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College Sports Recruiting: Visiting the College

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Replies to: College Sports Recruiting: Visiting the College

  • SeekwiseSeekwise Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    Thank you that's really helpful. It looks like his visit is planned for October. I appreciate your help and wish your daughter success.
  • SeekwiseSeekwise Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    Thanks. I know my oldest child who was not a sports recruit did attend classes before choosing a school and that really helped. I'll remember that.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,875 Senior Member
    Official visits vary by NCAA division. D1 and D2 official visits are usually paid for by the school and there are caps on the number of official visits an athlete can take. D3 does not generally pay for the visits and there is no limit to the number of visits. My experience is only with D3 visits, so I can't offer specific advice tailored to D1 and D2 official visits. If your student is invited to a D1 etc. official visit, search this board for key terms related to his sport and you will probably find a wealth of information about that sport and what to expect.

    As for D3 prospie visits -- it means the coach is interested in the possibility of the athlete. It does not mean much, in itself, about admissions and does not mean the athlete has a "spot" on the team. It is the next step in the "dance" of seeing if the student-athlete, on one side, and the school and team, on the other, are a good fit. It is positive in the sense that the coach has to narrow his list at some point, and it is good to still be on the list of those who get invited to campus.

    You can expect that the prospie will have a meal with team members, go to class with team members, interview with admissions, if available, and have a meeting with the coach. If it is a sport "in season" in the fall, coaches like to have prospies visit on match/competition days, to see the team in action and vibe off the experience. They do understand that fall of senior year is a busy time and students may not be able to get away on those dates. Alternative dates are fine. Numerous coaches told us that the team's response to the prospie is very important -- the coach is looking for "fit" with the guys he already has. Depending on the schedule, the prospie may stay overnight, usually on the floor of a team member (some schools had air mattresses). During the coach meeting, be prepared to ask specific questions about admissions and the team. Is the coach offering the player a roster spot? Does the coach expect ED commitment? What are the coach's experience with players with similar stats in terms of ED acceptance/deferrals/rejections? Does the coach have tips, slots or other "say" in admissions, and if so, is he prepared to use it on your kid? Does Admissions do pre-reads and can your student get a pre-read. If you are applying for financial aid, can you get a financial "pre-read." If the school awards merit and you need merit to make the package work, can the coach or admissions give you a sense of what kind of merit award your kid would receive?Where does kid stand in terms of recruits, in terms of the sport? How many other students does coach want to bring in at your son's position/event etc? Are there cuts after pre-season? Is your player guaranteed a spot for freshman year? Are there cuts after that? There is a potential chasm of uncertainty and ambiguity in this process if a family does not ask specific questions. It is easy to hear the "good" news and harder to pay attention and follow up to understand just what that means.

    Good luck, sounds like your kid is still "in the game" -- which is great, but not the end of the process. My kid matured a lot as he moved through recruiting, and loves his school and his team, but it is a long, sometimes uncertain, often exhausting process.
  • SeekwiseSeekwise Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    Thank you so much. This is very helpful. He just made plans for his first visit and the questions you pose are terrific. We will be certain to ask those questions. It truly is a "maturing" process as you note--much like looking for a job. Since we're doing this on our own, I appreciate the support of so many on this site. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions in the weeks ahead. Thank you!
  • mimisdadmimisdad Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    My D18 has received no inquiries except through HS coach from elite D1 coach who attended the state meet. Though this was very good, expected something more after July 1. Ran runner up at D1 state meet middle distance event. Surprised that the only he responded and no others, even lesser schools. We would like to investigate alternatives. Are girls track teams populated by in-state primarily?
  • LeastComplicatedLeastComplicated Registered User Posts: 1,000 Senior Member
    My daughter was asked to visit several colleges (Div III) and by no means were they Official Visits nor did they mean that she was a top recruit. She had her info on a recruiting website so she got tons of "invitations to visit" schools. I got some info online that might be helpful.

    "If an institution pays for any part of a visit, it is considered an official visit. Typically the school will pay for travel, housing, meals and some entertainment costs.

