A depressing (sort of) story about Kiki Willis

Discussion in 'Lot 8' started by clevelandstoker, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. clevelandstoker

    clevelandstoker Member

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    http://www.vindy.com/content/sports/local_regional/291176797091807.php

    Possibly the greatest talent Northeast Ohio ever produced is working in a steel mill this summer. He's also pretty upfront with his academic troubles.

    It looks like he's getting his stuff together, but the whole thing bothers me. The kid is gifted and doesn't belong working in a steel mill.


  2. congo2

    congo2 New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    I am sure if he wanted a better job he could find one. He could make good money (for a college kid) doing soccer camps for one thing. If he was having some academic trouble, taking a class or two over the summer would take some of the burden off him this fall.

    Hopefully he can keep it together and do well this year.
  3. Mr_HoseHead

    Mr_HoseHead New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    Huh? The steel mill is probably one of the best places he could be right now. It read as though he just had some growing up to do - being away from home, scuffling along in class w/ straight C's - so I'd think that something like a steel mill introduction to the real world may be the best thing for him. There are tons of kids in all kinds of sports, etc. who've either been given the prima donna treatment or never got the luxury of experiencing what the real world's really like. Suddenly they're thrown into the cauldron and have to survive & thrive all on their own. It can be tough and scary, but everyone has to eventually do it if you want to succeed in that real life. Sounds like he's making that transition and will probably do fine - nothing to be sad or bothered about at all.

    And please don't flame for the "scuffling along w/ straight C's" line - while it's certainly a good thing to rise above average now & then it's also certainly not required. Heck, you can party your time away as a solid C student and even grow up to be President...
  4. Ted Eck

    Ted Eck New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    All I see is a kid who was homesick and had the doubts that 98 perecent of frosh have during that thanksgiving/xmas time. All I see is a kid with a summer job who had a tough freshman year......I was expecting to read about drugs or domestic abuse.....if this story depresses you, you gotta get out and see some of the world.


  5. Dsocc

    Dsocc Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    Wait a minute. Isn't this the same guy who passed over all those offers from ManU, PSV and, who knows who else, to play at Michigan and major in pre-med? Maybe he's just doing summer work in occupational epidemiology.
  6. fashion

    fashion New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    Working in the steel mill is the best thing that could happen to him. After my freshman year alot like Kiki's of up and down with self doubt and questioning the need for an education I went to work laying track for the railroad. Didn't take me to long to realize that I didn't particularly want to do this the next forty some years. Hard work does nothing but allow you to appreciate the opportunity of a college education. Many of the people I worked with encouraged me to get my degree and leave this life behind. Worked every summer on the railroad and value the lessons that I learned. Graduated in four years and went on to graduate school. Lets hope that Kiki has a similar experience.
  7. USvsIRELAND

    USvsIRELAND Member+

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    Well said!
  8. Dave Marino-Nachison

    Dave Marino-Nachison Member+

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    There's PDL (Cleveland Internationals) in his area, right? It may be that he needs the money and doesn't have the time or means to work and play, which would be understandable -- still, seems odd if he isn't playing somewhere. (Or is he?)
  9. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    Kiki spent many years playing for George and Louis Nanchoff's Internationals club but is not on their PDL roster. In the past he has generally forsaken summer soccer in favor of conditioning work anyway. Before his senior year at Mooney for example he turned down club and camp opportunities including a top notch Super Y side and spent the summer in Florida doing speed work with Butch Reynolds.

    Kiki is a strange tale that you'd love to be able to flip to the last page and see how it ends, but we're all going to have to wait and see how it unfolds. I've never been his biggest fan - he has a very one-dimensional game - but honestly I don't see what the big deal with him "leaving school" for a month is.

    Apparently Elon has some funky month-long January session - primarily it seems for mission work - that he chose not to attend, and apparently it's not required anyway. As for his grades, well, Kiki has never been an academic dynamo. He's got a low "C" average like a whole bunch of other Div I athletes. Again, nothing terribly significant.

    I would only add that we might want to be careful who we nominate as "the greatest talent Northeast Ohio ever produced" since that covers a lot of ground. A guy named Friedel for one. And down at Ohio State right now is a kid who graduated the year before Kiki: Three time Ohio Player of the Year (including two years when Kiki played) Xavier Balc has a hell of a lot more than a hot right leg.
  10. Skin

    Skin New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    Mission work...:D No, most Elon students use that month for international studies, many doing internships. It's quite easy to finish your undergraduate degree in three-and-a-half years with their unique semester set up.

    Elon is a very good school, beautiful.
  11. Profi

    Profi New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    boo-hoo

    college isn't for everyone.........
  12. ButlerBob

    ButlerBob Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    I read the article after reading most of the posts. I was expecting a much worse story then I got. I'm still trying to figure out how having a summer job at a steel mill is a bad thing. I grew up about 30 - 40 miles east of Youngstown and getting a summer job at a mill was a prime job for kids home from college. With all the variou vacations and down times, these places hire alot of kids to do a lot of grunt work during the summer. But you are getting paid any where from $15 - 20 an hour for a summer job. Not too bad and it keeps you motivated to do well in school. He should count himself lucky that he found a summer job working in a mill.
  13. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    I don't get it either, except that Willis has been a punching bag for some people around here, for reasons one can only guess at.

