Thank you for your email and it is situations such as yours which make me cringe. It boggles my mind that college volleyball coaches feel it is OK to recruit 7th graders. And the reality that club coaches are approaching her to 'recruit' for their clubs is disheartening.
Situations such as this, just go to illustrate that parents must be actively involved in their athlete's lives.
This is a great comment from your question "....
College recruiting, in every sport, has lost its balance and the governing bodies are just ignoring the problem as opposed to addressing it. This leaves the parents, which can be woefully unprepared (through no fault of there own), to police this this process.
In terms of your daughter and her collegiate recruiting process, these are my suggestions:
1. As she is only 12, the ENTIRE family needs to mentally flush away any thoughts or concerns about the recruiting process. These are crazy times in collegiate athletes, with huge changes happening and going to occur over the next few years. Your daughter will not go off to college for another 6 years, so to concern yourself now, is simply illogical.
2. Because of college coaches aggressiveness and their management of the recruiting rules (or mismanagement), you must establish parameters. Tell your club coaches that you and your daughter will not speak with any college coaches, that you will not accept any business cards or notes, that you don't want to 'hear' from any colleges via the club - Period, end of conversation.
3. At camps/clinics, when your daughter is approached by a college coach, she simply has to say "thank you, please talk with my parents" - Which is just common sense because SHE IS 12 YEARS OLD!!!
4. When the college coach approaches you, you simply say "Thank you, but we are not engaging in the recruiting process at this time" - When they ask to talk with you, when they offer a campus tour, when they offer to show you the locker room, etc...."Thank you, but we are not engaging int he recruiting process at this time".
You will not burn any bridges, you will not make a poor impression - You will protect your daughter because that is most important....all else falls away.
As for the club coaches:
1. When your daughter is approached by a club coach/director, she simply has to say "Thank you, please talk to my parents". Done.
2. When the club coach/director approaches you, simply say "Thank you, and we will review our club situation at the end of the season but don't wish to discuss anything at this time". Reviewing the club situation at the end of each club season, is what each family should be doing anyways. Be polite but firm.
In closing, you don't have the catch the ball that the college and club coaches are throwing. Families have more control over the process that they realize. You have to define the parameters so you can enjoy this wonderful time within your daughter's athletic life.