Verbal Commitment

<p>My daughter is a cross country/track runner. She's a freshman in college but is looking to transfer. She talked to an Ivy league coach and he was very interested. She got in through the pre-read process and she told him that she was submitting her application to his school and turning down the other coaches she's talked to. He responded by telling her to go ahead and submit her application. I don't know if this would count as a verbal commitment but after the coach told her to submit her application can he turn her away? I know she may not get in admissions wise but can the coach withdraw his support for the athlete after telling them to go ahead and apply?</p>

<p>Yes he can withdraw his support any time he wants. There is nothing binding at all and it does not sound like he even made any sort of verbal commitment to your daughter at all. Saying he is interested and go ahead and apply means jack diddly..
A verbal commitment is when a coach says I am committed to giving you X amount of scholarship $ when you come to my team. It also is non binding but the coach is offering money and most coaches are smart enough to know that if they back out on a verbal to an athlete the entire sports community will hear about it thru the grapevine and it will hurt their recruiting. Also BE CAREFUL unless your daughter has permission from her current team/school she should not even be shopping around to other schools. She could get herself in a big mess.</p>

<p>It's an ivy league school. There is no scholarship money involved. It's all financial aid and she filled out the early fafsa form. So technically he didn't offer her scholarship money but there is no scholarship money involved because he has none to offer.</p>

<p>In Ivy recruting an "offer" is an offer of coach's support for your application of admission, sometimes called a tip. There are no athletic scholarships. The offer is for help in getting admitted and a spot on the team. If admitted, you then become eligible for generous, need-based financial aid at the Ivy.</p>

<p>Suggesting that he is interested and suggesting that you apply does not represent an Ivy offer. The pertinent questions to ask the coach are "Will you personally support my application for transfer admission to your school with the Admissions Committee?" and "If accepted, will I have a spot on your team?" These need to be direct questions and direct answers need to get given. Keep in mind, only the Admissions Office can offer acceptance. The coach has no official role here, other than supporting a candidate's application, which can significantly increase the odds of acceptance (in the Ivies, this can range from 5% to 15% of applications).</p>

<p>Until a letter of acceptance is received, don't burn any bridges with other transfer opportunities you may be interested in. Submit multiple applications and maintain relationships with the coaches at other schools and project interest.</p>

<p>Oops forgot Ivy's don't have athletic money. What about the current school though? Does she need to get a release and permission to speak to other coaches? If she does and she has not it could be a huge problem later on.</p>

<p>Yes she's gotten her release papers from the current school. She had them sent to the schools she's been talking to. She really wants to get into this Ivy though so I'm hoping it all works out and she's admitted. When she spoke to the coach he told her they had 6 spots still left for the girls team that he can give to admissions and this was in the beginning of January. Thanks for the help.</p>

<p>At my D's school (a well known prep school) there have been incidents in the not-too-distant past where a coach has done that. Let's just say that that particular coach's name is now mud at this school-- and other schools in the league. In the two cases of which I know personally, one student was wise enough not to completely trust this coach (she tried to pin him down and he used weasel words so she knew that he wasn't on the up and up) and so was able to find another program whereas one student fell through the cracks entirely and is taking a "tactical gap year" to try again. </p>

<p>Likewise, my D's school would not permit her (even if she wanted to, which she did NOT) to speak w/ any other school once an agreement between the student and the coach is reached (here the college counseling office confirms that the ad com has given a "green light" and that the coach has indeed submitted her name as a "slot"). The school also doesn't want a reputation for students who play fast-and-loose.</p>

<p>When my D got her commitment, bc it was from a NESCAC school which does not give out LLs, she was excited and we felt that the coach was honorable (checked him out with a number of people), yet bc it is the AdCom which gives out letters (and even the NESCAC official website tells potential recruits that a coach's offer has no binding power whatsoever--only the Admissions office can do so) we told her to hold off celebrating until the ED was announced officially.</p>

<p>It is probably different if a potential recruit comes from a school with whom the college and the coach have no relationship-- there it is about personal integrity, rather than repetitional risk. Thus unscrupulous coaches can get away with things they wouldn't try at other high schools.</p>

<p>All I can say, is ask the coach in blunt terms what she/he is offering-- write it down exactly so it doesn't change when recalled with rose-colored glasses (things seem to get better in the repeating unless there is a contemporaneous record, in it human nature)-- ask your high school coach to confirm with the college coach what was said and ask anyone who knows the college coach what his/her reputation happens to be.</p>

<p>With the coach who messed with those two students I noted above, most of us can't wait until he is fired, which given his deteriorating reputation, should happen before too long. I am sure other coaches in his conference must feel the same as he sullies their reputations by association.</p>

<p>Transfer rules vary depending on many circumstances. I would be absolutely sure about those circumstances before pulling the trigger. It sounds like you've done the right process by contacting the current school and then the transfer school to make sure she is fully eligible to transfer. *Does your daughter have to spend one academic year in residence before she is able to compete? * That is the big question for most people. I would make sure that answer is crystal clear. Some information (transfer school is D1, D2, D3 ??) is missing in your post, as well as her sport. I'll assume it is a 4 year school. In addition, the school she is tranferring into can request an exception from the NCAA. It happens all the time but the public rarely hears about it.</p>

<p>Best of luck!</p>

<p>The school she's currently at is a D3 school and also a 4 year school. I don't think she'd have to spend a year in residency because with track and cross country an athlete can compete the following season. Like she I know she wouldn't lose a year of eligibility or anything like that. My only concern is that the coach will back away from her without telling her and come April shes stuck at her current school.</p>


<p>So it sounds good, and you've done your homework about your eligibility and everything else. Truthfully, the next milestone is a face to face or phone conversation with the coach to reduce risk and give you peace of mind. This is one instance where I think it is best to have parent AND athlete in front of the coach. Typically, I like to see the student handling athletic recruiting but this is different. If everythng is positive, then it is just a leap of faith with the coach in terns if hin providind a roster spot.</p>

<p>You're kind of in a point of no return anyway. Her current coach knows she wants to leave. If it was my son, I would be researching, and making some phone calls and exploratory emails (about other programs) with people I know and trust (not coaches) while having a dialogue with the possible future coach.</p>

<p>I wish you and your daughter the best of luck! Please let us know how it goes.</p>