Coach called Son but no offer made but wants committment

So my Son informs me that a D3 coach of a school we did a campus visit with last week called him today and wanted to know if was ready to commit as they have others on their list..Son was caught off guard as they said at the visit that they were going to offer which we assumed was academic money as they had his grades which are very good and they were going to run them by admissions..we never received that offer..Son told the coach that he would get back to him soon and then he relayed the jist of the conversation to me..I advised him to tell the coach that they need to present a proper offer before we make a decision on a committment..I thought this call was rather strange..he has about 10 schools in both D2 and D3 after him now....your thoughts?...thanks in advance.

Original Post

Others may have  had different experiences but from what I've seen and heard, there is a firewall between D3 coaches and the money, be it need-based or merit-based. In other words, the coach has no standing to make what you're calling a "proper offer", other than saying that he's got a roster spot and possibly a guarantee that he'll be accepted, which can be invaluable at schools with <10% admission rates, even for fine students like your son.  In many if not most cases, colleges have online tools that can give you a pretty good idea of what kind of aid of both types your son may qualify for, and if you need more specifics the coach would give you the correct person to contact about getting a pre-read so you can have more concrete numbers to consider.

CatcherdadNY,

Sounds like some honest miscues and miscommunication here, mostly between your son and the coach at the D3 school.  I quickly perused your recent posts and gleaned that your son is a 2019.  He seems to be all over the place as far as what he is looking for?  In June you said he turned down a full-ride offer at a "low-level" D1, had a 50% ride at a D2 near your home (I think?) but son was not interested.  You may have also said he was getting interest from a small D1 NC state school?  

Sounds like he has lots of options, or has had lots of options?  Sounds also like he does not want D1 lest he end up like many of his older friends who have gone D1 but got cut in fall?  

I guess I'm just trying to figure out what his goal is?  You say he's an academic kid?  So is the D3 you visited the type that will definitely give him academic $?  

I think you're doing the right thing by coaching your son for the next conversation and that is to try to nail down if there's any chance at academic $?  But it sounds like your son has turned down a few offers before that had all sorts of money attached?  

I guess I'm just confused as to what he wants?  By August of rising Senior year he should pretty much be narrowing things down to at least (2) levels of play; D1 or D2, or D2 or D3, but it sounds like he has all three levels still in play?  Down home stretch for my son (August of rising Sr. year) it was HA D3s and D1s, period.  D2 was not in picture at all.  Sounds like yours is still entertaining all three?  No rule against it, just sounds to me like a muddled way to go about this home stretch recruiting run.

To be fair, your OP for this thread states only D2 and D3, but some of your recent posts talk about D1 also.  Maybe he has narrowed it down to D2 and D3.  Great step if he has!

Good luck and keep us posted.

 

JCG posted:

Others may have  had different experiences but from what I've seen and heard, there is a firewall between D3 coaches and the money, be it need-based or merit-based. In other words, the coach has no standing to make what you're calling a "proper offer", other than saying that he's got a roster spot and possibly a guarantee that he'll be accepted, which can be invaluable at schools with <10% admission rates, even for fine students like your son.  In many if not most cases, colleges have online tools that can give you a pretty good idea of what kind of aid of both types your son may qualify for, and if you need more specifics the coach would give you the correct person to contact about getting a pre-read so you can have more concrete numbers to consider.

Agree w JCG.

Ever bought a used car?  You know when the salesman takes your key and registration for your trade-in so they can "take it out for a test drive," but he in reality he locks them somewhere in a vault so you can't leave?  And then he goes back and forth between you and his manager who is behind some mysterious curtain somewhere?  Same deal with academic money tug o' war between recruit (car buyer), coach (salesman), admissions (finance manager).  Some can make it happen on your time schedule.  Others use it as a stalling technique to keep you on the line while they try to nail down a kid higher on their board than your kid.  

Not fun, but it sounds like your son has moved along in the past, so have an idea and a drop dead date and either fish or cut bait.

To clarify, he has a standing full ride offer at a D2 which at this point he is not interested in the school..it was in writing and presented as half academic and half athletic..he very much appreciates that offer and understands the gravity of it..what I don't understand is how a coach can ask for a commitment without at least presenting some kind of work on their part as to what academic money they are offering..they have his grades and transcripts and should be running those by their people to see what the school can offer...yes he has had interests on all levels and understands that there is both rejection at some levels and abundant interest on others...it just seems to me that a request to commit should include the specifics rather than abstracts.

