Nike to Launch National 7on7 League

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Nike to Launch National 7on7 League

Jacob Eason 7 on 7

Jacob Eason participating in 7 on 7 tournament – 2015
[su_spacer size=”40″] CBS Sports reported yesterday that Nike will launch a national 7 on 7 football league pitting high school athletes against each other in six cities, initially. Kids in Atlanta, Kansas City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C. will be the first to take part. The off-season sport will include (presumably televised) tournaments.
[su_spacer size=”40″] While I do not want to be the old guy who hates everything new, I’m not sure of the benefit to the kids involved. That is especially true in states that allow high school spring football practice. Of course, an industry will spring up around these tournaments. One can easily see them becoming the de facto recruiting evaluation ground for skill positions. Concentrating the top athletes in a few locations will make it easy for the recruiting sites to cover them and produce content for their organizations.
[su_spacer size=”40″] [su_quote style=”modern-light” cite=”CBS Sports” url=””] CBS Sports has since learned the NCAA met with organizers of what was called a new Nike-sponsored event. One source said Nike is choosing not to make a splashy announcement of its new seven-on-seven league.
[su_spacer size=”20″] Four years ago, the NCAA banned seven-on-seven competition from campuses, unless it was sanctioned by state high school associations. The SEC banned such activity in Sept. 2011.
[su_spacer size=”20″] The vast majority of state high school associations do not allow spring football. Seven-on-seven has filled that void as an athletic endeavor — and a business.
[su_spacer size=”20″] “You don’t want it to get like basketball recruiting where there are diploma mills,” Bartow said. “At the end of the day, it’s not real football.”
[su_spacer size=”20″] Bartow says sometimes when he reports a football recruiting commitment, he’ll alert the high school coach, “and not the seven-on-seven coach. They have a problem with that. Some of [the seven-on-seven coaches] will take offense to it.”
[su_spacer size=”20″] One seven-on-seven assistant near Bartow in South Florida “knows the kids better than the coach at Miami Central [High School]. The [college] coaches are calling this guy instead of the high school coach.”
[su_spacer size=”20″] The third-party seven-on-seven influence cannot be denied even if it’s merely Will Lyles, a talent scout/coach who was at the center of an NCAA investigation that ended in penalties slapped on Oregon a few years ago.
[su_spacer size=”20″] His remains the most recognizable face of an issue the NCAA cannot fully get its arms around.
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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.