Recruiting vs. Blue Chip?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Runner2020, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Runner2020

    Runner2020 Member

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    It's kind of a stupid question, but is there a difference between being recruited and blue chipped? I didn't think there was, but I've seen the term thrown around so many different ways I wanted to make sure.

    Also, I'm currently working towards (attempting) to be recruited for Cross Country. Would someone be able to walk me through that process? I understand it has a lot to do with the coaches and actively reaching out to the USAFA coach, but I'd love to hear individual stories about being recruited for athletics. Especially any about XC!

    Thanks! :smile:
     
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    There "can, sorta" be a difference but I'm not sure who would really know the "nuances" other than admissions and the coaches.

    I say this because I've worked "blue chip" recruited athletes in the past; I always know who they are as they are identified to the ALO. I've also worked with "recruited" athletes...coaches called them, they visited USAFA, etc..etc...but my system never listed them as "blue chip." I think it's a "grade" thing they come up with in "AH" (Athletics) to work with admissions (RRS).

    As for being recruited, the easiest way is to be a standout in your state/region, etc. After that...if your coach thinks you "have what it takes" they should be talking to the coaches...one thing: your ALO IS NOT AN NCAA authorized recruiter and won't discuss it with you. For us to do that could put YOUR eligibility in jeopardy and we won't do that.

    Hope this helps!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Flieger is correct. While the academies don't give "Scholarships" to athletes or even non-IC cadets, there are still NCAA rules concerning how potential athletes are recruited. Number of visits, contacts, window dates, etc... As an ALO, we can speak to any applicant at any time about the academy. But speaking directly about being "Recruited" to play a college sport is something we stay away from. We let the coaches do that so they can abide by all the NCAA rules.

    As for the difference between being a recruited and Blue Chip athlete, for the sake of argument, they are the exact same thing. In the "Real World", universities at the DI and DII level of sports, such as the air force academy, are allowed to offer athletic scholarships. DIII are not. Remember; the academy doesn't offer ANY SCHOLARSHIPS. When you attend the air force academy; you are IN THE MILITARY. Your job just happens to be "Student".

    Back to the recruited vs blue chip terminology. In the "Real World", the Blue Chip, for lack of a better term, is simply the recruited athlete that is such a stand out, that they are probably getting offers from a LOT OF SCHOOLS. Vs the recruited athlete that might be an athlete that the recruiters went out and found. Remember, there's a reason schools have recruiters for sports. Because the majority of athletes aren't the 5-star athlete that's being recruited by USC, LSU, UCLA, Notre Dame, etc. Both the recruited athlete and the blue chip is getting a scholarship. There are times however, because the NCAA says how many players can be on "Scholarship", that the school and athletic department will "Play the scholarship game". An example would be the University of Wyoming. As a Wyoming high school student, you can receive state funded scholarships. If the athletic department can get you this scholarship; even as a recruited athlete; they don't have to use one of the limited number of Athletic Scholarships they have. But the "Blue Chip", they will do whatever they have to to get them, because they are not only a recruited athlete, but nationally one of the "BEST of the BEST". Most schools are trying to recruit them.

    So, what does this mean for the academies. Not much. Blue Chip is simply a way to impress the recruit. Same with "Signing Day". In the "Real World", signing day is a legal commitment. If you sign to Michigan State, than that's who you have to go with; unless you want to sit out a year for changing your mind. At the academy, it doesn't matter if you're an athlete or traditional cadet. You can say yes and sign all the paperwork you have and still change your mind the day before going to the academy. As an athlete, you're not "Committed" to the academy until you actually attend the academy. But because the "Real World" colleges use terms like recruited athlete, blue chip, signing day, etc. the academy uses it too because it's familiar to the applicant and their family.

    As an example; my son received his appointment to the air force academy at the end of October 2007. The football coaches heard and read about him and they "Recruited" him to play football. They even called him a "Blue Chip". Mind you, he already had his appointment in his hand prior to the football coaches even talking to him. So athletics had absolutely nothing to do with his being given an appointment. So correlate it any way you'd like to. But there's no difference between a recruited athlete and a blue chip athlete as far as the academy is concerned. It's simply terminology to excite a 17-18 year old. Just like when signing day came at the high school and my son signed to play football at air force. It wasn't contractual. He could have changed his mind a week later and accepted one of the other schools that offered him scholarships. But signing day, recruited athlete, blue chip, etc. are used because that common terminology in the athletic world. Just like when your ALO or principal has the awards ceremony in the spring and recognizes individuals who received college scholarships. The ALO will say that the academy appointment is "EQUIVALENT" to receiving a $400,000+ scholarship. Because it's something the commoner understands.
     
