Next week will be an interesting one for those in softball who are involved with the topic of Early Recruiting.
The NCAA will bring the topic to the table in discussions taking place Monday through Wednesday (April 16-18) as the NCAA Division I Council and the Student-Athlete Experience Committee meet in Indianapolis.
At the NFCA Convention held last December in Las Vegas, the NFCA formulated a proposal which it then submitted to the NCAA requesting limits on Early Recruiting, specifically to ask that all recruiting contacts begin September 1 of a prospective recruit’s junior year and no earlier.
Modeled after the “Lacrosse Rule,” we at Extra Inning Softball are hearing talk that the proposal will be either be voted in, modified (some are pushing to make it Sept. 1 of a prospective student-athlete’s sophomore year) or pushed back to a later date to gather more info.
In a video released by the NFCA (see below), Tennessee Co-Head Coach Karen Weekly—who is President of the NFCA Board of Directors—says bluntly, “I think we can all agree the biggest problem facing college softball today is Early Recruiting.”
While many coaches feel that way—and the video features high-level coaches such as Carol Hutchins (Michigan), Jo Evans (Texas A&M) and athletes such as Jenna Lilley (Oregon, USA National Team)—there are many others, naturally, who feel differently at all levels.
Yesterday, we featured a mother of a high-level recruit who felt Early Recruiting was beneficial and many on the Extra Inning Softball Facebook page agreed.
It’s obviously a hot topic with varied opinions across the board and we decided to reach out to some top club coaches to get their opinions. Not surprisingly, the opinions ran the gamut from one side to the other.
We gave the club coaches the option of anonymity so they could speak more freely and some took advantage.
Here are a few of the comments we received from the club world; we will get provide more opinions and perspectives as the news of the legislation on this issue continues to evolve…