July 12, 2012

Thursday Triple Shot of College Volleyball Recruiting Q's

Hi, how are you?  Thanks for the awesome site!  I have a question about scholarships for you.  I am going to be a senior DS/L.  I've received interested from schools in all divisions, and I've gotten a few offers for a roster spot or walk on position.  However, none of these offers have been scholarships.  What's going on?  I feel like if I am getting walk on positions at a low D1 level, then I should be getting scholarship offers at D2 and NAIA schools.  Are the coaches just giving all of their scholarships to hitters?  Or am I just a "walk on" type of player?
Thanks for your time,


I am well and thank you for your compliments about collegevolleyballcoach.com; and I have an answer about scholarships for you!!!

The reality of being a Libero/DS, is that they are the last position to receive scholarship offers. It is simply a situation of supply versus demand; there are significant numbers of quality-talented Libero's/DS's but limited openings for roster spots/scholarships.

I tell VolleyFamilies of VolleyPSA's who have Lovely Libero's, that they must be patiently aggressive about recruiting - Constantly reaching out, constantly improving skills, constantly sending out new video, and being patient.  

Initial scholarship offers are being sent to hitters first, because coaches know they can get a good Libero/DS late.  Because of this late scholarship focus, L/DS's must be patient and keep working the process.

Coach Matt Sonnichsen

I'm observing a new pattern in the elite-team level of recruiting:  kids sign NLI's in the November early signing period, but never join the team in the upcoming season.  Recently, there have been three prepvolleyball.com senior aces who have changed teams.  I believe these are not backing out of verbals and all of these were post-NLI signature. 
One seems like an exception; maybe even two.  But three? 
What's going on?  SA driven or coach driven?  Any thoughts?  Will this trend trickle down the RPI rankings? 
Thanks in advance.

Well, unfortunately my term, The None and Done, is coming true.  In a few of my posts on collegevolleyballcoach.com and in my book, Inside College Volleyball, I wrote about the newer trend of colleges verbally committing athletes early and then not sending the NLI if the PSA does not develop as anticipated or the college program finds a better PSA.

Also, there are now more situations where newly hired coach feels absolutely no obligation to honor the recruiting commitments of the previous coach, and the AD's also don't give a hoot if the verbal commitment is honored - I came through the coaching system when the coach represented the college, and thus a commitment by the coach was also a commitment by the college.  And, the NCAA in its literature strongly advises that PSA's pick their collegiate future based upon the school, not the coach.......now, when PSA's are picking their future based upon the school, and not the coach, this commitment is being shut down by the new coach and the school is supporting this decision!!!!  Oh the hypocrisy!!!

Finally, more and more families come to realize that what they were sold as high school freshman/sophomores is not what is reality as they mature into signing day seniors, so they back out of their verbal.  The verbal de-commit by the PSA, is the rarer of the two examples.

Unfortunately, this is all systematic of early, early recruiting by collegiate coaches and early commitments by VolleyPSA's.  This One and Done, and None and Done used to be the domain of the elite teams, but I am hearing more and more of these examples happening in all DI teams and a number of DII teams.  

The reality is that the volleyball recruiting protocols of 5-8 years ago, is no longer the reality - The new recruiting world is getting the best player possible for the program and this 'best player possible' mentality is reviewed constantly by collegiate coaches.

Coach Matt Sonnichsen

Question:  I know during tournaments, Division 1 coaches can only have "incidential" contact with parents during matches.  What is the rule with Division 2 coaches?? I have heard it is much more lenient.

Thanks, J.O.

Well, the NCAA has made some changes with contact and communication rules, so I really don't have an exact answer!!!  It is crazy times with the NCAA - For example, the men's basketball coaches were breaking rules right and left with recruiting, and how does the NCAA react?  They open up the contact period even more and allow the coaches to interact with families even earlier!  Just crazy.

I just did a post on the DII rule changes, which may answer some of your questions.  

Remember that for DI coaches, once it is after July 1st of a PSA's upcoming senior year, they can have contact at a tournament or at home or at Starbucks!  "Unavoidable" contact is the term the NCAA prefers to use for PSA's who are Juniors or younger.

Coach Matt Sonnichsen


  1. AnonymousJuly 12, 2012

    Re: the "none & done" recruiting, do you think that enough coaches & families will eventually get "burned" by the drawbacks of early, early verbals that the "recruiting pendulum" will swing back towards kids being able to wait til Jr year to be asked to commit? (like it was 10 years ago)?

  2. No. I really, really and really wish I could say that the pendulum would swing back the other way. Technology combined with peer/financial pressure will keep the commitment process on the early side for families. Technology allows for easy sharing of information, and communication between coaches and players at a very early high school age. Peer and Financial pressure will push families to take that good looking scholarship, even though it may not be the best decision.


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