"Commitment to the Application Process at..." for D3 schools

Hello…please free to move this if it should be merged with another thread

With NESCAC and other D3 schools offering a boost to students who have gone through a pre read from the admissions office and received a green light, what are people’s feelings about posting on social media about the “Commitment to the Application Process”?

I know for some sports where club teams are a significant factor in recruiting, the clubs like it when their athletes post and obviously it can be a boost to the student’s ego to make it public and more “official”, but does anyone have any thoughts on whether this is a good or bad idea? I can see some value in it, but at the same time I wonder if it is wise to hold off until the acceptance letter is in hand…

Any comments from athletes or parents who have gone through this process in the past? Thanks!

I don’t have a problem with it, but I wouldn’t do it unless I was 99% sure it would lead to admission. Both to avoid embarassment, and to avoid waiving other coaches off unnecessarily.

Full disclosure, my son posted in April his junior year. He then got a very nice letter from both the school he committed to and the Ivy League thanking him for his interest, but reminding him that the commitment was one way and that the admission committee had the final say, not the coach.

In hindsight, it probably is a good idea to run it by the future coach to make sure they are ok with the language you use. We didn’t and it didn’t matter, but my son probably should have.

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I agree with dadof4kids…absolutely ask the coach.

Neither of my kids posted anything to social media until their acceptances were in hand, although they were offered full spots in exchange for an ED app, and verbally committed to the process. Of course both kids’ coaches and friends knew of the commitment, but they didn’t communicate the news broadly.

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Yeah I’d wait a little…I verbally committed to a school (RD), got in, but didn’t get enough financial aid. I decided instead to go to a school with better financial aid (that also happened to be my dream school pre-applications) as a walk-on, and it would’ve been super awkward if I’d already announced a commitment.

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I think it is overdone a bit especially in this era of social media combined with an abundance of “elite” travel or club teams. I find it is often done for the parents bragging reasons or club teams to show on social media what it can mean if your kid plays for their club.
For what it is worth I had a D1 level kid recruited and go to at a top Ivy and they/we did not post anything, even after the LL and admittance, though that was a few years ago.
That said, I understand where you are coming from but since it is not official I would consider holding off and wait until you are accepted and then can go all.
Congrats & good luck!

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As a former recruiting coordinator for a travel team, we would list the commits and their schools on our profile sheets and Web site. It helps college coaches to see where we place our kids so that they get a general idea of the talent we have, as well as type of academic kids we have. It also helps coaches to see who is and is not still available on our team.

I always told our kids to clear it with their future coach first as to the wording of the announcement and if it would be ok to post.

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Recruiting in lax has changed in the past 5 years but it was not only common for the athlete to post early commitments but for the colleges and club teams to post it too. You could tell it was coming from the colleges because when the list was released it would be in the order reported to the organization, so recruits #1-4 would be headed to Brown, and then #5-10 going to ND, or #13-15 were from the same club team on Long Island. The day the list was released it had 150 or more recruits on it, all committed by Christmas of sophomore year; now they can’t commit until junior year. Everyone wants to make it public because it ties the recruit to the school and the school to the recruit, but it really isn’t binding on anyone.

Not all the commits ended up at their ‘announced’ schools. Boys seemed to change their minds more than girls. There was no dishonor in changing and coaches never seemed to have a problem ‘stealing’ recruits from other schools. Even after my daughter committed she continued to receive calls and offers from other coaches who would tell her “You know you can switch to a D3 school without penalty.”

It might be sport dependent too. You are going to run into these coaches again, so just always be honest if you commit and then change your mind and hope they’ll be honest too if they move on from recruiting you.

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Posters on this site has addressed the issue of publicizing commitments on numerous occasions. Some folks like it, some don’t have strong feelings and some dislike it. I fall into the last category.

By NCAA regulation, D3 institutions are not permitted to publicize recruits until the matriculation deposit is made. Honestly, this rule makes a lot of sense, because these commitments are non-binding - on both sides.

