Process Of Student Athletes Committing

Back to Article
Back to Article

Process Of Student Athletes Committing

Adam Carroll, Staff

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

It’s the time of the year when seniors make decisions about what college to attend and what the next chapter of their life will be. 

Some students are athletes who want to continue playing the sport they love. They are looking for a good university with a good sports program that will allow them to showcase their talents to a wider audience. 

There are many steps in the process of recruiting and committing. 

According to the NCAA, recruitment takes place when a coach or a representative from a college contacts a student-athlete through means like face-to-face interactions, texting, or email. 

For the coach, there are contacts when he or she has a face-to-face interaction with an athlete off the campus, as well as evaluations when he or she watches the athlete practice or compete. 

Athletic Director Richard Hambor had many meetings with college representatives during his time as football and baseball coach. However, after becoming Athletic Director, his role in the process decreased considerably. 

“I am more in the place of the middle man,” said Mr. Hambor. “I help connect scouts with our head coaches, but I don’t have as much one on one contact with the college coaches themselves.” 

A big part of deciding which college is the best fit for a student for athletes and non-athletes alike is visiting the campus. However, the advantage for student-athletes is that the colleges pay for an official visit, including transportation, meals for the student and the parents, and even tickets to a sporting event. 

When the student finds a college that’s a good fit, that’s when they commit. Students can verbally commit at any stage in the recruiting process and it’s a non-binding agreement, one which students can withdraw from at any time. A student officially commits to a Division 1 or 2 university by signing a National Letter of Intent, an agreement where the student agrees to go to a university in exchange for financial aid from the university. 

Division 3 schools have a slightly different process. Athletes can sign a non-celebratory signing form, but it’s ceremonious and not binding. 

The process is different for everyone, as senior lacrosse player Ian Callinan explained. 

“It could be as simple as saying yes September 1st of your junior year or still looking during your senior year,” said Callinan. 

He personally found it stressful because he initially committed to Tampa University but decommitted after having a bad time visiting the campus. 

“I recommitted and chose York University,” said Callinan. “It was a stressful process starting over again because it’s a lot with emails, letters, and opening connections back up with schools. It’s tough.” 

Senior basketball player Ben Hall, who committed to Garrett College, said the process was a little hectic for him, but he said that the schools that recruited him tried to make it as hassle-free as possible. 

“It was kind of crazy and hard deciding on one school, but all the love and respect I got from the schools recruiting me and the ones I visited was awesome,” said Hall. 

Hambor thinks the process is good for students because they don’t have the uncertainty of where they’re going to college. 

“A positive element is that when a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent, it takes the pressure of the athlete during the rest of his or her high school career,” said Mr.Hambor. 

He warns students, however, to know every step of the process. 

“On the other hand, when student-athletes “commit” to schools but do not sign NLI’s, it can give a false sense of security,” said Mr. Hambor. “Parents and athletes must remember that a verbal commitment can be retracted by both sides at any time.”