UD Women's Softball rescinds verbal offer - another cautionary tale

A friends daughter just had a verbal offer rescinded at University of Delaware. Her story is attached. It is the cautionary tale of what can happen when there is a coaching change and the AD lacks integrity. In this case the player was told that the HC wanted to focus her $'s on pitchers /SS and hitters were not important. ........... Having both parents as alumni of the school, being an all american, and gatorade player of the year didn't matter. In my view the lack of transparency and  stringing the decision out to just weeks before NLI singing day lacked class and is a stain on the entire University of Delaware Athletic Program.

https://extrainningsoftball.co...rican-nicole-marcon/

Original Post

Do you think her visiting others schools was one of the ultimate reasons?  She did take visits during the time she found out the coach was fired and the time the new coach was hired.  We all know that the ultimate reason may or may not be what they told her.  But it does fit into a significant discussion we have had recently.  In general, they told her that there were better hitters in her signing class and were really trying to tell her that she would not have a place there under the new coach.  Isn't that what we want to hear as parents?  We would rather know ahead of time than come there and find out that the new coach doesn't want our kid. 

I don't understand where the comment an AD that lacks integrity comes in.

I don't think you can blame the AD.  Would you want to stay there if you knew the HC didn't want you just because they gave you the same $$$ that was promised by the previous HC?   I understand that the system creates issues.....but it happens.  Players know when they verbally commit that there's always the possibility of a coaching change.  The new coach didn't recruit you and for whatever reason they may not see you fitting in their program.  It seems strange that this website would publish this story.  It happens all the time, the fact that this girl was an "Extra-Innings Softball All-American" may have played into it....I don't know.    I feel bad for her, as I would for any kid in this situation.   We actually considered this with my son because when he committed, nobody was sure if the HC at that time would be around when he got there.....it's a chance you take unfortunately

There is a lot going on here. The first being article bias. Yes, she is All American, but according to this website only. If a PG All American were uncommitted, they would be swimming in top 25 offers. Not a shot at the girl either, I'm sure she's very good, but I now know I can't 100% trust the article. 

Honestly I have to blame the people in her corner. They should have been putting pressure on the school to find a coach or she would start seriously considering other offers. 8 weeks is too long not to have a head coach. Even after the "We have to look into academic money" conversation I would've run, not walked away. If it wasn't obvious that they didn't have much interest after that conversation, her travel coaches weren't doing their jobs. And then the "We won't know until November" conversation was a straight lie and I would have advised anybody to find another option on the spot. 

I have to give the coach some credit, at least she gave a warning beforehand and she was honest. Saying we don't need a catcher in this class is most likely the truth. Maybe there is another catcher in the class, maybe the focus was MIF/OF. I don't know the roster, but it beats being told 10 days before signing day that you are not needed. 

When coaches recruit players they only care if they can help them win. They do not care if they were all americans, players of the year, or if their parents are alumni. They want to know if this player can help them win and help them keep their job. 

Hopefully this girl has options. If softball doesn't work out Delaware is a fine school. She would receive in state tuition and with her 4.0 it would mostly likely be very very cheap to go there, possibly free. If it weren't for the article I'm sure this coach would've gladly taken her on as a walk-on. 

I agree. I do not get the comment about the AD. I am not sure I got that impression form the story. It is too bad that it took so long. However a new staff takes a while to determine what they have and what they need. Clearly the coach thought they were fine as far as hitting and catching go. 

As far as publishing the story. It looks like this site focuses on Recruiting. Plus there is a membership fee. Looks like it may be similar to other sites out there for players to get their name out there and offer recruiting services. I bet she is one of their clients. 

I think it is vital for a player to look at several things when deciding.

As has been said, would you go to the school if not for sports.  How long has the coach been there and what are the chances he/she will leave or be fired.  Who have they recruited in similar positions in the two years before and after.  When you are talking Catcher it is vital because that is a hard position to transition into somewhere else. 

