The Headlines tell the story!
U.C. coach fired this morning - Cincinnati Post 12-1-03
Nevada fires football coach - AP 11-30-03
Nebraska fires Solich - AP 11-30-03
Cable's out at Idaho - AP 11-23-03
UTEP coach Gary Nord fired - AP 12-1-03
While some teams are talking about heading to bowls, several others were cleaning house with the firing of head coaches. With this comes questions about recruiting and the kids who have given commitments to these coaches. Remember, not only has the head coach been fired, most of his staff will be gone also. Here are some of the questions we have been asked.
Q1: My son made a commitment in the summer, is his scholarship offer still in place, or will the new coach recruit other players instead?
A1: Your son made his choice in part of who the coach was. Head Coach along with the coach who recruited him. During the process your son also should have been in contact with the coach who will be his main coach while at school, his position coach. In 99% of cases like these, the scholarship offer is still good and you will hear from the new coach or a coach that is staying with the program about the changes going on in the program. Don't panic about what has happened. The new coach is going to be getting a late start in recruiting and will not want to lose kids that have already given a commitment.
Q2: My son was recruited by several schools, can he back out of his commitment?
A2: Yes! At this time the commitment is not in contract form. Once the Letter of Intent is signed he can't go back without running into other NCAA problems. You can look at this in two ways. (1) I picked the school, not the coach and I want to stay. (2) I don't know the new coach or staff and want to open my recruiting back up. If you chose #2, be careful. If you don't think you want to attend the school now because of the change, contact the other schools who were recruiting you and ask if (1) Are they still interested in you as a recruit. (2) And if so, will they make an offer at this time. Don't go around talking about your recruiting with people who don't have your best interest at heart. Keep this talk of a change between your family and coach only. The last thing you want is the new coach hearing your out looking and him pulling the offer. At this stage of the game many schools are putting the final touches in place for their recruiting class. They may have already received another commitment for your position and don't need you now. Don't take it wrong when they say no, they don't want to recruit you now. Its just how the process works.
Q3: My son has been contacted by other schools, who asked if he's changed his mind. What should we do?
A3: This has a lot to do with Q2. If a school contacts you about changing your mind, put them on the spot. If you feel there may be a chance your son wants to change his mind. Ask them for the offer!!! If they don't give you one in writing within the week, take it that you don't fit into the plans they have made.
If a school contacts you, let them know your son is not sure what he wants to do. Were looking at every option and if your school has interest they need to make an offer so it could be considered. Remember, your in control of what you do or don't do. Don't say too much or too little. Make them do the work and consider only schools that make offers in writing, if you have changed your mind. Don't play games with colleges, they are spending time and money and could be recruiting someone else if your going to stay put. Don't get into the game of the school calling you and telling you come for a visit. Only make a visit if you have changed your mind and the school has given you an offer in writing. In today's world your visit will appear on a web site or other outlet and be known by the whole world. Along with the new coach and staff at the school you have given a commitment.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to go about the recruiting process. You and your child spent a lot of time in making the choice in the first place. If your not sure about what to do, follow these guidelines.
1. Make a list on why you chose the school in the first place. Both pro's & con's. How much did the coach or his staff play in your choice. You may be surprised you picked the school for other reasons then the coach or his staff. EX: Staying close to home. They have the best program for what I'm going to major in.
2. Look at who is named the new coach and give them the benefit of the doubt. The school felt a change was needed for the program to succeed. The university wants to win just as bad as you. They are going to pay a new coach a lot of money and you can be sure he should be around for your entire 4-5 years at the school. For those who are going through this process remember, College Football is big business, if a coach doesn't win he's going to be fired. If he wins a lot, he's going to be considered for other programs that could be better than at your school.
3. Don't be afraid to contact the new coach when he's named. Or contact the position coach when he's named. These will be the men who your going to spend more time with during the next four to five years. If you don't like them, you may find yourself leaving after one or two years and its easier to do it now then to wait.
4. What offense or defense are they going to run? If you're a TE or FB and they are going to run the spread, you may not even see the field because they don't use either of them. If you're a drop back passer and run a 4.8 40 and the new offense needs a QB who can run and have a 4.4 you may want to reconsider your choice. These are just a few examples of what you should be looking at and not be afraid to ask the new coach or his staff. If they can't tell you what they are going to do, look out.
These are just a few of the questions and points that have been e-mailed to me since this afternoon. If you have other questions please e-mail me and I will try and help you through this crazy process called recruiting. In the past week two Ohio college coaches have been fired, more could be on the way out within the next few weeks. Most schools will have a replacement in place before Christmas comes. Because they don't want to get too far behind in recruiting and hurt the program.