Discussion in 'Women's College' started by kejj1212, Jul 6, 2003.
Early commitments II
Having spoken recently to an assortment of soccer parents during Regionals and ODP, I noticed that a significant number of players have already made verbal commitments prior to the official contact periods of July 1 and official visits of September 1. I also heard that several schools had already allocated their scholarships for 2004 as early as this spring! Can anyone comment whether this is normal or something that's becoming a trend? I know that these(verbal commitments) aren't binding, and that the schools cannot comment prior to the players signing letters of intent, but I wondered if this is something that is happening around the country especially with the more prominent programs.
Blame Joe Paterno for this.
He started the practice in College Football about 10 or 15 years ago & it has snowballed over time.
Many top football recruits are now verbally locked up before playing their Senior year of High School.
It doesn't surprise me that this is carrying over into other sports.
This is very true on my daughters team. Seems the money is given out verbally any way, early on. My daughter was offered 100% last summer, she just finished 10 grade! We have 4 regional players who will be senoirs this year eveyone has committed.
Most of the younger players have been taking unofficial visits and talking with coaches already.
I don't know if this trend is good or not. My daughter was pressured to committ early, and one coach kept putting dead lines on her to decide. I think this is one reason she decided aganst that school.
with all the new talent that's emerging from these youth programs, i'm not too surprised that schools are making contacts this quickly. Plus, the schools are getting more competitive every year and don't want to be left behind.
There's also more international players making headlines, that are going NCAA schools. Kara Lang hasn't even started gr 12 yet, and she's had many schools contact her already, no suprise though, she's probably gonna be the most highly recruited player. But that's another reason why schools are acting so fast. Only one school is going to be able to get her, so everyone has to be prepared if they don't, and will need to sign other players just incase.
I must be missing something here. For your daughter to have gotten an offer of 100% at the end of her sophomore year, she would have had to have taken an unofficial visit to the school (or otherwise contacted the coach directly) for the offer to have been made. Ditto the school that was apparently "pressuring" her (assuming they weren't one and the same).
Since that coach couldn't contact her about a response before July 1st this year, how did she get "pressured"? She didn't owe the coach a response, and the coach couldn't contact her about a response prior to 7/1. I don't understand how that coach could "keep putting deadlines on her" if he couldn't contact her in the first place.
that's what i thought too. Because if the coach contacted her before he was allowed to, and she visited the school, isn't that all against NCAA rules? and they would have revoked her chances of getting a scholarship?...
She can contact the coach, and they can talk about anything they want, but the coach can't contact her until after 7/1 following her junior year. I just don't understand how a coach can pressure a player for an early committment when the player can't be contacted before 7/1. Something's not right here.
I believe this young ladies family was proactive and having her visit schools in her sophmore year, as well as her junior year. Her talents are obvious to many, hence the early overtures. If you make unofficial visits you can talk about whatever when it comes to trying to find out where you may fit in a programs future. Obviously for some that discussion will be about available scholarships. My daughters' team played a U-16 regional team this summer.( They were U-17) There had to be at least 50-75 coaches in attendance at this one particular contest. Most of the top 25 women's programs were represented. These young ladies were probably just completing their sophomore year. When and if they visit unofficially during their junior year, I'm positive discussions of potential scholarships will take place prior to the official contact period. If I'm not mistaken, these contact rules/periods in question here, deal with contacts off campus. As to pressuring prospects, that's a relative situation. Offers of full rides regardless of when they are offered, at a major program are rare.Especially when put in the context of how many young people are vying for a soccer scholarship. If a coach leaves you with a suspense date to make a commitment and this is the place you want to be, no pressure. However, with the ever increasing demands to produce competitive teams, the trickle down of high caliber players(see the soccerbuzz.com article) different recruiting styles, and other factors, dictate how aggressive the process can be.
Excuse me if I sidestep the "Justamom's daughter's booster club" here. I should point out, however, that scholarships can only be legitimately offered to "recruited prospective student athlete's" as defined in section 13.02.10 of the NCAA regulations. There is a very precise definition of "recruited prospective student athlete" (RPSA)that involves at least one of the following:
1) an official campus visit by the RPSA (unofficial visits don't count)
2) An arranged off campus encounter between the staff and the RPSA
3) An initiated phone contact between the staff and the RPSA (email's don't count)
An NCAA member institution cannot offer a scholarship, verbally or otherwise, to a prospective student athlete, unless the student athlete becomes a "recruited prospective student athlete", which can't happen until at least January of the athlete's junior year in high school, at the earliest (when official visits become possible).
