Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Courtship of Jabari Parker

Today's the day.

The day when a 17 year-old basketball player from Simeon High School in Chicago finally announces where he intends on playing his college ball.

I don't generally follow recruiting that closely, but this one has been unavoidable. The wooing of this youngster really places the spotlight on how crazy recruiting has become, and the incredible and costly lengths that coaches will go to in order to sign a prospect.

Within the last week, Tom Izzo has flown to Texas and Chicago to be near Jabari Parker, taking time away from his team to remind this kid, "We really want you and are extremely interested in you." Mike Krzyzewski has done essentially the same. How much money does this cost Michigan State and Duke, and all for a player who may not even sign for either school?  It's madness, but what else is new? College sports in general has become madness. Yet I, and many others, continue to support it with enthusiasm, further encouraging the "arms race" between competing colleges and universities.

Stay tuned. At 4:00 or so when Jabari Parker makes his announcement. Only one school and fanbase will be happy, while several others will be sad, having spent many hours, days, and money only to come up empty-handed.

Having written all of that, I will be absolutely elated if Jabari Parker chooses MSU.

Postscript: Jabari Parker chose Duke, and has had an outstanding freshman season for the Blue Devils. Cue "sad face."

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