Sportress of Blogitude

Lane Kiffin Is Going To Be Pissed: 12-Year-Old Verbally Commits To OU

I have to admit, the above headline is entirely misleading given that the 12-year-old in question, Brad Dalke, is a golfer, not a football player, but I still imagine that Kiffin could be miffed that someone is trying to steal his thunder as it concerns the questionable ethics – whether initiated by the colleges or not – of even allowing kids to entertain the notion of which athletics program they intend to join before they have even had the chance to attend their first homecoming dance.

Further, I imagine Dalke’s verbal commitment to play golf at the University of Oklahoma will not cause quite the uproar or wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth as Kiffin’s recruitment of 13-year-old quarterback David Sills, who made a verbal commitment to play football at USC. Why? Because, well, it’s golf, not a big-time college sport so no one really gives a crap.

But here’s the question: in this era where kids are pretty much forced to dedicate themselves 24/7, 365 days a year to one sport if they want any hope of one day “making it,” when will parents, coaches, personal trainers say enough is enough and let these kids, you know, be kids? Cripes, when I was 12-years-old, I wasn’t down at the range, or the rink or the court trying to become the next young phenom. Nope, instead, I was distracted by playing my Nintendo Entertainment System and enjoying the wonder, splendor and unmitigated joy of getting my first unfettered look, along with Toshiro Takashi, at “hair pie.” Those are the memories a normal 12-year-old boy should be making, not what major university he plans on attending. Maybe I’m alone on this one, but I doubt it.

Granted, his parents don’t appear to be pushing him too hard in the strictest interpretation of the concept, as his mother, Kay, reports that Brad has been “writing to the coach for about a year,” but the fact that both his parents are coaches and were standout athletes at Oklahoma themselves, along with his dad’s statement that he and his wife wanted to give their youngest of seven childrenĀ  “every opportunity to pursue his dream,” one has to wonder.

But when you hear the seventh grader describe it, he sounds like he knows what he wants and has a clear vision of his future (via The Dallas Morning News):

“Oklahoma has watched me three times,” Brad said. “When I found out they were interested in me, I figured I ought to go ahead and commit now. That’s the only place I want to go. There’s no way I would change my mind as long as I get a good scholarship like they’ve been saying.

“In junior golf I want to win a big AJGA invitational, and in college I want to win an NCAA title,” Dalke said. “Then I’d like to be a pro on the PGA Tour and hopefully win some majors.”

Sounds like he’s got a good head on his shoulders. Best of luck to the kid, and who am I to argue for against some kid’s dreams (and perhaps those of his parents, as well). To each their own.

At the same time, has he had the experience of watching Revenge of the Nerds (or some comparable film chock-full of gratuitous T&A) for the first time? I doubt it. So, clap your hands everybody and everybody clap your hands while you chock one up for ol’ Weed on this one.

12-year-old McKinney golfer commits to Oklahoma Sooners [The Dallas Morning News]
Sills, 13, commits to USC [ESPN Los Angeles]