Is it too late to decommit?

I am a current senior in high school that has verbally committed to a coach from a top academic school. After he offered me I quickly made the decision without much consideration of my other options due to the prestige of the school. I am now really interested in going to another school. With the regular decision deadline coming up in a few weeks, is it too late to decommit without hurting the coach and team? Will they have time to find another recruit in the upcoming weeks?

Amazing to see someone who cares about the schools when often times the opposite is not followed.

I’ll let experts answer but in my opinion, do what’s right for you. You don’t want years of unhappiness nor do they want you unhappy.

I suspect there’s enough time for the coach to offer and get a commitment from another athlete.

I admire your ethical mindset. It bodes well for your future.

Good luck.

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I have a few questions…what sport? What NCAA division?

Have you applied and been accepted to the first school already?

Does the second coach know you are verbally committed elsewhere?

How certain is the second opportunity? Have you had a positive pre-read?

It’s not great to break a verbal commit, but I agree spending 4 years in a situation less appealing is not good either. If the first school is selective, it’s highly likely they can recruit another kid. I do admire your thoughtfulness.


Are you already accepted to your 1st choice school? Are you trading sure admission at the prestigious school for uncertainty? Did you apply ED to the prestigious school? Did you sign an NLI?

The answers to those questions will I imagine affect your future steps. That said, if you really don’t want to go to the prestigious school, then you should not go. If it’s pretty close between the prestigious school and your 1st choice school, and you are not sure if you’ll be admitted to your 1st choice school, I would think long and hard about it.


Ha ha, I was going to page you @Mwfan1921 !!

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I could see your little icon working on a post so I didn’t need to page you!!:wink:

You have to do what’s right for you. Period. Think about it, for real. Decide what’s best for you. Make the decision and don’t look back. Life lesson for you in the future - don’t make rash decisions and commitments. It’s much easier to STAY out of things than it is to GET out of things. Learn the lesson.


@Mwfan1921 and @cinnamon1212 have asked the right questions. Without knowing those answers, I’d say that if the plan all along was for you to apply RD to this school, the coach probably will be fine aside from ruffled feathers. But you need to be sure you’re making the right moves for yourself, so I’d encourage you to fill in some of the details in as generic a way as possible. Then folks can alert you to any potential issues.


Others have given good advice. I am just echoing what they said, it is important that you make the right decision for you, and it is not too late to decommit. The coach may be disappointed but you will not be the first person to decommit, and if the coach is a good person he should understand.
A few other quick notes:
-*top academic-*is this a school that recruits and provides a Likely Letter for athletic recruitment?
-Did you already apply and get accepted?
-It sounds to me that you are applying RD to this school and the coach is aware of that. If so, you could apply RD to both schools. That way you can make sure you get accepted to consider your options, and make your final decision. I would let the coach know that you are not sure if you apply to both schools.
You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders to be asking these questions now, so I am sure it will work out for you. Good luck!

Not too late to change your mind since you did not apply ED.

Without very specific information not shared in this thread, nobody can address your whether or not your change of heart will hurt the team and as to whether or not another recruit can be found. Nevertheless, most sports teams have more than one player per position. Of course, quarterbacks, goalies, and basketball & football centers–for example–are key positions which may cause a team some discomfort.

But, even recruits accepted via ED may have a change of destination due to affordability / financial aid issues.

P.S. Currently helping an Ivy recruit accepted ED find another home due to sticker price shock. Circumstances and, more similar to your situation, awareness of the realities change as families progress through the athletic recruiting process so your situation is not unusual.


This is unfortunate…did they not run the NPC or ask for a financial aid pre-read? Regardless, the fact that many can’t afford their EFC is why the Ivies lose some athletic recruits to DI schools in the Patriot league (a common target) and D3 schools that give merit. Good luck to you and your student.

Thanks for the responses. I am being recruited for t&f at the division one level and have a likely letter already from the ivy school. The coach of the second school said he would support my application RD and I have a positive read, but not sure how risky it would be to throw away my near 100% acceptance with the likely letter.

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Family friend who claims to have run the NPC with an estimate of substantial financial aid. But, the finances are complicated and the family did not consult with me until after the ED acceptance with no financial aid. Even with my limited knowledge with respect to financial aid matters, I could have helped.

Unfortunately, the coach at the second choice D-1 school did not have his contract renewed so that offer was rescinded / never put into writing.

Apparently, financial aid calculators are limited to standard financial portraits. More complex situations (farms, investment & rental properties,non-custodial parents) and lack of utilization of available techniques can lead to disappointment.

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You may be taking the place of a student whom I know. If so, the likely letter should be given above average weight from your viewpoint. Regardless, depends upon several factors which have not been disclosed in this thread so nobody can give you a definitive response. (I am not asking you to reveal specifics, just sharing that based on the info. shared, it is just an experienced guessing game.)

I wish the colleges would help the families run the possible financial aid packages prior to kids committing. It is such a complicated process. I have seen where middle class families are still convinced there are athletic scholarship that will materialize at the ivies and give up other opportunities with more money. They may have a business that does not make much money but is in a piece of property their family bought generations ago and that is now considered an asset that they have been struggling to pay taxes on.

Thanks for sharing your experience trying to help.


As others mentioned, they should have requested a FA pre read which is standard practice at the ivies and is an extremely thorough dive into 1120s, 1040, etc. Those pre reads can happen as early as the summer prior to application. Wish they had consulted you earlier, but at least you’re there to help now. Good luck.


I agree that a financial pre-read is a wise course of action for most applicants. However, in this case there are too many complicating factors including Covid related consequences that changed income producing commercial properties into vacant money pits. Additionally, it is more difficult to get an accurate pre-read when a non-custodial parent is involved.


Thanks for this info. I’ve seen this happen a few times in Ivy track and field, once within the conference and once to a PAC 12 program. I wasn’t involved with those conversations but my sense is that if you’re sure you want to make this move, you’ll probably want to make sure the coach at the second school knows what is going on. They can help you figure out the mechanics of it. Perhaps they can do something to expedite admission so you don’t feel like you’re taking much risk. I’m not sure how to deal with the ED/EA issue and the fact that a LL has already been issued but the coach might. As to your initial questions though, I wouldn’t worry too much about the coach at school one. They bring in more than a dozen new recruits every year and most of those programs are overloaded right now anyway with current and future fifth years. I don’t know if the coach will get to replace your slot in RD but they’ll be fine either way.

Do keep in mind that these coaches talk all the time and know each other pretty well so things do tend to get around.


Understood. One thing, if they haven’t already, is to make sure to communicate the issues to the FA office. Several good friends with businesses were hit hard by Covid and the FA adjustments at the schools were very fast and very generous. Probably depends on the school and how easy it is to document those losses.

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If they have not done so already, they should get in touch with and get to know the FA office at the Ivy that they applied too and received a LL.
We had a kid that was a recruit at a top Ivy. The financial aid award, or scholarship as they called it, came back very different than what we were expecting, to the point that we were questioning how we could afford it.
There were different circumstances, they looked at it differently than it really was and added back a lot of dollars that we did not agree with. We went back to the FA office. It took some doing, a # of conversations, they asked very good questions and dug into to make sure it was all correct, which it was, and they revised the expected family contribution and award.
In the end they were good to work with.
Lesson learned was speaking to the FA office in depth was very helpful.

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