Forgive me if I seem as an apologist for "justamom". Back to the point. As I understand it, contacts to recruits or RSPA's initiated by the insitution vary depending on the sport. For soccer it can't be initiated (by the coach) until Sept. 1 of their junior year. However a student can visit a campus or call a coach at their expense earlier. According to a NCAA rep that I spoke with(prompted by your thread) it is neither illegal or unethical to discuss terms of a potential scholarship prior to a RSPA's junior year. The offers are not binding until the Letter of Intent is signed (which wouldn't be until Feb of a soccer RSPA's senior year). So you see, it's possible to have had "justamoms" scenario occur. Regardless of what is discussed or when, nothing counts until the NLI is signed. Up until that point it's a gentleman's agreement. If there is some one with a better understanding or interpretation I'd welcome it to this thread.
That 9/1 date is when they can send out official recruiting information. The coach can't call until 7/1 after the player's junior year.
In any event, it brings the argument back around to my earlier point. You can discuss anything you want, but it's not an offer until it's official, and the earliest date it could be official would be January of the players junior year, on the basis of an official visit.
If it's not an official offer, a player simply can't be pressured into an early decision. Although a player might discuss the possibility of a full ride after her sophomore year, she's not even bound to consider the discussion until the offer is made during the course of one of the proscribed "official" occurrences.
OK, this is how she was pressured. The summer of her junior year ( (just finished tenth grade). She was contacted buy a third party. Asking her to call this coach, was given , home ,office, and cell phone numbers. She called and was offered a full scholarship and asked for a committment at that time. As she made the contact it was indeed legal.
Sept 1 of the junior year, players can be contacted by mail, email. Of course players can still call the coaches. As my daughter was interested in this school she made several unofficial visits, to this school as well as many other schools. This is indeed all legal. She had more than one full athletic scholarship offer. One school presured her to give a response sooner than she was ready to. Yes she could have just not responded to the emails and mail, but this was a school she was really looking at, and liked.
Any player at any time can contact the coach. But can not talk to the coach off of campus, until July 1 of the senior year.
You can contact a collage coach your self and ask.
Coaches are more than happy to talk.
Poor kid. All that pressure from ALL sides.
Good thing she's not into cheerleading... lol
Sorry. Her contact with the coach was legal. The coach can offer her a scholarship, but it's not an official offer, and the coach knows it. She doesn't have to accept (or reject it) it until it's official and can't be "pressured" into a response (which the coach also knows). The coach can certainly ask for a committment at that point, hoping the player might bite. Most good athletic departments frown on the practice, however. In any event, your 1st post indicated that the coach kept pressuring the player beyond the original verbal (and unofficial) communication.
The coach is no fool, and is going to try and lock up players anyway possible. Any player worth 100% early on is worth 100% later on, and is worth a lot to another program. If she's as good as you say, she was in the driver's seat, and the coach simply would have waited for a response at the proper time. I suppose that if you're shortsighted enough to keep initiating contact when you don't really need to, you might as well expect to feel pressured.
Lets try to clear it up a bit. When you are 16 years old and told "I am going to offer you 100% to go to my school but I need an answer with in 10 days". If that is a school you are interested in than that is pressure.
She could not afford to blow this coach off as she very well might have wanted to go there. On the other hand she was not ready to commit, and told that coach that. That didn't stop the coach from placing one deadline after the next on her. As you noted this coach wanted to get a young player locked up. My daughter had to do a tight rope walk trying to keep the chance to go to that school viable, with out making any commitments.
She was offered 100% from other schools but they did not put the pressure on that the this one did. So yes we know that it is not the way most coaches opperate. As I note in my first post that is one reason she did not choose that school. Just to be clear my daughter did all the negotiating on her own we did not interfere.
Chargecard5, I don't know how this post took this turn. I was merely sharing our experiences. We DON"T need a telethon, for poor pressured athletes. On the other hand maybe it will help some other young player who is in the same situation.
One last point. We have noted that the larger scholarships are offered early.This seams to be the national trend.
