Over recruiting unfair to student athletes

By Brandon Johnston / Special to The Delta

Coming to America to play sports in college is a dream for many international students. For some students who manage to achieve this goal, it is cut short due to over recruiting. Many international students are not aware that there is a junior varsity (JV) team and believe they are being recruited to play on the top team at the school.

It is wrong of the school, in particular the men’s basketball team, to over recruit players (both American and international) and then force them to redshirt. This has happened both of the last two years I have been at Missouri Valley College to multiple people.

To not even make the student-athlete aware that this is a possibility is ethically wrong. A student could have a 4.0 GPA, pay all their school fees up front, only to not be able to play because there are too many players. The MVC men’s basketball roster has three teams. One varsity and two JV teams. 

On the varsity roster, there are no international players. This was the same last year. In the last four years there has only been one international player on the varsity roster. This shows that players from overseas are not recruited to play on the varsity team and that they are being recruited just to play JV basketball.

To many American students that are forced to redshirt, the impact is not as high. It gives them a year to develop and come back stronger. However for the international students that are forced to sit out, it often spells the end of their dream. The cost of remaining here can be too high, and in many cases international students are only coming to study abroad for one year.

As an international student myself, getting through half of the first semester to find out the coaches are making me redshirt would crush me. For many students from overseas, the only reason that they are in America is to play a sport. I have had friends who had been forced to redshirt then decide that there is no point in them being here and have gone home after one semester of living their dream.

This needs to change. There needs to be more open and honest communication to the players that are being recruited to play JV. The coaches definitely know who they are looking at to play varsity based off of film and should make that clear from the beginning of the recruiting process. 

The student-athletes should be aware of the risk that they may not be able to play from the beginning. Of course this may result in less players committing to the school. But this seems like the fairest option. 

This is a major flaw in the morals and ethics of Missouri Valley College, a school which I thoroughly enjoy attending. This is something that needs to be fixed to ensure that students from all over the world continue to have the time of their lives while studying here at Moval.

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