Sports Coded Athlete

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Fishoutofwater, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater New Member

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    Hi all. This is our first go at the SA's. Daunting! My son is a D1 recruited athlete. He has several colleges interested in him and his goal is to sign his Letter of Intent during the November signing period. That being said, with regards to gaining admittance to the Naval Academy as well as this nomination process, I have a couple questions....

    1. He has spoken to the NA coach and they have "sports coded" his preliminary application and through conversations, plan on "walking" his application through the process. But, they encouraged him to secure a nomination. Does anyone have information/experiences where they told a coach they wanted to commit before the nomination process was even complete and the coach got their DS a nomination?

    2. When submitting a nomination application, has anyone sent it in early during the summer and heard before the deadlines?

    My son is eager to make a decision, put it to bed and concentrate on his senior year. However, after speaking with the Navy coach, he is very interested in the academy as well. There is a popular website for my DS's sport that posts commits. There is a commit listed to the Air Force (4/29) and several to West Point (4/5, 6/8, 6/9) so I'm curious how these commits could come about if the nomination application process as well as the admittance application process is so intense and labored and didn't really start until April.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I am a graduate of USNA and was a basketball player. I was what was considered a "Blue chip" athlete.

    1. There is no official commitment as in a Letter of Intent to play at SA. Sometimes athletes will go through a ceremony to sign one, but it is ceremonial in nature, there is no official LOI like other schools. So the process is different than a regular college. This is why USNA does not release names of athletes until I Day. The names you are seeing are from unofficial sites, not from the school itself. On I Day you will see the athletic departments release a list of football/basketball/any sport list with the recruiting class for 2019. This is because there is no National LOI for SAs. What you are seeing with the commit dates are top recruits that the coaches are using a "blue chip" spot for. These young men who you are seeing with commitment dates have not been admitted. To be honest, some will not end up there and some will end up at the Prep School too. The coaches know their stats and have a good idea if these young men can or will be admitted.

    Yes coaches can tag an athlete as a recruit. Depending on the sport he plays this can mean many things. Coaches generally have so many "blue chip" spots. To be honest some sports have very few/almost none and others have many, so what sport he plays is a factor. Also depending on the strength of your DS's application can also play into things. For instance if a coach has 5 recruits for the year, he is going to have them ranked based upon whatever method they use. They will also know what athletes are borderline admittance, those tagged for NAPS or those that can essentially get in on their own because their application is top notch. If a coach has 5 recruits he may only have 1 or 2 blue chip spots.... essentially spots that he can use to help get an athlete in. These are obviously controversial in nature, but I am just telling you the process, not if these are right or wrong.

    You DS will be required to be 3Q to gain admittance... Academics, Medical and Fitness, regardless of recruit or not. He will need a nomination also. So if your DS is a good enough athlete, yes he may end doing one of these "verbal commits." They may even give him a Letter of Assurance (LOA), that says if he does X, Y and Z he will be admitted. But he will still have to go to the admissions board. As with all recruiting coaches give a lot of lines, some more than others. I always tell those in the recruiting world, trust but verify anything and everything that is promised, especially when done verbally.

    2. MOC noms are outside USNA control. These are run by each MOC and they have their own timelines. MOCs are required to submit by 1/31. Some submit earlier, others don't. This is how LOAs help to essentially "ensure a spot' prior to a Nom. There are also Superintendent Noms and some athletic teams do get a few of these. Essentially a coach can use one of these for an athlete, but they encourage you to obtain one on their own because it allows them more flexibility, more recruits, etc. This is what it means when a coach "finds them a nom." As I said before, trust but verify. Coaches can promise the world to tons of kids, but in all honesty only the coaches know which ones are the recruits they really want. This goes for any school, not just USNA.

    Just one note for your DS. Being an athlete at USNA is amazing, but also extremely hard. Yes there are perks, but there are also downsides. Also realize that because USNA does not have scholarships and they have a prep school, often recruiting classes are huge. The football team can easily start with 80-100 freshmen. By the time they get to senior year there is usually 25-30. Even of those 30 seniors you might have seen half of them play. Heck some of them have suited up for maybe 1 game a year prior to senior day. That is a huge amount of work to not make the travel squad. As you can see the attrition rate is huge. This goes for a great majority of the sports at USNA. Many give it up to concentrate on school or they don't want to put the time in. For most, its a realization of their athletic abilities not being good enough to get quality playing time. I hope this makes sense. Feel free to ask additional questions and I can clarify.
     
  3. MammaMia

    MammaMia Member

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    Fish,

    Welcome to the fun world of service academy athletic recruiting! To answer your questions...

    1. We were told by a coach that if a recruit is highly-enough desired (which I understood to be one of the very top few in the country), the Academy would "find" a nomination for them if they couldn't get one on their own. However, athletes must still apply for all nominations possible and if they don't secure one through normal channels, there really is no guarantee that they will get one straight from the Academy. In this case "encouraged to secure a nomination" means "apply to every nomination source you have, and give it everything." There are at least 4 sources: MOC, 2 Senators, VP.

    2. Your son will have to wait for the nomination deadline to pass before hearing. There's really no way around it. Service academy appointments are highly sought after, and hundreds or thousands of great candidates apply for each one in competitive states. If you are from a state that doesn't send many kids to USNA, then you may have more certainty sooner.

    Note: Service academy athletes do not sign letters of intent since they don't aren't accepting athletic scholarships. Juniors in DS's sport who posted commitments last spring (2014) were taking a chance - they made verbal commitments made before the very complex admissions process was even started.