 

CD-NY,

The whole academic money part, and how it was presented by coaches was never consistent.   As JCG pointed out above, there’s merit aid (awarding/enticing a 32-ACT kid to come to a school that has a 27-ACT average), and then there’s need based aid, which would be based on you filling out a FAFSA application.   

I know at larger universities, the merit aid is often simply based on standardized test scores. Son had several academic offers, presented either with or without athletic  money and they were presented in many ways; on UV in writing, or in an email, but yes, one or two were presented only AFTER son hounded RC for a couple weeks after UV and offer of baseball scholarship.   Sometimes it was out of their hands, and in AO’s hands, and just a case of “uh, don’t know yet, still haven’t heard from admissions yet,” but also may have been a stall technique.   

JCG’s “firewall” analogy is a good one.  At many D3s coaches burn most of their equity w admissions by simply getting a kid admitted (which at most D3s they have negligible ability to do even that).  May be hard at a D3 for the coach to go back and hound AO for answers on academic money too.  Based on your description of your son’s academic chops the coach probably doesn’t need to do that, but he can only knock on their door so many times in a week.  

Most of my experience through son was w HA D3s where average ACT scores were like 32 (about 1475 SAT) so unless you were a 35 or 36 ACT type applicant w accompanying bona fides (like you’re on verge of curing cancer) you stood zero chance of getting an academic  award.  Leaving financial need based aid the only option.   And most coaches, when this was the case, would tell my son EARLY  in the relationship, “have your parents go to our website and look at the FAFSA info etc.”  It was a logical way for them to put distance between their baseball relationship w son, and the family’s ability to fund said relationship.  It was made clear early on that the question of paying for tuition was between the parent and admissions.  That their baseball program was going to have nothing to do w it.  That message was sent early often, again for HA D3s and some HA D1s son was being recruited by.

Not sure how your son’s numbers stand in relation to other applicants at the D3 in question, and that could be part of it.   

But in all honesty, do I think it’s odd or inappropriate for a D3 coach to make an offer without presenting an academic scholarship package?   No, I don’t.   

Your OP mentions he has many D2s and 3s in the mix right now, and that’s awesome.   I would think if you’re looking for academic money that the D2 options would be best place to hunt for it, not D3.

Hope  this helps.  Good luck.

It's funny...some coaches are very "good" at the whole offering "thing" and some are not.  Recently my younger son (who is a lacrosse player) went on a visit to a school that is always ranked with a long tenured coach.  We had a good visit but there was no mention of a roster spot offer.  As we were being walked out by the assistant coach he was saying how much they think of my son and how they will be waiting on his decision.  I had to ask, "Did Coach X offer him a spot?"...and the assistant said yes, most definitely...yet those words were never spoken in the meeting (i.e. We would like to offer you a roster spot.)  I just found it odd that a very experienced coach of such an outstanding program could be so vague, because if I hadn't asked we would have never really known if he had been offered or not. 

As for the academic money and the coaches...what I have seen with both my sons (older-baseball, younger - lacrosse) is that while the D3 coaches can't really influence the amount of money you get...they can put some pressure on admissions/financial aid to get you an idea of what your merit money would be rather quickly to help you in your decision.

If this is a school your son is really interested in, I would have him tell the coach that he is very interested in their program but can't commit until he has a ballpark idea of the kind of aid he would be getting to go there...however, if the package comes in with a figure your family can live with he will commit.  If the coach balks at that idea, I would move on, or contact admissions/financial aid and let them know the situation (you can't commit until you get this number) and see if they can do anything.

Good luck!

CatherDadNY,

FWIW....Here would be my action plan:

1) Work the online calculator and then call a Financial Aid officer, and talk to them.   Seperately, you should know if he qualifies for academic money if he is in the top 25% of their published SAT/ACT scores.   Once you have this info then give this information to your son so he has a general understanding of the range of numbers.

2)  Have your son call the coach to tell him he is very interested and he wants to talk about next steps and details.  Have your son write everything down.  I would not expect anything in writing in terms of a D3 offer letter from the Coach, but you can expect written information from admissions and financial aid.   D3 offers are typically verbal.   Out of this discussion, your son will know what he needs to do as well as what the coach will do for him.  Either the coach will handle himself or pass it onto an academic liason that is responsible for these kinds of things.   Academic scholarships are typically awarded after an Early Decision application is accepted.   Set up a time with the coach next week to follow up, and see how things have progressed.

