National LOI signed. Coach wants to release verbally

I have signed national LOI with NCAA Div 1 school. I am a Right hand pitcher.  I missed pitching almost about 6 weeks due to a minor injury.  while I played DH and 1B waiting for MRI and ortho to clear me to pitch again. Informed the college pitching coach from day 1 about the issue and progress. 

The injury turned out to be mild bursitis and not a major one. returned back to pitching. Velocity is still the same FB 91. operating at 89-91 range.

The Head coach called me last week and wants to release  due to health reasons. Now I have missed deadlines for many colleges that I would go for. I finished in top 20 of the school. graduated with AICE and AP with 3.8 GPA and 4.8 HPA.  (30 ACT).  All of a sudden, I am looking at either a gap year or playing for JUCO.

We have sent the MRI results to the school. Still did not hear from them. They orally said look for other options. But have not released formally.

I had 6 other Div1 offers much better in terms of money.  A couple with 100%. I did not take the other offers since I liked this pitching coach and wanted to play for a school ranked high in academics as well of athletics.

I need some advice and suggestions pros and cons of  JUCO/ gap year. 

I am form Florida, Palm beach county

 

 

Original Post

You are a pitcher who throws 91.  You have leverage.

I would guess you have somebody who is an advisor for you, a travel team director or coach who is/was familiar with your recruitment?  Definitely check with them.

The MLB Draft is coming up in just a few weeks.  Roster spots on D1's, especially for pitchers, will come open with players who were expected on campus instead signing a pro contract.  It happens every year.

There are excellent JUCO's in Florida in terms of Baseball.  Hopefully you can have one of those as a Plan B while seeing where D1 roster spots open up.  And contact the other D1's that offered.  Let them know your situation.

3and2 gave you good advice, I wouldn't have much to add other than to say I'm sorry to hear of your situation.  The process can be so difficult.  You have good grades and scores as well as good velocity.  It probably doesn't feel like it right now, but I think it will work out for you.  Best of luck and keep us posted on what happens.

PBC - the other thing I meant to say, is:  please understand that this sort of thing is fairly common in College Baseball.  It is just part of the business of College Baseball, unfortunately.   I would imagine that for most high school Seniors this kind of thing would be easy to take personally, I understand that.  But please know this happens a lot, it isn't just you.

If you can take the sting of this disappointment and use it to help fuel your workouts and further development you can come out the other side of this as a better person for it.

So, it sounds to me like you are most interested in the D1 athletic opportunity, academics and financial situation in that exact order.   This crap happens every year, and I would NOT under any circumstances attend the school you signed the NLI with....get out of it...now.  They have demonstrated "trust" and "honor" are not at the top of their list, and it is a one way street.  I'd get out of the NLI, and I'd pursue the other previous offering schools and make an additional list of schools to see what is available.   My son was contacted/recruited late in the SEC recruiting cycle (junior year) because one their pitchers had legal issues.   Again, this stuff happens, but the key is to stay in touch with recruiters and decision makers.  They can make things happen for you especially with someone that has your athletic and academic metrics.  

If you are really pissed off, I'd contact schools in the same conference as the one you previously committed to see what opportunities they have and share your story (discretely)  with them.   You may be able to kill two birds with one stone.  After seeing my son taken off the recruiting list of two schools in his former  conference, I noticed he always pitched well against those two teams.  Motivation comes in many forms.   Good luck!

As always, JMO. 

pbc_pitcher posted:

We have sent the MRI results to the school. Still did not hear from them. They orally said look for other options. But have not released formally. 

Just so you know your rights, the school can't release you from the NLI without cause (e.g. you are denied admission). You are entitled to the scholarship they promised you, for as long as you fulfill your part of the agreement, which is to show up for baseball every day until they tell you not to.

Having said that, I agree with Fenway that pursuing that path is not likely to be a good experience for you. If/when you make the decision to part ways with the school, you must get the coach's assurance that he will grant you a "Complete Release" as quickly as possible so that you can pursue a new NLI with another NLI member institution. That process is initiated on the NLI website.

Best of luck to you.

There are lots of possibilities for a guy with your measurables. Don't completely discount the idea of a gap year at a good facility somewhere (maybe up in the Northwest? - Jeez, I don't know). Get that 89-91 up into the 92-93 range and show that the injury is not a risk for anyone and you could have a much wider range of options in a few months.

