Confusing response from a college coach

So recently I emailed a college coach for a school I was interested in. I included a highlight video and introduced myself. I’m just confused by his response. He said his greetings and such and then said " The biggest challenge for 2021, players can stay an extra season (NCAA waiver for everyone) with the current Covid situation. So not much or any money will be freed up for recruits if players decide to stay. Just giving you a heads up." And then the email ends. Is he saying that there will be little/no money for athletic scholarships or is he saying I have no chance of being recruited there. If he is saying I probably won’t be able to get an athletic scholarship that’s fine, because it’s a relatively cheap school, but if he is saying I have no chance of being recruited there then I wouldn’t want to waste my time staying in contact. Can anyone decipher it for me? Should I ask for clarification? Thanks.

I read that as him letting you know he won’t have much or any athletic money to distribute. If that’s not an issue for you, let him know and tell him you’re interested even if there’s no athletic scholarship. Then see where that conversation goes.

Coaches in this position don’t want to waste everyone’s time if the recruit is expecting a scholarship that doesn’t exist.

You also may want to look at who is on the team and if you’ll get a chance to play. If a lot of juniors and seniors are staying, they may have all the starting spots and the incoming freshmen will be two deep on the bench.

On my daughter’s team, 6 of the 7 in her class played almost every minute of every game for 4 years. Believe me, the sophomores and juniors were happy to see them gone so they could get some playing time.

My experience has been that it is never a waste of time to keep in touch with coaches, particularly if it is a school of true interest. Things do happen. Recruits and coaches change their minds. While this may not happen for any given school, if you stay in touch with a large range of schools, the odds are that it will for some. We had very solid schools contact us in October for an OV when there was nary a word from the coach in response to multiple emails.

That said, your best bet is simply to lay your cards on the table. Try to figure out what you plan to get from being a recruit, if not money. Is it admission (i.e., would you get into the school without coach support)? Is it a roster spot? Then ask the coach straight up where you stand on the recruiting list.

I agree with the above.

The thing is neither you nor the coach know right now which sophs, juniors, and seniors are going to stay around for their fifth year, it’s likely some of the players don’t even know what they will decide come decision time.

It’s a complete guessing game, and gets more complex when trying to figure out how many teammates who are ahead of you at a certain position might take a fifth year.

Unprecedented times. If you like the school and the program and don’t need a scholarship to attend then give it a go. Do ask, if not getting scholarship dollars, if you would be a preferred walk-on, or not.

Is there any kind of fixed date by which the existing athletes will have to make a decision about the 5th year? Its definitely having a huge impact in the smaller sports.

I am not sure, might have until end of senior year to decide. Of course, some coaches might ask their athletes to keep in the loop re: what they are thinking as it does impact recruiting, scholarship $, etc.