I don’t think the college coaches care much, and they may actually like the publicity that accompanies them. Coaches of elite travel teams want to post the commitments for marketing purposes.

The folks who don’t like publicizing commitments are the admissions folks. Take the NESCAC, the league makes a big deal that all admissions decisions are made by admissions and not by coaches. Specifically, the NESCAC common admissions policy says: “All admissions decisions are rendered and delivered in writing by the admissions office only. Any communication regarding the status of admissions decisions conveyed by non-admissions personnel should be considered preliminary, unofficial, and subject to change.” Thus, the framework in the NESCAC is that nothing is final until the acceptance letter is in hand and the deposit is submitted.

I just don’t see the reason for an athlete to tell the world that they are going to a particular school before admissions accepts them. For bragging rights? What happens if something goes wrong? That’s when bragging rights become explaining rights. It seems to me that humility is one of the better attributes an athlete can develop, and that includes the commitment process. But of course, this is just one perspective. As noted, others see things differently.

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Lots of great thoughts here, and most if it confirming what my son and I thought; while it might be an ego boost to announce it on social media, it’s better to wait until the acceptance has been received officially from the admissions department and then post.

He received a positive pre read from admissions already and the coach and HS college office all said it looked as positive as could be, but he doesn’t want to jinx anything or potentially create any waves.

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With regards to the NESCAC and other high academic schools (MIT, CMU, etc) that’s why the announcement made will state what the OP listed - some form of “Committing to the admissions process at….” That way the school doesn’t really have a reason to get upset, because they are not stating that they are accepted yet to the specific school. Seen it done for many years in our sport. Never was an issue on either end, but still always check with the future coach. They will know if the school will have an issue with it.

If you prefer to wait until that acceptance letter is in hand, all is fine there too.

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Agree with @Vertigo75 – it’s customary in men’s soccer to announce one’s commitment to the process. Always check with the coach, of course, but it’s not common for a school to get upset by a recruit announcing a commitment. We were as certain as one could be that my son would be admitted, so honestly we had no jitters before the ED decision (my son announced his commitment 6 months before ED decisions were out).

I am not saying everyone should do that, but that in some sports it is customary. After checking with the coach, do what feels most comfortable for you!

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@gointhruaphase -Well stated on all points. Especially on humility being one of the better attributes an athlete can develop.
I understand as well that this is not everyone’s perspective though from what I have seen, it is primarily for bragging rights, which I understand and we all get. So if other than bragging rights it serves no other real purpose to announce early non-binding commitments on public social media, then why not just hold off for a bit.

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Again, in my sport it helps college coaches see where we are capable of placing talent in each class. Some coaches can glance at our profile and see right away that we have smart, talented kids who have been recruited by specific high academic schools. Coaches will follow specific travel teams at showcases due to that. It helps our younger players with their recruiting if they are interested in those specific types of schools.

I am sure that some do it just for bragging rights. Others do it to actually help their other teammates in the process.

If a recruit is proud to announce their accomplishment, why does it bother others so much? There is a ton of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into the process. You see D1 and D2 kids do it all the time before they sign their NLI. I am more than happy for the kids who announce it. Can there be disappointment to a non-binding verbal agreement? Yes, of course - but honestly I’ve seen it rarely happen. I see it more come from a player changing their mind as opposed to not getting into the school.

Does humility change once they have their acceptance letter in hand and now it’s “okay” to announce? IMHO, it’s an accomplishment that should be celebrated. It’s not an easy feat to be an accomplished athlete and be able to get into a top-notch school due to academics. Who shouldn’t be proud of that?

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One good reason for announcing early is that there is a good deal of relief that the decision is made. My daughter signed her NLI on the first day she could (Nov). There were still some things up in the air at that time (like the merit award! and she couldn’t go to that school without a merit award) but the coach was right that it was a huge pressure lifted from my daughter, who struggled with big decisions, to just have a done deal. D made the decision, passed a pre-read, and wanted it public.

And there was some peer pressure that some of her hs teammates were committing and some of her friends from around the country had committed YEARS before.

