Anyone care to weigh in on the changes to D1 baseball recruiting that were adopted last week?
Here's an overview of the proposals if you missed it:
It's interesting to me that the article leads with the change to official visit policy. Tell me if I'm wrong, but coaches don't like this because they will end up having to spend more money to bring their recruiting targets to campus during their junior year whereas under the current rules they get the vast majority of their verbal commitments without ever having to pay for a student and their family to officially visit campus?
For me the story's lead should be the changes to the early recruiting cycle. Again, correct me if I'm misinterpreting here, but starting this coming academic year, as I read the Keilitz quote, coaches will effectively no longer be able to make an offer to a player until September 1 of their junior year. This is because coaches cannot coordinate on unofficial visits nor have conversations at camps or clinics. What's a little unclear to me is whether or not a coach can still have a conversation period (outside a visit or a camp/clinic setting) with a recruiting target who initiates it prior to their junior year. If they can, it would seem there would still be freshman and sophomore commits, just perhaps a few less of them, and those making less informed decisions.
In general these sound like good changes to me, especially if they do effectively prevent verbal offers prior to a player's junior year of high school.
Perhaps a more interesting question, though, is how these rule changes will distort this summer's recruiting season. For my 2019 it won't matter, nor will it for a 2020. But if I'm a coach seriously looking at a 2021 this summer, am I more inclined to make that offer prior to day one of that 2021's sophomore year? The reason being because once the clock ticks to September 1 this year, I won't be able to host that 2021 on campus for an entire year, nor have (or continue) recruiting conversations with him. In other words, my suggestion is that this summer may prove a windfall for 2021 players hoping for offers.
I'm sure the good folks at PG would be able to look through their commitment numbers to see if this actually bears out. I've for a long time wanted to record the dates of the commitments as they are posted on their site, just so we can speak a little more accurately about when most commitments are made (knowing full well PG-listed commitments are not the entire universe of commitments). I'm of the mind that many people on these boards overestimate how early most offers are actually made, but that's another topic altogether.
The other aspect of these rule changes that will be interesting to see play out is in terms of camps, clinics, and showcases. Not this summer, but next summer it would seem that coaches running their camps will have to separate their sophomores from their juniors when they give their canned recruiting spiels. And as to the practical aspect of not talking to sophomores, that indeed will be difficult unless these players are separated altogether. Think about Headfirst and the way the coaches on the field currently are allowed to talk to any player they want. It was helpful for my 2019, last summer a sophomore, to be able to interact with coaches and see that they were just as human as the rest of us. Next summer he wouldn't have that same chance. And will Headfirst have to offer Junior/Senior only clinics and separate out the underclassmen? And how would they get college coaches to come to the underclass camps? Does it mean for coaches a greater emphasis on scouting tournaments and high school games, the latter being terribly inefficient? Would love to hear if I'm whiffing on all this, but has Headfirst just had a certain percentage of their market shorn away?