Tag Archives: children

Redshirting: Changing the Game

The growing trend of parents redshirting their children prior to high school athletic competition leaves youth sports torn between ethical values and winning.  

The phenomenon, traditionally used by athletes competing in the NCAA, is now shifting towards kids as early as kindergarten.  This parentinitiated process is a way for a child to gain physical advantages compared to his or her peers, as well as attract the attention of college coaches and recruiters.    

Most organizations and sports programs do not see the practice as enough of a threat to enforce regulations against it. Yet other entities, such as the New Jersey state legislature, are pushing to end redshirting.

“Right now, it’s not [considered] cheating,” New Jersey State Senator Richard Codey (D-Essex) said, “but we know it is. It’s trying to game the system.”  

Despite several gray areas in the bill, many do believe parents should take into consideration all the ramifications of such actions.

“We really need to think about kids’ rights to an open future,” CSUN Kinesiology Professor Doug McLaughlin said. “Some people in our society value sports too much, which causes people to do things that are problematic.” McLaughlin said if parents decide to redshirt their children for sports, they have only a 50-50 chance at best of seeing success after high school.

A Notre Dame University study found that kids who repeat a year of school between kindergarten and sixth grade, are 60 percent less likely to finish high school.

“It’s tough enough to be a teenage boy and have your parents tell you you’re not good enough so we are going to hold you back,” said President of William S. Hart Baseball, Michael Eberle. “The kids are [the] victims at stake.  I’m just not sure that is a positive message.”

Former college football player and current high school football coach Trajuan Briggs said his perspective on the trend has changed through the years.

“As a player on the high school level, I thought it was a bit unfair.  Since this kid is now in my recruiting class, what if he gets the scholarship I was suppose to get?” Briggs said.  “Once I got to college, my outlook on those types of players changed.  It didn’t bother me at all.  I knew I was going to have to compete with 23-year-old juniors as a freshman and rely on my skills.”

As a coach, Briggs has seen the trend occur several times.  

“It goes back to Pop Warner, where kids are being held back by the parents,” Briggs said. “And believe it or not, a lot of high school coaches look for that.  They feel like it is an on field advantage.” 


Moderator: Harry Bennett III

Anchor: Ayo Adelaja

Producer: Haley Kramer

Social Media Editors: Valerie Hernandez and Sofia Levin

Reporters: Harry Bennett III, Jarvis Haren, Valerie Hernandez, Haley Kramer, Sofia Levin and Mariah Robinson

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A Safe Place to Live?

Only six percent of former foster children earn a college degree, according to a 2011 study from the University of Chicago.

CSUN Professor of Child and Adolescent Development Dr. Roxanne Moschetti is in the small group of former foster children who beat the statistic.

“When I think about how I ended up where I am now, as opposed to where I started,” Moschetti said, “it was little things, like a fourth grade teacher that asked me to help them with a bulletin board after school – small things – or like a school nurse that acknowledged that my handwriting was nice.”

The insecurity of the foster care system makes normal childhood difficult.

“[A new foster home] was always very foreign,” Moschetti said. “Even if your family lives under a bridge, even though we were homeless, or even though our home was really, really chaotic, it was still familiar to me.”

Child S.H.A.R.E recruiter Bob Levy was moved from home to home as a foster child.

“I was a pretty good kid but I bounced four times in three years,” he said, “so trying to socialize in school was very traumatic because as soon as they knew you were a kid in foster care, and word got around, you’re labeled, so that was very hard to deal with. And then just trying to keep up with your school work is devastating because as soon as you change a school, it’s a different curriculum.”

Los Angeles County has the highest number of foster children of any county in California. According to the Department of Children and Family Services, more than 30,000 children are in the Los Angeles foster care system.

Moschetti said the large number of foster children in Los Angeles could have something to do with the environment.

“When you’re looking at counties, and you’re looking at foster care rates within them, you also look at the other things,” she said. “So [you look at] poverty levels, socio economic status, substance abuse, and things like that, because they all go hand in hand.”

Moschetti said past trauma and lack of attachment make the adjustment to a new home even harder.

“We really focus on attachment,” she said. “So [we look at] the reason that has brought the children into the foster home. If it’s abuse, if it’s severe abuse and neglect, [then] they haven’t formed secure attachment with their caregivers. That can carry on longterm as well as any trauma.”

That trauma can continue into the next generation, and Levy says children of fostered youth make up a number of those in the system.

“What we are finding is that a lot of these kids that are placed in foster care are having children that they are putting into foster care,” he said.

“If you look at longitudinal studies on children that were abused and neglected, unfortunately often times they do become abusers,” Moschetti said.

But Levy encourages children in the foster care system to stay positive regardless of statistics.

“For the foster child that’s feeling kind of hopeless, know that they are wonderful, that God made them special and precious, and they have skills and talent,” he said. “The fact that they have had to survive and go through these things will actually make them more resilient to the pressures of the world.”

Moderator: Brenda Garcia

Producer: Teresa Arevalo

Anchor: Alexis Wadley

Reporters: Wahid Lodin and Gloria Star

Social Media Editor: Kelsey Ducklow

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