Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's amazing how connected we are via Social Media.

I was talking to a friend whose 17-year-old son, a high school senior, is being recruited to play college football. Although he has been invited to visit several NCAA Division I schools, none have offered him a scholarship ... yet.

A Division II university, did offer him a scholarship. The father's response? I hope you already sent out a tweet about it. The goal of the tweet wasn't just to share the good news with the senior's friends, family and followers, but to let those other schools know there is potential confidential for the young man's athletic skills.

I had to chuckle at this whole premise. Back in the day, when I was being recruited to play collegiate volleyball and basketball, I received letters in the mail and phone calls from coaches. I still remember the time I was on the phone with a coach, and call waiting chimed in. I asked to be excused to take the other call, thinking it was my sister (this was pre-caller ID and cell phones). It was another coach calling to recruit me, who didn't appreciate it when I asked to be called back because I was on another call with a coach. I guess the oops on my part was admitting who was on the other line!

Today, there may still be snail mail contact letters, but email, Twitter, recruiting websites, and all of the video options available today certainly make the process I went through seem antiquated.

Who won my recruiting war? I played a year of volleyball at Northwest Missouri State University. I loved my teammates, but the coaching wasn't up to par. It's definitely a situation of "I wish I knew then what I know now." But NWMSU had one of the best Division II journalism programs in the country (and still does!), so I stayed for the academics.

That's the other piece of advice I've given my friend's son - you're probably not going to play football beyond your college years (despite my sister hoping to ride his "gravy train for years) - so be sure that you choose your college for the academic program you want to pursue as much as for the football program.

So next time you see a tweet that an athlete has been offered a scholarship, there's probably more to the message than what you would think.