N.J. legislator wants to address illegal recruiting of athletes

November 3, 2014 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
A New Jersey legislator plans to introduce a bill that would require high school student-athletes to certify that they were not recruited by another school to play sports.

Sen. Richard Codey, the state’s former governor, made the comments last week following media reports that a local football standout was recruited by an area high school. The athlete, Jabrill Peppers, now plays at the University of Michigan.

From NorthJersey.com:

In a lengthy text to The Record on Oct. 9, Peppers wrote, “You guys want the real story, here it is: 8th grade year, when I was playing Pop Warner, coach [Greg] Toal and his staff back then would call me and my mom repeatedly, show up at my Pop Warner games, take my Mom out to dinner and other things that I will not mention.”

The NJSIAA defines recruiting as “any effort to pressure, urge or entice a student to enroll in or transfer to a school for athletic purposes.”

Don Bosco Prep officials have said that an internal investigation found that the school adhered to the athletic association’s rules.

Coach and Athletic Director recently surveyed coaches and 77 percent said they believe student-athletes in their area are illegally recruited. The suspicion is there, but proving wrongful actions by coaches can be difficult, if not impossible.

Codey said student-athletes would be forced to certify “that they never had a discussion with that coach, nor his assistants, or (that) none of the emissaries recruited that kid.”

Codey hasn’t yet discussed details on punishment or how it would be enforced, which are key points to his legislation. If the punishment isn’t harsh, what’s to keep kids from lying to play with a coach that promised them the world?

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