Utter disappointment. Really, that’s a tremendous over statement. My heart goes out to the Spring athletes as well as those athletes who were unable to take their college visits. Many 2020’s have had their recruiting and signings delayed, while 2021’s also missed the opportunity to showcase their skills this season. Many people ask me my thoughts on how ‘Rona (COVID-19) will impact recruiting in the near future, so here’s some of my thoughts.
Let me begin by stating that by nature I am an optimistic person. It’s in DNA to see things the potential in people and circumstances. I’m holding hope that with cooperation, diligence, and compliance the spread of the virus will be stifled so that soon athletes can take to the field again.
Now, in regards to recruiting, it is likely that there will be little to no significant impact on the recruiting process. By that, I mean the recruiting process will continue to move forward in spite of the sequester. I am certain, at this very moment college coaches still recruiting athletes! They may be doing this from their offices instead of the sidelines, but make no mistake, college coaches are recruiting athletes!
Next, recruiting this summer will certainly ramp up. Ben Franklin was noted to have said, “Out of adversity comes opportunity.” Without doubt, new recruiting opportunities are sure to surface to make up for lost time. So, even though college recruiting may have been slowed this spring, there will certainly be more recruiting opportunities to come. I anticipate an increase of showcases and camps this summer. Two reasons play into this. First, more camps and showcases will help replace some revenue lost as a result of the cancelled spring season. Second, additional camps and showcases will provide coaches the opportunity to have athletes come to them. This will allow coaches to evaluate more players in a short amount of time. Early exposure to these coaches will be a tremendous help for prospects wanting invitations to these events.
Additionally, athletes who make the most of the self sequester will be those who continue communicating with college coaches, stay in shape, and keep up with their regular routine. When the opportunity returns for student-athletes to take the field once again it will be evident who stayed on course and made the most of the downtime. Consequently, those student-athletes who choose chill-time over training time will surely fall behind.
Lastly, as of March 30 the NCAA announced that spring college athletes can be awarded an extra year of eligibility. However, the NCAA did not mandate additional scholarship money. The NCAA did loosed the roster limit for the 2021 season. But, scholarship money awarded to student-athletes will be at the desecration of the college athletic program.
This presents an option for the student-athletes who take advantage of this gift. It is likely that that they will have to pay out of pocket for an additional year of college so that then can play one more season of Spring sports. Outside of athletes from prominent Power 5 schools, I suspect that few Spring athletes will take advantage of this benevolent offer. For most college students, the cost of college tuition might just outweigh the benefit of one more year of competition.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to wish you all wellness, safety and good health during this unprecedented season.