A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Parents Now Have An Ally In Preparing Their Star Athletes For College
SAN ANTONIO,TX — Over the weekend I had a conversation with Michael Darden of Perfect Pitch Media. Mr. Darden had contacted me via e-mail because of an op/ed I wrote for the Black Athlete Sports Network a few weeks ago (see last week’s issue for that editorial).
“Your recent BlackAthlete.net “It’s A Study That Comes Out Every Year That Nobody Truly Reads” story is incredible and much needed!” “Thought you might be interested in the following news story that mentions my client, black-owned student-athlete sports-marketing agency The Athletic Group (www.theathleticgroup.com) and the seriously underprivileged youth we recently helped get a full football scholarship to Virginia’s James Madison University”, Mr. Darden’s e-mail said.
Just for those who are not aware of the story Mr. Darden is talking about, there was a story written in the Washington Examiner about TAG and how they helped a high school senior, Raymond Brown, and three others get scholarships. Brown got his scholarship to James Madison University.
Started in 2002, The Athletic Group is based in Columbia, Maryland and is a full service sports marketing firm that specializes in helping high school students become ‘all that they can be’ and assists them and their family members in the academic and sports marketing process. Many parents in the Black community don’t realize that the process for an athletic scholarship is very competitive. Often times the reason why a kid may not get that scholarship that many feel he should is because of bad marketing to the colleges, lackluster grade performance or a combination of the two. TAG’s mission is to help these individuals get over the hump with their expertise.
MAKING THE GRADE What TAG is offering is a solution that many parents have dreamed about for many years. For years parents have wanted to be able to have a workable solution that educates both them and their student athletes. On what is needed to get noticed, what is an acceptable SAT score, what core high school classes are vital for acceptance, which schools best fit my child’s athletic abilities and academic opportunities, and what are college coaches looking for in ‘highlight’ reels. This is what TAG offers in a nutshell but more importantly they also provide the resources necessary.
What is ironic is the fact that for years while talking to parents who had had potential superstars from local high schools, I have been telling them that they need to make sure that they have the necessary highlight tapes available to ship off to potential coaches and that the grades are up. Often what happens is that these parents are just assuming that it is the job of the high school coach when in reality it is not. These parents also assume that the guidance counselors will ‘tell’ them what they need and while that may be admirable, the reality of the situation is that guidance counselors have far too many students to worry about your child. For several years I have been advocating that it is up to the parents to make sure that their ‘superstar’ is ready for the next level. This is where many dreams die before they ever begin.
What a firm like TAG is doing is actually reinforcing some of the very beliefs that I have always considered essential for young high school athletes, especially Black athletes, needed too have in order to make their dream a reality. What are some of these beliefs? Here’s a short list that you should write down: • Good study habits • Taking core classes that prepare you for college • Maintaining a GPA that will maintain your eligibility in high school and/or college • Having a ‘highlight’ tape that showcases ALL your skills as a player • Clippings from newspapers highlighting your performances DREAMS REALIZED There is a sigh of relief that a firm like TAG is available to thousands of African American parents who are wondering what to do to ensure that their student athlete gets a ‘fair’ shake in the recruiting process. For every blue chipper out there, there are many ‘so-so’ players who deserve the same opportunity. Getting the dream realized for your child is a much easier process now than when I was going to school and definitely much easier than those before me. I couldn’t imagine what my parents would have done if I were in the situation of being recruited or trying to get my name out there. I would be at a loss and so would my parents.
So it is very reassuring that for parents of today, they have an avenue where a dream can be realized in which a high school student could have the opportunity to continue playing at the highest level possible. It is reassuring that there is a firm out there that has the ability to help parents who are clueless to the process of getting their student athlete a college education that is paid for because he or she has the ability to play a sport. If getting a quality education is the desire of the athlete and the parents, then a firm like TAG is exactly what the doctor, err student athlete, has ordered.
WRITER’S NOTES: To find out more about TAG, visit their website at: www.theathleticgroup.com. You can also view the story of Raymond Brown on the Washington Examiner’s website at: http://www.dcexaminer.com/articles/2005/03/22/news/maryland_news/04newsmd23scholar.txt.
Gregory Moore is the Managing Editor of the San Antonio Informer, a weekly African American newspaper located in San Antonio, Texas. He has been heard nationally on The Sporting News’ “Coppock on Sports” and various programs for Fox Sports Radio where he has talked about many of the sports issues that relate to African American life and has been covering the NBA for eleven seasons.