Dear Football Mom,
What happens when your son received a Division IA full-ride scholarship to play football in college and actually played last year as a true freshman? I just found out he was cut from the team for this upcoming year. This doesn’t make sense.
Without knowing more, it’s tough to say. This sounds like there’s one black-eyed pea got lost in a pot of collard greens! I bet Junior isn’t tellin’ the whole story.
I might guess there is more going on than what you’ve been told. Or, what you are telling me. I assume you talked to the head coach and your son’s position coach. If not, do so. Is your son home or still on campus?
Usually, a four-year scholarship with a D-IA program would be honored, even if the player has been injured and could never play again for his university, or for whatever health issues cropped up, or for most any other reason he may have been cut from the team. Maybe he’s allergic to grass.
Coaches tend to keep a player on, if possible, and honor the scholarship, even though that cuts into their roster numbers. Meaning, college coaches can only keep so many on-paid scholarship per year. If the player is able, coach will work him in some capacity, like maybe helping the equipment guy, or keeping the weight room clean. That is, if the player is in good standing with the coaches. In other words, if the student athlete didn’t blow it with drugs, drunken conduct, or rape allegations—just to name a few issues that would get him kicked off his team and campus, pronto.
If the program sent your son packing, and the coaches are pulling his scholarship, that is a bad sign. Something happened, and it’s not good. This is one reason why I try so hard to encourage parents to set boundaries now while the kid is still home in high school, if not before. Say like, from the toddler stage. I’ve heard all kinds of stories and, honestly, they all could have been prevented if parents would just parent, and stop trying to play some sort of peer popularity contest with their kids. Parents should never put up with a bunch of goobly-goop excuses, and they should hold kids accountable while they still have time. Integrity counts, y’all.
This is what I’ve found to be true through the years. Not only do kids pattern what is lived out before them, but they will do purdy much what is expected of them. If you expect them to stay out all night drinking, drugging, smoking, that’s what they’ll do. If, on the other hand, you expect them to remember where they came from and behave themselves, they will pretty much do that as well. I’ve heard so many parents say, “Well they’re just being teenagers, and they’re going to get in some trouble.” Guess what, that may be true to an extent, but ya don’t need to let your kids know that it’s okay with you. Golly, don’t you want to hold your child to a higher stander than expecting him/her to get into trouble?
Parenting is a tough job—it’s not for sissies. It’s up to you to get to the bottom of the collard greens pot and fish out that black-eyed pea. Otherwise, you could be one of those parents whose son lives in your basement forty years from now. I’m just saying, if you have pulled strings in the past to get him out of trouble, you’ve already set a pattern, and he may think you can do the same now. It’s never too late to hold your child responsible for his/her actions. Although at this stage, it will be harder.
You are right. This doesn’t make sense.
Dear Football Mom,
I am trying hard to raise my four boys on my own. They all love the game of football. Actually, two of them may have the potential to play in college. That would be a wonderful blessing as I stress education over sports. Hoping all four go to college, graduate, and become successful regardless of my empty bank account. But receiving a scholarship to play football in college would be a big help.
What can I do to make sure the two who may have the ability, play in college with a scholarship?
The most you can do is make sure he/they are the ones who want to play in college. Keep open communication with your sons, stay grounded, and keep a positive attitude. The rest is window dressing.
By that I mean hopefully they’ve got a great work ethic. Get good grades. Work hard in the weight room and on the field. They respect their coaches, teachers, and you. They have proven results as unselfish team players. They eat well. Keep curfews. Stay out of trouble.
If you have followed me for long, you know I have a heart for single moms. Wow, that’s a lot of guy stuff flying around your house. I think I would lose any religion the good Lord gave me trying to keep up four boys much less making them toe the line. I’m kidding of course, because boys are huge blessings. But I can imagine how hard it has been doing things on your own in the guy’s world of football. I’ve been in your shoes.
Talk to your head coach. Yes, Mom, you can do it. Make sure he believes they’ve got the stuff to play beyond Friday nights. Ask him if he has a game plan, a strategy to help your boys during recruitment to play college ball, and what that might look like. Does he plan to make a highlight film? What, if anything, does he feel you could do to further or support those goals.
Most high school coaches like to help in this process. But remember, if you are feeling ignored, he’s got a job to do during this part of playing season, teeing up and preparing to play other teams. If your son will be a senior next year or so, you’ve got a little time. I suggest talking to coaches after Christmas break. Especially if your team is winning and coach is busy getting his team ready for region or state playoffs. That’s his top priority. Be patient. And praying never hurt nobody.