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Pettiness Rules The High School Recruiting Season

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Uncle Luke, the man whose booty-shaking madness once made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. This week, Luke addresses the pettiness of college football's National Signing Day.

I have to admit University of Miami Hurricanes head football coach Al Golden did a heck of a job with his first recruiting class, even landing Philip Dorsett from St. Thomas Aquinas, Denzel Perryman from Coral Gables High, and Ricardo Williams from Homestead High, three of the top players from the South Florida area.

But I believe University of Miami could have landed more kids from the area if not for certain high school coaches in Miami-Dade County who don't want to support the school. Of the Miami Herald's top 25 high school football players, only two are becoming Hurricanes. Why?

High school football coaches here are encouraging kids to go to other schools.

I recently left Miami Central High School, where I was an assistant coach. One motivation to abandon the position was the pettiness of the coaching staff. I used to hear a lot of complaints from them about the University of Miami ignoring their players. But Canes' coaches would respond that Central's leaders didn't want to send kids to UM.

For instance, Thomas Finnie. I put the 'Canes in touch with the boy's father. None of the Central coaches returned Golden's calls. Now they are upset that Finnie is a Hurricane.

South Florida high school coaches need to come clean with their grudges and hidden agendas. Kids playing football in Miami grow up dreaming of putting on an orange-and-green uniform. The only reason these kids get turned off to the school is because coaches whisper in their ears that they shouldn't go there. It needs to stop.

The coaches are encouraging these kids to attend institutions far, far away from their families. In some cases, the relatives can't even afford a plane ticket to visit. Is the high school coach going to pay the airfare? Hell no.

One way to address this problem is to change the recruiting process. Universities often send correspondence to the high school, not the player's home. So the coach ends up controlling communication. Something needs to be done so that parents are notified first when a university is recruiting their child. I've known parents who have no idea who is chasing their kids. They've asked me who is pursuing their sons.

Local high school coaches need to sit down at a table with the Hurricanes' Golden and his staff to air out grievances. They need to tell him what hasn't been done and what needs to happen in the future.

Just like I do.

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