athletic recruitment

<p>how does athletic recruitment work at middlebury?
what percentage of the class is a recruited athlete?
how much does admissions lower their standards for an athlete?
if a coach expresses interest, does that mean you're in?</p>

<p>Middlebury is a DIII school. To try and answer your questions in order:</p>

<p>1) Students contact a coach or coaches contact a student, and, based on discussions, reviewing of times (in timed sports), and seeing the student play, may or may not feel he/she would be recruitable. If yes, the coach will tell the student "we want you" and let admissions know to watch for the application. This is a "tip", which basically means that if two students being reviewed for one spot by admissions are equal in stats, the recruited athlete's application will carry more weight.</p>

<p>2) There is no hard and fast rule for the number of athletes per class - it all depends what the coaches need year to year. For example, if you are a soccer goalie and the coach has three excellent goalies on the roster already, he/she probably won't need a fourth.</p>

<p>3) These days, there are <em>no</em> lowering of standards for athletes. If your stats do not fall into Midd's range, you might get a tip from the coach, but it won't override a subpar GPA or scores. Recruited athletes - those who have been told by the coach that they would be on the team <em>if</em> they get in - at Middlebury tend to be top students/leaders at their high schools anyway.</p>

<p>4) Absolutely not (see above). This happens even at DI schools. My kid has a friend who was promised by the Virginia Tech lax coach she would get in - she even signed a letter of intent - but then admissions decided her SAT scores and GPA weren't high enough.</p>

<p>To get a sense of Midd's athletes, check the sports pages on the website. You'll see results for the timed sports if you run or swim; you can also check the rosters to see if a certain team will have a lot of turnover at the end of the year because of the number of seniors. You can also see from which high school the students graduated to get a sense of the level of play they're used to - lots of team state champions, for example.</p>

<p>If you are a senior, and you think you would fit in re sports and academics, contact the coach as soon as possible.</p>

<p>Good luck, and have fun with your senior year.</p>

<p>flatlander, I was wondering, does the admission of athletes, supposing thru ED, put other applicants at a disadvantage in the ED pool? I really wonder if the ED is really for those who chose Middlebury as their 1st choice since Middlebury itself has a supplementary essay which already test the applicant's level of interest..?</p>

<p>ED definitely is for those students whose first choice is Middlebury above all other schools. In my opinion, you should not apply ED to <em>any</em> school you are not fully committed to attending, and then only after you have carefully researched whether you will need a lot of financial aid, as Midd does not give merit or athletic scholarships.</p>

<p>Recruited athletes of course get a tip, whether they're applying ED1, ED2 or RD. Coaches who really, really want a student will encourage him/her to apply early to try and get that commitment. But I want to emphasize again that a recruited student must also have the stats to make him/her a viable candidate. </p>

<p>Legacies also get a tip; however, just because your parents went to Midd doesn't mean you'll get in, too.</p>

<p>If you have any questions about any sport, contact the coach as soon as possible to start a discussion to see whether you would be recruitable, what the application process is, etc. Midd sports are very competitive in general.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>I'd take issue with Flatlander's No. 3, although I suppose it depends on what you mean by 'subpar' GPA or scores. Take SAT scores, the mid 50% range for the most recently admitted class bottomed out at 1910. </p>

<p>If Flatlander means that a kid needs low 600's on his or her SATs to gain admission to Middlebury as a recruited athlete, that's probably true. </p>

<p>But I don't think you can characterize that as not lowering standards. The average SATs of the admitted class are much higher. A kid w/ low 600's on his or her SATs really shouldn't be planning on gaining admission to Middlebury, particularly since a lot of kids w/ 4.0 GPA's and 2100 SATs are rejected each year.</p>

<p>On the other hand, a kid with low 600's on his SATs and a top 25 under 18 USTA ranking though, if the coach likes him, is looking pretty good for admission.</p>

<p>I can add some insight to this thread. My D was a recruited athlete by one of the Middlebury teams. She was very high on the coaches list. However she passed on ED1 and again on ED2 for reasons that are not relevant here. All along the coach said as it gets further into admissions his influence gets less and less. In the end she got rejected RD with grades and test scores well into the 75th percentile. A classmate with lower grades and scores who was also recruited and chose ED1 was accepted.</p>