They cannot release you from the NLI so they have to honor the scholarship for a year, if it is a P5 school, 4 years. It seems like you turned down some better offers to go to a place where you'd be happy without baseball. If that is the case, feel free to stick it to them and attend the school as a student only on baseball's dime. If you wish to continue playing time to make some phone calls. As 3and2 mentioned, the draft is coming up. What might be more important than college players being drafted are HS players that were not projected to get drafted but end up going relatively high. Some of the lower tier P5 schools might have a few go in the top 10 round that were not originally draft prospects when they gave their verbal. Might be worth it to look into those schools.

I would assume you play for a club team or have a pitching coach or possibly a HS coach that can help make some phone calls on your behalf. If you were only 86-88 this would be a lot more difficult, but 89-91 after 6 weeks of injury tells me you're not in midseason form yet and those numbers might even be higher at peak performance. You will generate interest. 

3and2Fastball posted:

 

There are excellent JUCO's in Florida in terms of Baseball.  Hopefully you can have one of those as a Plan B while seeing where D1 roster spots open up.  And contact the other D1's that offered.  Let them know your situation.

Thank you 3and2Fastball. 
I have contacted few schools. waiting for response. My travel coach is helping me and reaching out to schools and Juco. Will wait until something opens up.  The Juco coaches wanted me to visit and they are interested.

thanks again

PABaseball posted:

They cannot release you from the NLI so they have to honor the scholarship for a year, if it is a P5 school, 4 years. It seems like you turned down some better offers to go to a place where you'd be happy without baseball. If that is the case, feel free to stick it to them and attend the school as a student only on baseball's dime. If you wish to continue playing time to make some phone calls. As 3and2 mentioned, the draft is coming up. What might be more important than college players being drafted are HS players that were not projected to get drafted but end up going relatively high. Some of the lower tier P5 schools might have a few go in the top 10 round that were not originally draft prospects when they gave their verbal. Might be worth it to look into those schools.

I would assume you play for a club team or have a pitching coach or possibly a HS coach that can help make some phone calls on your behalf. If you were only 86-88 this would be a lot more difficult, but 89-91 after 6 weeks of injury tells me you're not in midseason form yet and those numbers might even be higher at peak performance. You will generate interest. 

Why would he want to do that?  That makes no sense.  He is a senior, he has options, and one of those options should not be to sit on campus and watch others play.

The problem here is that the school left him with very few options. To release a player this late in the game in terrible. Cannot apply to any other D1/D2/D3 schools without baseball as their classes have already been filled. Even doing a PG year at a boarding school is a long shot and a steep price tag. I don't doubt that things will work out, but for any school to put a player in this position is wrong. Yes I know JUCO is an option but there is a reason this kid chose to go to a D1 school...it's what he wanted. 

I think it would help to know more...how many kids were in the recruiting class, how many kids (if any) get drafted each year, is it a new coach, is it a P5 school, etc. 

Personally I think school administrations need to be on top of this stuff more. Too many schools that only get 1-3 players drafted each year are committing 15/16 kids for every class. And 8 kids get a call in June saying go to this JUCO for 2 years or not enough players got drafted, or I ran out of money, etc. When each scholarship not honored comes off the coach's paycheck watch how quickly they get their act together. 

I know not everybody agrees with this and I know some posters don't want to reveal too much information, but if the story is true and things do end up working out for this kid I would like to know which school this was. Sure there are two sides to every story but when one of the members goes on their next recruiting visit to this school they can get the other side. I disagree with the "business" mentality, I would take it personally. You made a commitment to them and they turn their back on you? It's one thing to say "hey you might not be a good fit here. We will honor your scholarship for x years, but if you'd like to move on I can help make some phone calls for you" and anther to say "look for other options". 

CaCO3Girl posted:
PABaseball posted:

They cannot release you from the NLI so they have to honor the scholarship for a year, if it is a P5 school, 4 years. It seems like you turned down some better offers to go to a place where you'd be happy without baseball. If that is the case, feel free to stick it to them and attend the school as a student only on baseball's dime. If you wish to continue playing time to make some phone calls. As 3and2 mentioned, the draft is coming up. What might be more important than college players being drafted are HS players that were not projected to get drafted but end up going relatively high. Some of the lower tier P5 schools might have a few go in the top 10 round that were not originally draft prospects when they gave their verbal. Might be worth it to look into those schools.

