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Early recruiting ignores academic challenge [Letter]

Colleges and UniversitiesHigh SchoolsSchoolsUniversity of VirginiaClark Duke

Mike Preston's column ("Kids need protection from recruiting frenzy," Feb. 22) addressed the growing trend of athletes getting recruited to play lacrosse at big-name colleges at ever-younger ages, sometimes before they've played a single game of lacrosse in high school. Mr. Preston writes: "As for the major colleges, they really don't know where this early recruiting will end. In some cases, they won't see how some of these recruits turn out for seven or eight years."

I'm assuming that Mr. Preston, in this passage, is referring to the performance ability of these young people as it relates to athletics, not academics.

What the article doesn't address, but what I find even more mysterious and troubling, is that universities with outstanding academic reputations — Hopkins, Duke and the University of Virginia among them — are recruiting kids who, in addition to playing a sport, will presumably attend college alongside students with outstanding academic high school records.

Who knows, when students are in eighth grade, if they will have the grades, standardized test scores and maturity to succeed at these prestigious universities as do students who've spent their high school years preparing to be college students? It seems that the academic preparedness of these student-athletes is a non-issue to recruiters. My question is this: At what point does it become an issue, for both the academically ill-prepared recruits and the universities that accept them?

Elizabeth Heubeck, Towson

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