Recruiting was an exciting time for me. As a transfer student, I was excited to have a second chance to pick a school that was an excellent fit for me. I set up visits for two of my top five schools on back-to-back weekends, and I was in contact with other coaches for my top choices as well. I planned to set up visits in the coming weeks with the other three schools on my list as well to complete my five official visits. Each of the schools had what I was looking for in terms of athletics and academics. I knew I wanted to be in a major conference, so it was no surprise that four of my top five schools were in the same conference.
When coaches asked what schools I was looking at, I thought it good to be transparent. This way, I felt they would be able to better sell their school in comparison with the others at the conference when I was talking to them. Since every coach I had been been in contact with asked me the same question about what other schools I was looking at or considering.
I was excited about my first official visit. I took my dad along with me to help. He would be a second set of ears and eyes to help me weigh my options and evaluate the school. From stepping onto campus and meeting the coach face-to-face, I knew the program and school would be an excellent fit for me.
In the last thirty minutes of my official visit, the head coach finally started talking about my scholarship offer. Being that this was an out of state institution, I knew that the offer would determine my chances of going to the school since affordability was one of my consideration factors. The head coach summarized the visit and how he saw me fitting into the team and the vision for the program going forward. After that, he offered me a full-ride, including the cost of attendance for my first year in the program. For the second year, he said my offer would be full-tuition, but the money from the first year I could save to help cover rent and other expenses. I was excited to get my first ever full-ride scholarship offer and knew this meant the school would be in top contention.
The coach walked my dad and me to the car and before we left he told us that the same offer was out to a few recruits, and whoever decided to commit first would get the money. I was not too fond of the pressure that was being put on me, especially considering I had another visit coming up. This coach also knew about this and other unscheduled visits. I spent the entire drive home, worrying about what to do. I liked the school academically. The school had exceptional resources for track, the coaches were accomplished, knowledgeable, and friendly, and the athletes on the team seemed friendly.
There were no downsides to this school, and with the offer on the table that would cover most of my expenses for college, I did not know how I could possibly say no to this offer. I waited two days after my visit to decide, and during that time, I was in complete unrest that another recruit had committed, and the scholarship money would not be available anymore. Two days after my visit, I called the coach to commit, and I felt confident about my decision. I was excited, but also sad to call the other coaches to let them know I was no longer interested and to cancel the other official visit I had set up. Despite knowing I had difficult calls to make, I was excited to have picked this school. The next step would be to figure out the next steps for enrollment.
After a few days of being verbally committed, I asked the coach to send over my offer in writing. When I received the written offer over text, it was significantly lower than what I was promised. It ended up only being about 38% of tuition, room, and board combined for the second year. I was shocked considering I committed to the school because of what the coached promised me during my official visit. He claimed that they would be funding most of my education. I was confused, but the coach was good at making the situation seem like it was not all that bad. I decided to stay committed to the school despite my disappointment and suspicion, considering I liked it so much.
Once I received my official scholarship tender, the offered amount was once again less than the written offer. The coach again explained that projected tuition and room and board went up, and the scholarship budget numbers were finalized. My offer was then only about 31% of the costs to attend the university for my second year. How could the coach lie that much? Nearly 70% less than the initial offer was a lot of money. I felt lied to and began to reconsider my decision to attend the university. How could I trust what he said? Did he believe in my athletic abilities and my possible contributions to the team if he could not stand behind his word on my verbal scholarship offer?
In the end, I decommitted from the school and continued my recruiting process. However, I stuck with my decision and am glad I did because I found a university and coach that are a great fit for me, the University of Minnesota, who also stood behind their verbal scholarship offer. I’m proud of myself for trusting my gut and continuing with the recruiting process after the shady situation.
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.