If you’re unfamiliar with the IMG Academy or the concept of prep schools in general, here’s a crash course: They essentially recruit kids from different high schools around the nation to come and dominate at a “Super High School” that’s geared around athletics. To name one, quarterback Kellen Mond transferred last year, and has been ripping it up for the Ascenders.
Now, as you would have to imagine, coaches aren’t too fond of this, for many varying reasons. Not only does it take generally very good football players away from them, but it disrupts the framework of a team and a family. It takes kids away from their hometowns for a shot at a little bit more fame. Not only that, but it essentially deletes the hard work the coaches put in over years and years with the kids.
Today, a man claiming to be IMG Academy’s Video Coordinator apparently contacted Craig Williams, a Crosby running back. The Crosby coaches were not happy with this at all, and fired some shots at IMG. The Hashtag #FamilyOverFL is especially scathing.
— iCoach (@iCoachNash) October 11, 2016
— jeff riordan (@coachriordan) October 11, 2016
Obviously, there are some extremely big ethics issues that come in to recruiting High School players to play for your High School team, especially when they have to uproot their lives and move to Florida to do so. The ethics of recruiting at the college level are shrouded in mistrust, as evidenced by the confirmed existence of bagmen and improper benefits being doled out under the table. The universities themselves are often not responsible for these things happening, most of the time it’s done by outside parties.
Chillout #IMG go find you another RB
— Coach Mann M.Ed. (@Thamannjr) October 11, 2016
With IMG Academy, it’s completely and totally different. The recruitment is done to kids who still have eligibility left, and it doesn’t present them with that choice. It only makes sense that coaches are furious about this, and they have every single right in the world to be furious. It’s unethical, it’s predatory, and it hurts the lives of those who have already put in the work with the kids. It hurts the kids too, now they’re unfairly faced with a decision that won’t ultimately decide their future. If they’re already good enough to be recruited by a prep school, they’re likely going to get a scholarship to play at the collegiate level anyways. The recruiting takes care of itself if you’re good.
Some may be fine with this happening. The Crosby coaches aren’t, and they have many reasons to be so.
UPDATE 10.11.16 5:14 PM: The “coach” in question doesn’t appear on the IMG Academy Website under Football Coaches, but his Twitter bio indicated that he’s the “video coordinator.”
We will continue to update if IMG sends a response.