Monday, November 12, 2012
This was a new one to me. Each year, colleges have a certain date when they are allowed to recruit high school graduates to make a commitment to attend their choice of an institution, to "continue their education". Football players are the most highly sought after. Apart from being awarded full "scholarships" (itself a ridiculous misuse of an award made without any evidence of academic worthiness), there are often "under the counter" payments to the youth or his (or her) family, to induce him or her to "study" and play football or other sport at that institution. There is pressure on the young persons to "commit" to a certain college. In my vocabulary, a "commitment" is a promise to take a certain action. I always thought that a commitment was a binding promise, in this case to attend a certain college. Apparently not so. I don't know what constraints are place on those who "commit"--or on the selected college--but I recently read of two students "decommitting". (Presumably, some other college made a better offer.) Although I have long realized that some college sports are heavily commercialized, I am dismayed at this news--but I can't say I am exactly shocked.