blue chip committed athlete reconsidering....

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by RobbieNavy94, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. RobbieNavy94

    RobbieNavy94 New Member

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    Hard hard choices! My nephew is a blue chip recruit at Navy, still loves the school, feels like he probably still wants to be at Navy, but is reconsidering his commitment to play varsity sports there. He knows that the responsible course of action is to think this through in a timely fashion and communicate with the Navy coach. He worries that the coach will be upset with him, particularly since he is a blue chip recruit and already has a Letter of Assurance. He KNOWS that the LOA is very special and he is lucky to have it. Does anybody have any advice? If the coach were really angry, could he somehow revoke the LOA? My nephew still isn't sure he really IS reconsidering - that is the kid in him -- but he has been raised to be honest and if he decides he can no longer keep his verbal commitment, then he will communicate this to the Navy coach and whatever happens, happens. I just want to help him have a more full picture of what the possible consequences are. We've never been on this forum before but I've been told that lots of experienced, helpful folks of all ages will reach out if we ask for guidance!
     
  2. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    I can't speak to what the "requirements" are for blue-chip athletes, so will defer to others on this point.

    However, it is not uncommon for a recruited athlete, once at USNA, to decide he/she no longer wants to play varsity sports. It's not like a civilian college where you are given a full scholarship in return for playing varsity sports, since everyone at USNA is "on scholarship," so to speak. I know of one who participated plebe year, hated it and quit. Then, 2/C year, the "bug" returned, the mid resumed the varsity sport and loved it.

    It's VERY hard to know what one will want to do once at USNA. It could be that your nephew changes his mind a dozen times between now and then or even after he arrives. Or even while there. If there comes a time when your nephew is very certain that he doesn't want to do a varsity sport, then he probably has a moral obligation to let the coach know. After all, he will have to tell the coach at some point. But, if he is simply having conflicting thoughts, I suggest he give it some time as his views may well change b/t now and PS/Ac Year.

    As for the LOA, to my knowledge, it won't be revoked for reasons other than personal conduct, drug/alcohol issues, failing senior year, etc. Moreover, your nephew may well have received an LOA without his athletic status -- many people do.

    As you know, an LOA still requires a nom. Being brutally honest, if your son is a blue-chip athlete in certain sports and doesn't secure a nom on his own, it is more likely that USNA would "find" one for him than if he's not a blue-chip athlete in certain sports. You can probably guess at most/all of the sports involved. However, with an LOA in hand, your nephew would have a great chance of securing a nom on his own anyway.

    Finally, make sure your nephew considers whether he really wants to be at USNA (you said he "probably" does). Separate question but even more important. If he does, then he should move forward just like every other candidate/mid who isn't a blue-chip athlete. If he doesn't, now is the time to move onto Plan B.
     
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  3. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    The LOA issued by USNA has specific criteria. If playing varsity sports is not on the criteria, I would find it difficult for USNA to not honor it. My DD's LOA guaranteed an offer of appointment if she met the remaining criteria which at the time included receiving a nomination and successful completion of DoDMERB.

    Your nephew should review the criteria his LOA stipulates. I would wager none of those criteria say anything about playing varsity sports.

    As USNA1985 says - there are many recruited athletes at USNA that make the decision not to play sports for a variety of reasons. As a USAFA grad, I never once heard of a coach being mad that an athlete at an SA decided other areas were more important than continuing with the sport.
     
  4. RobbieNavy94

    RobbieNavy94 New Member

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    usna1985, thanks for the long reply. My nephew's got a good head on his shoulders so I'm confident he will figure it out! He has loved Navy for years so I don't really know for sure what has gotten him questioning himself. Maybe this is just natural at this point - wanting to be sure. His greatest selling point for any college, including Navy, is his academics. I think he is worried that at Navy, varsity sports could get in the way of some of the most competitive academic opportunities. But I also think he has gotten a little curious about other schools too (like Ivy League schools or MIT, as examples), as he has grown more confident about his academic potential. Not that Navy isn't a GREAT stem school but it is different for sure, with a very different career path.
    I'm pleasantly surprised that you described a student/athlete at Navy who stopped playing varsity athletics for a year and then rejoined the team. That speaks very well of the flexibility of the coach involved!
     
  5. RobbieNavy94

    RobbieNavy94 New Member

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    You are correct - the LOA simply says that he needs to get a nomination. Yes, that is no easy feat! But that is the only remaining item.
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    It sounds like although your nephew is a blue chip his academics are top notch and stand on their own. Congrats to him. As long as he fulfills the requirements of the LOA he will be good to go.

