By Jay KC, CollegeFindMe Intern
Colleges and universities loves sports, so much so that they will allow you to go to their school for free as long as you play on their varsity team. This article is a summary of the college recruitment process and how it is done by different colleges and universities.
Divisions and Their Rules
Every college and university has a different style of recruitment and it is all dependent upon their divisional status. There are three types of divisions within the NCAA. Division I colleges and universities are able to give out scholarships to everyone on their varsity team, Division II colleges and universities are able to give out only a few select amount of scholarships, and Division III colleges and universities are not able to give out scholarships dependent on sports. Because of this set up, you are more likely to see the top of the talent of a sport at Division I colleges and universities.
How the Process Starts
The process typically starts with a college or university noticing your talent. With people with higher levels of talent, they are more likely to hear about these colleges and universities early on, but they usually start to reach out around junior year and beginning of senior year. The school typically sends a recruiter to talk to you and your family. Here, they attempt to inform and persuade you to go to their school. Then, they typically leave you a letter which details your terms with them. Once you sign that letter and commit to go, you are essentially bounded to that school in writing.
Signing day is a day that is eerily similar to the college application process. Just like how colleges and universities have early decision, early action, and regular decision deadlines, sports have their specialized days. For example, basketball will have a early signing period and a regular signing period, but regardless of the period, the process is still the same. You sign your letter of intent to commit to the college that you will be playing this sport for them.
Not Everyone’s Recruitment is Easy
Sometimes the college recruitment process isn’t about recruiters coming to athletes, sometimes it is about the athlete going to the recruiters themselves. Recruiters have missed out on a lot of talent over their career. Recruiters, themselves, know that there is talent out there they haven’t seen, and they give people the opportunity to shine by allowing them a chance to walk on. Walking on gives you a chance to show your worth and a shot at the team.
Overall, these are the basis of college recruitment. The process is very unique and different for everyone. If you understand these basics, then you’ll be able to navigate it. As every student-athlete says, enjoy the grind. Good luck!