Good luck!

PS...Coaches do this everyday.  If you don't understand something, ask them to explain it.

Understand your concern, as my son had several offers, each accompanied by scholarship/Merit money details.  His top choice was a more HA D1, but the school doesn't provide baseball scholarships and very little academic money.  Neither were presented with the offer.  For that, I called the Financial Aide dept to get that process started, precisely how Fenwaysouth described.

If this D3 is a HA, they have no baseball money and probably very little in the way of academic money.  Therefore, you should follow Fenway's suggestion and see if you qualify for Fin Aide.

As others have said, the clock is ticking.  You should really narrow down your choices and it sounds like you need to combine your son's interest with what you are willing to pay.  You will be paying more at HA schools than you will D2, that's almost a certainty and you should know this going in.

Almost every school we ever looked at....at all levels has "guaranteed academic money"....meaning if your GPA and ACT meet the criteria and you are accepted, you will get that much.   It's on the school website somewhere....BUT sometimes it's a little tough to find.  I would find that first, it will give you a start.  If he's happy with that number and likes the school, fine, tell the coach he's in and work on any need-based additional money then.  As others have said, you can call the financial aid office yourself and get some help.   Don't mean to sound harsh, but it sounds to me like the coach may be only lukewarm on your son with regard to baseball....or he thinks maybe your son has no other options being it's mid-August and just felt like he'd jump at the offer....even tho he has no idea what the offer even includes

I understand where OP is coming from - it is not out of the ordinary for a DII or III coach to request the PSA's transcripts, Senior class schedule, School profile, etc., and present the information to the financial aid department for a read as to what (if any) academic/merit financial aid the school could afford the PSA with those particular credentials, then let the PSA know.  It is not a binding "offer" per se, but it is a very good indication of the type of academic award he would qualify for if he enrolls and invaluable information to have when weighing decisions.  This does not apply to the very top/most prestigious HAs as they do not offer merit aid.  But my understanding is that those top end HAs will do a "pre-read" for need based aid and let the PSA know.  You can't (shouldn't) commit to buy the car without knowing the cost!!

During our sons college selection process I found that most schools have a section on their website that details out the cost of the school as well as how much aid you can expect.  Many schools list out that if your GPA is here and your ACT is here you can expect this much in scholarship money.  Or if your ACT is above xx we will automatically offer you in state tuition (for state schools).  If your not seeing it on the admissions page, take at look at the scholarship section, sometimes it buried in there.

Also, if you have not filled out a FAFSA you should consider doing so.  At the end of the process they will show you your expected contribution to your sons schooling.  Many schools use that number to determine financial aid.  For instance if your expected contribution is $10,000/yr and the cost to attend school is $30,000/yr the school will attempt to find an academic/financial aid package that translates to $20,000/yr. 

I would highly suggest requesting a meeting with an admissions consular and being prepared to talk about school financing with them.  Let them know that this is a concern up front so they can be prepared to talk about it as well.  I would suggest having your kid let the coach know that this is something you would like to do before making a decision.  At this point I think its appropriate for you to step up and talk to the coach as your the one paying for his education.  The coach will let you know if he wants to be involved in setting up the appointment or if he wants you to work directly with the admissions office.

+1 on Fenway's comments. 

D3 is a different animal. Do not expect a written offer from a coach in most cases. They show interest and say how much they like you. There is no real commitment at D3. If you "commit" there is nothing to stop you, (except your word, So it depends how important that is to you) from talking to other schools. You are not officially on the team until you enroll are accepted and show up on campus. The D3 timeline is much different than the other Divisions. If the coach asks you to enroll Early Action (always a good idea.) or Early Decision, that could be considered an offer. 

In many cases financial packages do not come out until the school has your fafsa. Many times schools have you fill out a form in addition to a FAFSA. Here is the process as per My son's old school.

https://www.owu.edu/admission/...-aid/need-based-aid/

We also had to fill out a second form in addition to the FAFSA. However I cannot find that information on their site anymore. It was a long complicated Application we filled out besides the Fafsa.

None of the schools that recruited my son had the coach provide the Financial package. They just asked that we keep them updated. 

 

 Edit - Found it. We also had to Fill out the CSS profile. 

https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/

Looks like my sons school no longer participates. 

 https://profile.collegeboard.o...ingInstitutions.aspx

BishopLeftiesDad posted:

+1 on Fenway's comments. 

