SBD/June 14, 2011/Colleges

IMG To Host Seven-On-Seven Football Tournament At Its Academy

IMG “will dive headfirst into the football recruiting industrial complex later this month when it hosts its first seven-on-seven tournament,” according to Andy Staples of SI.com. The IMG Madden 7-on-7 Championships Presented by Under Armour on June 25 and 26 marks “a turning point in the evolution of elite travel football.” IMG “will march in lockstep with Under Armour to stage an event for traveling all-star teams that will seem a world away from the grassroots circuit that started four years ago.” IMG in August '12 “will field its own football team, possibly with some of the players who first saw the place when they came for the tournament.” Former FSU QB Chris Weinke has run IMG's Madden Football Academy since it opened last year, "hosting camps and training quarterbacks from every level." He said, "The seven-on-seven is the big thing right now. We wanted to be able to put on a first-class event that obviously would showcase our facilities. But even more importantly, we want to make sure that the first time we do it, we do it the right way.” Staples noted IMG has had to “build invisible walls to stay on the right side of the NCAA (also an IMG College client).” IMG Academies College Advisor & NCAA Compliance Education Officer Mark Blaweiss said that the NCAA “need not worry about IMG agents having access to IMG Academies' athletes.” Blaweiss: "That would be cutting off our nose to spite our face" (SI.com, 6/13).
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