Verbal Commitments

Have seen recently a bunch of 2020 D1 verbal commitments announced on social media.

What exactly does that mean - have they been offered athletic as well as academic scholarships or are they only promised a spot on the roster and the financials will come later? If they are being offered athletic and academic monies wouldn't they need to have taken the SAT/ACT and submitted FAFSA?

I am just wondering what is included in these verbal commitments.Is it just a handshake where the coach says we'd love to have you be part of the team and the player/family  says ok or do they spell out a much more specific offer.

Thanks!

Original Post

It means they’ve been verbally offered an opportunity to be on the team by the coaching staff and verbally committed to the offer. It usually involves athletic money. While both sides typically follow through nothing is official/done until a National Letter of Intent in signed senior year. An NLI is not required if there isn’t athletic money involved.

Both sides have the opportunity to walk away from the verbal offer and commit. It occurs more often in other sports than baseball. If a baseball coach changes his mind he typically tells the player, “I’ll honor my offer. But I don’t see you ever getting playing time here.” What kid follows through and accepts? Players sometimes walk away if there’s a coaching change between the offer and NLI signing day.

There are qualifications for allowing a player to receive athletic and academic money. It involves a high GPA so the athletic department can’t give academic money for athletic purposes.

When you hear about a player committing to a program it may not involve any money at all. A D1 team can only offer up to 27 players athletic money. But without athletic money an NLI isn’t signed.

Verbal by definition means “not in writing.”

Plenty of coaches have pulled back verbal offers, sometimes right before the player would be signing the NLI in what used to be the early signing period. It’s not always the “Leave it to Beaver,” congenial, my word and handshake are all you need situation as stated above. 

When a player announces their verbal commitment, they basically take themselves off the market to other schools. If that happens early, like sophomore year, then they don’t develop like that college coach thought they would, or worse yet that player fails classes or gets in school/legal trouble, do you think that coach is gonna give them a scholarship?

Ya know the funny thing is when the college cannot follow thru on their end, it's the roster spot closing up, the money or lack of it, the players lack of progression BUT let the player decide to walk away and pursue the "open market" and you'd think the kid was the second coming of El Diablo. It's a dirty game...this "recruiting" and a lot of kids and families get caught up in the wash. Ask around, talk to folks who've been there and keep your eyes and hears open and try to educate yourself before you commit and then hope and pray the coach/es don't change at your school of choice.  

Doesn't this sound fun?

Shoveit4Ks posted:

Ya know the funny thing is when the college cannot follow thru on their end, it's the roster spot closing up, the money or lack of it, the players lack of progression BUT let the player decide to walk away and pursue the "open market" and you'd think the kid was the second coming of El Diablo. It's a dirty game...this "recruiting" and a lot of kids and families get caught up in the wash. Ask around, talk to folks who've been there and keep your eyes and hears open and try to educate yourself before you commit and then hope and pray the coach/es don't change at your school of choice.  

Doesn't this sound fun?

After it all works out the player and the parents sit back and catch their breath. Then in two years 50% will be unhappy with their choice and moving on. 

Let’s call it baseball roulette. Yet most athletes and parents would go through it again if they have to. All it takes for parents is multiple kids playing sports. 

My 2020 committed recently to a mid-level D1.  The school communicated the offer in terms of an exact dollar figure for all four years.  Of course, as others have noted, they could walk away at a future point in time.  But that's the chance you take, and it's where my son wants to go so he jumped.  If I thought there was a reasonable chance they would rescind the offer down the road, I would have urged him to wait, but this school does not have that reputation.  Time will tell if I was right.

You pretty much have to verbally commit at some point.  I would guess it’s pretty rare to commit on or after signing day to D1 schools. I know it probably happens but it’s not the norm.  My 2020 committed in Aug.  we spoke on the phone and got the verbal athletic money offer.  We looked into what exactly it would take to get any academic via the SAT.  Obviously we decided when he committed that we would do it with or without any academic money.  Now as everyone said, he is working his butt off to keep that spot.  Nothing is ever guaranteed.

Just saw a tweet from some kid committing to SchoolX to further his 'acedemic' and baseball career.  

Seriously though it seems like early verbals are an irreversible trend.  My '22 shakes his head every time a kid in his class verbals.  In today's world of social media the early recruiting action creates a sense of urgency that I'm not sure is useful or healthy.  

 

I would also say that most kids I saw commit as freshmen would have had zero issues committing anywhere.  Some decommitted and were recommitted to top programs a month later. The freshmen commits are usually complete studs...some of whom will never go to college anyway.

baseballhs posted:

I would also say that most kids I saw commit as freshmen would have had zero issues committing anywhere.  Some decommitted and were recommitted to top programs a month later. The freshmen commits are usually complete studs...some of whom will never go to college anyway.

True, and certainly the kids at the very top of his position group (catcher) will be in that category.  I've watched most of the SoCal talent in that class thru various tournaments and seen some of the other kids at Cary.

It just would be great if kids could experience a full year of HS (academics, baseball, girls and how to deal with them :-)) before feeling compelled to pull the trigger (allowing for the fact that many switch schools before signing).  

It just would be great if kids could experience a full year of HS (academics, baseball, girls and how to deal with them :-)) before feeling compelled to pull the trigger (allowing for the fact that many switch schools before signing).  

How about the kids maturing anough to have a freak’n clue what they might want to major in when they get to college? Chances are success in life is going to be about more than baseball. It’s true even for top picks in the draft. They don’t all make it. 

With a daughter I’ve experienced the pressure of early commitment. Fortunately she knew what she wanted for a major when she was a freshman. A lot of fifteen year old boys can’t decide what they want for lunch much less make college decisions.  

Colleges shouldn’t be allowed to approach athletes until 7/1 after their soph year. NLI’s should be signable fall of junior year. If a college holds back on offering a junior year NLI signing the athlete should see a huge red flag. 

This is where the evolving spheres of responsibility between parents and players often meet, to wit, who is in charge of school selection and when/if those roles shift?

Can a kid who can't drive understand/appreciate the magnitude of such a decision? Would you allow your kid at that age to negotiate to buy an asset with a sticker price of $250,000? What if the sticker price is "only" $125,000? Which families can peer 4 - 8 years into the future financially and would you permit the kid, who can't remember to turn in homework, decide to commit the family fortune so early? Is the kid considering this expensive asset purchase as an investment in a productive major or as having cool swag?

My rambling point: this is NOT the players choice because he's just not ready - it's a parental veto situation. (And I strongly disagree that anyone can project with certainty an MLB player in 9th grade.  The injury risk alone makes any projection simply a prediction; add to that all the other obstacles and it's folly to make that projection. And any ninth grade stud who hits a speed bump - academics, scores, character, HC change, laziness, etc. - will not ever see that NLI. [And, there is room at any INN at virtually any time in the process for that mythical stud.])

A parent can sit on academics, give financial support for developing baseball skills, research potential college matches, bring him to visit different type of colleges, go to some college games, meet with the guidence counselor and teachers until they understand the college selection process, speak with S about financial or other college limitations, while getting to increasingly turn over control to Junior of the process as he demonstrates he can do it.

BUT NO NINTH (or even tenth) GRADER is ready to enter into the oral commitment. College recruiters understand the environment, recruit for a living and match wits with anxious/insecure parents and players who go through it (except for a few posters) one time. Not a fair match; families are the antelope, recuiters are the tigers.

(JMJO, BTW)

 

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