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EARLY RECRUITING’S EROSIVE EFFECT


THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION IS AN EFFECTIVE STEP IN ADDRESSING THIS DISTURBING TREND — IF THE NCAA HAS THE WILL TO ACT.


oncern about the negative impact of early recruiting has become the most talked-about issue in lacrosse, with overwhelming public opinion decrying the practice. On April 13-14, the NCAA Division I Council will vote on legislation that would ban all forms of recruiting contact between college coaches and prospects before Sept. 1 of their junior year of high school. US Lacrosse commends the IWLCA and IMLCA for their historic collaboration in drafting the legislation and leading it past several hurdles to advance this far. The positive culture of youth lacrosse is being destroyed and the best interests of children are ignored as a result of early recruiting, which requires young athletes to engage in the college selection process long before they are physically, cognitively and emotionally prepared. This landscape also encourages athletes to specialize in one sport at younger ages despite evidence that resulting overuse injuries and burnout are driving kids from sports in record numbers.


Parents now feel compelled to accelerate the youth lacrosse experience to prepare and position their children for a college recruiting timeline in which kids as young as 14 make verbal commitments despite never playing high school lacrosse or establishing their academic standing. A byproduct of this dysfunctional culture is an erosion of low-cost, community-based youth lacrosse programs that provide greater access to the sport.


The proposed legislation submitted by the IWLCA and IMLCA is an effective step in addressing this disturbing trend and, come mid-April, we may finally see some progress — if the NCAA has the will to act.


— STEVE STENERSEN uslacrosseceo


2 US LACROSSE MAGAZINE March 2017


USlacrosse.org


LETTER FROM THE CEO


©BRIAN SCHNEIDER


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