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always looking for the NEXT SPORTS PHENOM
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STEALING PLAYERS

Can a player actually be stolen.
The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. 

"Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him."  

David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this must die!  He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."

 

 

2 Samuel 12

Stealing players - The act of underhandedly grabbing an active player from another team.   

Yes, this is basically an accepted definition, however, can a player really be stolen?  Are player's owned, are they property of any team?  Did someone actually pay for the player?   If so, how much and is the payment binding?   Is it even legal to "own" a player and if you can actually own a player then you can then theoretically sell the player as well.
 
Actually, no one can steal a player, parents make decisions about their children based on what they are looking for out of a program.   A 2009 study by NSP concluded that 35% of players/parents are unhappy with their current teams.  This means that there are a group of players that want to leave anyway.  There are some players that actually need to be "stolen" as soon as possible.   The desire and pressure to win along with the ego's of some coaches and the laziness of other coaches to develop their current players to an acceptable level fuels the underground player stealing market.  
 
The market is so dark that many coaches don't speak to one another,  teams won't play each other and coaches are "forbidden" by an unwritten rule, from speaking to an opposition's players even to congratulate them or to ask about their families.   Of course, unwritten rules are made to be broken.  Professional and college sports have actual anti-tampering rules prohibiting contact of players under contract but, none of these rules apply to high school, AAU and Club basketball. 
 
I believe that if a player is in a positive situation where they are getting what they need, it is nearly impossible to "steal" them. I also understand that organizations need to continue to grow their teams and many will constantly add and replace players.  As a parent I tried to have my children honor the commitment they've made to their team for that season, after the season we've always reevaluated the situation and made a family decision on whether to remain or not.  So, if as a parent I looked for the best situation for my child, it would be hypocritical of me to hold a coach or program under a different set of rules.  I do frown upon, empty promises and lies.  Promising a player a certain ranking or offer if they play with you is as shady as promising free then charging $1200.00 after it's too late to go anywhere.  
 
Some coaches are doing players a favor by going after them and are truly putting them in a better situation.  Some coaches should give the player their blessing if they have taken them as far as they can. 
 
So, is it okay to go after other teams players or are they off limits until they contact you or leave?   You decide.
 

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