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The Recruiting Ride This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Over the past year I have lived the full "recruiting experience." I received my first recruiting letter in the spring of my junior year, and received my last this past winter. There was nothing I could have done to prepare myself for the roller coaster ride I experienced.

I received letters from Division 1-A, 1-AA, 2 and 3 teams, all saying that I was a major recruit for their colleges. Of course, what they don't tell you is that your name is one of thousands put on their mailing lists, never seen by the coaches, never given a chance. I knew that playing for Michigan State, Boston College and Wake Forest was probably unrealistic and highly improbable, but the way the 1-AA coaches treated me was the hardest to swallow.

I received encouraging letters from almost every Division 1-AA team in New England, all saying they were very interested. They then requested I fill out questionnaires and send tapes. After they saw these, they all still seemed very interested. This is where I was thrown for a loop. Instead of thanking me for my interest and telling me there were no scholarships available, most led me on until December, leaving me with little time to recover. One school that I was leaning toward invited me to stay for an overnight official visit. I was pretty excited because the coach seemed very interested. He even got me in the school only two weeks after I had sent my application. Two days before the trip, the coach called and told me he couldn't "afford" to spend an official visit on me. He then told me he would contact me in two weeks, but didn't contact me for two months. Needless to say, I'm not going there.

Another coach had my family and I travel two and a half hours to tell me there were no scholarships available and then insulted me by hinting that he thought I couldn't get into the school. Both were sub .500 teams, one was 1-8, yet they both had the attitudes of national champions.

However not all the coaches who recruited me were arrogant. One came to my school to talk to me, and was up front with me, explaining all my options. He didn't lead me on and thus earned my respect. Sure, he didn't offer me a scholarship, but he made me feel like I was a good player. He should be the example for them all.

I understand completely that these recruiters are sometimes misled and misinformed about the" talent" of the recruits, but that is no excuse to lead players on. I almost was stuck without a college because I was led on so badly. These recruiters should understand that with their job comes the huge responsibility of handling the futures of young athletes. They should show some compassion because if it weren't for us, they would have no job. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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