May 9, 2011

NCAA Volleyball Thoughts during the Quiet Period

I want more Quiet or Dead periods. When I was a younger coach, I thought less was more; more opportunity to get out and recruit without being grounded because of NCAA rules.  Now that I am a seasoned veteran coach (just like a piece of marinated steak), experience has taught me that more is more; more Quiet/Dead periods is more opportunity to have a balanced life.  Because of the Internet and the 5683 Club Volleyball tournaments, college coaches know who they are recruiting and need just a couple of matches to figure out the physical attributes of a PSA.  One could feel the drag or burn of recruiting this last April; we have seen the players, we have made the offers, we are just sitting on a court to be seen by families and not really evaluating.  The 12 year olds have all been marked, filmed, ipod'ed and sent letters.  More or longer Quiet/Dead periods allows us the opportunity to have a better spring season training cycle with our college program, more weekends off in the "off season", and provides us a legitimate reason should we be questioned by uneducated or near sighted Athletic Directors about why we are not out recruiting! 

The next level of the One and Done is here; it is now the None and Done.  I have been hearing reports of programs not honoring verbal scholarship commitments, along with cancelling the NLI/Scholarship.  With the accelerated recruiting time frame, college coaches may have retracted scholarship offers after receiving a PSA's verbal commitment but before actually sending out the NLI/Scholarship papers.  In addition, during staff changes, new coaches are 'cancelling' the NLI/Scholarship after watching their inherited PSA's.  Of course this is not legal, but when the coach tells the VolleyFamily that they are not good enough for the team, the previous coach made a recruiting mistake and the PSA will never play for the school, the VolleyFamily quickly figures out it is time to find another program (if possible).  All for the college coach's ego.

Beware the Athletic Director who never played or coached college sports.  This is a scary employment situation for College Volleyball coaches because their AD has never walked the path and cannot understand the challenges of the athletic side of the athletic department.

I would rename the May Quiet Period the Paperwork Period.  Off campus recruiting is done until the June championship tournaments, the spring season of College Volleyball has finished, the semester is soon to be over and one would think it is a slow time.  In one respect this is true; this is the time to try and sneak in a family vacation and decompress from the spring silliness.  But, the Paperwork Protean is here.  Closing out all the post-recruiting documentation and expense reports, closing out all the spring competition expense reports, putting together the budget for next year, ordering equipment for next year, making sure all incoming S.A.'s are on track with the NCAA, Admissions, Housing, etc. and making sure all the other little things (phone logs, practice sheets, inventory, evaluations, etc.) are done.

There was always a certain measure of comfort/confidence knowing that my College Volleyball coach had played the sport and played it in college.

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