<p>So my difference in experience from other posts is that at a school as competitive as Middlebury and being DIII, coaches influence is less than you might think. If you aren't a top 2 or 3 recruit, then they have even less influence. This came directly from the coach and it proved to be completely correct.</p>

<p>Just as an aside, she is competing at another NESCAC school and is happy as can be</p>

<p>I would add that a coaches influence varies from sport to sport, school to school and year to year. Lower grades and tests scores (but still in Middlebury's 50% range) may be more acceptable when being recruited for football versus swimming. My S pursued his options to swim and/or play football at several NESCAC schools. When he decided he wanted to pursue only swimming it was very different. It is a very complicated dance and each athlete's situation is very dependant upon timing and the totality of circumstances for the athlete, other recruits, the coach and the admissions office. I think all you can say is being a recruited athlete probably puts you at an advantage.</p>

<p>"probably puts you at an advantage"? That understates it. </p>

<p>The coach's don't have unlimited influence, that's true.</p>

<p>It's also true that the sport matters. It is probably more helpful to be a great football player, than a great x country runner say, because the football teams are bigger and suffer more attrition than cross country. And let's be honest, it is easier to find outstanding x country runners with exceptional academics than it is to find football players like that.</p>

<p>But if a kid at the top of the coach's list is willing to commit to Middlebury ED and is in the academic range, he or she is looking good for admission, even at the low end of the range. The coachs pre clear recruits they really want with admissions and all but guarantee admission to those recruits.</p>

<p>If a kid is not hearing that from a coach, then he or she is not on the top of the list.</p>

<p>Since lilj31692's questions do not provide any specifics I think it is hard to reply with specifics. Recruited athletes can fall into the two groups-"supported" (you are a top choice) or "protected" (the coach wants you and will contact the admissions office but you may not be the top choice) Also lilj31692 does not specify his sport which makes a huge difference. Football is a "golden ticket" if you bring something to the table that the coach wants. Less high profile sports (swimming and tennis) where athletes tend to have higher stats and there are fewer recruits are certainly more "iffy". There is a book about the Ivy League athletic recruiting process which also addresses the process at schools like Middlebury, Williams, Amherst, Bowdoin etc. I would highly recommend it.</p>

Also lilj31692 does not specify his sport which makes a huge difference. Football is a "golden ticket" if you bring something to the table that the coach wants.

Football is the classic example. But at some schools, there is also an emphasis on recruitment for the other "helmet sports" -- ice hockey and lacrosse. </p>

<p>Midd has traditionally been very competitive in Division III hockey and lacrosse -- generally more so than in football. So it wouldn't surprise me if Midd puts some extra recruiting effort in those sports, perhaps at the expense of football.</p>

<p>Good point Corbett. My comments were not intended to be specific to Middlebury, but I think Corbett is right--- at Middlebury hockey and lacrosse would likely trump football. The student guide on my S's campus tour told us that hockey games are much more popular than football games.</p>

<p>Not correct on football being a second-tier sport at Middlebury. Middlebury is the defending NESCAC champion in football. All NESCAC football teams get 15 "tips" per year and I'm sure that Middlebury uses them all.</p>

<p>Middlebury and all the other NESCAC football teams get 14 "tips" per year, and typically get another 10 recruits in without "tips". My son is one of those tips this year. He has a mid-2,200 superscored SAT and goes to an elite prep school, but compared to all the other kids who're asking for chancing on this thread he wouldn't get in without getting one of those 14 tips. But he's all-everything athletically, and he was recruited by all the NESCACs, several Ivies, the Claremont Colleges, Wash U, Chicago, Carnegie Mellon, JHU, etc.</p>

<p>The other sport he could have chosen to play in college is basketball. But basketball coaches only get about 4-5 recruits per year. My wife and I (correctly, it turns out) took a look at that about Sophomore year and concluded that 14 tips were better than 4. (The Ivies get 30 for football!) I held my breath when I asked my son to pick a sport, and was hugely relieved when he replied that, although basketball had always been his main sport, he had fallen in love with football.</p>

