Football has enjoyed a status within our schools that is unmatched by any other sport.
It attracts more participants than any other interscholastic sport.
Unlike many other sports (think especially of ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer), football began in the high school setting and was not imported from community programs.
And until the past decade, football has not had to cope with out-of-season programs run by non-school groups and commercial entities that are so troublesome – think especially of basketball, ice hockey, soccer and volleyball, but really all sports except football, until recent years.
The growth of 7-on-7 passing leagues and tournaments is the most obvious concern as commercial interests move in to profit from a mostly unregulated summer environment, as began to occur in basketball 30 years ago and has spread to many other sports since.
The Olympic movement has fueled some of this as national governing bodies have engineered programs for younger athletes in efforts to increase medal counts on which the U.S. Olympic Committee bases funding.
The quixotic pursuit of college scholarships is another powerful stimulant; and while the NCAA could have banned its coaches from recruiting away from school venues, it has not done so; and non-school entities have begun to tailor their events toward convenient although costly recruiting venues.
We can expect these events to spread like an invasive species through football unless, learning from the past, the NCAA makes these events off-limits to its coaches, and/or organizations like ours across the country will not only regulate but also conduct programs during the summer.