    The school is allowed to pay for lodging, transportation, meals, and entertainment. That includes (1) round-trip transportation (rental car or airfare) for the student-athlete between home (or high school) and the campus, (2) you (and your parents) may receive 3 meals per day and (3) complimentary admissions to campus athletics events.
    Official visits cannot be made until the opening day of class senior year, no matter what division. The date will vary depending on your school.
    The NCAA allows 5 visits to D1 and D2 schools combined.
    You may only take ONE official visit per institution, no matter the division.
    Each official visit may be up to 48 hrs.
    The NCAA allows each school (DI, DII, and DIII) to offer official visits, but each school differs in policy and budget.
    Official visits are not allowed during dead periods.
    You are allowed an unlimited number of official visits to NAIA & D3 schools."

    http://www.ncsasports.org/blog/2012/10/11/official-visits-3/ Elaborates on the above.

    My daughter will be playing a Div III sport and visited many schools but never went on an official visit that was paid for by the school.

    HOpe this helps.
  • LeastComplicatedLeastComplicated Registered User Posts: 1,000 Senior Member
    @mimisdad Has your daughter filled out recruiting forms on the sports page of college websites that she is interested in attending? She might get some interest by doing that.
  • mamommamom Registered User Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    My D18 plays another sport, and this is how it is going for her. She is only looking at D3 BTW. She reached out to coaches early last spring, filling out the recruitment forms and then following up a few weeks later with links to film. Once her club team started up with spring tournaments, she sent out her schedule, with weekly updates. Some coaches reached back right away, some only after seeing her play in person. Some she has never heard from at all. A couple of coaches left the school and she was left hanging til she realized they weren't answering because they were no longer there. Additional coaches she had not contacted but saw her play sent her emails and called her asking her to fill out the recruitment form. She also attended prospect camps at schools she was interested in and some elite camps. Coaches that are interested requested test scores, GPA and a list of next years classes. I think you need to be proactive and do a lot of the initial contact, regardless of the sport. And then keep reaching out with updates. If you don't have updated track results (I think your D is a track athlete) then send updates wrt to test scores, ask about a possible visit and meet up with the coach, etc. Maybe mention training your D is doing over the summer. Good luck.
  • CALSmomCALSmom Registered User Posts: 748 Member
    @Seekwise lots of great advice and insight. One thing I'd like to add is that if this is an Official Visit (OV) with a D1 or D2 school (except Ivy League) the coach may offer a spot on the team if the visit goes well. If your son accepts, the coach will award a NLI (national letter of intent) before admission. That doesn't mean your son is admitted to the school; he must still meet academic standards and apply like usual, but the coach will support his application giving him a 'hook' for admissions.

    An OV also differs from a 'visit' in that typically the coach will ask for your son to send transcript, test scores, a senior year course list and parents' financial info. This is how you truly know he is seriously being recruited. These visits are a bear to coordinate and the school pays for it, so typically coaches do not extend OVs unless the athlete looks like a good candidate for them. Remember it is a two way transaction: your son is looking for a good fit for him as is the coach...the coach's recruits will determine the success of his team and thus his job :)

    Wishing you all the best on this exciting journey!!
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 483 Member
    @LeastComplicated, at the D3 level, there is very little difference between an OV and an unofficial overnight visit. The primary difference is the involvement in the visit by the athletic department. While the NCAA permits the payment of some costs for OV in D3, the leagues may have more restrictive rules. For example, the NCAA allows schools to pay transportation costs for the athlete, while the NESCAC allows teams to pay only for the cost of transportation to and from a local transportation hub, like a train or bus station. I think when you look at the NCAA chart differentiating the visits and the league rules, the visits may be more similar than different. Perhaps the biggest point of differentiation is the objective of the visit. An unofficial visit can be requested by the athlete and can be used to convey the athlete's interest to a coach. Nine times out of ten, an OV is requested by the coach, which conveys some level of interest by the coach in the athlete.

    Also, filling out recruiting forms is -- to my mind -- a necessary evil. You should do it, but I was rarely (if ever) able to discern any recruiting results directly from the recruiting forms. More often than not, there was an ongoing dialogue and a coach would ask us to fill out the recruiting forms, even though it had already been done. I always felt that they were just a filing cabinet, to be consulted whenever a coach was looking for an athlete with a certain profile (I need a defender with over a 32 ACT score). Personal email or telephone inquiries were always more effective.
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