<p>And it worked, but it's a brutal process. The Middlebury coaches were great and upfront early with their interest and their 100% solid commitment to support his application, contingent on him applying ED1. My son loved his overnight, so our decision was easy. We watched three other prospective recruits we know get shot down, however, and it was the result of some combination of athletic ability and admissibility. Amherst and Williams have a formal "banding" system into which they place the 14 tips into A, B and C bands on about seven factors (SAT, GPA, teacher recs, essays, etc.), which is like the Ivies allocation of their 30 slots into Bands 1, 2, 3 and 4. I don't know whether Middlebury has that formal a system, but the coaches clearly care a lot about grades and scores. My guess would be that they have an informal, subjective system, and that Admissions can and does say no to most prospects. As at all elite colleges, Admissions assesses academics and Athletics assesses athletics, and they only come together on a very few prospective student-athletes.</p>

<p>And the first two cuts are always Athletics. Most prospects just don't display sufficient athletic ability to get recruited. If the college coaches aren't interested in having you on their team, you get zero support at Admissions. After they decide they're interested, they then have to apply academic reality to the review (although, obviously, they're doing both assessments simultaneously). Many is the recruit who's told they need to retake the SAT. And unless the coach says, "You're in no matter what, it will just help us with Admissions in recruiting a more marginal prospect," then what they're saying is, "If you can raise your scores enough, we'll give it a try at Admissions." (I.e., you have the athletic ability, but you can't get in with those scores.) The usual result, in our experience, with the latter situation is the prospect does not get an offer.</p>

<p>So, in sum, the recruited athlete who gets a "tip" does get in with a lower GPA/SAT than the median student. But I have two children in high school: one who plays three varsity sports, and one who plays no sports. The non-athlete son does better in school, but he has all afternoon and night to study and do work. The athlete son doesn't get out of the training room after practice until 7:00 pm, then has dinner, then limps off to bed exhausted at 9:30. He travels to games, has film all Saturday morning, etc. It's a miracle that he gets straight B's (and, critically we've been told, has never gotten a C). That's one reason why Admissions gives a lot of weight to real commitment to ECs, as opposed to resume building activities. That time commitment lowers GPA, and they're trying to compare those busy EC kids apples to apples with kids who have all day, every day, to maximize their GPA.</p>

<p>I hope this helps. Good luck to everyone.</p>

<p>what is the name of the book which talks about recruited athletes at "little ivies" & "big Ivies"?</p>

<p>Playing the Game: Inside Athletic Recruiting in the Ivy League, by Chris Lincoln - published in 2004. </p>

<p>There have been some changes in admissions since the book was published (ie no ED at Harvard and Princeton), but the recruiting anecdotes and interviews with coaches are very illuminating.</p>


<p>I get the whole "tip" thing. but here's a question. My S had a first pick school and when they didn't pick him up as a recruit, he still wanted to apply even if that meant trying to walk on or not playing at all. He plays both football and Lax. His chances of playing football are probably better due to numbers (as previously outlayed) but he would have rather played lax. Anyway.. that's a long story irrelevant to here. So here's the question: </p>

<p>We stopped doing the trying to get recruited process because of the ED application and the inability to "do the dance" so to speak. However, if he doesn't get in ED, Middlebury is high on his list. He is more than qualified with the numbers (scores grades etc), so it's not like he needs a tip academically, however, would talking to the coach after ED decisions are out worth the time to follow up on even if their tips are all taken? In other words, when it comes to football.. can a coach say.. no tips available, but I really like this kid. Does he have a better odds at all?</p>

<p>Schools may differ on how they handle non-tips, but here's what I know about the NESCAC. At Amherst, the football coach said he would give an evaluation to each and every one of several hundred (I recall the number being 300) prospective recruits. That evaluation would range from, "Likely all-conference, four-year starter" to "Nice kid, but would never make the team". Out of those several hundred evaluations, they will get exactly 14 tips, and an average of around 10 or so non-tips. (I'm not certain Middlebury is identical, but is presumably close.)</p>

<p>Among the 10 non-tips could well be some of their very best recruited athletes, who just happened to have high SATs and GPAs and therefore not cause them to burn a tip. Also among the non-tips, however, are athletes on whom the coaching staff was not willing to use a tip, but who succeeded in gaining admission on their own. I know of at least one Middlebury recruit from our area who was told, in more polite terms, "If you can get in on your own, we'll have a spot for you on the team." They, too, are "recruited athletes", and they presumably receive a favorable evaluation from the coach. They're just not athletes who get unequivocal support (i.e., "We will use a tip on you if we have to").</p>

