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Help Columbia University

leah32398leah32398 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
edited October 2015 in Athletic Recruits
So I back from my OV on Saturday at Columbia University and I'm completely in love. It's now Wed and they haven't called me back. They called other girls offering them spots... I'm freaking out right now. Before my OV my coach called them (they are friends) and offered me an OV right then are there. On the OV they seemed to really really like me. They liked my personalty, my body frame, everything. I asked a lot of questions, told them Columbia is my first choice and they said they would call me. My pre-read came back positive.... so what did I do wrong?
Post edited by Chedva on

Replies to: Help Columbia University

  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 352 Member

    There are many others who regularly post here who have gone through Ivy recruiting and are pretty much experts. They will give you their more helpful thoughts.

    All I can do is cheer from the sidelines. I don't know precisely what is going through the coach's head. It is possible that he or she knows that C is your first choice and knows if offered the spot you will jump at it. He may have decided to call the more challenging recruits first, knowing that you will be there for the coach when he or she calls.

    My only thought is not to be shy. Perhaps an email or call saying something to the effect of "Thank you very much for having me for the OV weekend on _______." As you know, I enjoyed my stay and I really would love to play for C. What are the next steps?" (Incidentally, as the folks in the working world know, the last question is the most important).

    I suggest this only because I know a recruit who had just about scratched a highly desired college off the list because coach contact had dissipated after a showcase. A proactive communication to the coach resulted in a confession that the coach thought that he had offered coach support, but forgot to send the email before vacation. Coaches are human, after all.

    Anyway, the Ivy folks will probably give you far better Ivy based advice.
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,429 Senior Member
    Don't despair yet. ED deadline is in a few days so there is a lot of last minute scrambling taking place.

    Just wondering, are there any other schools (particularly Ivies) that have been recruiting you? If you're being asked to go ED by another school, that could incentivize Columbia.
  • CantigerCantiger Registered User Posts: 899 Member
    My son is an Ivy varsity athlete (senior) so we have also been through the recruiting process. My advice would be to send a thank you e-mail to the coach just as @gointhruaphase suggested above, including a question about next steps. You may also wish to let the coach know again that you will come if admitted...this is a strong plus for the Ivy's who like having a high matriculation rate. Columbia is a great school and if your pre-read was good then you should still be a candidate.

    For most coaches at the Ivy level, the pressure to have a "winning team" still exists but is held in tension with the importance of the image they present and the connection they make to their donating alumni base, in comparison to other D1 schools. An athlete who presents as mannerly, forthright and confident is important to most Ivy coaches. If you follow up you reinforce the personality attributes they hope for in addition to athletic talent.

    I wish you all the best as you look ahead to the next chapter! I remember these months being stressful...try to be kind to yourself and stay off CC if it stresses you out. Good luck!
  • HeightsHeights Registered User Posts: 109 Junior Member

    You did absolutely nothing wrong. Unfortunately, this whole process can be quite heartless and it may be that you got caught up in the sinister game of musical chairs. Shame on the Columbia coach for not being more forthright with you about where you sat on the list. Hopefully you have applied ED elsewhere and are well on your way.
  • leah32398leah32398 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    So I heard back like a week ago and they told me I was their first recruit but my ACT was too low and they couldn't help me unless some people decommit. The thing that I don't understand is that I went through the pre-read before my OV and they send I would be fine to go through admissions and that it was positive. I felt that they wasted my time and got my hopes up for nothing, so I'm back at square one sadly. I think everything happens for a reason and it might be for the best but I'm still
  • SwimDad99SwimDad99 Registered User Posts: 182 Junior Member
    Thanks for the update, Leah. Maybe you can plan to take the ACT again in December? My son used PrepScholar, and it was really helpful. Or there are any number of study guides and previous exams that should help you boost your score.
  • grandprimegrandprime Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    @leah32398 Hi, that seems very irresponsible on the coaches end...I can't believe the admissions would change their decision on your ACT score after sending out a positive pre read. This actually happened with me for an ivy league school as well. The head coach told me I would be fine with the pre-read; however, he suddenly started to not contact me and kept on telling me to keep in contact with the assistant coach (who did not reply to the last 5 emails I sent to him). In the end I gave up and decided to commit to a school that would love to have me + had a great team environment. The regional recruiting officer for that school is good friends with my counselor so my counselor asked her about my academic stats as a recruit. The regional admissions officer said my stats would easily pass me through a preread as a recruited athlete (high honor roll student, 2200+ SAT score. 770+ on 3 sat subject tests). This is my opinion but the coach may have found a better recruit athletic-wise but still wants to have you on the team as well. In order to recruit you on the team, the coach needs you to be a little more academically qualified (ACT score) since the coach also has a max number of more athletic oriented students he/she can pass through admissions. I may be wrong, just my thoughts from my experience! Hopefully that helped...Did you decide to apply ed?
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,429 Senior Member
    @leah32398, sorry to hear the way things played out at Columbia. As a D1 caliber athlete with the academics to get a positive Ivy pre-read, there will be more great opportunities coming your way, no doubt.