All of these and others factor into the decision.  We looked at it closely with my son and was pretty confident that the coach being new would get at least 3-4 years to work through stuff.  We believe in him and think he will make the program something very good.  We also looked at how many LHP's were there, were coming, and were in the same recruiting class. 

As a read the story I was thinking it’s very one sided. I’m going to get ripped for not siding with the player. I see others see what I see here. 

It stinks to find out late you’re not as wanted as you believed. But when the coach was fired the player ignored all the warning signs. I fault the player, the parents and her travel coaches for lack of making the right counter moves.

This is what can happen when a player falls in love with a college that doesn’t love you back. 

I feel bad for this girl, but I agree with those here who said the coach did nothing wrong. I've only been on this site for a year, but even I know that nothing is guaranteed on either side when there is a coaching change (I know a player who decommitted from a D1 this summer after the coach left). This new coach gave immediate warning signs to the player that she wasn't as valuable to the new coach. It seems like this player loved the school and therefore may have not heeded those warning signs. The player said she started talking to other schools after the former coach left, but she didn't say if she had other offers. Based on the info she provided, it appears the player decided to pursue a shot at her dream school rather than pursuing other schools. Unfortunately, she lost that gamble. I commend this coach for being up front. There was another recent thread on here where the coach was not up front with players he no longer wanted, and instead treated them badly in hopes they would leave. So I give credit to this coach for letting the player know right away that she wasn't as wanted as she previously was.  

I've coached players who have been in this situation and my daughter had the offer from her #1 school get reduced just prior to the NLI signing week.  I see both sides.  First, by the time someone verbals, they should know that it isn't binding.  However, at the point in this player's recruitment, she should have been in contact with the new coach and it would have been a great idea to revisit the school to make sure that she knew the coach and would fit in.  At the schools which were my daughter's #1, #2, and #3 choices, we made several unofficial visits and then, naturally, the official visits.  We knew the coaches and they knew us pretty well.  My dd made her choice and verballed.  That HC came to watch her play in a tournament and she had an amazing tournament.  I believe she hit something like 5 home runs, a bunch of doubles, pitched well and played center field when not pitching.  The coach also liked the SS from the team and so, when it was getting down to the wire with the NLI signing coming up, he dropped his offer for my daughter to 35% in order to get the SS.  For us, we were shocked.  However, we were lucky that a school not on the list entered the picture, made a huge offer and it was very close to home.  My mom had gone into Hospice and so, that made the decision easy for my daughter.  If this young lady is as good as the article suggest, there are schools out there waiting for the chance to jump in and make an offer.  They will find the money.  For us, it was a blessing and my daughter went on to have a great career.  

For those who I have coached who have made a verbal agreement to attend a school and then have had a coaching change, I only know one that worked out well.  For the others, it seems that those recruits who do sign and attend those schools are often deemed to be recruits by the old coach and the new coach looks to replace them with the new coach's recruits.  IOWs, often they are unfairly labeled and not give the chance that they might have had.  Again, maybe this is a blessing that this girl finds out that she isn't in the plans and can go elsewhere.  

2019Lefty21 posted:

Just so I understand, what are “the right counter moves”?

A coaching change should be a huge red flag in the first place. If I wasn’t contacted quickly by the coach with a sense I was wanted I would decommit. 

I would research the new coach. If there’s a difference in coaching style chances are the players stock went down unless the player is the stud everyone wants. Very few players chose to go to a mid major if they’re the stud everyone wants. One of the few exceptions I can think of is Elena Del Donne who coincidently also chose Delaware for basketball. But there were extenuating circumstances including leaving UConn (top program) after a couple of weeks due to home sicknesses and other issues.,

I would judge how fast the new coach wants to meet me in person. It shows how much I’m still wanted. I need to be sold on staying with the program.

I would be up front asking if the same offer is still on the table. It would be asked in person in order to read body language.

i would ask in person how I fit into the program. Even doing so, like recruiting the player has to be careful to hear reality not what they want to believe they are hearing.

