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Dear Football Mom: How can I swing attending college trips with my son?
Helmet Kisses

Dear Football Mom,

I understand that you help people with football related questions. Well, I’m a single mom of three, and my son is being recruited to play in college. I can’t leave the other two kids alone to go on his college trips or afford them. The college coaches told me they can only pay for him, hotel room, meals, etc. How can I attend at least one official visit?

Dear Reader,

Great question! Thanks for pulling the pork roast out of the oven and placing it square on the table. Let’s see if we can carve out a slice for supper that’s tender and juicy, enough to make everyone’s tongue twitch. A melt-in-your-mouth meal plan that’ll get you on at least one visit with your son. I’m assuming these are official visits, if not … the meal plan changes. 

Let’s start with the sides. Take collard greens for example. Many families face similar situations or hardships because the green just doesn’t stretch enough. There is simply not enough to go around, especially for extras like recruiting trips. 

Did you know that usually the program would pay for your meals? Heavy hors d’oeuvres are usually served at a reception Friday night while the players and families arrive. Then, breakfast the next morning, lunch, and dinner on Saturdays, because the program wants to impress the recruits with tons of food. 

By the way, you’ll be eating with your son most of the time. Or, at least in the same room. He’ll be with his upperclassman-assigned buddy who is there to show him a good time, and you’ll be at the tables with other parents. 

Now, let’s line up the black-eyed peas. On the official visits, Saturdays are purty packed with touring campus, field, locker room, weight room, meeting rooms, dorms, study hall, and meeting professors (yeah, a college program worth its salt will have a least one professor speak to the group and give them the gravy). 

For a little extra rub on the roast, you may find yourself meeting the dean, or chancellor, or president of the university during some portion of the tour. If the administrators care about their spread, their football program, their students, the graduation stats, they will be there to seal the deal and hand out the cornbread.The banana pudding of course comes Sunday morning when you and your son meet with the head coach in what I call the full-court press. A situation room of sorts — a high-pressured meeting to get your son to sign-on for future buckets of fried chicken. The best advice I can give about this, let them know you are weighing all the pork options and will circle back for seconds soon, even if y’all are famished for him to play for this team. Stay cool; keep your appetite in check.

My suggestion would be to try attending the nearest college closest to your home if possible. Programs do pay for the kids’ transportation and if you went via car, be sure and write down the mileage. Usually, they comp so much per mile, but they do pay plane travel fees for the recruit, not necessarily the recruit’s family. The only thing you may have to pay for is the hotel, and often times that can be comped as well for the primary parent. 

Every so often, I get a little torqued-up when it comes to the singles. So much responsibility for one parent that it can all get overwhelming just to survive life, much less any extras like a recruiting trip. The more we bring this issue to light, the better chances are to change a few rulings regarding all-expenses-paid for at least the single parent on recruiting trips. Sometimes my heart is bigger than my head, and I get carried away. But the honest reality is that the cost should be minimal and hopefully you can swing one trip. 

Perhaps now with this information you can begin checking on who might step up and keep your other two children for this very special weekend. A church family, neighbor, friend or relative you can trust. My sincere wish is that this info helped, and you can enjoy at least one recruiting visit with your boy. 

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