A full-ride scholarship offer is supposed to be an exciting part of the stressful recruiting process. However, not when your recruiting coach offers your scholarship to another student because “you’re taking too long to decide.” This happened to a young high school basketball player.
When this athlete was looking for a Division I basketball scholarship, she was nervous about what the school had to offer, how far from home the college was, and if she would fit in with the team. She had two older sisters who were already in college, and she saw how many student loans they had to take out to pay for their education. Her ultimate goal was to earn a DI scholarship to cover her undergraduate years. Just when she thought that dream was attainable, it was ripped away.
Leading up to that moment, everything was going great. The coaches were texting her “good luck” or “can’t wait to get you back on campus for a visit.” She felt wanted and needed by the coaching staff. It was early enough in her recruiting process where her nerves weren’t , so nerves were not settling in quite yet. The first offer was put on the table, which was something special, but she didn’t want to jump at the first offer because she hadn’t explored other schools yet.
The coaching staff “put pressure on me and said they were going to offer my scholarship to other people.” She told them upfront that they were her first offer, and she was not ready to commit to a school just yet. As she continued looking at other schools, she stayed in contact with the coaches, and they kept reiterating how great it would be for her to join their team.
A few days before the last session of AAU, she recalls the horrible moment when she received a phone call. The coach broke the news that they offered her scholarship to another girl, and there was no longer a spot available on the team for her.
“I was heartbroken.”
She needed a little more time to think about the offer, but the school moved ahead without her. College coaches shouldn’t pressure young high school athletes to accept offers on the spot. But at the same time, college athletes should be aware that coaches have rosters to fill.
Although other schools in the same conference were on the athlete’s radar, no offers were coming in. Receiving a full-ride scholarship offer to play basketball was a dream, but it was short-lived “just because she didn’t accept the offer right away.” It was a tough pill to swallow, she said, but after seeing the coach’s true colors she knew, “it wasn’t meant to be.”
She still pursued her dream of playing DI basketball and is happy and content with the school she chose. All athletes need time to think about an offer, the length of time that is recommended is up to two weeks. Do not let a coach pressure you into committing unless you are 100% ready–it’s a red flag.
Edited by Caroline Kurdej