The biggest mistake the girl in the article made was falling in love with her local state university where her parents also went to college. The second was believing she was so good she would still be wanted with the same scholarship money.

Like the other article (Ohio) If the player is so good where are the major college offers? Big numbers don’t always mean big time stud. Some big time program would be swooping in at the last moment. At least one big time roster would have room. In the case of softball they typically don’t have large rosters anyway due to only needing three pitchers. 

We're talking about a 'verbal offer'? 

Seriously, I wouldn't trust any college coach, until I get it in writing.  As usual, RJM hits it on the head right here:

"A coaching change should be a huge red flag in the first place. If I wasn’t contacted quickly by the coach with a sense I was wanted I would decommit. "

The recent posts about red flags and decommitting are totally accurate and make sense.  The problem is, in the OP's case like so many others, they have committed to a school that they really wanted to go to and now have personal connection and sense of commitment to.  In her case, in fact, it was a dream school and where both parents went.  So, it can be very difficult to take such a pragmatic approach.

smokeminside posted:

Not saying she should have but wondering if she could have taken the initiative herself to contact the new coach? Would that have been too assertive?

I would expect a call soon after the hiring announcement. How soon would score how badly the coach wants me. I would have to be resold. The longer the coach waits the more my skepticism grows. 

Recruiting really isn’t different than job hunting. Are you the stud they’re chasing down? Or are you the the choice after the top choices turn down the offer? 

However, in the business world when you accept the offer you’re on the field. There isn’t a bench in the real world. You might bat ninth relative to responsibility and decision making. But you’re in the game. 

RJM posted:
2019Lefty21 posted:

Just so I understand, what are “the right counter moves”?

A coaching change should be a huge red flag in the first place. If I wasn’t contacted quickly by the coach with a sense I was wanted I would decommit. 

I would research the new coach. If there’s a difference in coaching style chances are the players stock went down unless the player is the stud everyone wants. Very few players chose to go to a mid major if they’re the stud everyone wants. One of the few exceptions I can think of is Elena Del Donne who coincidently also chose Delaware for basketball. But there were extenuating circumstances including leaving UConn (top program) after a couple of weeks due to home sicknesses and other issues.,

I would judge how fast the new coach wants to meet me in person. It shows how much I’m still wanted. I need to be sold on staying with the program.

I would be up front asking if the same offer is still on the table. It would be asked in person in order to read body language.

i would ask in person how I fit into the program. Even doing so, like recruiting the player has to be careful to hear reality not what they want to believe they are hearing.

The biggest mistake the girl in the article made was falling in love with her local state university where her parents also went to college. The second was believing she was so good she would still be wanted with the same scholarship money.

Like the other article (Ohio) If the player is so good where are the major college offers? Big numbers don’t always mean big time stud. Some big time program would be swooping in at the last moment. At least one big time roster would have room. In the case of softball they typically don’t have large rosters anyway due to only needing three pitchers. 

We know someone who went but haven’t heard feedback.  The top velo, and pop times look legit.

I hate to relate colleges to business but at the end of the it is what I do. If business abused the relationships they have the way colleges do they be in very bad shape.

 

Junk bonds, bundled mortgages and used cards always jump to my mind. The well versed people in this thread defending the coaches do it as almost a fact of life, coaches are what they are and they are gonna screw some of you... that’s just the way it is. 

Karma is a.... never mind 

RJM posted:
2019Lefty21 posted:

Just so I understand, what are “the right counter moves”?

A coaching change should be a huge red flag in the first place. If I wasn’t contacted quickly by the coach with a sense I was wanted I would decommit. 

I would research the new coach. If there’s a difference in coaching style chances are the players stock went down unless the player is the stud everyone wants. Very few players chose to go to a mid major if they’re the stud everyone wants. One of the few exceptions I can think of is Elena Del Donne who coincidently also chose Delaware for basketball. But there were extenuating circumstances including leaving UConn (top program) after a couple of weeks due to home sicknesses and other issues.,

I would judge how fast the new coach wants to meet me in person. It shows how much I’m still wanted. I need to be sold on staying with the program.