D3 is a different animal. Do not expect a written offer from a coach in most cases. They show interest and say how much they like you. There is no real commitment at D3. If you "commit" there is nothing to stop you, (except your word, So it depends how important that is to you) from talking to other schools. You are not officially on the team until you enroll are accepted and show up on campus. The D3 timeline is much different than the other Divisions. If the coach asks you to enroll Early Action (always a good idea.) or Early Decision, that could be considered an offer. 

In many cases financial packages do not come out until the school has your fafsa. Many times schools have you fill out a form in addition to a FAFSA. Here is the process as per My son's old school.

https://www.owu.edu/admission/...-aid/need-based-aid/

We also had to fill out a second form in addition to the FAFSA. However I cannot find that information on their site anymore. It was a long complicated Application we filled out besides the Fafsa.

None of the schools that recruited my son had the coach provide the Financial package. They just asked that we keep them updated. 

 

 Edit - Found it. We also had to Fill out the CSS profile. 

https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/

Looks like my sons school no longer participates. 

 https://profile.collegeboard.o...ingInstitutions.aspx

Yes, the CSS profile is typically used by the HA schools, you pay a fee (think ~$15).  Typically, the reward is less as they consider things like home equity, where FAFSA does not.

For schools that use CSS, you should use the calculator on their website, as opposed to the standard FAFSA calculator on the interweb.

BishopLeftiesDad posted:

+1 on Fenway's comments. 

D3 is a different animal. Do not expect a written offer from a coach in most cases. They show interest and say how much they like you. There is no real commitment at D3. If you "commit" there is nothing to stop you, (except your word, So it depends how important that is to you) from talking to other schools.You are not officially on the team until you enroll are accepted and show up on campus.

I've always heard that with D3's, you are not officially on the team until you make it through Fall Practices and are invited to be on the Spring roster.  Is that not accurate?

CatcherDadNY posted:

So my Son informs me that a D3 coach of a school we did a campus visit with last week called him today and wanted to know if was ready to commit as they have others on their list..Son was caught off guard as they said at the visit that they were going to offer which we assumed was academic money as they had his grades which are very good and they were going to run them by admissions..we never received that offer..Son told the coach that he would get back to him soon and then he relayed the jist of the conversation to me..I advised him to tell the coach that they need to present a proper offer before we make a decision on a committment..I thought this call was rather strange..he has about 10 schools in both D2 and D3 after him now....your thoughts?...thanks in advance.

Yes, it is a bit strange but so is the world of recruiting, particularly when there is no athletic $ involved.  Your direction to your son is good, although you can take further advantage of the request for commitment and ask additional questions.  They may include things like...

- I am very interested but the family needs to know all of the financial details in order to determine feasibility and so that we can make accurate comparisons.  BTW, are there any additional opportunities we should be exploring or that you can help with in order to reduce total costs?  Grants, special scholarships, ways to reduce room & board, etc.?

- I am very interested but you shared that you were going to offer something on my visit, which we assumed would be related to academic $ I can expect and any other $ available, but we never had that discussion during my visit.  It is impossible for me to commit to something that I don't know what I am committing to.  Did you have some numbers to share with me and my family?

Also, make sure you have a clear understanding of where they see you fitting in the baseball program.  If applicable, share that you have other offers and plan on making a decision soon/in the next X weeks, etc.  This can help with getting exchange of details expedited.

Congrats to him on the interest!

Qhead posted:

I understand where OP is coming from - it is not out of the ordinary for a DII or III coach to request the PSA's transcripts, Senior class schedule, School profile, etc., and present the information to the financial aid department for a read as to what (if any) academic/merit financial aid the school could afford the PSA with those particular credentials, then let the PSA know.  It is not a binding "offer" per se, but it is a very good indication of the type of academic award he would qualify for if he enrolls and invaluable information to have when weighing decisions.  This does not apply to the very top/most prestigious HAs as they do not offer merit aid.  But my understanding is that those top end HAs will do a "pre-read" for need based aid and let the PSA know.  You can't (shouldn't) commit to buy the car without knowing the cost!!

I would agree that some coaches are much more helpful than others, and that is why others have said you have to take matters into your own hand.  Sometimes YOU have to do the work.  As others have said, call the Financial Aid folks yourself, and do a lot of internet research to see how they normally handle aid.  

Some schools actually offer aid based on where you are from, and some offer a lot of money based on your financials.  There are a lot of variables, so you have to do your homework in order to know what to ask the coach for.  

