Navigating Athletic Recruiting:

The Insider’s Edition


Let us take a moment to salute the NCAA and their proactive accommodation of student-athletes during a global pandemic.

The NCAA waived test requirements, adjusted eligibility rules and scholarship limitations, provided flexibility to schools, coaches, and athletic department staff, then ran championships (with only a few glaringly sexist hiccups) in an incredibly challenging environment! While the NCAA deserves to be criticized when they get things wrong, it is unfair not to highlight what they got right. If only other national organizations had built consensus and moved forward as proactively as the world of intercollegiate athletics did!

Okay… that’s enough of that. Let’s talk about what is coming.


Recruiting, Initial Eligibility and Test Optional/Test Blind Admissions

Recent communications from the NCAA Eligibility Center and conversations with various NCAA administrators and compliance folks seem to indicate that the SAT/ACT requirement is NOT going to end without a fight about bringing it back for 2023. There are NCAA members (Georgetown?) who want to reinstate standardized testing requirements and it seems the smart people have decided it is easier to let them run it up the flagpole and get shot down than fight to provide clarity in the short term.

So… do NOT expect an early announcement, akin to the NAIA’s, about going to a GPA/Core Course only standard on a permanent basis. Ultimately, with the Ivy League, UC/CSU’s and most selective colleges all remaining test optional/test blind, our expectation is the NCAA will provide an alternative to standardized tests for initial eligibility. The hope that this would be implemented before 2023 graduates had to wrestle with testing seems to have been overly optimistic.

The Ultimate Recruiting Toolkit!

Empowering you to create the keys you need to connect with college coaches and programs where you can thrive!

  • Create an academic/athletic resume that helps coaches see your "fit" immediately!
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  • Sending emails and social media that get noticed!
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NIL Reform and Recruiting

This has been a major net-positive for student-athletes and so far, the negative aspects some predicted have not emerged. But we are in the infancy of student-athletes monetizing their intellectual property. This could all change radically in the next 2 years.

These are steps aspiring collegiate student-athletes can take to increase their ultimate NIL value today! You will find a great deal of overlap between these steps and what your advisees are already doing to maximize their potential! It’s a win-win scenario.

  • Build community. Of course, look to maximize social media following, but even more importantly, strengthen real life networks (IRL as the kids say) of mentors/coaches, teachers, peer athletes and mentees in local clubs, the community, and the sport.
  • Use social media to tell their story. Sports is great media “product” because there are so many great narratives. Setbacks to overcome, journeys of self-discovery and reaching individual and team potential, etc. Share those journeys and people will be rooting for you!
  • Share expertise, connect with the kids who will follow in a prospects footsteps as a high school athlete, be a caring mentor and role model.
  • Have fun

The key is, the more connected a student’s community is to that student, the higher their long run NIL value. That will be true today, going forward, and after graduation.

From the college side, it is worth remembering the current NIL landscape is the result of the NCAA completely abdicating any leadership role whatsoever in this space. Colleges could show leadership and implement a mutually beneficial, effective oversight regime that facilitates student-athletes’ business ambitions, grows revenue for the schools themselves and protects student-athletes from predatory actors in this space. At this time, schools seem unwilling to fill the leadership vacuum.

NCAA Holding a “Constitutional Convention”

Next month, a 22 member NCAA select committee, chaired by former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, a man with no experience working in higher education or athletics, will address the following at a “Constitutional Convention.”

The Constitution Committee will address transformational, organizational change through the redrafting of the principles, governance structure and membership commitments found in the NCAA Constitution to meet the needs of today’s student-athletes and in the generations to come.

The results of these deliberations will become public in November and be subject to a vote by the NCAA Board of Governors on December 15th. It is not my expectation that these deliberations will substantially impact current prospective student-athletes. But I remain concerned by the make up of the committee, its mission, and the ability of NCAA President Mark Emmert and his staff to lead the organization forward.For those advising prospective collegiate student-athletes, I would expect more continuity than radical change, but it will be important to stay abreast of any significant reforms as they take shape.If you are looking for more individualized insights into navigating the college search process for college bound student-athletes, I am committed to collaborating with you for the success of your students! You can reach out to me using the link or navigate to a meeting from our page for school counselors, club directors, and IEC’s. It outlines our free resources, appointments and programs for collaboration here.For more information, contact Dave Morris, College Counselor & CEO, College Athletic Advisor, [email protected] or phone: (719) 248-7994©2021 All Rights Reserved

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