Local News

Web Sites Offer Exposure To High School Athletes

Posted February 28, 2005

— How much would you pay to get your child a college scholarship? Online recruiting is a growing business. Parents shell out hundreds, even thousands of dollars, to get college coaches to notice their student-athlete, but is it worth it?

After countless hours in the batting cage and thousands of pitches, Zach Huttie is tossing around plans for the future.

"My dream is to play college baseball," he said.

The Athens Drive High School junior does not have $1 million arm attracting scouts, so his father paid for his promotion with one of dozens of online recruiting Web sites.

"One of the things we're relying on them to do is contact a lot of coaches that my son sees that are interested in him, and act like our marketing agent," said Joe Huttie, Zach's father.

One of those online recruiting Web sites, Recruitzone.com, is expanding to North Carolina. The company charges 300 to $1,300. The promise is exposure for athletes looking to hit on a scholarship. A company spokesman admits his company does not work much with major athletic programs, but he said he has landed plenty of free tuition.

Athens Drive High School Athletics Director Ron Williams said he feels for most parents, it is too high of a cost for too little return.

"If it were my child, I wouldn't want to do that," he said.

You do not have to pay thousands of dollars to get your child noticed by college coaches, there are some sites that are free to student athletes."

Even Web sites that charge cannot guarantee results, but to Huttie, it is worth it.

"There is a cutoff. You have to measure what they can do for you, and what it's going to cost," he said.

Recruiting Web sites cannot guarantee scholarships with payment. NCAA rules prohibit athletes from hiring an agent. Web sites skirt that issue by promising only exposure.


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