I would assume you play for a club team or have a pitching coach or possibly a HS coach that can help make some phone calls on your behalf. If you were only 86-88 this would be a lot more difficult, but 89-91 after 6 weeks of injury tells me you're not in midseason form yet and those numbers might even be higher at peak performance. You will generate interest. 

Why would he want to do that?  That makes no sense.  He is a senior, he has options, and one of those options should not be to sit on campus and watch others play.

Because players should choose a school they would be happy attending if baseball ended tomorrow. Every player is a freak accident from never playing again. He said he wanted to attend a school with high academics. Maybe this is a school he would not have gotten into without baseball, maybe he still wants to attend this school for the academics. Unclear. Either way it's not what I'm suggesting, but it is definitely an option. 

I agree with what pabaseball has said. Coaches cannot release you from their commitment. And technically one can't speak to other programs without a release.

This happens and it's unfortunate. I would move on, there too many  opportunities here in FL to not try. 

While I understand you wish to know the program, understand there are sometimes two sides to every story. Speaking badly about a program on a message board hurts the player more than the program. 

Sometimes a poor performance by the program means drastic changes to the players coming in, or the program has over recruited and now the AD is on their cases.

I am curious about the remark 100%. Was that in academic money or in athletic money? 

PABaseball posted:
CaCO3Girl posted:
PABaseball posted:

They cannot release you from the NLI so they have to honor the scholarship for a year, if it is a P5 school, 4 years. It seems like you turned down some better offers to go to a place where you'd be happy without baseball. If that is the case, feel free to stick it to them and attend the school as a student only on baseball's dime. If you wish to continue playing time to make some phone calls. As 3and2 mentioned, the draft is coming up. What might be more important than college players being drafted are HS players that were not projected to get drafted but end up going relatively high. Some of the lower tier P5 schools might have a few go in the top 10 round that were not originally draft prospects when they gave their verbal. Might be worth it to look into those schools.

I would assume you play for a club team or have a pitching coach or possibly a HS coach that can help make some phone calls on your behalf. If you were only 86-88 this would be a lot more difficult, but 89-91 after 6 weeks of injury tells me you're not in midseason form yet and those numbers might even be higher at peak performance. You will generate interest. 

Why would he want to do that?  That makes no sense.  He is a senior, he has options, and one of those options should not be to sit on campus and watch others play.

Because players should choose a school they would be happy attending if baseball ended tomorrow. Every player is a freak accident from never playing again. He said he wanted to attend a school with high academics. Maybe this is a school he would not have gotten into without baseball, maybe he still wants to attend this school for the academics. Unclear. Either way it's not what I'm suggesting, but it is definitely an option. 

In a perfect world they do choose a school they would be happy attending if baseball ended tomorrow.  However, this isn't what really happens.  We have a prime example here of a kid who could get into just about any college, he wants to play baseball not just go to school.

I had a couple of other thoughts since time is of the essence.

I believe that most high academic gap year students take the gap year after being accepted by a college. Your situation would be different as you would be applying to colleges again in a few months. Think about any facets of the application process last year in which you relied on your high school teachers and counselors. You will probably need them again, so give your high school a heads up about going through the application process again.

Also, you might have a good PG option in Florida with The Bolles School. I think they offer strong academics and a very good baseball program. I know the published tuition and board are very expensive, but like with private colleges you never know about the bottom line until you speak with them.

MidAtlanticDad posted:

Also, you might have a good PG option in Florida with The Bolles School. I think they offer strong academics and a very good baseball program. I know the published tuition and board are very expensive, but like with private colleges you never know about the bottom line until you speak with them.

Bolles School, although a great academic and baseball school, is not an option, due to it NOT having a 5th year option.  Florida (to my knowledge) does not allow for more than 4-years HS eligibility.  I believe, IMG is only place in FL where one can to a 5th year of HS, or a PG year.  Very tricky in FL.  

To my knowledge, but I encourage you to research and verify on your own.  

