Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Commoditization of Today's Young Athletic Stars

Today Andy Katz of ESPN had an interesting blog post pointing out that former Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins is still recruiting the top junior basketball player in the country, O.J. Mayo.
Former Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins is still recruiting top 2006 recruit O.J. Mayo. We're just not sure for whom.
Why is that a big deal? Because Bob Huggins was fired and doesn't have a job. So he's recruiting this player to whatever presumed job he's going to land. Does anyone else feel like that treats young Mr. Mayo like he's just a commodity?

To top that off, notice with what nonchalance Mayo drops to Katz the names of his other suitors:
Who else is calling Mayo?

"Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Michigan State and just about everybody else," Mayo said Tuesday.
Is this too much too soon? Hmm, it must be easy for this young man to keep his head small and on his shoulders.

Well, maybe not. Apparently Mayo and fellow big-time baller recruit Bill Walker have made some enemies at their school. Is this related to the awestruck treatment they've received since they were kids and maybe come to expect? I don't know the circumstances, so I can't say, but you be the judge.

It's a fine line between exaltation and exploitation.

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