D is a talented swimmer but we have discussed all along how she's not big State U recruit material. She wanted a VERY large school, not in a city, and not so far she can't come home for the occasional weekend. Back before she toured any schools, our large well known & respected flagship U where she went to swim camp in the summers was her "dream school".
At every step along the recruiting process, I have asked her "here WITH swimming, or state U without"? This caused us to eliminate two of the four schools where she did overnights. It also caused us to cull many interested schools from the list where she could have done OVs.
Maybe two months ago, we discovered she had been using some illegal substances and pretty regularly. She's been different, its hard to say how much of our current issues are about the drugs and how much was senioritis that would have happened anyway. It hasn't affected her swim times and her grades... well, she's struggling to try to pull up a C right now but it's an honors subject in which she's had Cs before. But where she was almost perpetually good-natured and cheerful if not a little lazy, now she has been surly from time to time. She now sometimes says she's hated every school she's visited, and even that she doesn't want to go to college, she'll just work in a store and be poor.
She's received three D1 offers and one D3. The two that she claimed to have liked previously both offered $$$ and both are competitive although not Ivies. Its safe to say she was worthy without the swimming but was by no means a shoe-in without that hook. They are both much smaller than she wanted but at least one of them serves up everything else she could have wanted plus the swimming, and is one of the highest ranking schools I've ever seen in terms of "if I had to do it over...". It is also an easy jaunt into a large city and close to three other colleges which to me makes up for it only having 5,000 students. She came very close to verbally committing (coach didn't actually ask yet, he's actually looking to get her even more $)
On a whim she went out for a discovery weekend at our state's "also-ran" U with a buddy this weekend. It's quite a large school, in a city, and 5 - 6 hours away where we had been looking within 3 - 4. Guess which is the school she says she actually likes for the first time?
Until this year she's never been anything but trustworthy. This school is a great school, but they are so fast there is no way she can even walk on. We were trusting to her competitiveness and the close eye of her teammates and coach to keep her grades up and keep her from partying too much. But we are also not the ones who would have to sacrifice 20 hours a week to a varsity sport or jump in a cold pool at 7:00 am every day.
Any thoughts anyone? We're thinking of insisting she swim D1 for a year and that after a year letting her transfer if she wants. But I don't know how much of that is my own sadness at no longer being mom to a recruited athlete. Also, at one point she said she wanted to coach swimming as an adult, and I don't see that happening at all if she doesn't swim in college. As a side note, the D3 team apparently smokes together regularly but all her D1 visits have been completely clean.