#1 Assistant Coach posted:
MidAtlanticDad posted:

Also, you might have a good PG option in Florida with The Bolles School. I think they offer strong academics and a very good baseball program. I know the published tuition and board are very expensive, but like with private colleges you never know about the bottom line until you speak with them.

Bolles School, although a great academic and baseball school, is not an option, due to it NOT having a 5th year option.  Florida (to my knowledge) does not allow for more than 4-years HS eligibility.  I believe, IMG is only place in FL where one can to a 5th year of HS, or a PG year.  Very tricky in FL.  

To my knowledge, but I encourage you to research and verify on your own.  

Good point that I didn't consider.

Terrible.  I hear business decision, but to me, a good business man is as good as his word.  This type of thing really stresses me out.  A lot of the schools my son is interested in, seem to over recruit and do lose to the draft, but these stories really irritate me.  So sorry this happened to you.

Time to make chicken salad out of chicken poop. Go where you are wanted. This coaching staff does not want you. Suck it up and go to a Juco for 1 year and then get back to another D1 of your choosing or get drafted. Your choice. I have some Jucos in the north to which I could recommend a pitcher with your velo. Surely there are Jucos in your area looking. Arms are always sought. Best of luck to you as you figure this out..

PABaseball posted:

The problem here is that the school left him with very few options. To release a player this late in the game in terrible. Cannot apply to any other D1/D2/D3 schools without baseball as their classes have already been filled. Even doing a PG year at a boarding school is a long shot and a steep price tag. I don't doubt that things will work out, but for any school to put a player in this position is wrong. Yes I know JUCO is an option but there is a reason this kid chose to go to a D1 school...it's what he wanted. 

I think it would help to know more...how many kids were in the recruiting class, how many kids (if any) get drafted each year, is it a new coach, is it a P5 school, etc. 

Personally I think school administrations need to be on top of this stuff more. Too many schools that only get 1-3 players drafted each year are committing 15/16 kids for every class. And 8 kids get a call in June saying go to this JUCO for 2 years or not enough players got drafted, or I ran out of money, etc. When each scholarship not honored comes off the coach's paycheck watch how quickly they get their act together. 

I know not everybody agrees with this and I know some posters don't want to reveal too much information, but if the story is true and things do end up working out for this kid I would like to know which school this was. Sure there are two sides to every story but when one of the members goes on their next recruiting visit to this school they can get the other side. I disagree with the "business" mentality, I would take it personally. You made a commitment to them and they turn their back on you? It's one thing to say "hey you might not be a good fit here. We will honor your scholarship for x years, but if you'd like to move on I can help make some phone calls for you" and anther to say "look for other options". 

Well said PA.  It could be helpful for some future recruits to know about this HC (after the matter has been resolved and things have calmed) but I get that many posters do not want to air the names publicly, and in any event it may not effect the HC's behavior - he or his backers will somehow explain it away and no one knows the truth other than the parties involved.  Prior to HSBBweb I did not realize that this occurred at all so it is good to learn that even an NLI in essence can be "broken" by the HC by basically saying yes you can still attend but I don't see you as a contributor.  That is truly a shame b/c the recruit suffers not the school or program.

Good luck PBC hope you stay healthy and find a better place to further your academic and athletic career!

TPM posted:

I am curious about the remark 100%. Was that in academic money or in athletic money? 

The pitching coach said with my SAT/ACT scores, he will get me 35K academic scholarship and 25% athletic scholarship which would cover 100% of tuition. The LOI only stated about 25% athletic scholarship.  

The coach gave me 10 minutes to confirm and commit since I had 4 other schools with 50 to 100% athletic scholarship at that time. Other schools said they can not commit academic money which will be decided in January 2018.  One school was willing to increase the athletic scholarship when i told him about the decision.  But I wanted to honor the word I gave to the coach and stuck with my decison

 I trusted this coach who said he will get me academic. He neither honored it nor the LOI I signed.

I got admission to the school and admission letter stated that I have $10K academic scholarship. I could go to the school  but I will not be in the Roster.

if I wanted to go to HA schools, I could have gone anywhere and would have paid the Tuition. 

pbc_pitcher posted:
TPM posted:

I am curious about the remark 100%. Was that in academic money or in athletic money? 

