The transfer-recruit debate

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By Brad Spencer

Contributing Columnist

Before you make a decision on where to go on this subject, let me start out by assuring you that if you join our thought process you will agree with our opinion and you will receive a significant advantage over anyone who does not agree with our opinion. What we're saying is that you will thrive in our system. We have a place for you on this team, an important place for you.       

Let's say you're a high school girls basketball coach and you've had 12 years of great success at one school, winning four state titles in that time, and let's say you feel it's time to leave that school. Yes, maybe it's time to start fresh elsewhere, build another respectable program from the ground up. Would make for a good challenge after having done so well with such tremendous athletes during those previous 12 years, right?

Well, of course!

And so you say your heartfelt goodbyes and drive off into the sunset, alone. But while trundling down I-355 South and before jumping on I-80 to head east, you start thinking, wow, sure wish I could take some of that talent with me to this new school, kick the program off right, perhaps grab a No. 1 ranking in the state!

Well, you're a seasoned, veteran coach and you're aware that recruiting is prohibited by the Illinois High School Association bylaws. But as you exit I-80 and shoot down I-57 South you think, hey, maybe they'll just show up, and maybe some other top players from other schools will just show up, too!

And they do. Six of them, all considered powerhouse starters. Six top high school girls basketball players suddenly move into your district. And, wow, aren't you the luckiest coach in the world!  

So this is what Anthony Smith is telling us. The former Bolingbrook girls hoops coach who is now at top-ranked Homewood-Flossmoor with … wait for it … four top players that played for him at Bolingbrook has denied improperly recruiting players. All four players transferred into District 233, along with two players that transferred in from Marist and Plainfield East. Either Smith is such a coveted coach that parents are willing to pack up the moving van and go wherever he goes, or he's been actively recruiting these players, promising them substantial playing time and possibly D-I scholarships.

Cue the pending lawsuit filed by the parent of a Homewood-Flossmoor player last week.

Should Smith be fired?

No, but Homewood-Flossmoor should be heavily sanctioned as it was the school that turned a blind eye to what may have been going on.

One transfer from Bolingbrook wouldn't have been cause for concern, maybe even two, but it's silly to think that four sets of parents coincidently packed up and moved 45 minutes southeast. If they followed for no other reason than they wanted their daughter to continue to play for Smith, then, well, these folks are brainless twits and have no idea the fundamental purpose of their child's education.

So, did we recruit you? Do you agree? Are you onboard? Like we said, we'd love to have you on our side.

 

Contact: Bspencer@oakpark.com

Contact:
Email: bspencer@oakpark.com Twitter: OakParkSports

Reader Comments

2 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Mike  

Posted: January 21st, 2014 3:45 PM

Interesting write up. Are you going to turn your lens to how so many talented wrestlers happen to reside in Oak Park and River Forest in the last few years?

Paul Kersey from San Francisco  

Posted: January 20th, 2014 6:55 PM

The Chicago Magnet school are well know for their recruiting. A example that comes to mind is Whitney Young. The win at all cost coaches are responsible for this unsportsmanlike behavior. Frankly, I feel the so called coaches should get a life time ban for illegal recruiting.

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