    I was a blue chip basketballl player at USNA many moons ago. If USNA is where he wants to go he has no obligation to play that sport. I would tell your nephew to think this over long and hard and to give it a legit shot if he arrives on the yard. I would tell him to give it a shot because you only live once and you can't go back in time. If he gives it a legit shot and decides he would rather focus his time elsewhere then he can walk away with a clear heart and mind on it. Sure some coaches will open their arms to a player to come back, but I wouldn't count on that in every scenario. I had several team mates who were top of our class even as basketball players. They won several post grad scholarships to in life VGEP and other items. Plenty of athletes do extremely well at USNA academically.
     
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  7. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    Long day today, (forgive any ramblings) but I'll give it a whirl, fresh off first-hand experience :eek:

    Your nephew and his parents need to determine very carefully the chain of events, what was said, to determine if the Coach actual used a Chit or not. Or is it a true LOA?

    There are LOAs and then there are actual 'Chits' that are allocated and used by Coaching, depending on Sport. (both LOAs and Coaches Chits require a Nomination) After Nomination, USNA Admissions still requires that the kid with a Chit to be approved by Admissions, first. Obviously, the LOA was sent by Admissions.

    LOAs are used before the end of the year by USNA primarily to entice really great students who would otherwise go to Ivy Schools for example.

    Many Coaching Chits are used after December. Coaches Chits are very limited in number and are much more valuable than LOAs (from Coaching's point of view)

    Athletes who are 'Chitted' are very carefully vetted by SA Coaches. If the SA Coach can get a kid in without allocating one of his 'Chits', that is preferred. The Coach holds those chits close, wants to only use them when all other avenues are closed to get that kid. Every recruited athlete who gets a Chit is a gamble. Once the kid gets in the USNA , they are under no obligation to play D-1 sport for which they received a Chit. A Chitted Kid can decide to play a Club version of the D-1 sport, instead and leave the Team 'holding the bag'. The USNA doesn't pull the appointment.

    I know of a situation like that right now ( and no, its not my kid!).

    Your nephew may not have a problem at all if there is no Coaches Chit is involved.

    If the nephew just has an LOA, great ! Go get that Nomination after you inform the Coach.
     
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  8. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    What 'Hoops just posted is a great answer.
     
  9. RobbieNavy94

    RobbieNavy94 New Member

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    W

    What is a chit? Would the student/athlete know if he has a chit? All I know is that my nephew has an LOA. It says it on his online application portal. How could an LOA not be a "true LOA?" How might it be a problem if he does have a chit? If I understand you, that "chit" is used when/if the applicant needs it, is that right? So maybe getting an LOA this early suggests that he did not need a "chit?" This is all very different from anything I've ever heard of!

    Right now, there is nothing to tell the coach.
     
  10. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    He would know if he was Chitted.

    a "true LOA" = what you just posted - "It says it on his online application portal"


    Navy Hoops said it all in one sentence:

    "It sounds like although your nephew is a blue chip his academics are top notch and stand on their own. Congrats to him. As long as he fulfills the requirements of the LOA he will be good to go"


    Yes, your nephew has a 'true LOA', tell him congratulations !

    Be happy, this only gets better for him.

    He also won't have to log on and look at the USNA portal every day to see "complete, pending review" for another 5 months like my DS (and many others had to do) ;>
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    And just a heads up... USNA does recruit a lot of people. This is because the attrition rates are very high for teams. For example... football will generally start with around 60-75 Plebes each year. Senior day will be approximately 15-25 guys. I think last year they had 32 or so and that was much higher than they have had. If those 20-30 guys you might know 1/2-2/3 of them by name. The rest ride the pine and maybe barely dress for games. That is a lot of commitment to rarely see the playing field come game time. Basketball we started with anywhere from 8-12 and sometimes more recruits between NAPS and directs. Senior year is usually 2-5 seniors. Attrition this high is common among the majority of sports at USNA.
     
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  12. Milly

    Milly Member

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    Interesting thread! Could it be that the unusually high attrition at service academies is partially the RESULT of the over-recruiting? Service academy coaches expect high attrition so they recruit extra athletes, and those huge numbers show up and realize that they will likely never play and so they quit. The coaches are okay with this process because they plan for it. Hopefully, there aren't too many disappointed athletes who feel like they have lost their D1 dream. I'd imagine that there are differences across coaches in how much information is given to each recruit regarding factors that might enable the player to predict the probability that he will ever play in a real game (or even put on the uniform).
     
