College Recruiting and High School Sports Beat

I’m still struggling to define a specific area within the recruiting field that I’d like to focus on. Academics and how athletes qualify (and how schools alter entrance requirements) intrigues me, as do some of the mysterious subplots (tactics schools use – some honest, some not, though I’m not sure how much I could learn about that on the record). Talking to athletes and learning what they truly look for could make for an interesting story. Also: finances of high school sports, high school recruiting, and even how scholarships work for non-revenue sports.

Recruiting is the lifeblood of college athletics and is a year-round issue, no matter the sport. There are plenty of gray areas within recruiting when it comes to how coaches contact recruits and how they convince teenagers to play for their school. Controversy always hovers over the topic, from impermissible benefits to academic loopholes.

My intended audience already is fairly well-established: it’s the people who read Rivals, Scout, 247Sports and ESPN RecruitingNation, the people who follow the ‘meat market’ closely. There’s a broader audience here, too, as I’d like to reach those who care about academics, compliance and NCAA rules and regulations.

I don’t know if there’s one single person I need to meet or talk to because there isn’t a singular expert in the field. Kipp Adams, Mike Farrell, Jeremy Crabtree, and Chad Simmons would be good places to start with football recruiting; John Infante (Bylaw Blog) knows plenty about NCAA compliance; and local high school coaches would be nice sources to get information on their experiences in dealing with the process.

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One comment

  1. One specific thing you might take as a focal area would be how college coaches recruit, and how they develop relationships with recruits. If you’re following the Bylaw Blog, you’re certainly aware of how this is going to change with the deregulation of contact. But I had a long conversation about recruiting with a (male) assistant coach for the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team, and he told me how much he’d had to study up on prom dresses to make connections with recruits. How much do you invest in building these kinds of relationships? How much of it is genuine? And what is it going to mean when you can blow up their phones, Facebook profiles etc?

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