3and2Fastball posted:
BishopLeftiesDad posted:

+1 on Fenway's comments. 

D3 is a different animal. Do not expect a written offer from a coach in most cases. They show interest and say how much they like you. There is no real commitment at D3. If you "commit" there is nothing to stop you, (except your word, So it depends how important that is to you) from talking to other schools.You are not officially on the team until you enroll are accepted and show up on campus.

I've always heard that with D3's, you are not officially on the team until you make it through Fall Practices and are invited to be on the Spring roster.  Is that not accurate?

I think that is generally true at any level in college baseball.  Having athletic scholarship commitment from the school is certainly a big  chunk of assurance/insurance in most cases.  So, with no athletic money at D3, it makes it pretty much true for everyone there.  This is why it is so important to have detailed discussions about where a coach sees you fitting in the baseball program... and even more important to show up ready to compete and with a developed skill set that will allow you to earn a spot and keep earning it day after day.  Even for scholarship players, this is part is true.  Many, many scholarship players are told their $ will not be renewed the following year and they should find another place to play or expect little or no PT going forward.

My older son ( HA D3) had "offers" and asked to commit ED and EA depending on school. not every school had ED. No coach made mention of $. It was all about just getting in. $ was at the discretion of financial aid office and admissions. those decisions came out in the spring. He went EA and RD so he would know what we had and could afford. Some schools supported him some did not and supported others. Also if a coach at D3 can help with admissions, it may be only for a few slots. Many HA D3. schools coaches have 0 influence on admisdions. coaches do ask for commitments because they are trying to put together rosters and fill needs so they want to have an idea of who is coming.

FWIW my son applied RD to his school got notified early of a good merit scholly should he accept and was asked by admissions to visit along with others of same as a recruiting by admissions. He he did "commit" until the last day of april 

bacdorslider posted:

Take the D2 offer....

I typically strongly agree with your posts, but not this one.

My son had a full ride offer to a D2 State School, but low quality from an academics perspective.  I suspect that's the case here.  Though I would have been dancing to the bank, decided to pay a lot more for the better school/program.  Who knows how it will turn out, but...

This is a great thread for showing just how many variables are in play when it comes to decision time for your son and you.  Having gone through this with my 2017 who was in the D2/D3 and late low level D1 interest arena, we experienced the following:

  • D3's and especially High Academic D3's are at a disadvantage in recruiting, so coaches try their best to get "early" commitments from kids.  These coaches are trying to recruit the best players possible, and they know that many of the kids they are recruiting will wind up at higher levels or in public universities with lower tuition.  This is probably the case with your son who the coach realizes is talented and likely to have multiple options.
  • Financial need eligibility is a huge factor for D3s who by rule cannot offer athletic money, and for the high academic D3s, typically cannot offer academic money either.  As one coach at a SoCal HA told us: "we cannot offer academic money because if that were the case, every kid on this campus would be entitled to it."  He admitted his team is entirely made up of kids who get a lot of financial need assistance or come from well-to-do families who can afford paying $250K to get a degree (we are neither and thanked him for being honest and declined his interest).
  • "Early Decision" and "Early Action" are the means by which coaches at the HA schools seek your son's commitment.  They will try to sell you on the benefits of going EA and ED (i.e. early acceptance, better chance at acceptance, being done with the decision, etc.), but it is really for them to know a kid they are recruiting is going to be accepted to their school and they are 95% certain of attending (there are some outs, but not many).  DO NOT apply this way unless you and your son are certain it is the ideal match of academic interest, baseball, and affordable.
  • If you visit a campus and meet with a coach, be prepared to talk at the end of your visit about decision timing, conditions, and what comes next.  My son did the talking during the visit, but at the end I would emphasize the following points:
    • We would not have come for the visit had there not been sincere interest on my son's part
    • As much as we are grateful for the coach/school's interest, the final cost numbers are going to be the major factor in the decision, and those won't be known for certain until he is accepted and gets the academic/merit numbers (we were honest and said FASFA told us he would get no need aid)
    • There are a lot of schools and baseball options my son is considering, so he will not be applying ED or EA but will keep the coach updated when he files his application and when he gets a decision from admissions
    • My son promised to update the coach with other tourneys and showcases he was attending and asked the coach to let him know when he would be making his recruiting roster decisions
  • While it is true that at most schools, kids still need to make the roster once they get to school unless they are on athletic money, if your son is being recruited actively, they are being counted on the by the coach to be on the roster and maybe even contribute. If a coach says he has room for only one catcher and he is seeking commitments now, he is telling the truth and you have to weigh that against keeping your options open.