I would be up front asking if the same offer is still on the table. It would be asked in person in order to read body language.

i would ask in person how I fit into the program. Even doing so, like recruiting the player has to be careful to hear reality not what they want to believe they are hearing.

The biggest mistake the girl in the article made was falling in love with her local state university where her parents also went to college. The second was believing she was so good she would still be wanted with the same scholarship money.

Like the other article (Ohio) If the player is so good where are the major college offers? Big numbers don’t always mean big time stud. Some big time program would be swooping in at the last moment. At least one big time roster would have room. In the case of softball they typically don’t have large rosters anyway due to only needing three pitchers. 

Ok thanks for explaining. I guess when I read the article she did as much of that as timely as she could’ve based on the time schedule that things happened. I have learned this is a business. Perhaps she was overly in love with the school,  I just didn’t see her having many options to do things differently unless she just decided immediately after the coach left that she needed to find somewhere else. One thing I have heard said over and over you are being recruited to play for the school, not the coach but maybe that just doesn’t apply when a coach is removed. I just needed to understand what the right counter moves were. 

old_school posted:

I hate to relate colleges to business but at the end of the it is what I do. If business abused the relationships they have the way colleges do they be in very bad shape.

 

Junk bonds, bundled mortgages and used cards always jump to my mind. The well versed people in this thread defending the coaches do it as almost a fact of life, coaches are what they are and they are gonna screw some of you... that’s just the way it is. 

Karma is a.... never mind 

It’s not defending the coaches. It’s recognizing the reality of the situation. Those who take the Pollyanna approach instead of the reality approach are inviting ending up in a bad situation. 

Be prepared to control what you can and how to deal with what you can’t. 

2019Lefty21 posted:
RJM posted:
2019Lefty21 posted:

Just so I understand, what are “the right counter moves”?

A coaching change should be a huge red flag in the first place. If I wasn’t contacted quickly by the coach with a sense I was wanted I would decommit. 

I would research the new coach. If there’s a difference in coaching style chances are the players stock went down unless the player is the stud everyone wants. Very few players chose to go to a mid major if they’re the stud everyone wants. One of the few exceptions I can think of is Elena Del Donne who coincidently also chose Delaware for basketball. But there were extenuating circumstances including leaving UConn (top program) after a couple of weeks due to home sicknesses and other issues.,

I would judge how fast the new coach wants to meet me in person. It shows how much I’m still wanted. I need to be sold on staying with the program.

I would be up front asking if the same offer is still on the table. It would be asked in person in order to read body language.

i would ask in person how I fit into the program. Even doing so, like recruiting the player has to be careful to hear reality not what they want to believe they are hearing.

The biggest mistake the girl in the article made was falling in love with her local state university where her parents also went to college. The second was believing she was so good she would still be wanted with the same scholarship money.

Like the other article (Ohio) If the player is so good where are the major college offers? Big numbers don’t always mean big time stud. Some big time program would be swooping in at the last moment. At least one big time roster would have room. In the case of softball they typically don’t have large rosters anyway due to only needing three pitchers. 

Ok thanks for explaining. I guess when I read the article she did as much of that as timely as she could’ve based on the time schedule that things happened. I have learned this is a business. Perhaps she was overly in love with the school,  I just didn’t see her having many options to do things differently unless she just decided immediately after the coach left that she needed to find somewhere else. One thing I have heard said over and over you are being recruited to play for the school, not the coach but maybe that just doesn’t apply when a coach is removed. I just needed to understand what the right counter moves were. 

Here’s what I could discern from a quick search ...

