For many senior players, these package deals may be their best opportunity to play NCAA Division I Volleyball. What I don't like about these scholarship deals is, that until a player signs her scholarship papers, these scholarship packages are nothing more than words. The player will be a walk on until they sign scholarship papers (usually late spring for the next academic year), which means they have no guarantee or resource if things should change in the immediate time frame.
The most common 'change' is a change in coaches. With today's mentality, new head coaches routinely cut scholarship players or newly arriving signed freshman, so the odds of a new coach keeping a walk on who is scheduled to go onto a scholarship (a scholarship the head coach will want to use for their own recruits) is extremely thin.
You referenced the next typical 'change'; the coach finds a better recruit between when your daughter arrives to when she is supposed to go onto a scholarship. Many coaches are adopting the mentality that verbal commitments are made to be broken, should a better player can be obtained to help this year's squad.
In general, I would be very hesitant on a walk on to a scholarship deal, especially anything over 1 year. If it is the perfect SCHOOL for your daughter, and she would attend the school even if volleyball was not an option and your family had the financial ability to make this non-scholarship attendance a reality, then a package deal can be an option.
But, if this is not the case (perfect school, perfect finances), then I would feel more comfortable accepting a DII partial athletic scholarship which allows for the packaging of athletic, academic, merit and need based scholarships, combined with a bit of a safety net because while the athletic scholarship can change as a result of a coach, the academic/merit/need based scholarships are more stable and under a student's control.
Coach Matt Sonnichsen