A budding SoCal football power took an interesting tact heading into summer practices when its head coach announced that no players would be allowed to wear any gear emblazoned with college logos when around team activities.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Sondheimer, Loyola High coach Marvin Sanders declared that his players would officially remain college neutral for the entire season. While there was speculation that the move had been made to accommodate multiple players who are related to college coaches at UCLA and USC, Sanders insisted that it was a byproduct of creating an atmosphere were all college recruiters would be encouraged to take stock of the Loyola players.
“I want every school to feel comfortable they can come in and recruit our kids, not just USC and UCLA,” Sanders told the Times.
The assistant coaches in question are USC assistant coach Peter Sirmon and a duo of UCLA coaches: head coach Jim Mora Jr. and assistant Kennedy Polamalu.
While the move might put a damper on personal pride for players who have rightfully earned athletic scholarships, it also bears a lot of merit. How would you feel if you were a weary Washington State assistant coach who spends two practices watching and waiting to speak with a star prospect only to find them continually sporting UCLA gear? What if you’re from San Jose State?
At the very least, the novel policy can’t hurt Loyola’s recruiting success, and given that it’s a private school there’s absolutely nothing stopping Sanders and his staff from forcibly scrubbing college logos off anything and everything. More power to him for taking a forceful stance.