<p>Probably the least likely case is the kid who never even contacts a coach until after he gains admission, then says, "I'd like to come out for the team." It probably does happen, and maybe it happens every year. But I wouldn't think that of those 10 or so non-tips those guys would constitute more than 1-2 kids (just a wild guess) if only because most of the kids who had a varsity high school sport on their resume would have used that sport to gain admissions advantage by contacting the coach before application, and would thereby have become some category of recruited athlete.</p>

<p>Finally, the other fact is that, regardless of how academically qualified an applicant is, he or she will get zero advantage in admissions from athletic recruiting unless the relevant coach tells admissions, in whatever form, fashion or words in which their communication occurs, that the kid would have a chance of making the college's team. And the coach has every incentive to say, "Not likely to make the team" if that's his honest appraisal because they can't have 200 kids on a football team and because it establishes some baseline of credibility with admissions when, in the case of a recruited athlete, he says, "This kid will make us better." That "not likely" kid's status as a varsity high school athlete will still be an attractive extracurricular, but it won't help make that kid 1 of the 24 or so football players the team gets.</p>

<p>Rick.. thank you for such a nicely detailed response.</p>

<p>So.. he got a letter from Middlebury last summer re football. Knew he was already booked through the summer with Lax tourney's etc. Even though he is currently ED at another school (who as a matter of fact said if he gets in they'd love to see him on the team) would it benefit him to be up front about that information and still contact the school now before rejected or deferred? </p>

<p>Basically. .is he entirely too late to get the "we'd love to see you"? Because as you point out, even if it's not a tip it's a second look and even a second look when you're academically qualified means something, yes?</p>

<p>(as an aside: He is capt of both fb and lax. 3 yr starter, All conference past 2yrs in fb; 3yr starter, all conference, State all star, conf champs 3 yrs, state champs 2 in lax. 6'1'' 210</p>

<p>I would think there's no question he should contact the Middlebury coaches, FB and/or LAX, on the chance he applies ED2 or RD at Middlebury. My son was being recruited as a two-sport athlete -- basketball and football -- at some colleges, and we're sort of in the same boat. Should he contact the basketball coach, after admission, and say he wants to try out? (Without knowing how that might play out, his first question is whether he wants to play basketball.)</p>

<p>Based on your son's sports resume, my very strong presumption would be that Middlebury would say, "We'd love to see you come out". It's also not too late by any means to get a boost from a coach giving Admissions a favorable evaluation of his athletic skills, which would require some marketing (video, stats, etc.) on your part before the admissions decision.</p>

<p>And even if he gets in first and then you contact the coach, that marketing effort would probably prove critical in your son's experience the following fall. The coaches will be developing expectations about positions, depth charts, JV-vs.-Varsity rosters, etc., once the recruiting class is known. That's the time you'd like them to slot your son in as a prospective impact player no matter how he came through the door.</p>

<p>Regardless, two weeks into their preseason practices, my guess is the difference between a "top recruit" and a "walk-on" will have been totally replaced by the staff's impressions of how the player looks on the field. Recruiting is a ridiculously inexact science filled with busts and surprises. I've heard Ivy coaches say they watch players they didn't make offers to tear it up in the NESCAC and kick themselves because they let one slip through, and obviously also go hard after a guy who looked great on film only to find out he was shorter, smaller and slower than they thought, wouldn't take or deliver a hit, and worse yet had no drive or enthusiasm for the sport and promptly quit (his Ivy admission safely in hand).</p>

<p>Modadunn, your son sounds like to might qualify for a "protect" at a NESCAC school. The protect category refers to the 10 or so slots used to fill out foootball teams after the 14 tips have been allocated. (Lacrosse would operate the same way although I don't know what the numbers are.) The "protects" go to applicants who are academically qualified but are competing in a pool of equally qualified applicants where admissions look at ECs and such to draw distinctions among the equally qualified. A "protect" gives the athlete an edge when competing in that pool. Also consider ED2 . .</p>