Dsocc quotes"The coach is no fool, and is going to try and lock up players anyway possible. Any player worth 100% early on is worth 100% later on, and is worth a lot to another program. If she's as good as you say, she was in the driver's seat, and the coach simply would have waited for a response at the proper time. I suppose that if you're shortsighted enough to keep initiating contact when you don't really need to, you might as well expect to feel pressured. [/B][/QUOTE] Dsocc, I'm curious as to why you think a kid with limited negotiating skills compared to a coach who recruits as well as coaches for a living, is in the drivers seat. If a coach offers a scholarship with a suspense date to their school and this school is one a kid really likes, but doesn't have time to consider other options, pressure can mount. Some coaches offer scholarships with deadlines well before official visits can begin. If you don't have the opportunity to visit other schools before the offer is rescinded, or if other coaches who show interest aren't as willing to discuss exact numbers, it can be stressful. Sure the kid possesses a talent that the coach covets, but the coach may be a member of the school the kid covets. Not many kids have the resources to examine schools at their own expense. As the talent pool increases, early birds get bigger “worms”. Some elite programs have much of their scholarship money allocated to their most coveted recruits. Those are usually National players, esp players, and at the very least regional caliber players. If a coach offers a full ride to player "A", chances are there's a player "B","C", and "D" that has received a similar offer. It's a game of poker; whoever blinks first may lose what they want. An opportunity to land a good player, the opportunity to go to a school where you think you may really want to be, a significant scholarship offer. Big stakes, and only the most prepared students and families come away with the feeling that the recruitment process was mutually beneficial. Many coaches allow the process to develop within the time frame allocated for recruiting. The landscape of recruiting is changing though. There is an article called “How college scholarships really work” printed in the San Jose Mercury Times about 1999. It’s an eye opener to the “average Joe” as to how recruiting works. Check it out.
Dsocc, I'm curious as to why you think a kid with limited negotiating skills compared to a coach who recruits as well as coaches for a living, is in the drivers seat. If a coach offers a scholarship with a suspense date to their school and this school is one a kid really likes, but doesn't have time to consider other options, pressure can mount. Some coaches offer scholarships with deadlines well before official visits can begin. If you don't have the opportunity to visit other schools before the offer is rescinded, or if other coaches who show interest aren't as willing to discuss exact numbers, it can be stressful. Sure the kid possesses a talent that the coach covets, but the coach may be a member of the school the kid covets. Not many kids have the resources to examine schools at their own expense. As the talent pool increases, early birds get bigger “worms”. Some elite programs have much of their scholarship money allocated to their most coveted recruits. Those are usually National players, esp players, and at the very least regional caliber players. If a coach offers a full ride to player "A", chances are there's a player "B","C", and "D" that has received a similar offer. It's a game of poker; whoever blinks first may lose what they want. An opportunity to land a good player, the opportunity to go to a school where you think you may really want to be, a significant scholarship offer. Big stakes, and only the most prepared students and families come away with the feeling that the recruitment process was mutually beneficial. Many coaches allow the process to develop within the time frame allocated for recruiting. The landscape of recruiting is changing though. There is an article called “How college scholarships really work” printed in the San Jose Mercury Times about 1999. It’s an eye opener to the “average Joe” as to how recruiting works. Check it out. [/B][/QUOTE]
Spoken like coach. Look, if a coach wants a player badly enough to offer a full scholarship after the player's sophomore year (arranging the contact through an intermediary, no less) then the player must be worth the effort. The coach can try to shove a suspense date down the player's throat, but if that player bails, the coach is probably looking at a less desireable option, or wouldn't have started with the player so early in the first place. It may be a game of poker, but the coach doesn't hold enough aces if she (or he) is caught bluffing.
Lets not be disengenous here (and let's not confuse say the National Pool, with going to college and playing soccer). We both know that there's more money than high quality players in the women's collegiate ranks right now (Thank you Title IX). That makes it a players market when it comes to opportunities, especially for regional level or higher players. Economics 101, Supply and Demand - Too much money chasing too few good players. The Top 50 D1 programs are LOADED with full scholarship players who are athletically gifted but tactically or technically "challenged".
Justamom's original comments involved the pressures her daughter faced as a result of early contact(s) with the coach, and apparently more than one. Otherwise, how do you interpret her comment "That didn't stop the coach from placing one deadline after another on her"?
It seems to me pretty unusual for this type of badgering to occur unless:
1) The player kept contacting the coach in an effort to keep the coach on the hook, and using that as leverage in talking to other schools (Pretty sophisticted bargaining for a 16 year old, don't you think?).
2) The coach kept e-mailing deadlines (a coach pushing the limit of respectibility isn't going to leave a paper trail)
3) The player happened to be in routine contact with said coach via club or ODP participation. Pretty dicey also, but that doesn't keep some coaches from doing it.
In any case, as I noted before, the coach is not obliged to make an offer before the statutory contact dates, and the player certainly is not obliged to respond to an offer if one is made. For the coach to leave any other impression on the player (who is a minor, BTW) is the type of misrepresentation that most quality schools (and quality coaches) want to stay away from.
If you want to give any good advice for parents it should be:
1) Bother to learn the rules.
2) Inform your daughter (and prospective coach) both that no discussions relative to scholarships are to be held unless you're present.
Dsocc, you leave me speechless. Your anger is hard to understand. I would respond if I knew what you were trying to say.
Are these the talking points?
1) We made up the whole scenario?
2) We should have known this was going to happen and been better prepaired?
