Beyond Athletics football Recruiting Responsibility Sport Specific

Enough #Deflategate. Let’s Have Integrity In Football Recruiting

(Flickr - frankieleon)

(Flickr – frankieleon)

I wrote previously on #deflategate when it first came out, saying how high school athletes could learn from the Patriots: ignore hype, focus on the game.

Earlier this week, it was tough to avoid the media frenzy surrounding yet another round of talk on deflategate.

Which is, by the way, a word I would be 100% fine with never having to hear again.

Who did it? Who didn’t do it? Who knew? Who didn’t know? Who was “…at least generally aware”? Did anyone deserve or not deserve the various punishments that ensued?

As I’ve thought about the ongoing topic this week, and have listened to countless reporters and contributors give their two cents, I’ve found myself removing Tom Brady and the New England Patriots from the equation (primarily because my editor is a Pats fan — and I am not).

Instead, I’ve been thinking more about the total lack of integrity, or what we here call athleadership, surrounding this whole thing.

Because the realities of football recruiting are so opposed to this scandal.

Seeing these superstar athletes and superstar teams continually push the envelope when it comes to the fine line what actually constitutes cheating, or what “everyone does,” is beyond insulting and infuriating.

To me, this isn’t about high-minded concepts like the integrity of the game.

It’s about something pretty simple; the lessons we learned from little league, pee-wee, junior high, and high school coaches around the world. These coaches dedicated time and energy, while getting paid nothing, to instill the lessons of the game and the values that come along with playing the right way.

It’s about athletes just like you and me, who believe that at the end of the day, working our butts off will help us find the right place to play our sport in college.

So while I’m on my high horse, let me beg you this: be the best you can be. Learn life lessons from your sport. That’s what athleadership is all about. Keeping your grades on point. Skip a movie to hit the gym. Be the right kind of person when no one’s watching.

Let’s take the attention away from the people and teams making up the #deflategate scandal. In turn, let’s learn from these headlines and give attention to the fact that cutting corners gets you nowhere. Let’s swear off #deflategate, empower ourselves and others and make any other type of competitor irrelevant.


Our scouts have promised me they won’t talk to you about you-know-what. But they will maximize your football recruiting to help you play in college. If you’re interested in learning how to make your personal journey easier, get started with a profile.

About the author
Laura Chmiel

Laura Chmiel is a marketing coordinator and a lead writer for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. As someone with a passion for athletics and education, she graduated from Indiana university with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After school, she gained first-hand experience helping student-athletes and their families get to college.