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Dear Football Mom: Should I make my son keep his word?
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Dear Football Mom,

Our son already made his commitment to a Division 1 college, but I am wondering if he should renege and back out of that verbal agreement to instead, accept an offer from a college in the state of California. Maybe he can earn some money since they’ve passed the pay to play rule. A school from that state made him an offer earlier in the year. 

Do you think he should reconnect with them and tell them he’d like to take them up on their scholarship offer? It would mean we’d have to travel a distance to see his home games, but maybe it’s worth it for him to gain a little money and add to his savings. 

Dear Reader,

And this right here, is the very reason I am against the “pay-to-play” ruling. 

Of course, Florida is looking to pass this law soon too. It’s so wrong on so many levels. I am usually not quite that blunt (well, then again, maybe I am), but boy howdy, this deal is like a grasshopper jumping under your blue-jeans with no way to scoot the varmint out without showing a body’s backside.

I hope like heck most of y’all haven’t thought a double-minded, Mickey-Mouse, willy-nilly maneuvering technique to your children in how they handle business dealings, regardless if they play a sport or not. No offense to Mickey Mouse — my littles and some of the older grands adore him and Minnie. But come on.

The first thing you should be aware of as a parent is to never weasel out of your word. If your son gave his word to the other college, then he should stick to it and keep it. Period. 

At least barring anything catastrophic like a coaching change, that is. The second thing you should be aware of about this pay to play in California is that the ruling has not yet gone into action. Your son may graduate before it does.  

Quite frankly, I’m hoping the NCAA will find a way to pull it back. Do you understand that even if it was in play, your son may never get some huge endorsement from a commercial company? He may never reap the so-called benefit of suiting up at some college where the pay to play is actually at play.

And for the record, he is earning money. He’s receiving a free education. He will graduate without college debt, and that is huge. 

Hopefully, that is his main goal, to walk away with a degree in hand. Meals, books, lodging, tuition, even tutoring is free for the student athlete. He’s already ahead of the game than most college students face. Good heavens, what more could you ask for.   

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Dear Football Mom,

I don’t understand the rankings of college football. Why are some teams ranked in the Top 5 while others with the same record are ranked lower? For example, why is Clemson ranked three when they are just as undefeated as Ohio State or LSU? What gives? 

Dear Reader,

Great question. That would take an act of congress for me to explain it all and quite honestly, I’m not sure I’d be on point with the correct answer. But you got me on this one, and I can’t resist a challenge, so reckon I’m gonna take a stab at it.

There is a little committee that thrives on “guesses” and “misses” made up of head football coaches — yeah, like they can be fair and unbiased. Sure, they are. Along with other experts like media geniuses and then, perhaps there are the PhDs of Popular Football Mechanics who make up this board of pals. 

Giving it their best shot, they submit a list each week ignoring TV contracts and stockholders, or deep-pocketed influential boosters, past traditions, and popular opinions of social status stars to vote on rankings. (My sass is showing through.) 

Supposedly, the rankings are based on who said team Tee’s up to play, how much they ran up the score, and how tough the team was that got the shocking splattering. That’s the short version anyhow. 

Cheer up my fair football fans, no head coach on the planet cares a gnat’s behind about these rankings. Or gives any weight to the Top 25 in front of their players, fans and boosters. It’s psychological, messing with players’ and coaches’ heads and scheming to get programs to question their viability, causing useless dust ups between conferences. Most coaches pay no mind and discount the rankings, especially if they aren’t on the list. It’s also political in football terms and a sore spot with athletic directors. The rub here is that most sportscasters make fun and joke about how off the mark these rankings are. And they usually are. Way off the mark. Clemson is a great example of that. They have earned the right to at least a No. 2 spot.

This team of scallywags can never predict the heart of a team. Or the strength and power of the will to win. They are there to take up newspaper print, make some poor old coach about to retire feel important, gain favor with sportscasters so they’ll talk highly about their program, and give lip service to TV contracts.   Take heart my football fans — it’s just useless noise. 

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