Much has been made about the decision of two Topeka athletes this week, Aaron Crow and Rico Richardson. I will address both separately, but keep in mind, they are both kids.
Crow and the Royals
For those of you not following the story, Crow who went to Washburn Rural High school and Missouri, was reportedly offered $3 million dollar from the Royals, but decided not to sign, a year after turning down a similar offer from the Washington Nationals. Instantly, people were all over Crow for not taking the money. How could you not want $3 mil, they argue. Well yes, it is a lot of money, but don't place all the blame on Crow. First, he is listening to the advice of his agent. While he may want to sign, his agent could be telling him to wait. In some cases agents hold out for more, not just for one client, but to add value to other clients as well. In this case the Royals have already locked up a 4th rounder for $1.5 million and a 3rd rounder for $2 million. Both those values were FAR more than what is recommended for those draft slots. What does this all mean? It is not all Crow's fault. As he learned last year, baseball is a business. And since he pitched in the independent league, he does not have to sign by Monday's deadline.
Richardson and Prep School
Highland Park star and 3-time all-stater Rico Richardson elected to leave the Scots to play basketball for a prep school in Maine. The common reaction? To trash the player and the school. Again I side with the athlete. How could anyone fault a kid for trying to improve his athletic stock, as well as his education? Rico admits his lifestyle and surrounding got him into some tough situations, which included a drug arrest, and home confinement. He was given the rare gift of skill on the basketball court, and is using it to better himself. Sure, most people in his situation would not have this opportunity, but I give him all the credit in the world for taking advantage of the situation he is in.