Recruiting of star’s son shows NCAA flaws

Kelvin Duley II

Kelvin Duley II

Does it come as a surprise that LeBron James Jr. is already receiving letters and scholarship offers from colleges? I forgot to mention that the kid is only 10 years young.

He’s the son of the best basketball player in the world. With the name alone he can choose any college in America. Again, with the name alone he can choose any college in America. Let me also reiterate that he is only 10 years young.

And as he should, LeBron James isn’t taking much liking to his son already receiving such letters.

James, before last Tuesday’s match-up against the Detroit Pistons, told CBS Detroit, “It’s pretty crazy. It should be a violation. You shouldn’t be recruiting 10-year-old kids.”

Now, I’m one of the seven million viewers who have watched the James Jr. highlight clip on YouTube, and let me tell you, the kid has a gift. The kid was making plays that you don’t see your everyday fourth grader make. Hell, he was making plays I can’t make in pick-up games in the recreation center.

Word is that he’s better than his dad was when the elder LeBron was at the age of 10. That says a lot, given what LeBron has already accomplished and what he has left to accomplish in his career.

As stated in the NCAA handbook, “In men’s basketball, a coaching staff member may observe an individual who has not entered the seventh grade participating in an athletically related activity, provided such observation occurs during a period when it is permissible to evaluate prospective student-athletes.”

To simplify what that means to those of you who don’t understand, college coaches are permitted to monitor young players like LeBron James Jr. as closely as they want, per NCAA rules.

What kind of a disgrace is that, NCAA? That is putrid!

I agree with the elder James. It should be a violation to recruit a 10-year-old kid. If you ask me, the NCAA should make a shining example out of these programs.

Those same programs who offered scholarships should have scholarships taken away from them in response. It’s offensive and tasteless. Since you want to recruit fourth graders, how about we subtract four scholarships per season, over the next four seasons. Harsh, it may seem, but lesson learned.

Matters of this magnitude aren’t quite unheard of. Marquette’s Matt Carlino reportedly received an offer from Arizona while he was in elementary school. Michael Avery accepted a scholarship offer from Kentucky in 2008, when he was an eighth-grader.

It’s hard enough being the son of “King James.” Just imagine the pressure and burden this kid will have to deal with when choosing a high school to attend. All hell will break lose when he turns down every Division I college in America except one. We’ll call it “The Decision Part Two.”

In comparison, elder James was highly scouted as young man, also, but not at age 10. LeBron himself was the number one recruit coming out of high school. He bypassed the collegiate level and headed straight for the NBA. LeBron graced the Sports Illustrated cover as the “The Chosen One.” He even had a seven-year Nike endorsement contract without even gracing an NBA or college hardwood. Talk about spotlight and burden.

What the future holds for James Jr is very much a mystery. And with the talent this kid possesses, it’s going to be hard trying to limit his exposure. But, if there’s one guy who understands and can guide this kid through this journey, it’s the King himself, LeBron James.