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How Colleges ‘Recruit’ Young Football Players

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Allstate BCS National Championship Game - LSU v Alabama
feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - How young is too young for colleges to start recruiting star football players?

The nephew of former Philadelphia Eagles players Ty and Koy Detmer announced his intention to play football at LSU. No surprise that there’s another gem in the Detmer football empire. It does come as a surprise to some to hear that the nephew is 14-years old. Doesn’t the NCAA have rules preventing college programs from recruiting, you know, toddlers?

There are NCAA rules on recruiting. There are also loopholes. Coaches at NCAA Division I and II schools aren’t allowed to send any specific recruiting materials before the summer of a player’s junior year, but coaches can send questionnaires, camp brochures or general college information from the admissions department at any time during high school. And prospects are allowed to visit campuses at their own expense anytime.

These campus tours, or so-called “unofficial visits” can occur even when the prospect is very young (even in 8th grade for example) and NCAA rules allow coaches to meet with prospects on campus during unofficial visits regardless of the prospect’s age or year in school. As a result, the 2018 starting rosters are already filling up.

And you thought telling your 10-year-old to study was how to get him into college?

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