mean I have to agree with their methods.
I told the dad to do his research. Told him to talk to a player who has “been there – done that.” Get the real scoop. The top two – US Army and Under Armour – should be okay. BUT, again, do some research on the others.
The term – ALL-STARS always concerns. For example, the Ohio HS District football teams will be selected and announced soon. Many of those selected are being rewarded for a tremendous football season. They may not be the top college prospects, but they are ALL-STARS and much deserving!!
I don’t believe in national high school all-star football games myself. Don’t watch the games, because unless a player is from Ohio, I don’t the players. Too much fake hype. But if a player has the time and the money, go for it. But research all national all-star games first.