Should Signing Day be more inclusive?

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Should Signing Day be more inclusive?

Track athletes signing their NLI in May 2019 with their coaches

Track athletes signing their NLI in May 2019 with their coaches

Photo by Sandra Mamary

Track athletes signing their NLI in May 2019 with their coaches

Photo by Sandra Mamary

Photo by Sandra Mamary

Track athletes signing their NLI in May 2019 with their coaches

Morgan Boll

National High School Signing Day is an event for athletes signing the National Letter of Intent to play sports for a college or university. The purpose of the NLI is to protect both the college and athlete from backing out of the commitment at a later date. In essence, this is a contract between the athlete and the college or university. WHS’ first signing day this year is on Dec. 18. However, other athletes are able to sign at another date later in February.

With signing day coming up, there has been a lot of debate about it on some online parent forums. The controversy stems from community members wanting their children to be recognized in the same way for academics as athletes for their scholarships and commitments.

However, as some may not know, there is a Senior Awards Night at WHS for students to be recognized for their academic awards or scholarships. The awards night this year will take place on May 20 in the WHS auditorium.

Some people want their children to have equal representation of their high academic efforts and achievements.  However, since there is already a Senior Awards Night solely dedicated to students’ academic accomplishments, I do not think it is necessary to add to that into National High School Signing Day.

Both sides have equal representation; if a signing day for academic scholarships was created,  then it would not be equal for sports. Both sides have a day dedicated to themselves; they are already equal. Also, TAP into Westfield reports on both Senior Award Night and Signing Day.

I do agree, however, that Signing Day feels far more prevalent on social media. The student-run @dubfieldathletics Instagram account posts pictures of signing day. This Instagram account would not post about the Senior Awards Night because the account is dedicated to athletics only. If the people advocating for the academic angle want more exposure, they have the power to do so by creating their own accounts.

Every child works hard whether it be in sports or in academics, or both, but there is no way of telling if an academic or athletic scholarship takes more time and effort to receive. 

The Signing Day debate is unnecessary because the Senior Awards Night is just as important to students with academic achievements as signing day is for athletes. They are both represented at WHS and there is nothing to add or take away from either side.