Tag Archives: NCAA Lacrosse

“The Changing Climate Of College Recruiting” By Tom Kovic Of Victory Collegiate Consulting


The changing climate of college recruiting

By Tom Kovic

College athletics has changed dramatically over the past 20 years and coaches are under tremendous pressure to achieve two important goals: 1) Win and 2) Drive program revenue upward. The one directly affects the other. Alumni will enthusiastically support a winning team, but the opposite is also true. The changing climate of college athletics has had direct impact on the recruitment of prospective student-athletes and with that, a dramatic shift in organizing and managing student-athlete strategies in registering early and effectively on the radar of college coaches.

Recruitment is essential for college coaches to maximize future team advancement. This is achieved through active cultivation of strong relationships with high school and club coaches, prospects and their families. College coaches use many recruiting tools at their disposal, while abiding by strict NCAA rules and regulations.

Rewind
Twenty years ago, the majority of prospective student-athletes were simply “found” and the volume of identifiable athletes was very manageable. Nowadays and with the surge of private sport clubs, the college recruiting arena has grown to gothic proportions and with increased competitiveness.

Decades ago, college prospects could comfortably launch their recruiting effort during the junior year in high school. Now, and especially with the increased popularity of verbal offers of athletic scholarships and admission to select, non-scholarship college options, prospects need to kick start the recruiting process as early as the ninth grade.

Fast Forward
A good college coach will offer truthful and honest information regarding the university and the chances the prospect has as a potential team member and a scholarship athlete. He will work diligently to avoid gray areas, especially where it involves athletic scholarship and, in the case of non-scholarship schools, the prospects chances in Admissions. Through the use of skillful contacts, the college coach will attempt to cultivate a relationship that will hopefully result in matching a prospect with his or her institution in a mutually benefiting experience.

Likewise, a productive family effort will be well-planned and impeccably executed. It will involve a team approach that should consist of the following players: parents, prospect, high school/club coach, college advisor, guidance counselor and personal mentor. Each team player will have a specific role to play in order to ensure the prospect’s best chance in navigating the college search with success.

Advance goals should be set with clarity, purpose, and assist in the organizational structure of the recruiting process. The well-prepared approach will, in the end, have the best chance of achieving success.

The Verbal Offer
The verbal commitment is one where a Coach and a prospect agree there is a proper and mutual fit scholastically and athletically with the prospect and the institution. In many cases, there is an offer of athletic aid (scholarship), or in some cases, support by the Coach in admissions. The verbal commitment is a “gentleman’s agreement.” An old fashion handshake where both party’s offer their word to remain committed through either the signing of The National Letter of Intent or offer of admissions.

The verbal offer is “open ended” and a common question that prospects and parents have is “Can we back out of the agreement?” And the answer is yes. That said it is important to realize the flip side of the coin and although it is less likely, college coaches can back out of a verbal commitment, especially if the prospect shows a lack of progress on the field or in the classroom.

Tactical Approach
A knowledgeable consumer will have a clear edge over the general population in the pursuit of the attainment of any worthy product. I believe that the same holds true in the college search and that it is the obligation of the family to make every effort to make a commitment to accumulate pertinent information regarding this process and to execute well-designed plans.

Information is critical to the successful organization of any worthy project. Building a college recruiting information base can begin as early as the middle school years as a family hobby and increasingly grow into a highly organized, disciplined project by the beginning of the sophomore year in high school.

Begin by gathering information on potential college choices, including team and coach profiles, statistics, ranking, and academic standards. Continue to update and maintain selected e-files on your favorite college programs.

The college search for athletes has radically transformed during the past 20 years to a level where prospects need to maintain an accelerated pace with college coaches. It is a process that begins much earlier than most families realize and therefore a proactive approach to organizing early for the college search becomes essential in reaching your college goals.

College recruiting is both exciting and daunting. It requires a disciplined and yet flexible approach, especially when timelines get tight and situations become challenging. Active and regular communication is vital and the successful prospect will build mutually strong and respectful relationships with college coaches in an effort to identify and secure the ideal college match.

Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and the current director of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families in navigating the college recruiting process. For further information visit:  www.victoryrecruiting.com.

NCAA: ESPN Releases “2014 College Lacrosse Television Schedule” On ESPNU & ESPN3; 29 Men’s And 2 Women’s Regular-Season Games Featured


ESPN Lacrosse

The 2014 college lacrosse coverage across ESPNU and ESPN3 features a schedule of nationally-ranked programs and top-caliber games including 29 men’s and two women’s regular-season games, as well as the crowning of the ACC, America East and Ivy League tournament champions.
With the addition of Notre Dame and Syracuse to the Atlantic Coast Conference, the league currently boasts the top four teams in the nation – No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Syracuse, No. 3 North Carolina and No. 4 Notre Dame – providing the potential for many key matchups.
The regular-season starts Sunday, Feb. 9, with No. 7 Ohio State playing at No. 14 Johns Hopkins at 11:30 a.m. on ESPNU. The lead announcing team of Eamon McAnaney, Quint Kessenich and Paul Carcaterra will have the call of the game.

2014 ESPN Lacrosse Schedule 12014 ESPN Lacrosse Schedule 2

The men’s schedule includes 12 teams ranked in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook Top 20 and nine-of-16 teams that qualified for the 2013 NCAA Championship.

  • The schedule features four doubleheader Saturdays on ESPNU:
    • On March 15, No. 2 Syracuse at No. 14 Johns Hopkins at noon, followed by No. 3 North Carolina at No. 1 Duke at 2 p.m.
    • No. 4 Notre Dame at No. 2 Syracuse at noon and No. 3 North Carolina at No. 14 Johns Hopkins at 2 p.m. on March 29.
    • On April 5, No. 1 Duke at No. 4 Notre Dame at noon and No. 9 Virginia playing at No. 3 North Carolina at 3 p.m.
    • No. 6 Maryland at No. 14 Johns Hopkins at 2 p.m., followed by No. 3 North Carolina at No. 2 Syracuse on April 12.
  • A rematch of the 2013 NCAA Championship title game and the current top two teams in the nation – No. 2 Syracuse at No. 1 Duke – are set to square off on Sunday, March 23, at 12:30 p.m.
  • ESPNU will have the entire ACC Lacrosse Championship from PPL Park in Chester, Pa., airing the semifinals on Friday, April 25, at 5 & 7:30 p.m. and the title game on Sunday, April 27, at 1 p.m.
  • In addition, ESPNU is the home to the America East and Ivy League title games on Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, respectively.
  • The women’s slate of games includes two Johns Hopkins matchups on ESPNU: vs. Loyola on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 5 p.m. and vs. Ohio State on Saturday, April 26, at 2 p.m.

This season, the network’s telecasts will include a deep roster of experienced and knowledgeable lacrosse analysts: Ryan Boyle (Four-time All-American at Princeton), Carcaterra (All-American at Syracuse and a member of 1995 National Championship team), Mark Dixon (former Johns Hopkins midfielder), Ryan Flanagan (All-American defenseman at UNC), Kessenich (Four-time All-American at Johns Hopkins) and Matt Ward (former Virginia attackman and 2006 Tewaaraton winner). Play-by-play announcers include: ESPNU’s Anish Shroff, Joe Beninati (Bowdoin College goalie), Mike Corey, Booker Corrigan and McAnaney (Notre Dame defenseman). Courtney Martinez-Connor (Four-time NCAA Championship at Maryland) will handle analysis of the women’s games.

All games will be accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on Apple TV to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.