Re:

Division 1 coaches cannot contact athletes before September 1 of their junior year. Phone calls, texts and emails from Division 2 coaches can begin June 15 after the athlete’s sophomore year. There are no restrictions regarding phone calls from coaches at the Division 3, NAIA and NJCAA levels, but typically they wait until an athlete’s junior year.

That said...how is it that some 8th, 9th and 10th graders are "committed" to schools already (now)?

Original Post

I believe there are non-black out dates that coaching or recruitment staff can reach out. A verbal commitment is an absolute non-binding agreement. I am admittedly biased here, I really think a verbal committment for kids who don't even have an ACT/SAT score is silly, but I guess an A or B+ student in middle school is a good indicator that he will be able to make it in college

marksmith21's version is the only method that doesn't violate NCAA rules. However, I know that plenty of D1 schools are offering scholarships to underclass kids while on campus. That is a rule violation, but apparently not one that most coaches fear.

Men's and women's lacrosse, and softball, all adopted a rule that prohibits any type of contact before 9/1 of junior year. No "kid calls coach" exception. My impression is that it's slowed down the underclass commitments in those sports, but that might just be my lack of inside knowledge.

Another example of why it is so important to be on a strong travel ball team if you are top talent hoping to be recruited to D1.  The travel ball coach is essentially the middleman on everything before 9/1 of junior year.  And by junior year a lot of the classes then are filled at the prime D1 program through this early contact process.

It's simple. Coach goes to freshman's summer game. He goes to the coach and asks when they're playing next and where. Likes what he sees again. Goes up to the dugout and gets the travel coaches number. Calls and asks about what type of kid he is and his baseball future. Coach says give my number to Jimmy, I will be expecting a call at 4:00 tomorrow. 

He calls and they talk. He invites Jimmy to camp and he kills it. Mentions to Jimmy that he liked what he saw but he's gotta run says he's busy but if they're walking around he'll be in his office until 5. You go by the training facility and it's unlocked. Coach is there. You make small talk and he tells you how much he likes his game and that he could be a major contributor and points to a % that is circled on the whiteboard in his office. That is how it's done. 

Look at all the kids who are committed in the 2022 class. How many play for Canes National, Team Elite, CBA, GBG, 643, Scorpions, etc? And how many pay for the Mid Atlantic Sharks Orange Prime? The coaches are pulling the strings for them and doing all the middle man work. A player doesn't even have to take a visit with a good coach. "We're offering Jimmy 35%, have him call me in a week if he wants to accept or has any questions" happens more often than you think. 

Dancing around the rules can get shady at times but most people agree that the rules are stupid and if you're on the phone with a coach he'll most likely offer you. Or offer you on the campus visit. 

My 2019 was told by a school - we're not going to offer you because that would be an NCAA violation. But if we were it would probably be _____% and that would be 4 years guaranteed with housing and meals included along with tuition.

There are plenty of ways around it. 

PABaseball, by my reading of the D1 manual, both of your examples are violations of the contact and/or unofficial visit rules. Those two methods aren't getting around the rules, they're just being more subtle about breaking the rules.

I'm not saying these things don't happen all the time, I know they do... and much worse. However, when a D1 coach is saying anything to you about recruiting before you start junior year, he is breaking the rules. The exception being as noted above when the recruit calls the coach, or a third party acts as an intermediary.

It's also worth noting that the high school kid isn't breaking any rules, it's only the coach. If a school is willing to take that risk, by all means talk to them.

MidAtlanticDad posted:

PABaseball, by my reading of the D1 manual, both of your examples are violations of the contact and/or unofficial visit rules. Those two methods aren't getting around the rules, they're just being more subtle about breaking the rules.

I'm not saying these things don't happen all the time, I know they do... and much worse. However, when a D1 coach is saying anything to you about recruiting before you start junior year, he is breaking the rules. The exception being as noted above when the recruit calls the coach, or a third party acts as an intermediary.

It's also worth noting that the high school kid isn't breaking any rules, it's only the coach. If a school is willing to take that risk, by all means talk to them.

How is the first a violation? No offer was made, just him pointing to a number on a board. And no tour or meeting was set in place - just walking into an office. 

Either way that is still how it goes down most of the time. So I guess the answer to the original question is recruiting violations. 

If you’re getting attention; Accept it.

Generally, these conversations  one from those not receiving attention.

Be happy for those getting a nod, and don’t focus on the rules that do not apply to parents and players.

Baseball recruiters are not being called out on this, so let it go and focus on development, SAT/ACT, and those intangibles that separate Johnny from the pack.

There are no NCAA Officials on this thread; I hope.

Go Wolverines

 

 

Can't you also take a campus/facility tour if it's part of a camp? My 2022 was invited to a camp over MLK weekend. As a pitcher he was nowhere near ready to participate and that was understood, but that was the only way they could show him the facility.

I'll pipe in that if you're one of those 9th grade kids, you dont need to "commit" that early; if that kid stays on the projected development path, that kid could decide on a school anytime. There's always room at the Inn for a stud.

So, ask yourself, why give those 9th grade commits any thought at all, they have no impact on you (and, btw, have absolutely no reciprocal enforceable commitment from the school [even though the kid is now off the recruiting market])

Keep your eye on the ball: develop those baseball skills and get good grades. That's what you have absolute control over.

PABaseball posted:

 

My 2019 was told by a school - we're not going to offer you because that would be an NCAA violation. But if we were it would probably be _____% and that would be 4 years guaranteed with housing and meals included along with tuition.

 

Virtually verbatim what my 2020 was told Summer after sophomore year.

I don't think the NCAA actually cares, especially for baseball. The rules are put in place so it isn't "unfair" but the truth is that nothing is fair. You just deal with it. I don't think anybody cares how/when kids commit - as long as they aren't getting money, cars, and a house for their mom it really isn't a big deal. 

Player commits are happening early and often!  Just be aware of how committed the school really is! I would suggest to go to your top travel team's web site posting of their college commits and check to see if the player ever made it on the roster as a freshman.  More likely than not most of the player that committed in their high school freshman and sophomore years are not listed on the roster of their chosen college.

I found this site when 2021 was a freshman and several of his travel teammates were committing to D1 programs (some P5). 2 committed summer before freshman year, and I was panicked because I thought for sure my 2021 was getting left behind. Almost 2 years later, I can tell you that early commits are not necessary or even advisable. So much can happen between freshman/sophomore year and senior year. I didn't believe that until I witnessed it first hand. The 2 kids I know who committed before 9th grade and enjoyred put it all over social media:  1 decommitted when the coach left the next spring (and then he immediately committed to a better program), and the 14 year old "stud" who was heading for the draft after HS has had issues both on and off the field and is in jeopardy of losing all his opportunities. A LOT can happen in 2-3 years when you're dealing with teenage boys.

What I have personally witnessed with 2018 and 2019 grads is that there are still spots available junior and senior year if you're a good player. If you're good enough to play at a power program, they will find room for you. If you're not at that level, there are lots of other programs out there still looking junior and even senior year. I know a kid who signed with a really good D2 program literally 1 month before he started college. (He wasn't going to play after HS, but changed his mind after he graduated.) Early commits are a rat race that rarely benefits the player, because the coaches are still searching for someone better right up until signing day.

Go44dad posted:

Just a heads up. If a coach is blatently violating rules in order to recruit your son, what other untrustworthy/unethical things will he do?  Do you trust what he says to you/son?

Take it as a compliment. These coaches are willing to risk their jobs and future of the program in order to get your kid to go there. 

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