    Unfortunately, it's not unusual for a coach to use a test scores or the AI to back away from a recruit when a shinier piece of metal catches his eye. When he said, "Your ACT is too low and I can't help you unless some people decommit", I would have been tempted to ask him how others de-committing is going to raise my ACT score.
  • ClarinetDad16ClarinetDad16 Registered User Posts: 3,420 Senior Member
    @leah32398 it is understandable how you feel.

    Perhaps you have not experienced rejection before this. Do you think their goal was to "waste your time and get your hopes up?"

    Time to rebound, and find a best fit school. And in my opinion, it is best not to be at the bottom of the applicant pool, a school where you are a star is a place to shine.
  • cosarcosar Registered User Posts: 696 Member
    My understanding is that, in Ivy League recruiting, each recruit has to meet a minimum Academic Index (AI), which is based on a certain number of standard deviations below the mean AI for the student population as a whole at that school. But each team overall has to meet an average AI level well above the minimum. (I'm not an expert, so I may not have this exactly right, but I'm pretty sure it's right in concept.) So you might have been above the minimum, and therefore passed the pre-read, but there may not have been enough recruits with AI's sufficiently above the required team average to offset yours (assuming you were at the low end - obviously I have no idea if that's the case). If that's the scenario, then it would make sense that if others at the lower end of the AI range decommit, it might open up room to take you even if you're very low in the permitted AI range. In this sense, it's a bit like a salary cap - in order to free up room for a "high-price" (i.e., relatively low AI) athlete, you have to clear enough cap room. Certainly the coach could have been more transparent with you, but the coach's job is to put together the best team he/she can within the constraints imposed by the Ivy League rules, and coaches generally want to keep recruits "warm" for as long as they can until the whole process is sorted out.

    I agree with @varska that there will undoubtedly be more great opportunities coming your way, so while the process is stressful, you will certainly end up somewhere great. Best of luck!
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,429 Senior Member
    My understanding is that, in Ivy League recruiting, each recruit has to meet a minimum Academic Index (AI), which is based on a certain number of standard deviations below the mean AI for the student population as a whole at that school

    You're close - in the Ivy League, the overall group of recruited athletes at each school must be within 1 standard deviation of the student population taken over a 4-year rolling average. Administration and the Athletic Director at each school provides guidelines of expected AI averages for each team. The league-wide floor for any individual recruit is 176,

    So for a coach to say "your ACT is too low" and in the next breath say, "I can't help you unless some people de-commit", I think he's being disingenuous.

    For example, let's say you have a 190 AI and coach is shooting for a 200 team average. If someone with a higher AI than you (let's say 195) decommits, that doesn't make your 190 suddenly look okay - adding a 190 would only further lower the team AI. And if a 185 decommits, well the fact that he had a 185 on his list in the first place means that your academics were never the problem.

    Sometimes I think it's easier for a coach to just point to a test score than to talk about relative athletic strength.
  • bluewater2015bluewater2015 Registered User Posts: 563 Member
    @leah32398 I agree with others that the coach seems to have been disingenuous with the comment about your ACT score. I hope that you keep plugging away and end up a school you're happy with.

    Just one other thought, and varska alluded to this earlier, and that is the more schools/options you are pursuing, the higher the chances of an outcome you like. Sometimes it's hard to get the first offer, but once you do that can get other coaches off the fence as all of a sudden they start thinking they might miss out. Even if that first offer is from a school that's lower down on your list, it can still help open up other opportunities.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,103 Senior Member
    You also said your coach had a connection at Columbia, and that might have gotten you the OV (an interview) but not the spot (job). Connections can be a mixed blessing as sometimes the coaches will look at an athlete as a favor to a coach who had been a good source of talent before, but the athlete still has to get spot on her own merit.

    It's disappointing, but don't give up If it is NYC you want, look at the other D1 schools in the City. If it is an Ivy that interests you, there are 7 others. Or try something totally different, like a woman's college or LAC. You have to play with them all because of the financial aid vs athletic scholarship opportunities.

    You'll find the right school for you. Keep looking.
  • novicemom26novicemom26 Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    I know of someone who was cast aside at the last minute because the team AI needed to be a little higher. It happens. Unfortunately, you can't be guaranteed anything until you have the likely letter in hand.
  • leah32398leah32398 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Thank you so much guys. I'll keep you all posed on what I pick, still looking but I have good schools on my radar
This discussion has been closed.