I am sure you all are saying what does a mother of six from upstate New York know about National Signing day for college football recruits. What I know is it is a high stress time for college coaches and for incoming college freshmen or high school seniors. I also know that it is not a big deal where I live – small town in upstate NY. College coaches – the real big name ones – don’t come here often.
Here’s what I do know. Kids get all spastic about college recruiting. It doesn’t matter to the student-athlete if it is football, soccer, basketball or volleyball. Parents get equally thrown – mostly because the rule book on recruiting is written in a strange language and hard to go through and understand. Hence, the reason colleges hire compliance officers.
No school guidance counselor is going to know the answer to parents’ or student-athletes’ questions on recruiting. Use these people, guidance counselors, to answer your questions about the school, about the academics, about other parts of student life. Do not use them to answer athletic questions.
Do your research. Ask questions when you visit campus as a prospective student of other students and of staff and professors. Ask questions of other student-athletes when you have an official visit to the school. PLEASE do have both official and unofficial, athletic and other visits.
Visit the school’s web site and the athletic department’s web site. Check out the local newspaper. No coach or admissions counselor is going to tell you that the basketball team is beating up the baseball team, particularly if you are a basketball or baseball recruit. No admissions counselor or coach is going to tell you that town relationships are strained due to too many parties off campus. Both want you on campus for different reasons and are only going to tell you the “good” things about campus, the selling points.
Be prepared to make an informed decision. You would not buy a house, and the cost of a college education – in time and in money is similar, without making an informed decision. Do not sign a letter of intent without being informed.