  4. QBsdad

    QBsdad Member

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    ALOs correct me if I'm wrong but whether you refer to it as recruited or Blue Chipped, If your application is coded with an A then your application is supported by the athletic department and if accepted you are reserved a spot on the team that blue chipped you. According to pretty much every recruit we've spoken with, it does increase your value to the academy in the selection process.
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Here's the thing about academy Inter-Collegiate athletics. As I mentioned previously, you are NOT COMMITTED to playing for the academy. You can be a recruited athlete, blue chip, or whatever you want to call it. Maybe it even helped you get your appointment. Then, when basic training is all over and you're ready to start your new life at the academy, you choose to NOT PLAY IC sports. For whatever reason. Maybe you don't think you can do both sports and academics and maintain a satisfactory grade and decide just to do academics. That's cool. The academy isn't going to kick you out. A "Traditional" university with an Athletic Scholarship is different. If you choose not to play the sport, you lose your scholarship to the school. The academy doesn't have scholarships. You can change your mind and not play the sport and no harm no foul. You continue on as a regular cadet. Even if you decide this on Day-1.

    As for being on the team, the academy has "Recruited Athletes/Blue Chip" and they have "Walk-Ons". The difference is: The recruited athlete/blue chip does NOT HAVE TO TRY OUT. They are on the team. The walk on has to try out. So yes, there is a spot on the team for you if you are recruited/blue chip.

    Here's the caveat. (Of course there would be one). Because the academy DOES NOT OFFER Scholarships, they are free to "Recruit" as many players as they want to. E.g. The typical freshman class will have between 50-60 players on the team. Except for a handful, all freshman play on the JV team. I.e. they are playing against junior college and DII type schools. The D1 rosters however has NCAA rules on how many players can be on the team. As such, even though you are recruited/blue chip athlete and on the team that first year, you can easily be cut from the team. This is very common. Of the 50-60 freshman football players, about 15 will be gone during the first season; another 15 gone after spring training. By the time senior year comes, there may be about 15-20 seniors out of the 50-60 that were freshman and started on the team. Each sport is obviously different with the number of recruits/blue chip, number authorized on the team, etc.

    Bottom line: Yes, a recruited athlete/blue chip is guaranteed a slot on the team. But ONLY initially. They can be cut for whatever reason. But there are no scholarships, so there's nothing to lose. You simply become like the rest of the normal cadets. A traditional school you are on scholarship and they won't cut you unless you screw up. At the academy, you can quite the team or they can cut you because they purposely recruited too many hoping to get some really good athletes. Not having scholarships, the academy can do this.

    Remember..... Almost never does a 5-Star type athlete actually get recruited to play at air force or any academy. If they are truly a 5-star and TRUE BLUE CHIP ATHLETE, then they are getting offers from just about any other school in the country. They are probably looking at an athletic career after college. The academy is not the place to go. Mind you, all sports are different. If you're not football, basketball, baseball, or hockey; then there's probably not a big professional sports career after college. So it's possible to get some high caliber athletes at the academies. But again, the team can cut you at any time or you can quit the team at any time and simply be a regular cadet. No scholarship to lose.
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    P.S. There's no lying that D1 athletics like Football and Basketball are important to the academies. They bring in a lot of money. BUT..... The most important thing is the reason athletics is so important to the academies is because the academies and athletics have one MAJOR and MOST IMPORTANT THING IN COMMON.... They are both the ULTIMATE in TEAM-WORK. There is no other activity; be it marching band, work experience, etc. that gives you the team-work experience that team sports do. And because the military is 100% "Team Oriented", athletes have a natural disposition to fit into the military. That's why more than 90% of ALL APPLICANTS/CADETS at the academy have some varsity sports experience in high school. It's not because the academy wants every cadet to be a D1 IC athlete. It's because the individual has a lot of experience with team work at the highest level; and that's what the military is. Team Work at the highest level.
     
  7. QBsdad

    QBsdad Member

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    Well said. In all my years in the Air Force and you could always tell an academy officer. Playing football is an added bonus to getting accepted to USAFA for my DS.
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    One clarification. When I said 50-60 freshmen on the team, I was referring to football. There isn't 50-60 freshmen on the basketball or fencing teams.

    But the concept is still the same. You can decide against playing and you're still a cadet. The team can recruit many more than they will keep on the team and they may cut you from the team. You're still a cadet. A recruited/blue chip athlete simply means you "Don't have to try out". Doesn't mean you'll stay on the team. And yes, it may have assisted in your application and receiving an appointment. But for what it's worth, there are plenty of cadets who were also recruited athletes, they received an appointment even without athletics being a factor. Too many people still hold the stereotype that high school and college athletes are all "Dumb Jocks" barely holding a 2.0 gpa. The truth is; most of the academy's recruited athletes; e.g. football; were not at the prep school first and received an appointment with very good gpa's and ACT/SAT scores.
     