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I think it actually serves multiple purposes and is rarely “just for bragging rights.” Firstly, it has become customary in many sports. Secondly, it creates a public record of a handshake deal, regardless of the legality this makes it more real to both parties, especially to the child. Thirdly, most kids are not going anywhere that is so special that “bragging” could really be applied. They are simply announcing their plans which is so standard in this world where people announce their every meal on social media.

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I absolutely agree. Signing an NLI, that could provide a huge release of pressure. But, Division 3 doesn’t have a true NLI. In fact the D3 celebratory NIL can only be “signed” after the athlete has been admitted to the college, so perhaps not entirely equivalent.

My only point is that recruiting in Division 3, and in particular the NESCAC, can be less certain than in Divisions 1 and 2. I previously quoted this from a Middlebury student newspaper article that interviewed the Middlebury head of admissions:

“Recruited athletes are often given extra and earlier advance notice as to their viability as a candidate for the College based on criteria set by the NESCAC, which can often lead athletes to premature assumptions about their admittance. Instances have occurred where students in the recruitment process have claimed a “commitment” to the College similar to those allowed at Division 1 institutions. As a matter of protocol and process, Buckles said, Admissions will track down these claims to correct them when they see them.”

I have no idea if Middlebury admissions has ever actually corrected any such claimed commitment. I just wouldn’t want admissions having this type of communication with my kid before he or she was admitted.

There is a diplomatic spin on the topic on the Wisonsin-Oskkosh site (under “When do I sign a letter of intent and announce my signing to the media”). It doesn’t actually prohibit announcing before admission, but it says you may sign a celebratory NLI and announce after you are admitted and have submitted a deposit. It actually gives suggested language for the announcement.

In the end, as in all college admissions, do what is right for your kid.

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I wouldn’t read too much into that Middlebury quote. First of all, many Middlebury soccer commits announce their commitment to the process well before ED decisions are out, with absolutely no blowback from Middlebury. If you read the quote carefully, Buckles says Middlebury corrects athletes where they’ve made an announcement “similar to D1” – i.e. they announce they have a firm commitment vs “committing to the process”. Also, he implies that athletes sometimes think passing the preread means they are in. He is right, passing thee preread does not in fact mean that. However, what he doesn’t say is that having passed the preread and with coach support the athlete can comfortably say they are committing to the process.

Also, another aspect of announcing one’s commitment. At least in soccer there’s huge interest in the community, and a kid would be quite the outlier if they didn’t let their friends or their teammates or their coach – or the other coaches they were in recruiting talks with! – know that they were done with recruiting because they verbally committed somewhere. And there isn’t all that much different between telling those people and putting it on social media, or letting a publication or website that tracks commitments know.

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I agree this can vary a lot by sport. I do typically see runners who have committed to D3 schools share with friends and teammates, sometimes participate in the fall “signing” ceremony at the HS (usually after a request from the coach). Less common to see it on social media for D3s until admitted for whatever reason. Ivies kind are kind of hit or miss, and that seems to be changing. I used to rarely see those on social media until Dec., and I know sone admissions offices were discouraging it. Then I started seeing them after likely letters. And in the last few years I’m starting to see them in September. So not only does it vary by sport, I think it changes over time.

I’d go with whatever is common in the sport and the kid is comfortable doing.

And the Middlebury lacrosse recruits historically announced when everyone else was announcing - in sophomore and junior years, long before the applications were even available. Do some of those announcing end up not going to Middlebury? Yes, and it may be because they weren’t admitted or because they got a better offer, but it isn’t a big deal to change schools or decide not to play at all (less likely).

These are top recruits nationwide and they don’t want to be left out of all the experiences their friends are having. One silly thing is that ‘committed’ recruits wear a colored armband at the summer showcase tournaments and it is a cool thing for a 15-16 year old to be part of that elite group. Bragging rights? Maybe, but not in the sense the “I got in and you didn’t” but more in the “I’m so happy I’m going to college!” way.

Other coaches pay NO attention to those armbands and continue to recruit the best athletes (and best students) anyway, but the kids really want to wear those armbands.