Kevin Hart needs help. Or he can get a gig when the Hollywood writers’ strike ends. Hart’s the kid who perpetrated the fraud of the year. On National Signing Day, he staged an elaborate press conference at his high school in Fernley, Nev. to “announce” that he’d chosen to attend Cal over Oregon, the two school that supposedly recruited him. Trouble was, neither of them did.
An offensive lineman, Hart, the story turns out, hadn’t been recruited by anyone, let alone either of the Pac-10 school. And yet he wanted to play college ball so badly he concocted this elaborate script and duped a gym full of “extras,” who cheered and whooped and generally showered him with good wishes as he made his announcement.
Now, rather than going to college, he may go to jail – perhaps for filing a false police claim (As his story unraveled, he originally claimed he’d been duped by someone he paid to promote him to colleges).
Kent shouldn’t go to jail. He should go straight to Hollywood. The boy can sure tell a story.
Some have stated that Kent’s hoax is a signal that Signing Day – second only to Christmas in some parts of the nation – should be scrapped. Too much emphasis on decisions made by kids, some say. Too much pressure. Too much hype.
Hogwash. Signing Day is about hopes and dreams. It’s about the hopes of young men and the fans of the schools that sign them. It’s about families and friends and coaches who helped shape young lives. Is it over-hyped? Sure. So what.
In fact, let’s create another Signing Day. One for kids who choose a college simply to, well, go to college. Let’s track them like we do high-school football players. Who are the best young math and science geeks, the best young writers, the best future business or political leaders? Who are the best minds?
Let’s create web sites for them, and have departments heads recruit them like hungry football coaches.
And then on the day they commit, let’s hold press conferences where we’ll cheer and whoop and shower them with good wishes like those good folks in Farnley did to Kevin Hart. Then maybe we’ll thank him instead of ridicule him.
Or at least we’ll give him an Emmy.