  9. Runner2020

    Runner2020 Member

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    Thank you all for the explanations! It makes a ton more sense now.

    I really appreciate it!


    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  10. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Correct. Only 17 of 22 varsity Basketball players and 69 of 189 varsity Football players are prepsters.
     
  11. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    17/22 is 77%...
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    One note: for many of the non-revenue sports, even the "recruited" athletes have a try-out period. Many things can change after BCT, and for sports which have a later season, sometimes even those blue-chipped athletes opt not to participate at the Div I level, especially after they realize the challenge of the academics combined with other duties, in addition to the stress of being a doolie.

    Also, even the recruited athletes go to BCT! it's not a picnic for them.
     
  13. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    I think that is a pretty high percentage and really shows the real purpose of the prep schools now, compared to the reason they were probably founded. If you take it a step further, you have to wonder what percentage of the "starters" or key players came through a prep school?
     
  14. shellz

    shellz Parent

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    Do prep offers come EA? Or are those who are being considered rolled over to RA for comparison to the other prep school contenders? Specifically in regards to non-revenue sports recruited athletes, if that makes any difference.
     
  15. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    USMAROTCfam: I don't think one can actually make that assumption (which sounded more like an accusation).

    And, while there may be DI athletes at the prep schools, those students will likely be prepared and ready to go in a year. It's not a slap in the face; prep schools are a "golden ticket."
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Remember, when an individual is first given ea status, their application until then is totally self reported. The academy doesn't know their real GPA, ranking, etc. Usually not even their act or sat scores. I know a lot of people want to think because they were status as EA that they had some edge, but that's simply not true. I have 10 applicants and all 10 were EA. Even a few who were initially disqualified on their application because their act and sat scores were too low.
     
  17. USMAROTCFamily

    USMAROTCFamily Member

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    I don't think it's an accusation, but an observation that some of us feel that the prep schools are designed to build stronger sports teams and give the athletes an extra year to prepare physically, as well as getting a better grasp on their team's programs, to help them excel on their future teams-like red-shirting. It appears (but I could be wrong, of course) that athletes are given preferential treatment to receive these "Golden Tickets." And I do realize that there are more than athletes that go to the prep school.
     
  18. pointguard

    pointguard Member

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    An addl take on the Blue Chip v Recruited IC athlete. It has been said to me that a Blue Chip athlete in certain sports, or maybe most, falls within the group of Recruits that the Head Coach gives the Golden Ticket into the Academy, all Admissions requirements met. The non-Blue Chip athletes, Recruited IC Athlete, while 'recruited', must get in on their own via the normal competitive admissions window. For example, a recruiting class in a certain sport is judged to annually be 12. 3-6 of those slots will be held for the top 'Blue Chip' recruits who will be Appointed, assuming meeting Standards, upon receipt of a Nomination. If a Nomination is not gotten, they will be given a 'pocket' Nomination via the Superintendent, or other Nominating body. The Blue Chip athlete is also not able to be Cut the first year in their sport, while the Recruited IC athlete does not have that guarantee. They are guaranteed a Uniform if they make the team, but not guaranteed playing time, which no one really is officially. Anyway, that is direct to our ears not only from USAFA, but the other 2 D1 SA's, fwiw.
     
  19. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Well, all I can say is that my son was a blue chip recruit at the academy for football; yet, he already had an appointment is hand before the coach called him and recruited him. Now, had my son not received an appointment in October, would being a blue chip had helped him? I don't know. Moot point being he already received the appointment prior to the high school football season being over and the academy football coach calling him up.

    And for what it's worth, it was the football coach who called my son a blue chip. There isn't any sort of paper stating that phrase. As I mentioned earlier, terms like blue chip, signing day, etc. do not mean the same thing for the academy as they do for traditional schools who recruit players. Signing day and calling a recruit blue chip is simply a way of letting the kid feel the same pomp and circumstance that traditional recruited athletes feel.
     
  20. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Yes, I never heard that phrase "blue chip"...

    and so what if the kids go to prep for a year? They bone up on academics or on study skills needed to become the best students/athletes/OFFICERS they can be. Their overall skills are noticed - they just need some enhancements. Perhaps similar to a kid who doesn't get the nom or apptmt on the first go 'round because he's weak in math or can't throw a basketball. A year at Local U takes care of it and poof - nom and appt in hand. and, s/he can (usually) participate in ROTC (not scholarship usually)

    What's the problem? That those young people at the prep schools don't pay? Is it an envy issue? They're not keeping YOU from a nom or an apptmt.
     

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