National Signing Day is supposed to be a day of great anticipation and joy for top high school football talent. Even for those who haven’t made the big Top 100 or 200 lists, college football recruits get a jolt of pride when they can accept a university scholarship to play football and make their dreams come true. Apparently, for some, there are some lines you don’t cross. Those would be state lines.
Alex Collins, a four-star recruit of Bret Bielema and the Arkansas Razorbacks, had a signing ceremony scheduled on Wednesday. It was cancelled because his mother snatched the Letter of Intent and now refuses to co-sign on it as is required for recruits under 21.
She and the family would prefer that he sign with the University of Miami rather than Arkansas.
“I would prefer him to go to Miami, too, because it would be a better program for him, a better environment,” Johnny Collins said. “He could get home faster and it’s more convenient if Mom wants to go to a game — instead of having to fly to Arkansas.”
(Miami self-imposed recruiting limits on themselves, anyway.)
So let’s get this straight: this is all about what the family wants, not what the player himself wants. His mother doesn’t want him going to another state, but instead of abiding by her grown son’s decision, she decided to intervene to try to keep him close to home by ruining his moment. The fact that the family isn’t behind Collins choosing his own school and situation is frankly stunning, not that I claim to know anything about these people aside from the fact that they’re coming across as being selfish.
Some internet commenters say his mother is doing it out of love. Well, guess what: my mom loves me and she did not stand in the way of me or my brother going to another state for college. She might not have been happy about it, but I made the decision for myself, and so did Alex Collins. I’m sorry, but regardless of what program is “better” for him, sabotaging one of the best moments of your son’s life so far to try to get him to bend to your will is not an act of love. If it were me, and I’m glad it isn’t, I would harbor extreme resentment.
By the way, the NCAA’s under-21 cosigner rule is stupid, which is par for the course considering how breathtakingly incompetent the NCAA is. At 18, Collins can sign other valid contracts, vote, buy smokes, play the lottery, and go to war, but he can’t pick his college without an assist from his mother?
At the end of the day, Collins is going to college to play high-level football and you don’t have to pay for it. You can spend that extra cash on plane tickets to Arkansas. I hear it’s nice in the Fall.