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Recruiting timeline - differences by sport

bluewater2015bluewater2015 559 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 564 Member
Periodically there has been discussion here on when does recruiting start and how reliable are early unofficial offers. This article mentions a New York Times study on recruiting in different sports, which found a big variation by sport - from over 30% getting early unofficial offers in lacrosse, to 4% in football.

It found 20% in volleyball, which is consistent with my sense that stars tend to be locked up early, and things happen later for others.

Anyway interesting to me because variations by sport are probably a reason for the varying perspectives people have expressed here on this topic.

http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2016/09/23/stricter-recruiting-rules-proposed/
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Replies to: Recruiting timeline - differences by sport

  • RightCoasterRightCoaster 2864 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,868 Senior Member
    I know several kids, freshman that did not play 1 game of high school lacrosse, that were recruited for Division 1 lacrosse. Absurd.
    They get recruited because they play on a top club team, so their skills should improve.
    They go to an elite private school so their grades and test scores should meet the minimum standard.

    In mens lacrosse I think the new rule is you can't be recruited until Jr year now if I remember correctly. The rule just changed this year, so those kids that have offers as freshman and sophomores get to "keep" their offers.

    Thanks for posting this link.
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  • bluewater2015bluewater2015 559 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 564 Member
    It's interesting to me that the early recruiting in lacrosse seems to be for both boys and girls. I don't know lacrosse but that's what the NY Times research found and is consistent with your observations @RightCoaster. The idea of recruiting boys at such a young age, when they keep growing though high school, and in college for that matter, is a little hard for me to understand. For girls, who obviously are physically grown at a younger age, I can see more logic for it.
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  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 2441 replies40 discussionsForum Champion Athletic Recruits Posts: 2,481 Forum Champion
    I think the variation in timelines has a lot to do with the relative availability of high school aged players at a recruitable level. I think some sports, like lacrosse and volleyball to use the examples above, are played at a relatively high level in some parts of the country and at a lower level if at all in others. In a sport like lacrosse which seems to keep growing year after year I would bet that would change over time.

    And not to start this whole debate over again, but the NCAA rules are the rules and have barred direct contact initiated by the coach before Sept 1 junior year for at least a decade. The Ivy Common Agreement hasn't changed either. If coaches and schools were routinely violating the old rules, not sure how much will change with new rules. Plus, the update to the NCAA contact rules this year actually loosened those restrictions for some sports, rather than tighten them.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 21930 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 21,944 Senior Member
    US Lacrosse magazine had an article last year about 'The First four' who were the first 4 guys to commit when they were in 9th grade. I think two went to UVA and the others to top programs too. The coaches committed that they would have spots even if they didn't improve in high school, got hurt, didn't play. All 4 were at top hs programs, all 4 from families with lacrosse histories.

    The girls' organization has asked the NCAA for a rule change to Sept 1 of junior year (they have been asking for 5 years) This would be a big difference as many commit as sophomores or the summer just before junior year. If the NCAA rule goes into effect, there could be no contact at all between coaches and recruits until then. As it is now, the coach can't initiate it, but the student (or parent) can, or the coach can contact a high school or club coach. That 30% quoted above is for the top players, top schools. The cream of the crop is recruited early. Syracuse had an 8th grader commit last year. For D2 or D3, committing is usually later, the summer before senior year.

    I think it is more the parents than the coaches driving the early recruiting. Everyone gets all caught up in needing to be first, to commit, to wear the jersey. The coaches just want an even playing field, and no one will stop recruiting early until it is an enforced rule.
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  • bluewater2015bluewater2015 559 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 564 Member
    Ohiodad51, you may be right about regional vs. national sports and impact on timelines. It's consistent with the data in the article, as football is clearly the most national of the three sports mentioned, lacrosse is the most regional, and volleyball is somewhere in between. (Women's volleyball anyway which has a reasonably national distribution of top prospects - men's volleyball is maybe even more regional than lacrosse).
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  • Flinnt12Flinnt12 34 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Gymnastics commits toddlers. Well ok, routinely now 8th graders and last year there was a 7th grade commit, with the excuse that she would graduate early, without ever stepping foot in high school how can they possibly know she will graduate early? By Sept 1st of Junior year there are very few spots left. It's ridiculous.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 21930 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 21,944 Senior Member
    Lacrosse recruiting is nationwide, but most of the schools with top teams are along the Atlantic coast (and the best youth players from NJ/NY/MD/VA), so if a kid from Texas wants to play on a top team, he/she has to go OOS. As more schools add teams, and those teams get good, the more the students from those regions 'stay home.' The PAC 12 will have enough teams to play a conference schedule for women next year, Big 10 is there too (mostly by adding Penn State, Hopkins and Rutgers to the Ginormous.10-that-is-really-15). DU is playing in the Big East now.

    There is no regional anymore.
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  • bluewater2015bluewater2015 559 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 564 Member
    I wonder if another aspect at work is the relationship between physical maturity and performance in different sports.

    Women's gymnastics seems like one end of the spectrum, with 16 year olds routinely winning Olympic medals (and younger than before they put a minimum age in place, such as Nadia Comaneci at 14). Football and track throwing events might be the other end of the spectrum.
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  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 2441 replies40 discussionsForum Champion Athletic Recruits Posts: 2,481 Forum Champion
    edited September 2016
    ^I think that is generally true. Although men's lacrosse would appear to be an outlier. Again, I think that is in part due to the regional distribution of players /talent at the pre collegiate level. And fwiw @twoinandone, I was referring to the recruitable pool, not the number of college teams. While lacrosse is certainly growing, it simply is not a strong sport in much of the country, especially relative to the north east. One other minor technical point. There is one NCAA committee that sets the recruiting rules for everybody. There are various committees that suggest sport specific items to that committee, but all the rules are set in the same place.

