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Declining an Official Visit Offer?

kjs1992kjs1992 Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
Wow! Lots of questions today! Son received an email today from a coach who we loved when we went to visit in the spring, but as we visited more schools, this school itself is just not the best fit. Coach wants him to come for an official visit. Not sure if he even plans on applying at this point - the school is fine, he just didn't love it. Son doesn't want to waste coach's time or his with going up for a weekend if it's not a serious contender. He will be seeing the coach at an event next week and spending a lot of time with him and other coaches (also coaches from 2 other schools he's looking at will be there - and one is a strong contender) I think he should let this coach know sooner rather than after next week? I'm thinking just send a note saying thank you, but his college search has taken him in a different direction and he would like the coach to offer that visit spot to someone else and maybe, "wishing you all the best, looking forward to seeing you next weekend"....short, honest and respectful? Again...don't want to burn bridges....Thoughts? Thanks in advance - you're all incredibly helpful.

Replies to: Declining an Official Visit Offer?

  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,766 Senior Member
    If it's not a school he can see himself attending, let alone playing his sport there, then it's fine to pass on the opportunity to visit campus. Be gracious, appreciative, as you suggest -- most D3 sports are a pretty small world and he is likely to bump up against coaches again.
  • kjs1992kjs1992 Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    @Midwestmomofboys - thank you! That's what I was thinking. Thank you!!!!
  • Sam-I-AmSam-I-Am Registered User Posts: 609 Member
    edited July 2017
    I would wait to decline the OV until your kid performs well at the upcoming event and receives the expected interest/invitations from the preferred schools. Your kid had a good unofficial visit and why throw away the goodwill engendered until other solid offers arrive. Are these D1 d2 or D3 schools?
  • 4MyKidz4MyKidz Registered User Posts: 467 Member
    edited July 2017
    Unless there's another offer on the table, I would recommend that he keep all doors open by going on the OV. An OV doesn't equal a verbal or written commitment. Coaches know this. It is not a good idea to shut an opportunity down, unless you've signed elsewhere.
  • kjs1992kjs1992 Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    Thanks, all, for your help. Primarily D3, but one is a D2 which is his #3 choice, and he likely would have no problem getting in academically. #3 will be at this event (as well as the school where he doesn't want to attend the OV - we'll call it #5). #1 has told him he will get an email regarding OV very soon (just talked to coach early this week), and #2 has already been set up. Both #1 & #2 had positive pre-reads. #3, no pre-read necessary,also pending the OV dates for August, but they have been in touch continually. He loves #3 - if all else fails at #1 & #2, he's perfectly happy with 3. #4 is a little lax in communication (I think that's just the coach, frankly), but last contact 3 weeks ago was that he'll be sending out dates in August, and no pre-read necessary - he could get in on his own there, too - and, again, really likes that school. And, #5 is, again, this school where he really isn't feeling it with the newest OV offer. The coach is fantastic - just can't see himself going to school there (and Dad and I concur).
  • Sam-I-AmSam-I-Am Registered User Posts: 609 Member
    It sounds like with 4 great options he should be set. Good luck!
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,829 Senior Member
    Sounds like you have enough firm options to graciously decline this one. If it were me, I would mention in the note how happy I would have been playing for this coach but the school itself doesn't feel like a great fit. Coaches move around (and talk to each other), and this does more to preserve a good connection than a simple, yet mysterious, note.

    Of course, if there is doubt and this one might still be in play, plan and attend the OV.
  • kjs1992kjs1992 Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    And, go figure.....#3 coach just reached out and told him due to a change of plans, they won't be at the event next week. Whole reason our kid wanted to go. Ugh! On the positive side, they did extend a date for an OV. Seeing he's not interested in #5, this will be a discussion for Mom and Dad tonight...."should we stay or should we go"? The money is already spent, so it is what it is :)
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 472 Member

    This is the reason that I would play the cards close to the vest. Things change so quickly in athletic recruiting. One day you are invited for an OV, the next day the coach doesn't respond to emails. One school that hasn't answered an email in two years suddenly asks you for an OV out of the blue.

    There is no need to decline the OV unless your S would not attend if it was the only school where he could play his sport. Put differently, If your son was rejected from choices 1-4, would he still choose another school over choice no. 5. If he would, then go ahead and politely decline. If he doesn't know the answer, have your S tell the coach that you would like to have an OV, once S [fill in appropriate excuse here, like "gets back from vacation,"finishes the summer showcases," "takes his ACT again," or whatever]. You still have the OV invite in your back pocket, but also can cancel as the landscape firms up.

    Notice that few coaches will tell recruits that they are not interested until they have their recruits all firmed up.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    Agree, leave it flexible for now as OV's will happen through October. There's no need to close the door before OV's at top choices are done; our DD did one at a projected top-3 school that fell out based on a lack of fit - as soon as she got in the car the next afternoon she knew it wasn't something she wanted anymore.
  • kjs1992kjs1992 Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    @gointhruaphase and @Chembiodad - Great advice. Thank you!!!!
  • LacrosseMamaLacrosseMama Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    This is an interesting thread to me because in my S's sport (obvious from screen name), the verbal commitment seems to precede the OV. I wish so much it were the other way around. It seems like the presumption is the OV is merely a formality because the verbal commitment has already been made by then, but S really needs the OV (preferably more than one) to decide best fit. Thoughts? Experiences?
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    @LacrosseMama, unless it's D1 or D2 it's just a soft verbal commitment until Pre-Read, OV and ED submission is completed, so there is little need for a prospect to stop shopping when the coaches haven't either.
  • kjs1992kjs1992 Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    @LacrosseMama I hear you - at our S's #2 (D3) school, it was as if the coach was gauging his interest in order to decide if he'd even be offered an OV....once he said that ED1 was a possibility, the emails were continual for a few days, and the OV offer came quickly.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,206 Senior Member
    Chembiodad, even if it is D1 or D2, the verbal commitment is just that, nothing binding.

    But it is also a small world and coaches are looking for honesty and respect. They do understand kids who are 16 and 17 changing their minds, or not knowing where they want to go. They understand needing to follow the money. They do not appreciate the student not being honest. Obviously, the more the coach wants the player, the more time he's willing to grant the player.
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