    I worked two summers at a paper mill, and another at a loading dock for a fresh produce wholesaler. Hot, sweaty, crappy work, but I needed the money and didn't feel that honest labor was beneath me.

    And we didn't belong to a country club or yacht club so hanging around the pool all summer wasn't an option.
  14. eplnut

    eplnut New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    [/QUOTE]

    Your comments above regarding Balc and Willis are inaccurate. Balc was Ohio high school player of the year in DI his junior and senior years (2002/03) only, not three years as stated in your post. He did not make any of the all Ohio high school teams his sophmore year. Kiki was first team All Ohio his sophmore year (2002), (third in the voting for player of the year), and player of the year his junior(2003) and senior years(2004), all in DII. They were not in direct competition with each other for All Ohio honors as your post suggests, because Balc played in DI and Willis DII.

    In addition Willis was a three time (2002/3/4) NSCAA All Ameican, and was the only high school sophmore in the US to be so selected in 2002. Balc was an NSCAA All American in 2002 and 2003.
  15. Dsocc

    Dsocc Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    OK. But if you change Balc from 3 year to 2 year D1 POY, does that change his original point? So, the the storyline is still "Three Time NSCAA HS All American Experiences Collegiate Academic Difficulties and Elects to Work in Steel Mill for Summer."
  16. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    Thanks loads for the rundown. Really. I admit I mis-remembered how many times Balc was Ohio POTY. Beat me, flay me, by the living God that made me you're a better man than I am.

    Doesn't change the damned point on iota, but if it makes you feel good, have at it. And all that NSCAA crap, Jeebus, who cares?

    Not that I don't appreciate the trip down memory lane (and I'm certain ossca.org appreciates the site hits) but so what? The point was that a goodly number of people who've seen them both play numerous times - myself included - would take Balc in a heartbeat.

    Kiki is a fast-as-hell straight ahead hitter with marginal skills, while Balc is a complete soccer player with vision, touch and incredible skills.

    Come see me in five years and we'll see who's still in the game and who's not.
  17. Attacking Minded

    Attacking Minded New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    Well I wouldn't want that to happen to me in a steel plant. That's for sure.
  18. Mr_HoseHead

    Mr_HoseHead New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    Thank you. I'd actually given up on that one - figured it must have been just a bit too subtle...
  19. jgildea8

    jgildea8 New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    DC United has signed Kiki to a developmental contract after an indoor tryout this winter.
    So says Goff.
  20. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    But how can that be, since MLS doesn't just let underclassmen sign contracts without going through GA?:eek:
  21. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    I'm always stunned when someone is willing o go back eight months to find an old thread like this. Good G*d man.

    Is this what MLS wants now? Every college player who thinks he can make it in MLS quitting school and going someplace for a "tryout"? Really?

    For a whole bunch of obvious reasons, that's a really bad idea.

    One suspects there's a particular reason why Willis is getting away with this. He's not Mo Clarett. Is it grades - ie., did he flunk out - or discipline or what, exactly?

    So if MLS would like to explain it so everyone understands, fine. Otherwise it's extremely foolish.

    But then, this is MLS, run by idiots, morons and imbeciles.
  22. jgildea8

    jgildea8 New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    It was found in a google search for more info on the kid's background.
    I was not part of the original conversation, but thought I would update it when I saw it.
    You are a Bigsoccer ++ member and you are stunned by this?:rolleyes:
  23. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

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  24. Mr_HoseHead

    Mr_HoseHead New Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    Waivers? Or "wavers"? as in MLS has a chance to go by their own rules but wavers when given any chance?

    So Kiki gets a developmental contract (maybe $11.7 or $16.5K at 2006 rates). If you can acquire your pool at those numbers why would you even think about waiting for fully-formed college graduates who might have other options? Or go through the expense of the draft (where you also have to take your turn)?

    This kind of behavior should really help MLS improve. If the league itself obviously doesn't care about playing by the rules what message does that send to "the help"?
  25. Dsocc

    Dsocc Member

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    Re: A depressing (sort of) story about Elon's Kiki Willis

    Since MLS can make it up as they go along, perhaps they simply decided to expand the notion of a "waiver" to include collegiate players who've forgone remaining eligibility as having been effectively "waived" by their institution. If so, I suppose in Willis' case he was either an academic casualty or signed with an agent (or both), which effectively voided the terms of his NCAA agreement, and Elon essentially waived their rights to him - as he had no remaining eligibility.

    This is an interesting precedent, frankly, because it means that any collegiate player could essentially make themselves available at any time (and the league could take them in) simply by voiding the remainder of their eligibility. Risky business I suppose, but anyone who'd throw away a 4 year scholarship for the opportunity to occupy an MLS reserve squad for $1200/month probably shouldn't have been in college in the 1st place.

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