Understanding the Numbers Game, Pt. 2

When Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian brings in the fall addition of 19 signees, many will already be enrolled in the summer bridge program. This will require the staff to get their numbers back to 85 again. You are allowed however to carry more than your 85 if some kids are just finishing up their degrees and have used up their eligibility.

Sometimes you need to weed some kids out who are currently on aid and still have eligibility left. It's hard to do if the kid is really a good kid, goes to school and stays out of trouble. If a player was a senior academically and could graduate then he might not get his fifth year. This out was exercised by the last program at the very worst time every year, right before the Apple Cup.

If a kid got hurt then he could be released medically; if he flunked out of school or didn't make academic progress or got into trouble with the law then he could also lose his aid. Roster management after you sign a class is really dictated by academics, injuries and graduation, although attrition can result from other things as well.

Based on what I saw this spring, I think there will now be competition for scholarships at Washington. If you're not producing then there may not be a spot for you the next year. The current staff has already identified two scholarship kids who will not be returning next year and I know we will see some additional attrition before fall camp.

I think you will see this Husky team end up around 120 strong, making them one of the bigger rosters in the conference. If you can average one productive player for every five walk-ons you get, it is more than worth it. Scout team players are as important as varsity players in that they allow you to get many more reps in practice. I know I don't have to list all the great walk-ons who have been Huskies, but if you indeed view college football as part of the overall educational process then as long as they get admitted to school and have a qualifying background they should be at least allowed to try out. And in fact Sarkisian kept seven walk-ons that were added this spring after tryouts.

None of the incoming signees can be part of your 105 count until they are academically accepted into the university, including the six junior college kids signed in February, so getting their credits in order as well as making sure they graduate at the JC level becomes huge.

When someone doesn't qualify and does not get admitted when camp starts then someone else can replace them: That is how it works. Now they can still take classes for the rest of the summer and finish up before school starts in late September and then be added to both counts - the 25 count per class and the 105 total before the first game of the season.

Another way to solve potential counter problems is being honest with some kids by telling them they could probably get more playing time at a lower level and transferring might be considered as a viable option.

With seven kids already committed for the 2010 season, and only 11 or so spots set to become available, it means something has to give. I promise you Washington will take at least 20 this year if they can, and I think they should in order to bring up the level of overall talent on this team. It's called planned attrition: It's also called weeding out, and it's sometimes it's simply called running'em off. It's harsh, but it's real.

You have to constantly be working your numbers because you never know when you can add a kid through transfer or as a late signee. By keeping spots open you can take a guy like Jerome Pathon whenever they come along. He turned out OK.

John Morris, the Sr. Associate AD for Compliance, is the watchdog person through whom all these numbers must pass muster. He relays them on to the conference and the NCAA. He is charged with making sure the Huskies are within the number restrictions and verifies all graduations and permanent injuries. An injured kid can stay on scholarship until he graduates and not continue as a counter, as long as they agree to forfeit their remaining eligibility. It's part of planned attrition.

Other numbers are key to the recruiting process: In addition to the 16 core a student-athlete needs to pass through the NCAA Clearinghouse, there is a minimum 2.02 GPA requirement. The SAT test has been revised so I'm not sure what that standard is although I'm positive it is on a sliding scale with the GPA, in that the higher the test score, the lower the required grade point average.

Recruiting itself is filled with numbers or restrictions. These apply to evaluations and contacts as well as any mailings which can't be sent out until the start of their junior year in high school with the exception of a questionaire or camp brochure.

Forty-two is the total number of "evaluations" you may use in the fall evaluation period; seven is the total number of coaches who can be off-campus recruiting at any one time. Therefore your seven recruiters have six in-person evaluations each once school begins in the fall.

One is a number used a lot in the recruiting process: it is the number of phone calls you can make to a senior recruit per week during an evaluation period. During a contact period - which means when you go off your campus to go visit a kid - you are restricted to seeing a kid once per week, but there is no limit on phone calls.

Six is the total of contacts you can make with any senior prospect; one is also the number of phone calls you can make to a junior in high school during the spring evaluation period; one is also the number of athletic evaluations you can make on a kid in the spring, and one is also the number of academic evaluations you can make at any single school during the spring.

Technically you could use two evaluations on a kid by watching him play a sport or attend a practice or work out in a gym class and then go into the counseling office another time to evaluate his academics.

Three is the number of total evaluations you can use on any kid during a calendar year; one is also the limit on official visits you may use on a kid, although five is the limit for the recruited prospect himself, meaning he can only accept five total paid visits.

Twenty is the number of dollars you can spend on a prospect per day during his visit for entertainment purposes, and it must cover both the prospect and his host athlete from your team.

Four is the number of weeks you may use out of six during spring evaluations, which can't start until April 15th and must end by June 1st. You must designate which four of those six weeks you will be using.

You are required to maintain a log on all your recruiting activities, and that includes both phone calls, official contacts and evaluations, as well as unofficial contacts. There is no limit on the number of times a kid can come and visit you on your campus as long as it doesn't happen during a dead period.

Forty-eight is the number of hours a prospect may be on your campus during his official visit. Now they don't have to be on an airplane, but they must have left your actual campus after 48 hours. Parents or guardians may accompany a prospect on his visit, but you are not allowed to pay their transportation costs. Feeding them and housing them is permited.
Understanding the Numbers Game, Pt. 1

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