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Can Pre-read Be Unnecessary . . . or TOO Positive?

roots60roots60 7 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
I'm struggling to make sense of some somewhat counterintuitive responses from coaches. S20 has a top-notch transcript from an elite private high school, very good scores, a geographical hook, and URM status. He has visited all of his DIII LAC favorites, spoken with coaches, and received positive attention from nearly all of them. He's filled out a Recruiting Form for all, which included academic information and geography.

Athletically, he seems to be right in the middle of the recruited pack: coaches' responses have ranged from "you'd be an impact player from day one" to "we'd like to have you, but won't 'recruit' you".

Although he's recently been offered 5 Overnight Visits, only one coach has requested a pre-read -- and that school happens to be the most selective (academically) of the group. Other coaches have said, "you'll have no problem getting in", etc. Because the lack of pre-read requests seems inconsistent with the OV offers and general level of coach enthusiasm, I'm wondering if there are instances in which a coach doesn't push a pre-read because his experience tells him the kid is a highly likely admit? If so, that might explain why S's one pre-read is from the most selective school.

Related question: It seems logical to me that a super-positive pre-read might actually result in a coach appearing to recruit a kid LESS aggressively, particularly for someone in the "middle of the pack" athletically. If the coach knows a kid is interested in the school/team, and will be admitted, why would he use up a valuable "slot", "tip", etc. that he could better use to land an equal or better player who might need more "help" with the AO? Does that make sense? Thanks!
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Replies to: Can Pre-read Be Unnecessary . . . or TOO Positive?

  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5611 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    At any super selective school, there is almost no profile that guarantees admission- except recruited athlete. However, I have known kids who were desirable to a coach but not "must-haves". Both were told they had a good chance of being admitted without coach support (and were), so the coach was able to preserve his slot and get a decent player.

    Honestly, its virtually impossible to know. Your kid may be a very strong applicant with other attributes that significantly increase his odds of admission. And/,or he may not be a player a coach wants to use a chit for. My guess, and it's only that, is that the message from the coach is "I'd be happy to have this kid on my team but there are others I would rather go to bat for." Your best bet, particularly after the OV, is to ask explicitly "Are you supporting my app and if yes, have you ever had someone in my position who didn't get in with your support." Your son will likely need to apply ED - you are right to want to know what you get in that trade.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2054 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 31
    At any super selective school, there is almost no profile that guarantees admission- except recruited athlete.
    I disagree with this, every year there are kids who were told they had a slot and do not get accepted, across all NCAA divisions. There is little data, but from the Harvard lawsuit we know that over the several years of that data, only 86% of athletes who 'committed to the process' were in fact accepted. While that is obviously high, that means 14% of the kids who were told by the coach they had a slot were in fact not accepted...at Harvard that's probably 25 to 30 kids per year who in December are scrambling to find another spot or get additional applications together.

    For OP, the level of school selectivity that we are talking about matters, as does the specific school.....at a highly selective LAC with acceptance rates below 10%, or even 20%, coaches have no business telling a kid 'they'll have no problem getting in' without coach support/athletic slot....admissions are far too uncertain for that.

    Some schools do have the concept of 'soft support' where the coach basically tells admissions they would love to have this student, but I am not giving them one of my slots.....this is somewhere in between full support/slot and 'if you get in you can be on the team'.

    I agree that your S has to have clear communications with each coach....where does he stand in the list of recruits, and from him where each school stands in his list, and if offered a slot or spot or tip.....what does this mean (full or soft support?) and how many students with this type of support have or have not been historically accepted. Most coaches are honest in their communications, but many could be more clear and forthcoming with information. Your S should be honest with coaches as well, and hopefully things will become clear over the next month or two. Good luck.
    edited July 31
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5611 replies10 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Point taken @Mwfan1921. What I was trying to convey is great stats alone do not make anyone a sure thing at super-selective schools, which seems to be the OP's concern. And yes, there are exceptional athletes who will be guaranteed their spot.

    Yes, there are hitches - by school, by sport, and sometimes by misunderstanding what has been communicated. The latter is why everyone is telling the OP to have a direct conversation with the coach.
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  • CU123CU123 3543 replies65 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^^^^^Exactly^^^^^
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2054 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 31
    skieurope wrote: »
    from the Harvard lawsuit we know that over the several years of that data, only 86% of athletes who 'committed to the process' were in fact accepted.
    We know no such thing. We only know what was written. But there is no definition of "recruited athlete" in relation to the 86%. I find it hard to believe that it means that only 86% of recruits with a positive preread were accepted.

    I thought the definition of recruited athletes in the lawsuit documents was an athletic rating of 1, which looks like those had an 83% acceptance rate.

    Could be some recruits who committed to the process didn't have a positive pre-read but why would they still have submitted an application then? Some recruits probably fall out at the likely letter stage, giving them some notice before a formal rejection. Some are probably rejected after receiving a likely letter too (poor Q1 grades, disciplinary issue in or out of school, etc.) The 86% I referenced might include all athletes, recruited or not. (so include those with athletic ratings of 2, 3, 4, etc.) @data10?
    edited July 31
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  • VADad1066VADad1066 30 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I think there is a wide range of what it means to be "recruited," and there is a significant variance in the degree of pull that coaches have from school to school and from sport to sport. This is why it is vital for either you or your son to have a very frank conversation with the coaches before you apply ED1 (which most, if not all, highly selective LACs coaches will insist on). When I asked the coach what it meant that my son had a successful pre-read and a slot, one coach at a top LAC replied, "I have been here for X years and I have never had one of my slotted athletes not been accepted."
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  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1419 replies14 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    roots60 wrote: »
    I'm struggling to make sense ...
    It seems logical to me that a super-positive pre-read might actually result in a coach appearing to recruit a kid LESS aggressively, particularly for someone in the "middle of the pack" athletically. If the coach knows a kid is interested in the school/team, and will be admitted, why would he use up a valuable "slot", "tip", etc. that he could better use to land an equal or better player who might need more "help" with the AO? Does that make sense? Thanks!

