Adults are Still Taking Advantage of Kids

You’d think by now coaches, players and parents would be a little more savvy. Apparently not. Over the years there has been plenty of documentation of AAU coaches etc. taking advantage of players. Here’s the latest example.

A foreign national whose obvious athletic talent got him into the United States, GP was here on a student visa. Needing to change high schools, he was pimped by his AAU coach, who was more interested in the power that comes with controlling a player of GP’s caliber than finding the best situation for this young man. So the coach refused help and more reputable schools, sending him instead 700 miles and four states away where he would attend school and play for a different team. (The team and the school are not the same. Don’t get me started.)

As part of the deal, and to maintain his legal status, his new team promised to take care of all his student visa paperwork. He played for the team, but the men running it never took care of the paperwork.

It turns out they didn’t because the school they sent him to, by definition, is not approved by the government to issue the necessary paperwork. Most schools in the US could have easily supplied the necessary paperwork. Not this one. The men running the team knew that when they told him they’d get his paperwork done.

They lied, he trusted them, he played. They got what they wanted, a better team. He’s out of options. He’s in the country illegally. Even though he’s been offered scholarships, he can’t accept them. To be eligible to accept them he must get his paperwork reinstated. To do that he must leave the country. Once he leaves he’s unlikely to ever get back in.

You could say GP and his guardian contributed to the problem. There’s no question there’s truth to that. But he’s a teenager in a foreign country. He and his guardian relied on adults. They let him down.