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Randy’s Report

| Randy Dickson
I recently saw that a Pensacola Catholic football player is transferring to another school for the upcoming season. The kid isn’t transferring to Pine Forest, Pace, Gulf Breeze, Crestview or Navarre. He’s not even taking his talents a few miles down the road to a school in Bay County.

The player is transferring to a school in Davie. If you don’t know where Davie is located, that would be Broward County in the southeast part of the state, adjacent to Dade County where Miami is located.

I have no problem with a kid transferring to any school of his choice, if it’s for a legitimate reason and recruiting isn’t involved.

It’s no secret that I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. Although we lived in Gulf Breeze, my family was as middle class as one could get. There was food on the table, clothes on our backs and plenty of love to go round.

My sisters and I attended Gulf Breeze Elementary, Gulf Breeze Middle and Gulf Breeze High schools. I wasn’t a great athlete, even if I wanted to attend high school in Pensacola or some other school in Santa Rosa County, the money wasn’t in the budget for me to go to Tate or Jay to play football or baseball.

And I know the old Frisco Railroad wasn’t going to move my dad to another city so I could play ball at DHS (Dream High School). I’d be foolish to think there wasn’t recruiting going on among high schools 50 years ago, but we sure didn’t hear about it back when the source of news was the morning and afternoon papers. And only a few families subscribed to the afternoon paper.

So how does a kid end up moving to extreme Southeast Florida from the northwestern most city in the state? To be honest, I don’t know and I sure don’t want to make unfounded accusations against a young man and his family I’ve never met.

Maybe the kid has family in Davie or some other reasonable and logical explanation that negates the obvious assumption that his family is being paid for him to move the 600 plus miles to play football.
Too often families are sold a promise that their son or daughter will have a better chance of playing college or professional ball if they change cities or schools.

Long before social media and worldwide satellite broadcasting live on television, computers and cell phones, Houston McTear of Baker was known by everyone in the world. I remember the hype coming out of Wrightsville, Ga., in 1980 about a young man named Herschel Walker, who played football at tiny Johnson County High School, which is about the same size at Baker.

Great players are discovered on underachieving or even bad teams all the time. With all the internet scouting services and social media, a player with talent won’t go unnoticed whether at Baker, Crestview or the largest high school in the United States.

I know some families need all the financial help they can receive and I don’t have any problems with them getting that help because their child is a budding star athlete as long as it is done within the rules.

An athletic scholarship, when used for the education, will open doors athletic talent never can.

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