The coach who recruited her was fired after having a losing record for five seasons. It puts his recruiting in the questionable category for a new coach who is a rising star. RED FLAG

She’s a catcher. When the player is a freshman the team will have a senior catcher who was first team all conference as a soph and a sophomore top recruit from the west. RED FLAG

The new coach has succeeded where she’s moved  with a running game. Another catcher isn’t going to help transitioning to a running game. RED FLAG

The new coach better be calling me right after getting named to assure me I’m in her plans or I can see the writing on the wall. The writing is RED FLAG.

This is all from the outside looking in. It’s without knowing details. The situation could be worse.

Once a player signs an NLI and/or shows up and starts practicing they’re committed to staying or transferring and sitting out or transferring down if the coaching staff changes. Evaluating the situation when there’s a coaching change before signing an NLI is essential.

Yes it’s more important to look at the school over the coaching staff. You don’t know what can happen. If a program is looking to win and the coach has a losing record be prepared. If the coach is a rising star who elevated the program be prepared for bigger programs to steal him. At the D1 level a player is likely to transfer. At an academic D2, D3 or Ivy the player is likely to walk away from the game and stay at the school. 

So just so I make sure I get what you’re saying, because of all those red flags the counter moves are merely that the player should see what you saw, and know very quickly after the coach was fired to just move on? I certainly would be asking lots of questions if a head coach that recruited my son was removed, but I guess you are just saying that’s probably a sign for an early verbal commit to act quickly to find another opportunity? Guess just another negative for an early commit that can be devastating if you don’t act quickly to find another opportunity 

The counter moves would be: 

1). Contact the AD. The AD should have done the right thing by calling all the recruits and letting them know that the coach was being fired, this is our plan and they were free to explore other options if they wanted to. The AD did not. The counter move would to be call the AD and ask what the plan was. 

2). Put pressure on the school. Any college coaching job that remains vacant for two months is most likely not a coveted job. That or the Athletic Dept has some other problems which also speaks volumes. After a certain amount of time and another phone call I would've told the school I would be reopening my recruitment. People will probably disagree here, but this happens all the time in other sports. If the AD has nothing in place and sees recruits are leaving/considering leaving they will find somebody and find them fast. 

3). Contact the new coach and arrange a meeting. See how you fit into their plans. If they offer you less than the already established amount, I would get in contact with other schools (if not already) and decide what the best offer was as if I were being recruited for the first time. 

4). Run, run far away... or decide if attending the school without the sport is something I'd want to do. In baseball there are draft implications. It is not the same for softball. There is no draft or big pay day. There are many who would elect to remain at the school without the sport. In this case she would be receiving in state tuition and what I'm assuming would be substantial academic money (4.0 GPA). Going to college for lets say 6k a year might trump any athletic opportunity. 

The AD was a rookie two years ago. Her previous job was assistant AD in charge of sports fund raising at a P5. On her first day she walked into an athletic department  that hadn’t had a basketball coach for two months. Without examining the entire athletic department it appears it may be in disarray. 

But what happened to this recruit isn’t unusual for any program transitioning into a new coach. Unless you’re a stud you’re not secure. 

I would disagree on AD's job.  His/her job is to keep as many recruits as possible not encourage them to leave.  The AD should call and say we are in the process of hiring and I'm sure you will continue to fit into the plans of the program.  I will make sure the new coach contacts you as soon as possible.  Never would an AD encourage prospective players to leave.

I see the writing but I also see the realities.  The coach was probably getting pressure to get local good talent.  It happens all the time.  The administration gets pressure from alumni to encourage the coach to recruit the child of Mr and Mrs University/College.  They are both alumni and give money or were such and such.  If you don't believe this happens you are mistaken.  Hear it from coaches at all levels including P5's.  I had to give Jr. a chance since both parents are alumni and they know so and so.  This was her school choice but it does not mean that a new coach and a new AD had to abide by it.  The new coach was honest and told her I know you were recruited by the old coach but your skillset does not fit into my plans.  That is not defending the coach, that is the truth.  If you are good enough, you can stay and earn it but if you are not you better run fast.  I still hold the new coach probably knew she was talking to other schools which shows there is not the true loyalty that was portrayed.

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