Sorry, this wound up a bit long, but the OP's post got me thinking back to how confusing it all was as we were going through it.  Funny how now it seems so much more clear!

Backstop22 posted:

This is a great thread for showing just how many variables are in play when it comes to decision time for your son and you.  Having gone through this with my 2017 who was in the D2/D3 and late low level D1 interest arena, we experienced the following:

  • D3's and especially High Academic D3's are at a disadvantage in recruiting, so coaches try their best to get "early" commitments from kids.  These coaches are trying to recruit the best players possible, and they know that many of the kids they are recruiting will wind up at higher levels or in public universities with lower tuition.  This is probably the case with your son who the coach realizes is talented and likely to have multiple options.
  • Financial need eligibility is a huge factor for D3s who by rule cannot offer athletic money, and for the high academic D3s, typically cannot offer academic money either.  As one coach at a SoCal HA told us: "we cannot offer academic money because if that were the case, every kid on this campus would be entitled to it."  He admitted his team is entirely made up of kids who get a lot of financial need assistance or come from well-to-do families who can afford paying $250K to get a degree (we are neither and thanked him for being honest and declined his interest).
  • "Early Decision" and "Early Action" are the means by which coaches at the HA schools seek your son's commitment.  They will try to sell you on the benefits of going EA and ED (i.e. early acceptance, better chance at acceptance, being done with the decision, etc.), but it is really for them to know a kid they are recruiting is going to be accepted to their school and they are 95% certain of attending (there are some outs, but not many).  DO NOT apply this way unless you and your son are certain it is the ideal match of academic interest, baseball, and affordable.
  • If you visit a campus and meet with a coach, be prepared to talk at the end of your visit about decision timing, conditions, and what comes next.  My son did the talking during the visit, but at the end I would emphasize the following points:
    • We would not have come for the visit had there not been sincere interest on my son's part
    • As much as we are grateful for the coach/school's interest, the final cost numbers are going to be the major factor in the decision, and those won't be known for certain until he is accepted and gets the academic/merit numbers (we were honest and said FASFA told us he would get no need aid)
    • There are a lot of schools and baseball options my son is considering, so he will not be applying ED or EA but will keep the coach updated when he files his application and when he gets a decision from admissions
    • My son promised to update the coach with other tourneys and showcases he was attending and asked the coach to let him know when he would be making his recruiting roster decisions
  • While it is true that at most schools, kids still need to make the roster once they get to school unless they are on athletic money, if your son is being recruited actively, they are being counted on the by the coach to be on the roster and maybe even contribute. If a coach says he has room for only one catcher and he is seeking commitments now, he is telling the truth and you have to weigh that against keeping your options open.

Sorry, this wound up a bit long, but the OP's post got me thinking back to how confusing it all was as we were going through it.  Funny how now it seems so much more clear!

Great insight.  However, and please do not take this as a criticism, but based on your Bio, it looks like your son walked on to play (congrats to him).  I only point this out, as I would not necessarily follow some of the steps you point out, if you want to get that offer and commitment.

Many kids want a commitment from a coach, and likewise, a coach wants a commitment from the kid.  It doesn't appear you were willing to give that, which is why he went the walk on route.

Again, not trying to criticize or pick a fight, just want to point that out for the less experienced.

CSS Profile: financial equivalent of having a root canal. I'm glad I only have to fill that out two more times.

Just my opinion but players who apply ED with coach help  to HA schools are going to have to really screw up to not be on the roster freshman year.

Backstop22 posted:

This is a great thread for showing just how many variables are in play when it comes to decision time for your son and you.  Having gone through this with my 2017 who was in the D2/D3 and late low level D1 interest arena, we experienced the following:

  • D3's and especially High Academic D3's are at a disadvantage in recruiting, so coaches try their best to get "early" commitments from kids.  These coaches are trying to recruit the best players possible, and they know that many of the kids they are recruiting will wind up at higher levels or in public universities with lower tuition.  This is probably the case with your son who the coach realizes is talented and likely to have multiple options.
  • Financial need eligibility is a huge factor for D3s who by rule cannot offer athletic money, and for the high academic D3s, typically cannot offer academic money either.  As one coach at a SoCal HA told us: "we cannot offer academic money because if that were the case, every kid on this campus would be entitled to it."  He admitted his team is entirely made up of kids who get a lot of financial need assistance or come from well-to-do families who can afford paying $250K to get a degree (we are neither and thanked him for being honest and declined his interest).
  • "Early Decision" and "Early Action" are the means by which coaches at the HA schools seek your son's commitment.  They will try to sell you on the benefits of going EA and ED (i.e. early acceptance, better chance at acceptance, being done with the decision, etc.), but it is really for them to know a kid they are recruiting is going to be accepted to their school and they are 95% certain of attending (there are some outs, but not many).  DO NOT apply this way unless you and your son are certain it is the ideal match of academic interest, baseball, and affordable.
  • If you visit a campus and meet with a coach, be prepared to talk at the end of your visit about decision timing, conditions, and what comes next.  My son did the talking during the visit, but at the end I would emphasize the following points:
    • We would not have come for the visit had there not been sincere interest on my son's part
    • As much as we are grateful for the coach/school's interest, the final cost numbers are going to be the major factor in the decision, and those won't be known for certain until he is accepted and gets the academic/merit numbers (we were honest and said FASFA told us he would get no need aid)
    • There are a lot of schools and baseball options my son is considering, so he will not be applying ED or EA but will keep the coach updated when he files his application and when he gets a decision from admissions
    • My son promised to update the coach with other tourneys and showcases he was attending and asked the coach to let him know when he would be making his recruiting roster decisions
  • While it is true that at most schools, kids still need to make the roster once they get to school unless they are on athletic money, if your son is being recruited actively, they are being counted on the by the coach to be on the roster and maybe even contribute. If a coach says he has room for only one catcher and he is seeking commitments now, he is telling the truth and you have to weigh that against keeping your options open.

Sorry, this wound up a bit long, but the OP's post got me thinking back to how confusing it all was as we were going through it.  Funny how now it seems so much more clear!

Agree with everything here. However the bolded statement above, EA and ED are not the same. you can apply and get accepted at as many schools as you want EA. My son had no less than 4 schools where he was accepted EA. That lets the coach know that the kid has been accepted and can get into the school. It may also improve their Chances for merit aid at those schools that offer it. However that does not mean he has to accept the offer, like ED.

 So with EA the recruitment still continues if the athlete has not made a choice. 

3and2,

Yes when the player shows up in the fall, he is not guaranteed a roster spot in the spring. However at many if not most, if you were a recruited athlete, you will be on the roster in the spring. There are no roster limits in D3, so the coach can keep as many as he wants or as many as dictated by higher powers. However that does not mean the player will be on the travel squad, or get much playing time. My son started all four years, However being a starting pitcher, an being mostly used for conference games, there are plenty of games he was left home, if they were traveling to a non-conference game. This left room for other players that has a more realistic chance of getting innings or at bats. 

JCG posted:

CSS Profile: financial equivalent of having a root canal. I'm glad I only have to fill that out two more times.

Just my opinion but players who apply ED with coach help  to HA schools are going to have to really screw up to not be on the roster freshman year.

My wife filled out the first time and we were shocked at how much school was going to cost. Then we found out she put the worth of our home instead of the equity. Once we corrected it and re-submitted it was quite a relief. 

Agree with the sentiment that there is a difference when you have that full coaches commitment versus running the risk of having to "walk on".  There is a whole series of threads about the differences in being a "recruited walk on" versus actually making it as a walk on in a Fall tryout, so I won't go there.  But as others have note about commitments, when you are at the D2 and D3 levels, there is little to no athletic money (in many D2s and all D3s) binding the coaches to their commitments.  So getting that "commitment" means different things at different levels. 

The great thing about academic money is that it applies whether the baseball thing works out or not, but it also gives coaches the ability to make roster decisions without the obligations of athletic money.  And given the high turnover rate at D1 at the freshman level, even with athletic money, there still are many situations where a kid thought they had the coaches commitment and that changed.  In the end, it all goes back to being the right school academically and the right fit financially and socially if the baseball does not work out.

Great replies all...and thanks..suffice to say that we will proceed with caution henceforth  knowing that there exists a lot of vagueness regarding committing at the D2 and D3 level..my son has answered the numerous emails that he is receiving from head coaches with specific and detailed questions of his own..We'll see what kind of replies he gets and if they pass the smell test.