3) Title IX should have never been passed?
4) Girls and soccer should not, be together in a conversation about college sports?
5) All college coaches are just concerned with doing things fairly? If a player says other wise, she is at fault?
6) Soccer in the US is poor, but only on the female side?
7) Having just been though the process we still "don't know the RULES"?
8) Soccer has more than 12 full sholarships? So they have a ton of money to spend? So all girls should be able to get handsom packages?
9) Because my daughter didn't commit right away, proves that she was a sophisticated gold digger?
10) If she had committed right away that would prove she didn't know the rules?
11) emailing players after Sept 1 JR year is illegal?
12) All contact has to be made by the player, so unwelcome pressure is a figment of the players imagination?
13) If you are a good player(female), you just write your own ticket, no need for all these college visits?
Dsocc, I'm not teaming up on you but I'd like to know from where your experience comes from to dispense your advice. Are you a coach, a player who has gone through the expirience of recruiting recently, a parent or what? I for one, am just a parent who painstakenly investigated every source of information; books, coaches, websites, other families who have gone through the process, etc, to help my child make the most informed decision. The initial focus of this thread, which I started, was to see if a trend was starting of earlier commitments. I personally know of at least 20 or so kids who commited prior to July1. Those offers/commitments may not be binding, technically but you can believe that most coaches won't touch you with a ten foot pole when they know you've verbally commited. For me, that's binding enough. A kid knows that an early decision runs them out of consideration for other schools, a later decision could potentially cost them scholarship dollars to a school they are considering. Top 25 programs have no shortage of elite players. Check out the profiles of their incoming players. I would venture to say the top programs have their top prospects locked up in advance of initial contact periods and surely by the time official visits start. There were a couple of schools that were recruiting my kid even though they had no scholarship money to offer. This was in March of their junior year. The leverage a player yields depends on the program, caliber of the player, and caliber of the other potential recruits considering that school. It also depends whether or not you can afford finacially to wait and take less money should you decide to procrastinate, or examine your other options. Depending on the desirability of the recruit or the desirability of the program/school, dictates who has the upper hand in the recruiting game. This I can attest to from personal expirience.
3) Title IX is what gives you your forum.
4) College soccer is an excellent sport for women.
5) Most are, some aren't. A 16 year old girl is no arbiter.
6) College soccer is not the USWNT. You advocate as though it were the latter.
7) Not enough to give advice, IMHO.
8) 12 scholarships alright, but more money in the sport than the pool of available quality players. That's simply a fact. If it weren't we wouldn't be having this discussion. Check out the men's college game - no feeding frenzy by comparison.
9) Nope. But don't complain about undue pressure if you're working the system.
10) Sounds like she didn't. Matter of choice. See 9)
11) Nope. Emails don't yet count.
12) Only if you put yourself in a position to let it happen.
13) Plenty of need, especially if you expect to receive an education (sic). Don't overestimate the coach, don't underestimate yourself.
kejj1212 - Feel free to pile on (although judging by your post count and location, I'll assume you and Justamom are contemporaries and likely well aquainted). BTW- yes, no, yes, and then some
Unlike "justamom" your cynicism doesn't grate me, just amuses me. As I stated in my previous post, what are your expiriences, qualifications? Enough pontificating. I'd appreciate a frank reply. Having recently gone through this recruiting expirience, a year or so ago I would have considered myself relatively naive. However, I'm totally satisfied with the way things turned out. In hindsight, I don't see really much more I could have done as a parent to make the situation any less stressful. Not to say that the process has been a negative one, it hasn't been. It's wonderful to have a child have so many options. Helping a child select a school when there are many or when there are few choices has it's own inherent stressors, no matter how well you are prepared.
Sorry, other than pontificating, I've got nothing other to offer than 20 years in the youth, collegiate and professional sport, and I've gotten more than my fair share of players into D1 collegiate programs. Cynicism, maybe. Realism, definitely.
I'll reiterate my earlier opinion about early committments. They are market driven entirely. Good female players have a lot more leverage than you appear inclined to believe.
I'm going to suggest that you also do the same analysis of recruits and opportunuities on the men's side of the game and see if your opinion changes somewhat. I suspect it would.
Having dealt at length with both sexes, I can tell you with certainty that quality women players are in FAR better positions than their male counterparts when it comes to being recruited. I can also tell you that, because the relative pool of quality men players is much higher than women, and the number of opportunities significantly fewer, early committment is seldom, if ever, an issue.
I understand that your opinions are base on your experiences with your own daughter, and I'm sure she was an elite player. I'd suggest that you might like to have a somewhat larger perspective on the overall game, however, before we begin debating issues of fact and cynicism.