Dullack's Docket

Hamler the latest to leave Michigan looking to enhance his opportunities

Football   | Jeff Dullack

Hamler the latest to leave Michigan looking to enhance his opportunities

The news of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s wide receiver K.J. Hamler leaving the Eaglets’ football program as he will transfer down to IMG Academy in Florida is the latest in a long line of talented high school stars leaving the state of Michigan.


Regardless of sport, we’re beginning to see a growing number of players not just leaving their high school, but leaving Michigan for greener pastures.

So why are athletes leaving the state with such regularity now?

The Michigan High School Athletic Association should shoulder at least some of the blame.

We’re in an era where student-athletes are looking for more exposure than ever in their pursuit of achieving their goals of playing in college athletics. But MHSAA rules do plenty to prevent that from happening with its out-of-date rules.

With Hamler attending IMG Academy, he’s going to a state that offers far more to athletes, in terms of helping them achieve the recognition that they’re looking for.

Hamler received plenty of attention on the recruiting scene, earning several high level offers from schools like Michigan State and Oregon, but the 4-star recruit was clearly looking for more.

And it goes beyond just football, like basketball, where the state’s top stars are transferring out of Michigan on a yearly basis.

Take Josh Jackson for instance. The No. 1 high school basketball player in the country for the class of 2016. Jackson left for a better opportunity, leaving Detroit Consortium for California’s Prolific Prep, and with the help of more attention, Jackson became a nation-wide star before stepping on a college basketball court. It’s something that the MHSAA’s rules often don’t offer athletes.

In other states like Florida, the high school athletic associations allow high school games to be broadcast on ESPN, while the MHSAA refuses to allow high school contests to be broadcast on ESPN.

While it seems like a small issue, it the minds of many, not being able to broadcast games live tends to be a big issue, especially while other states throughout the country have no issue at all allowing live broadcasts.

So with the MHSAA stuck in its old ways, refusing to allow the exposure to high school sports like so many other states do allow, high school athletes in the state of Michigan are reacting to the fact that the MHSAA doesn’t do nearly enough to promote its own athletes by leaving.

Until the MHSAA alters some of its rules and brings them up to date there will continue to be little to no incentive for student-athletes to remain in Michigan if an opportunity outside of the state arises.