When it comes to D3 there isn't much of an offer other than roster spot. Sure there is academic money that can be considered, but in terms of negotiation there is nothing that can really happen. You either qualify for the academic money or you don't. That is based on simple stats (SAT/GPA/ AP etc). Unfortunately there is no fund the coach can stick his hands to and pull more money out of for your son. The academic money is at the sole discretion of the school and if your son isn't in the top 25-50% of accepted students it is unlikely he will receive any and won't find out until after acceptance. 

As for why the "offer" didn't come, it sounds like the coach took a look and doesn't believe your son will be receiving academic money. However there is still time between now and the application deadline to get ACT/SAT up and change that. 

I don't think you need to be wary or cautious when it comes to other schools. I just think if you're looking the D3 route you need to understand that there are no longer offers, just roster spots. But if money is a factor, the D2 option sounds like a no brainer. And most likely better baseball. IMO

CATCHERDADNY, The larger questions from me are 

1) Where does your son want to go?

2) Of all the offers regardless of D1,D2,D3 which school feels right academically, Socially, Economically, geographically, baseball?

The money involved or the lack of money talk from a D3 Coach is only important if THIS is the school he wants to go to. Is this school a yes on all or most of the questions presented above?

Because if it isn't then this is just a waste of time. Keep in mind, I understand where you are at. You want your son to have all the facts , lay them out and then make a decision but the aforementioned Questions are what are truly important. And most kids can indeed answer those questions right away BEFORE they get an offer. Baseball money isn't much. Academic money from a D3 can usually be figured out online pretty simply. Give or a take a few bucks you can get a flash of the cost in order to determine if it's a good fit financially without talking to a Baseball Coach.

Your son is going to go live somewhere NEW for the first time in his life. Probably in a new city. and he'll be there for 4 years. That's a big deal for a kid. Hell, I'm a middle aged man and if you told me I was going to relocate to new city. Sleep in a different bed, develop new friends and possibly deal with a different regional culture for the next 4 years I'd be a wreck. 

Baseball is important. But all these other things , Location, Costs, Travel, Social compatibility, distance from home, Inspired academics, Baseball program style all will have an effect on your sons performance and general well being ON THE FIELD and off.

From a baseball standpoint , you always want to pick the school that loves you. That is absolutely excited to have your son on their roster. But it's equally important that of the schools that love you , You pick the one that scores the highest in Social, Economic, Location, Academic catagories . The school that just flat out FEELS right . The school that YOUR excited to be attending.

Don't waste your time trying to figure out if a D3 Coach presented an offer correctly or incorrectly . As was already stated on the thread here, D3's don't offer athletic money....you gotta go to financial aid for that. They do have influence in admissions. The amount of equity there sort of depends on the school and the coach. And yes they will expect you to go EA or ED . But all of this is ONLY important if your son wants to go there. Is he willing to commit tomorrow if the money is right ? That's the question you want to ask him. Most 16-17 year old boys will go '.....ah, maybe I don't know' . You need to follow up that with another question. Ok, which schools that have offered are you willing to commit to TODAY?  You need to take your son from teenage laissez-faire consideration mode to decision mode. And maybe not literally as in literally a final decision today August 8 . But as an exercise or a precursor towards actually having to make a decision. Which he'll need to do very soon.

The recruiting cycle is this sort of alternate reality of showcases , Tourneys, Visits, emails, texts. It's all sort of in the abstract . When you have a few offers and coaches start asking for a commitment, that alternate reality.....disappears. It gets real. You want to start talking with your son in those terms ' Are you ready to commit if the coach calls' if it's a no, move on. Cross that school off the list. If it's a 'maybe' then find out why its a maybe and not a yes or a no. It's time to become decisive. It's either that or go back to the drawing board and start all over with showcasing him to schools where he would say 'Yes' today if offered.

If his decision or lack thereof is based on a school he hasn't heard from, He needs to call the RC and tell him ' I have a few offers here. They are great fits and I'm considering accepting one of them. But before I do I want to know where you are at with me' . Most RC's and HC's will be absolutely honest in their answer. It may be ' ok , glad you called let me talk to my staff and call you tomorrow ' or it may be ' Congratulations on the offers. We're pretty much set at your position we wish the best of luck' . Regardless of whether it's a yes or no it's valuable to the decision making process. Keep in mind if a school hasn't offered it's because they are NOT interested . RC's don't mess around. If they like a player they offer immediately.

Anything I type is just my experience. I went thru the recruiting cycle with a 2016 that committed as a rising junior to a D1 Academic School in the South.

Best of luck

 

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