College Recruiters Are Creeping on Middle-School Girls Now

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In case you needed another reason to worry about tween girls, large numbers of them are competing for college athletic scholarships before they’ve even reached high school, in violation of N.C.A.A. recruiting rules and the sanctity of tweendom. According to the New York Times, early scouting is more prevalent in women’s sports than men’s "in part because girls mature sooner than boys,” and in part because Title IX (the federal law that requires colleges spend equally on men’s and women’s sports) has created more women’s scholarships than there are competitive female players. That means sporty 14-year-old girls are spending hours each week communicating with various college recruiters, only to later wind up riding the bench, their early promise having not quite panned out. Or having burned out: The Times reports that a growing body of research suggests that early athletic specialization leads to higher rates of injury. We're still waiting for the research on whether eighth-graders have any credible idea what they want to do after high school.