I am obviously a big supporter of parents and students getting as involved in the recruiting process as possible, learning as much as possible and doing as much as they possibly can.
I am not against recruiting services, I know some terrific people who run services and are truly interested in helping families. I also know some terrible services that are basically taking peoples money for no real service and those are the one's that bother me.
With that being said, last month Fox news ran a story on a recruiting service and a family that had hired them. While they were brief, the story basically goes like this. The Smith family hired ABC company to prmote their son to colleges. After sending out some comprehensive packages to schools, the Smith family signed with a D2 school and received a $28,000 scholarship to play baseball.
The story closed by interviewing a few other coaches none of whom were the coach of the school the player signed with.
Obviously money well spent.
I was a big curious howevever because the school the player signed with was a small D2 school in Massachusetts. I knew there was no way a D2 school in mass had $28,000 in baseball money to give out.
I emailed the coach and said that I assumed most of that money was academic or grant based and I asked him if this service played a role in recruiting this player.
The coach was pretty honest with me and while he did not disclose the $$ amount, he said that the scholarship was largely academic and grant based and he didn't want anyone to get the impression that he had nearly that much baseball money to give out.
He also said all he received from the service was a paper resume about the player. He never spoke to anyone at the service about the player. He called the player himself, saw him play himself and recruited him himself. After I heard from the coach, it made the news report seem misleading.
The school ended up being about 40 miles from the players home, which begs the question of -why didn't the player simply send a resume on his own?
I think the answer is that many families obviously do not know what to do when it comes to the process and often it seems the only people that want to tell them or help them want them to pay $1,500 to do so.
I am happy this worked out the way it did, the kid found a good school and got a terrific aid package. People ask me about different services and at the end of the day I usually tell them that a service cannot make you a better athlete or a better student so you have to ask youself what they can do that you cannot do on your own. In this case the family could have sent a resume to this coach for a cost of 37 cents or free had they used the school's website
Some services help with skill evaluation, and others are more knowledgeable when recommending schools and other parts of the country present different recruiting challenges because there are not as many local schools around. Like I said, I am glad it worked out, but often all it takes is a simple letter or phone call to a coach to get the recruiting process started provided you have done a little research on the school and program ahead of time and think its a place you might like to be at.