    It makes sense to me. For an “average” athlete with stellar academic profile, coaches have no need to use their valuable slots/tips.

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  • RightCoasterRightCoaster 2876 replies4 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If your kid is an excellent candidate for admission even without an athletic hook, then the coach is going to try not to burn one of his “slots" on that kid. The coach is trying to use his slots on top impact players/performers. Then he hopes to round out his roster by encouraging other kids with decent athletic ability AND that meet the school’s accepted profile to apply, and hopefully those kids get in. That’s kind of where the “soft support comes in”. The coach might submit a list to admissions with slots, and also kids that he’d like to have using no slots.
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  • roots60roots60 7 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks! I really appreciate all the insight and assistance. The main thing that is still troubling me is the discrepancy between the number of OV offers and pre-reads. I'd like to believe that it is explained by a facially strong admission profile (rendering a pre-read unnecessary at some less selective schools), but I worry that something else may be going on that I'm blind to at the moment. Is there any other good reason a school would go to the trouble of arranging/hosting an OV, but not invest in a pre-read?!?
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  • shuttlebusshuttlebus 476 replies1 threadsRegistered User Member
    roots60 wrote: »

    It makes sense to me. For an “average” athlete with stellar academic profile, coaches have no need to use their valuable slots/tips.
    I agree.
    For an "average" athlete, the coach is not going to want to use one of his slots. However, for a stellar athlete with a stellar academic profile, the coach will be using one of his valuable slots.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 371 replies4 threadsRegistered User Member
    Wouldn't (your son) asking the coaches directly give you a definite answer? Everyone on CC is offering educated guesses, but the coaches will know what's going on for sure. I'm a year behind you, but the advice I've read is always "when in doubt, ask the coach."
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  • roots60roots60 7 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Wouldn't (your son) asking the coaches directly give you a definite answer?"
    Hopefully. But before having that discussion with multiple coaches, it seems wise to try to figure out what the range of possible responses might be . . . so that a 17 yr. old is not caught completely off-guard by a coach.
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  • roots60roots60 7 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @politeperson - Thank you so much for your insight. I am indeed reluctant to mention specific schools because the process is still "live"; but none of the schools is in NESCAC. Most are West or Midwest. The one pre-read was requested from the most selective of his schools (<10% admit rate) which also happens to have the most elite athletic program. The others are less selective and elite . . . in some instances, much less so. Those may well fall into the group you mention that may not have a regular pre-read process or robust coach participation in the admissions process.

    I think your suggestion and "script" for S to initiate a formal or informal pre-read process is a great idea. Thanks again!
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 4012 replies27 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    For what it's worth, my D3 athlete was focusing on schools where he was in the top 25% in stats and which had higher acceptance rates (30+%) as he needed merit award for the finances to work so he had no reaches and only a couple "targets." Out of about 6-7 schools, only one coach asked for formal pre-read materials while the others relied on his description of his academic portfolio. We knew he would get in, the coach knew he would get in, Admissions had usually "ball parked" the merit award. The real question was whether he had a roster spot offer from the coach, and that is what kept us on tenterhooks at some schools which were more competitive in terms of recruiting but were admissions match/safeties.

    As others have said, when asked direct, specific questions, we found coaches to be honest and responsive. But if a player doesn't ask those questions, the coaches probably won't volunteer that, for example, there are other athletes ahead of you on their recruiting board.
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  • roots60roots60 7 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @Midwestmomofboys Thanks so much for this useful information. My son's profile is similar.
    The real question was whether he had a roster spot offer from the coach, and that is what kept us on tenterhooks at some schools which were more competitive in terms of recruiting but were admissions match/safeties.
    Would love to hear more about that process if you have time. Thanks!
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  • VADad1066VADad1066 30 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited August 1
    If you are talking about either Claremont McKenna/Harvey Mudd or Pomona, the process is almost identical to the NESCAC (at least for football).
    edited August 1
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 4012 replies27 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @roots60 -- happy to help, if I can! Broadly, we focused on academic match/safeties which give merit, so wound up focusing on midwest/western PA schools. Then, we layered on top of that athletic safety/match/reaches, based on the competitiveness of the team's results and quality of players. A couple of athletic safeties saw his film, met with him during his spring of 11th grade campus visit, and offered him a roster spot -- those teams were generally in the bottom half of their not-very strong conferences, so those coaches seemed happy to have a motivated player. Generally, athletic matches had a more robust recruiting process -- summer recruiting camp or assistant coaches watching fall season matches live, on-campus meetings, some back and forth by email and phone, and then an offer. The athletic reaches kept him waiting -- some were quite responsive to email updates and were communicative about where he stood. Others (his first, favorite school) had said he was a top recruit, did a pre-read, then "ghosted" him. That one was tough for him, and us, to pick up and move on from, but it was an important lesson in continuing to cast a wide net and not fall in love with any one school or program. He did on-campus visits in the fall to about 4 programs, meeting with coaches, class and meals with team, watching practice/match etc. As we live in the midwest, and he had to get back to high school for his own competitions, his visits were often long day visits, not overnights. For my kid, who is kind of quiet, the experience of sleeping on some guy's floor was not really necessary for him to make an informed decision. Several schools had EA, so he got decisions, with merit awards starting in Nov and early December. The process was done by mid December. Let me know if you have more questions!
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