    One quibble with that article, is that they quote a statement that 30 percent of lacrosse players and 20 percent of volleyball players have accepted a scholarship before recruiting is allowed to begin (currently September of junior year for most sports. That can't be correct, because while the relative percentage of HS lacrosse and volleyball players who go on to play D1 or 2 is high, I can't imagine that thirty percent of HS lacrosse players get scholarships.
    edited September 2016
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  • bluewater2015bluewater2015 559 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 564 Member
    You're right, the article is not clearly written on that point. I'm sure they mean 30%/20% of those receiving scholarship offers, not 30%/20% of high school players . . . it is a student newspaper. Clearly 30% or 20% of high school players don't play in college.

    For women's volleyball the numbers I have seen are that about 6% of high school players play in college (not all on scholarship), with around 1% in D1 and the rest in D2-3, NAIA, etc.

    Of course that is an average of close to 0% in many high schools, and numbers much higher than 6% for players in the top age group teams at the top clubs.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 21930 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 21,944 Senior Member
    I think 10% playing in college, maybe 7-8% received money, are close at my D's school? Some (women's crew) got big money, most got much less. We had several go to D3 schools too.

    We have a couple of 'sports factory' schools in my area. I'm sure their percentage numbers are much higher than 10%. I've seen fall signing ceremonies on the local news with 20 athletes signing, and then of course they have football signing and spring signing.
    I think that is in part due to the regional distribution of players /talent at the pre collegiate level.

    But that is really changing for lacrosse. There is a lot of talent to be harvested from Texas, Colorado, California, where youth leagues have been going strong for 20 years. Western colleges are adding programs, but not fast enough to keep all the talent at home. Not yet anyway. My nephew goes to CU which doesn't have a men's varsity program (just club). He and his friends could field two pick-up teams with kids who all had D1 offers but chose not to play. Never wanted to leave Rocky Mtn Paradise for the Garden State Parkway. For those who want it, the club teams are pretty competitive and have a championship tournament.
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  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 2441 replies40 discussionsForum Champion Athletic Recruits Posts: 2,481 Forum Champion
    The NCAA publishes data on this and personally I think it is something each kid (and, as @twoinandone intimated above, parent) should review and digest before putting all their eggs in the sports basket.

    http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/research/estimated-probability-competing-college-athletics

    The above reports 12.1% of boy's lacrosse players go on to compete in college, with just shy of 3% competing in D1 and a little more than 2% competing in D2. Girl's lax numbers are slightly higher, with 13% going on to college and 3.7% and 2.5% competing in D1 and 2 respectively. Girl's volleyball only puts 3.9% in college, with roughly 1 percent to Div 1 and 2. For comparison, just shy of 7% of HS football players go on to compete in college (2.6 % in D1, and 1.8% in D2) and 3.5% go on to compete in basketball in college (1% to D1 and 2 respectively).

    The number of participants reported is illuminating as well. Boy's lacrosse still shows as one of the least popular sports, with a bit more than one hundred thousand estimated participants in high school. That is ten times less than football and several hundred thousand less than basketball, baseball, track and soccer. It is more popular than ice hockey, water polo and volleyball of the listed sports. Girl's numbers are similar, with lacrosse more popular than field hockey, golf, ice hockey and water polo, but drawing significantly fewer participants than basketball, softball, track, soccer and volleyball.

    Generally speaking I think that when there is an imbalance between the popularity of a sport at the high school level and at the college level, early recruiting will be a problem as more college coaches are chasing fewer competitive athletes.
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  • AsleepAtTheWheelAsleepAtTheWheel 1231 replies45 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,276 Senior Member
    @Ohiodad51

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting that link. I'd never seen it before, and I think that the numbers are fascinating.
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  • bluewater2015bluewater2015 559 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 564 Member
    Great points @Ohiodad51 - definitely people should be aware that having the chance to play in college is the exception not the rule. For those not good enough, or who choose not to play in college, sports are just another EC, and one that may take time away from school and other ECs. So there is some risk involved in focusing heavily on sports.

    I have also observed parents spending thousands of dollars per year on club fees and travel costs - enough overall to pay for a good chunk of 4 years of in-state tuition, room and board at a state university - hoping for a scholarship at the end, with a relatively low probability of achieving that objective. If the family can easily afford it then club sports are like any other luxury good, but if it's a financial stretch for the family it requires consideration IMO.

    Of course, for those who get scholarships, and/or get into highly competitive colleges that they might not have gotten into without being athletic recruits, this all pays off in a big way that can change lives in a very positive direction.

    Here's another set of numbers that includes NAIA and JCs and as a results shows somewhat higher percentages, but still the point is the same as in the NCAA numbers.

    http://www.scholarshipstats.com/varsityodds.html
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  • AsleepAtTheWheelAsleepAtTheWheel 1231 replies45 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,276 Senior Member
    @bluewhitebulldog -- So, to summarize your note, a kid should only play his/her sport if he/she really enjoys it. No sense otherwise.
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