GoMids.com.Ok, so it may be shameless self promotion on my part, but the early consensus is that it does. Some interesting thoughts in my latest at
With the United States finding itself in arguably the greatest economic recession since the Great Depression, the value of a football scholarship has become much more than a luxury for hundreds of American families; it has become a necessity. Yet for a university like the Naval Academy, does the country's economic downturn hold previously unforeseen recruiting benefits? According to some it does, as both the prospect of a free college education and post graduate job security have attracted more high school football recruits to consider taking their skills to the likes of Army, Navy, and Air Force. Count Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo amongst those who say they have seen an upturn in interest for the three programs since the economy went south last year, as the second year headman recently testified to his belief that the poor economy had "opened up doors" for his own team in recruiting bigger, faster, and stronger athletes. "I think the economy has helped us," said Niumatalolo during a recent interview. "Before [the economy went south] there were people who would not even talk to us. There were some parents who would say ‘my son is not going to a military school' but now they are like ‘hey this might not be a bad option.' I think that has opened up other doors that in prior years were closed." While recruiting experts aren't certain of the exact level of increased interest on the part of recruits in attending service academies, they do admit that Niumatalolo's assessment stands to reason given the country's current economic circumstances. Not only does the incentive of a free education make sense in winning parents over to the idea of sending their sons to a service academy, but the recruiting "sells" commonly associated with schools like Army and Navy take on increased significance given the prevailing job market for college graduates. This dynamic, say experts, gives schools like Army and Navy a "leg up" in recruiting forward thinking young men to the gridiron, as more recruits realize that a degree from similar academic institutions may not automatically assure them of immediate post graduate employment.I think it is a dynamic to keep an eye on over the next few years. Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying a return to the days of Army and Navy notching up national titles is immanent - but may could see a rise in win totals for all three schools in the near future.