The pitching coach said with my SAT/ACT scores, he will get me 35K academic scholarship and 25% athletic scholarship which would cover 100% of tuition. The LOI only stated about 25% athletic scholarship.  

The coach gave me 10 minutes to confirm and commit since I had 4 other schools with 50 to 100% athletic scholarship at that time. Other schools said they can not commit academic money which will be decided in January 2018.  One school was willing to increase the athletic scholarship when i told him about the decision.  But I wanted to honor the word I gave to the coach and stuck with my decison

 I trusted this coach who said he will get me academic. He neither honored it nor the LOI I signed.

I got admission to the school and admission letter stated that I have $10K academic scholarship. I could go to the school  but I will not be in the Roster.

if I wanted to go to HA schools, I could have gone anywhere and would have paid the Tuition. 

 

Any time someone tells you that you have 10 minutes (or fill in any short time frame) to make a very big, very important decision, know that this is a huge red flag NOT to trust them.

PBC,

          Unfortunately we are dealing with a similar issue.  My son was signed with a D1 school and has been told he would be redshirted just a few weeks back.  You can initiate a release on the NLI website.  The school does not have to grant it but they cannot take any action until you submit for a release.  They can first and very quickly if they choose, release your recruiting ban which will allow those other D1 schools to legally talk with you again.  They have 30 days to release you or put you in a couple of different categories.  Right now my sons request is in a "release request pending" status.  

         We have been visiting and working out for some JUCO's here is FL and it has been very positive.  NAIA schools are also looking but in your case you most likely want to land at a quality JUCO that can get you to a D1 in your second year.  They have good connections and know how to market talent from what I have seen.  One of the issues this late in the process is that the bigger JUCO's have spent their scholarship money but are waiting to see what happens in the draft.  My son has been offered 2 walk on opportunities with good JUCO's so far.  We are hoping for some financial help.  

         This board was a huge help for us.  You are wise to ask the question here.  

         Have you considered getting help from a recruiting service?  We did and it has been a huge help.  We mainly did it because of how late in the recruiting process he is as a 2018.  In 1 week my sons profile on Fieldlevel has over 700 hits with 31 schools following him.  In a week he has received at least a dozen phone calls and a bunch of emails.  We are now considering options...which I am sure where you will be soon.  Message me and I will let you know who we use...they are here in Florida and are very professional.  

PABaseball posted:

They cannot release you from the NLI so they have to honor the scholarship for a year, if it is a P5 school, 4 years. It seems like you turned down some better offers to go to a place where you'd be happy without baseball. If that is the case, feel free to stick it to them and attend the school as a student only on baseball's dime. If you wish to continue playing time to make some phone calls. As 3and2 mentioned, the draft is coming up. What might be more important than college players being drafted are HS players that were not projected to get drafted but end up going relatively high. Some of the lower tier P5 schools might have a few go in the top 10 round that were not originally draft prospects when they gave their verbal. Might be worth it to look into those schools.

I would assume you play for a club team or have a pitching coach or possibly a HS coach that can help make some phone calls on your behalf. If you were only 86-88 this would be a lot more difficult, but 89-91 after 6 weeks of injury tells me you're not in midseason form yet and those numbers might even be higher at peak performance. You will generate interest. 

And realistically how do you think he'd be treated?... Not well.

Several years ago there was a conversation on here about if college baseball could be compared to used car sales, I don't remember the details anymore but it still rings true to me.

Trust them as far as you can see them, believe them as much what they tell you in words becomes fact on the field. Their job is to win games (or sell cars) and many/most don't care about you, if the program is right or school is right for you (or if the car is right or solid for you) they try to win games (or sell) let the buyer beware. As fast you are used up (or purchase) you will be forgotten.

I dont know if it would hold up legally, but perhaps ask the Coach to send something in writing that states, "Upon receipt of the LOI release from PBC_Pitcher, Big State U immediately releases PBC_Pitcher from any commitment and he is free to contact any other school immediately."  I think I would ask for something in writing from the school so as not to hold up the 30 day period so that contact could start immediately.  If nothing else, it puts some of the pressure back on the coach to make the release happen in a timely manner.  You have something he wants (Scholarship) so he needs to be willing to help you get what it looks like you need now (the immediate release) Best of luck!

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