Matt Painter, Dan Dakich: Redshirting young children often beneficial
Coaches argue in support of redshirting
Last Updated: 207 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - While holding young children back a year for academic or athletic advantages is a controversial subject, Purdue University basketball coach Matt Painter and former Indiana University coach Dan Dakich said the advantages outweigh the concerns.
When Painter is recruiting players for his team, age is a factor.
"I think you take it into consideration, just like you take into consideration if someone is younger," Painter said. "I don't hold it against him."
Dakich, now a sports talk host, said an older recruit's age can sometimes be a competitive advantage, but not always.
"When you are watching a kid play and you're recruiting him, you are looking at how he does against competition, but you are looking at more than that," Dakich said. "You're looking at and projecting how he will do in the Big Ten, for example."
Painter and Dakich agree that age matters more when the recruit is younger.
"A lot of times when you deal with someone who's a year younger, you get more excited. You feel they have more upside. They have more time to grow into a complete player," Painter said.
Jacqueline Blackwell, an early childhood education professor at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis, cautions against redshirting a young child, saying that it could put too much pressure on a child down the road.
"One parent said to me, 'If my child can spend one additional year in preschool, he enters kindergarten as a leader rather than a follower,'" Blackwell said. "I said, 'He's only 4.'"
Drawing on their own experiences, Painter and Dakich support redshirting young children. They were both older recruits. Each redshirted before college.
Dakich said it was his father's idea for him to sit out a school year, and his father was a high school principal.
"100 percent (athletics) was the reason," Dakich said.
Painter started kindergarten late and grew 2 inches his senior year in high school.
"If they hadn't done that, then I would've actually grown 2 inches my first year of college," Painter said. "I wouldn't have gotten the scholarship offer to Purdue, and I probably wouldn't be sitting here, so I'm glad it happened."
Painter and Dakich both point to one big advantage of redshirting.
"You're more confident. You feel better about yourself," Painter said. "You're a year wiser. I think that helps everybody."
"I don't know how anybody can say it's a bad decision," Dakich said. "For me, it's by far the best decision my father ever made for me."
Painter started his two youngest children in kindergarten late, and Dakich started his son a year later. Dakich said athletics wasn't the only reason behind the decision, and Painter said athletics was not the reason for his decision.
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