February 15, 2010

College Volleyball Early Commitments


My daughter is a junior in NC. When she sent out her dvd's to NC schools, some of the schools said they already had their 2011 commitment for her position and said to pursue other schools. All were D1. These were sent out Oct. of her Junior year. We have sent her links and information to other out of state D1 schools and they say they can not talk to her until July. How can schools commit a player when some say they can not talk to you yet? Is there any difference in the rules for instate players vs. out of state players? I have asked this question a lot and have not gotten an answer. I would appreciate your return of explanation.

Thank you so much,


It can be a confusing situation to hear of so many commitments by players when they are Juniors (or even younger). I know when this was becoming the current trend a few years ago, I was curious how the PSA's had reached the comfort level to make a college commitment.

To answer your questions:

1. Many DI's will commit their classes very early, especially by position - For instance, if they just need a setter, they can lock up one early in the process. Junior year is the verbal commit year, with top schools locking up players early in the year. Sometimes the way a recruiting class can work out, is a program just needs one player. So, the staff can focus all that year's recruiting efforts into one position/scholarship. More and more PSA's are committing earlier in their Junior year (during high school season) and the summer after their Sophomore year in school. This is a trend I do not agree with, but it seems to be the way it is.

2. "talk" to a player, as most folks understand it, is to verbally have a conversation initiated by the coach, which is not possible per NCAA rules until July 1st of the Junior to Senior summer. But, unlimited e-mail "conversations" can occur after September 1st of the Junior year, and a player can call a coach at any time - Yes, a player can initiate the call and talk as long as they want, and call as often as they want. Many, many programs are very aggressive about telling players to call them if they are interested; they use the fear of not getting a scholarship offer to get the players to call them to talk and once they call, it is open season on recruiting. In addition, college coaches will use club coaches and directors as conduits to initiate conversations with PSA's. This is how Juniors are getting offers and communicating with programs.

3. NCAA rules are national and have no state vs state protocol. When it comes to state vs state stuff, it just seems a matter of geography with regards to taking unofficial visits (which a player can take at any time or number) - For instance, in your North Carolina area, there is the opportunity to visit a number of DI schools all within a short driving distance. Unofficial Visits are the new Official Visits. Back in the glorious past of Side Out scoring and illegal double hits, Unofficial visits were rather uncommon and just a casual stop by for a PSA and family. This situation has now changed to where the Unofficial Visit is the important on campus time to take a hard look, ask important questions and get a feel for the environment of the school/program. This new visit protocol has placed quite the financial burden on families, if their daughter wishes to attend a school outside of their home region.

I encourage you not to get frustrated and to stay active in the recruiting process - Sure, some schools have finished and they may be your daughter's first group of desired schools, but there are still plenty of quality schools still active in the 2011 recruiting process.

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