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  13. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Yes and no. Some teams use NAPS a lot and others don't. The sports tend to use it more... football, basketball, lacrosse, soccer. Doesn't mean others don't. USNA is also unique in a lot of kids try to walk on. I would say USNA is more open to walk ons than regular D1 schools. Many of the kids will join the team and realize D1 sports are a ton of work to go along with the glamor. There are other sports like crew that bring in recruits, yet are mostly made of walk ons. The other thing is with no scholarships teams don't have a hook with a scholarship to keep them. I think that benefits the athlete. Others walk because other things become more important. Also D1 sports are hard and time consuming, with that comes demands and frankly coaches feed their families based upon a bunch of 18-22 year olds performing. That pressure can make the sport less fun and some walk. Also with Plebe year it is very hard to predict which Plebes will thrive under the pressure and lack of sleep. Some thrive and some don't. USNA also has more sports for the size of school than almost any other university. For 4,000 kids they have 30+ teams plus club teams. Not bad for such a small school.
     
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  14. Just Dad

    Just Dad Member

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    Great advise in this thread: Absolutely Zero reason for your nephew to announce anything to the Coach IMO: (maybe when he knows for sure that he isn't gonna turn out). As Hoops says (or has said ----------- I think?). "recruting is business". The coach in question knows that some of the kids he's offered LOA's to will choose other schools and that others will attend the acadamy and drop out of his program.

    My daughter was recruited to USNA in her sport, she did worry some, as she weighed her options in the Ivy leauge, that attending the USNA would carry with it the obligation to continue in her sport whether she wanted to or not. She loves her sport at the USNA, but 2 months into her plebe year she understands that kids drop off teams all the time in favor of other sports or life as a "normal plebe" (if such a thing exists). Its not like the PAC12 or The Big10 where school is being paid for, your nephew is gonna pay for his school with 5years of service in the Navy. I think Navy coaches understand/accept better than most that success in school comes first.

    A couple of thoughts:
    1) Does your nephew understand that at the USNA not being on a team carries its own obligations. You gotta put in athletics time at USNA. If it isn't on a varsity team, it will be intramurals. Then there are other duties that varsity atheletes are excused from, or preform less than other Mids. DD says that some Mids see varsity atheletes as privelegded/pampered. Thats not the case as near as I can tell, a varsity athelete still has less free time than other Mids, but its not like every hour your nephew spends training is an hour that other Mids have to study --------- or play.
    2) I can only speak to what my daughter tells me, (Hoops might have something to add here), but DD says that "HER TEAM" provides a place on the YARD where she isn't a Plebe. It's a break from the strained-normal of being an underclassmen at USNA. When she is with the team she is a "team member"...period; plebedom is left at the door. DD values this a lot now, but not as much as she did during Plebe Summer.
    3) Last, has your nephew had a chance to spend some time with his would-be team mates? This is the part I like best! Service academy athelets are unlike any others I ran into during my DDs recuriting process. These kids aren't just athelets they are awesome well rounded driven, interesting people---(like your nephew). I'm as happy that DD has them as friends as I am proud that she competes for Navy, (I digress). By the time my DD finish high-school she'd had enough of "high-schoolish team mates". She traveled around on her "Officials" and met college girls who were more committed to the sport, but generally the same personalities she'd worked with in highschool....just better at the sport. My DD picked Navy in large part because of the team mates she met on her official, and the Mids she met on other visits. Kids who are up to the unique challange of varsity sports at the USNA are, (in my DD's experience), awesome people? She LOVES her team mates. Working along side them has re-invigorated DD's interest in, enjoyment of, her sport. If your nephew hasn't had some extended time with his would-be team mates, Mom & Dad ought to try to make that happen (it could save them $70K per year over the Ivys).

    Most of this is just hearsay comming from me, based on what my daughter and her roommates have told me. I'm sure others can speak more directly to these points if you are interested.

    Best of luck to your Nephew. Tell him not to stress for me--------- he has the world by the tale! and time to enjoy it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
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  15. socalfan

    socalfan Member

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    Agree wholeheartedly with this. Your nephew could be experiencing burnout from the sport, it makes sense to question if he wants to commit to play four more years after the kind of time/commitment it takes to get to that point. The best thing you said is that he's sure about attending USNA. My advice (for what it's worth) is to have him go in with an open mind and then decide. As Just Dad mentioned he will be required to participate in a sport or activity at some level anyway. The bond among a team can be invaluable. Although a D1 sport is an added pressure on an already demanding schedule. Unless he is 100% against playing I would not think its necessary to inform the coach, keep options open. If he is sure he won't play then yes that would be the honorable thing to do as the coaches are counting him as a potential player and not recruiting someone else. When my DS sat down with the HC of his sport one of the things mentioned was that if he decided to quit the sport he could remain. They are fully aware that not every recruit will stick with the sport for all four years in fact it almost felt like this line of discussion was aimed at seeing his reason for attending - was it JUST the sport or was he committed to the academy as well, those that are there for the sport probably are less likely to make it to graduation.

