Market Power

Musings by an academic economist on the power of markets and the power over markets.

Friday, November 19, 2004

My Mom Made Me Do It!

Leo Criswell isn’t particularly happy about signing a letter of intent (i.e. a contract) to play basketball for the Missouri Tigers. He narrowed his choices to Kentucky and Missouri, reportedly gave Kentucky a verbal, but his mother told him to sign with Missouri. Apparently his mom, Georgia Lyons of Piper Ks., wanted Leo to a. be closer to home and b. get an education. He wanted to get trained to go to the NBA.

While people are saying that he didn’t want to go to Missouri, this isn't the case. He told his mom that he had narrowed his choices to Missouri and Kentucky, and she pushed him to go to Missouri. This just reveals his preference for going to Kentucky: he liked both, but he liked Kentucky better. But he deferred to ma.

Kids change their minds all the time, but the magnitude of such indecision gets magnified when it comes to deciding where to play major college sports, what with all the coverage recruiting gets. That’s especially true at Missouri. The press that coves Mizzou sports is pretty heavy. There are two major metropolitan areas with lots of Tiger fans (and haters) in them. There is also a very good journalism school at the university with its own daily newspaper and lots of aspiring news hounds. Whatever is said that is negative is going to get a lot of coverage – especially now in the wake of the program’s recent troubles. After all, people read about bad news.

If Leo really preferred Kentucky and doesn’t warm up to being a Tiger, he could become a distraction to the team. And if he does warm up, he’ll have to play twice as hard to cause people to forget about this little incident, or at least treat it like a little thing. This is quite a burden to put on a high schooler.