We receive emails by the hundreds, which is part of the reason it is taking so long to put together our "mailbag"-esque post, but today we received one that brought our attention to something that we haven't given enough time to: National Letter of Intent Day.
Letter of Intent Day, also known as the day when thousands of young black men sign their lives away for free for universities that would have nothing to do with them if they couldn't run, block or tackle.
Our concerned reader dropped us this message, we suppose, to remind us of the harvest that big time colleges are conducting right now. And we appreciate the reminder.
Today is the day that Ron Zook gets credit for somehow convincing a renowned class of predominantly Negro young men to come follow him at Illinois, when just a few years ago all UIUC could attract was maybe a white wide out with the speed of a 12 year old girl with a club foot. A day when Pete Carrol fills his ranks with more warriors to continue the string of success that has filled his pockets with gold and left a path of broken dreams for many of the young Negroes that followed his empty promises. A day when Nick Saban begins to rebuild that bastion of prejudice at the Capstone by filling the roster with healthy, athletic Negroes who are despised by the entire 'Bama red neck community, save for those 60 minutes on fall Saturdays. A day when Duke coach Ted Roof fills his roster with fodder for VaTech, Miami, FSU, Clemson, BC and pretty much everyone else on the schedule and wonders when the hell Duke will fire him so he can get a payout on that contract and get the hell out of Durham.
Yes, it is the Port of Charleston in 1837, but the slaves aren't delivered by ships. They are delivered over fax machines. Indentured servants. Signing their lives away for up to 5 years in the hopes of receiving a solid education and an equal chance. Minds filled with the prospect of attending classes at major universities and studying under some of the great thinkers that academia has to offer. Or participating in the joy and wonder that make up the college experience. Falling in love with that cute co-ed. Joining a fraternity and frollicking with their brothers. Going to lectures given by the great orators and personalities of our day. Spending time in some of the most voluminous and magnificent libraries the world has to offer. Quenching their thirst for knowledge. These are the dreams of the young Negro football signee.
And that is often what they stay: dreams.
When the young Negro arrives on campus, bright eyed and brimming with anxious excitement to begin his course of study; more often than not the first thing that he encounters is being fitted for his chains. In the form of his football gear. Long before he receives his books and laptop, he is sized for his helmet and pads. Intentions now become clear.
The young Negro is introduced to his "academic advisers", and begins the task of assembling a course of study.
"What, you want to major in astro-physics? Son, that will take up a lot of time to study and the afternoon labs conflict with the practice schedule. How 'bout we get you started in general studies and then in two years we declare you a "recreation management" major, ok? You want a full load of 15 credits? Well, you only need 6 to be eligible to play, so we will just sign you up for that. Now get to the fieldhouse and change into your practice gear."
And suddenly, all illusions are shattered. The true intentions have been layed out for the young Negro to see. Education and the college experience were the bait. The chains of the grid iron is the switch.
The reality is that the young Negro athlete is just as culpable for his fate in this as the institutes of "higher learning" that have duped them. All people have the responsibility to question intentions when they are signing into anything. If these young men did more questioning, the motives and eventual outcomes would become clear to them.
Why would an institute that constructs walls to keep young Negroes out invite them to come get an education for free? Why would an institute that develops tests that are designed to be culturally biased against the Negro, in the hopes of keeping him out, invite them to come for free? Why would institutes in the South that have buildings and dorms named after Confederate Generals and former KKK Wizards invite young Negroes to come learn and live in them?
The reality is this: The only schools that the young Negro can trust are the HBCU's.
It is high time that Howard University became the football equivalent of USC, OSU and Florida all rolled into one. We invite our young Negro athletes to contemplate attending a university that would have THEIR best interest at heart. And not be worried about pleasing a bunch of old white men by providing a winning football team so they will open their change purses and parcel out the money needed to fund the university and continue this vicious assault against Negro football signees.
We beseech our young Brothers to stop making Ron Zook look like a recruiting mastermind. We are here to tell you that he is fooling you. He REALLY is an uptight white guy.