    To Murfs account of chits and LOA's...I think he's referring to why its called blue chip in the first place, a coach has a certain amount of spots he can basically say I want this one (assuming they are able to 3Q). This is a finite number. If they can get an athlete without all the better, some recruits they will want but not enough to use the chip/chit (have not heard it called chit before). What I will correct/add is this can and does indeed in many cases lead to an LOA, they are not mutually exclusive. This time last year we had an LOA.
     
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  16. Dial the gate

    Dial the gate Member

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    Such great information!

    I will add my son's experience as a comparison of the distinction between recruited athletes and blue chipped athletes. Son was being recruited in the spring, went on a CVW, got "dragged" by someone in his sport, met with the coaching staff, etc. Invited and went to summer camp. Coach was all about him; said, see you at Nationals. Son was being recruited by several Big 10, SEC and ACC schools; pressure got to him in front of all those coaches; his whole life, dreams and future flashing before his eyes and he bobbled. He gets a call from the Navy coach and is told that he will be unable to use his Blue Chip for my son (son's sport only has one for a boy and one for a girl), that he will use that one slot on a kid higher up on his list, but that he thinks son has a good packet and there is definitely a spot on the team for him if he gets in.

    As far as the "recruited athlete" designation goes versus being a "Blue Chip", and maybe NavyHoops and others can help me with this one, son was told by the coach that for the big revenue sports (football, basketball, etc) the candidate's file is flagged by the coach as an RA. At some point during each board, a rep from the recruiting dept presents the packet to the board. These are kids that are 3Q with noms, so they certainly have the merits to get in on their own, but for those big sports, they get an extra little wink. Son's sport is not one of those, so as the coach put it, son "is on his own."
     
  17. Just Dad

    Just Dad Member

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    I've been over this question some. My DD was recrutied by the USNA in a non-revenue sport. She thought she had an LOA ready to go but, as we were resolving a DONMERB issue we learned that an LOA had not been issued. That said, the USNA Coach involved was right on top of DD's application and appeared to be following through the review process pretty closely; re-assuring DD a couple of times that everything was tracking toward an appointment, to the point that the phone call from our Congress person about the appointment wasn't much of a surprize for DD. I've surmized that the Coach didn't see then need to spend an LOA on my DD, based on her interviews and application. That said, Coach clearly followed DD's file through the review process; so the "on his own" stuff is curious.

    Note: Hoops provided some great clarification on this stuff a couple of weeks ago. I will have a look, if I find the thread I will post it here.
     
  18. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    This type of situation is why the academies should select their incoming classes without regard to filling slots on teams. All the kids are athletes, and teams could be selected from the crop of deserving appointees.

    Would the teams be able to compete in division 1A? Maybe not. Some blue chips would still get in, but surely not as many. It would end any circumstances where a kid got the nod over another with similar or maybe even better stats, only to decide not to play. That wouldn't be fair.

    No one cheers harder for the academies than me, and I love these guys. But... to accept an appointment greased by a coach to fill a needed spot on a team, then renege, seems very wrong to me. (Accepting, trying, and not enjoying it, or not fitting in is another thing, and understandable.)

    I'm sure navy hoops and socal fan will disagree, but that's how I feel about it.
     
  19. socalfan

    socalfan Member

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    I disagree with the first part if we want to remain competitive. Leaders are made by all sorts of criteria, not just stats, class of 2020 has 72% varsity team captains, I guarantee they are not all blue chip but clearly something they are looking for in their future leaders. BUT I agree on the second point.
     
  20. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    'All kids are athletes'

    I would say most are very athletic, but a huge difference between a high school athlete and D1 athletes. I went to a small high school - quite easy to letter in varsity sports quite another to be considered for college sports.

    Academics are non standard depending on the school and the ACT/SAT scores are not always the best measure of academic success and the ACT/SAT prep courses can allow someone to gain a couple of points here or there considering how little distinction there is between the majority of those appointed.

    I would argue that the academic standards were manipulated years ago to get certain athletes into SAs, but I don't think that is true any longer. (My class actually had a kid go to Prep school for 2 years before he washed out after one semester).

    The admissions formula is not magic. The ability for an individual candidate to distinguish him/her self by being a D1 quality athlete that can help a team is not an unfair criteria for offering an appointment. (assuming they have the academic chops to succeed - which I argue they don't let anyone in nowadays that doesn't).

    I had a classmate that was actually drafted in the MLB draft coming out of high school. Baseball was his golden ticket into USAFA. He went to practice for 2 weeks, then told the coach he was there to become a combat pilot in the USAF and never went to another practice. The coach wished him great success in his goals and that was that. My classmate went on to a very distinguished 24 year military career as a leader and as a pilot that according to him was all based on his ability to hit a baseball better than virtually anyone else at age 17.
     

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