I have been an athletic director 15 years and I have seen and worked with allot of people in sports. I have seen parents who start to push their kids to play all year and already discuss colleges in 7th grade. I have seen many athletes lose their passion or have an injury in their last two years of high school. It is clear that high school athletes are breaking down and seem to have more serious injuries than years past.
Parents should let their child be a child and enjoy the game. They should encourage them to develop but allow them to play and just enjoy being a kid. I know that the dollars are being offered and having free education for a struggling family is a huge offer. That is why you see 8th graders talking about college choices?!! I played baseball 17 years and though I wanted to be good; the push for year around development and big money was not why I played. It is clear that club ball is good but kids need a break! I played for the passion, love and excitement of the game. We wanted to be Pete Rose and Hank. We wanted to pitch like Nolan and field like Ozzie. They were our heroes and we loved the game. It has become corrupt with recruiting and win at all costs. They use drugs everywhere to be better and it has become about "big money" and less about the love of the game.
I still love watching all sports but the "big money" look has taken a little excitement out of the game. When kids are growing up their parents are looking at all of the things their child can own with money and not how much sports can teach them about life.
We may all be sad about Barry and his 755 but we should be more upset about a player setting the mark with 30 million a year to play a "game" that we all love to play and watch. I think they could all make 100,00 and get extra pay based on performance. We used to see a million dollars as big money; now it is just a drop in the bucket of what they get to play the game.
Steriods are a huge issue but so is greed...