The world of recruiting is cutthroat and intense, but it is a very important part of colleges and universities. The process of recruiting varies among each level, but each faces its own set of challenges. Factors such as geography, academics, financial aid, scholarship availability and student life all have an impact on the program and recruiting process. Coaches must take into account all of these factors along with the recruit’s athletic ability when trying to find the best fits for their program.
Large Division I schools, such as those in the SEC and ACC, face stiff competition for the top recruits in the nation, but the schools with a limited recruiting budget may face the most difficult challenges. These schools are not going after the All Americans that are well known. They must find the athlete that fits their program as well as the school they represent. Being a student athlete at these institutions is much more than just having a “job” as an athlete. High academic standards make it especially hard to find the best recruits. Coaches have to not only find the players that they like on the field or court, but they must also be able to handle the schoolwork on their own.
The relationship between the athletic department and admissions office ends up being a significant one as athletics and academics are equally important in the recruiting process. There are programs that exist, such as Frontrush, that help integrate the process for these two departments. Both sides can look at the profile of a player and assess where they are in the admissions process, how their academics compare and what sports they are interested in.
The challenging piece to quantify in all of this is the combination of each factor. Some very important questions must be considered. Does this student have the academic background and grades to be able to do well at this school? Are they good enough to play on a team here? Do they need financial aid, and if so is this something we will be able to provide? Division I and II schools have the ability to offer scholarships to student athletes, although they do not offer nearly as many full rides as top Division I programs. Division III schools are not allowed to offer athletic scholarships, so the money side of recruiting is even more important.
At Competitive Sports Analysis, we recognize the difficulty, but also the importance, of coming up with a unified program that can help both the student athletes as well as college coaches. Finding the right fit is a challenge because there are so many factors that play into recruiting decisions. Through an application like scoutSMART, each side can find their “perfect match” based on what is most important. Check us out here, and don’t forget to follow us on twitter!
-Virginia Zakas, product marketing manager