    While the prospect of playing a sport for a service academy is indeed enticing, there is so much involved in the admissions side of it than with other D-1 schools. If your son's goal is to have things locked up early, the SA path may not provide the certainty he seeks.

    (My DS was also recruited by a bunch of schools but ultimately decided he wanted to attend USNA even if he couldn't play, and turned down D-1 offers. He will be trying to walk on to the team during plebe summer.)

    Lots of info is available on these forums - good luck and keep asking questions.
     
  4. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    After reading the previous 2 comments, please realize that you don't go to a SA to play sports, you go to become an officer.
    If, as Navyhoops states, your son doesn't play as much as he wants to, will that affect his decision to stay?
     
  5. time2

    time2 Member

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    ^^^ I agree. It is first of all important to remember that attending a SA and the associated military commitment is unlike any civilian college. Many h.s. athletes play sports in college on a scholarship as a way to help pay for their education. While there is nothing wrong with that, D1 sports are NOT the main focus of a SA. Since there is no 'tuition' in the traditional sense, playing varsity sports isn't about paying the bills and is something you can choose to do IN ADDITION to all of the regular demands on one's time while at a SA. Don't know (and you don't need to tell us) which sport your son plays, but if he is good enough to eventually turn pro and making that his career, he needs to understand what he is committing for. He will need to serve at least 5 yrs of active duty BEFORE being able to pursue his pro sports career.

    Even many who think they are good enough to turn pro, find out that the college level competition is FAR greater then in h.s. and many of their peers are as good, if not better than they are. It is impossible to speculate how someone's sports career will progress in college. Will he be happy as a 'benchwarmer' and still be interested in a military career? Be careful of promises made during recruiting. Part of the reason for LOA's is to not lose desirable candidates to civilian colleges since the SA application process takes longer. Do not depend on them 'finding' you a NOM (which is really a separate part of the application process). Each MOC runs their own NOM process and these generally take place in the October/November timeframe.

    The thought process should be first about wanting to become a military office. If not, then there are probably many other civilian colleges more suited to his interests.
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Yes, your DS should have an interest of being an officer and wanting to serve. I am not naive to think every Mid or Cadet in a SA is not there for other reasons. I am a believer that many come to SAs for a variety of reasons, but they stay because they want to serve and lead. Some come because its free, others to play sports, some because mom and dad made them. Wanting to serve and lead does have to be near the top of the list. As they spend more time there and realize what they are there for, this list of why starts to change. If they don't have a desire to lead and serve at the very top, then they tend to self remove from USNA.

    If he doesn't want to lead and serve, then yes, he does need to look elsewhere. Being an athlete at a D1 school, being an athlete at a SA playing a D1 sport, is even harder. He needs to consider if he gets hurt, walks away from it or he even gets cut, is USNA where he wants to be? Athletics at a SA is a different beast than elsewhere. Its not like being at State U where he has a scholarship. The good part is he can walk away and life continues on, there is no bill like there would be at other schools to stay. Since a SA does not have a scholarship caps and they have a prep school, USNA brings in huge recruiting classes compared to other schools. Really look at the attrition rates of what they start with and finish with. Basketball wise I would say we normally finished with around 1/3 of what we started with. I think football is pretty close to this too. Plebe year from an athletic perspective is tough also. You are exhausted and stressed and that doesn't always translate over to a great performance on the field. Official recruiting visits are key for your DS, take them and really evaluate what feels right to him. As someone who has gone through the recruiting process, trust but verify everything. Coaches are going to sell you lines that can put used car salesman to shame. Ask the hard questions not only to the coaches, but to other players too. A coach might dance around attrition numbers where a current player may outright just say, "Hey we started with 10 and are now at 4." I am totally biased as I think being an athlete at a SA is the greatest thing ever, but its not for everyone. I wanted to serve and so it was a great fit for me. He has to find the right fit for him.
     
  7. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater New Member

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    First of all, I can't thank everyone enough for their informative input. It is invaluable to me since this is our first go around. Many good points were made and I think a more candid discussion needs to be had with our DS to gain some perspective. What I do know is that he is a good student and he is still passionate about his sport and would like to continue competing in college. There is no "pros" for him, so once college is over, so is the sport. Like all Division 1 athletes, he has dedicated his life to what he loves and by God's grace he is getting recognition for it. An SA wasn't even in his radar until he was recruited by the coach. He did the research and once he realized how competitive it was to get in, learned of the opportunities graduating from an SA has to offer and learned about life as a military officer, he started to consider it.

    To me, based upon what I've learned and what has been reinforced on this thread, it seems highly unlikely DS will sign a letter of intent in November if an SA is his track. In addition, we could be in jeopardy of putting off several D1 coaches by "stalling" to see what happens with a Nom that could never materialize. I will never dissuade DS's decisions either way but I'm a little leery of what lies ahead in this process. As a supportive mom, I will help him through the maze of steps to apply for all things necessary for admittance but will proceed with care.

    We will be visiting campus next week which I understand is magnificent. In the meantime, I plan on encouraging DS to continue to research the pro's and con's of an SA so that he can try to be completely informed when he needs to make a decision as well as gain as much information as we can from the coach.

    Thanks again to everyone who spent time offering some insight. It is greatly appreciated. To be continued.....
     
  8. Ishibashi

    Ishibashi Member

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    NavyHoops (or anyone else who might have some insight),

    How do athletes handle the uncertainty of getting into an SA when they are being offered scholarship opportunities from other D1 schools but are asked to verbally commit?

    Our daughter is about to go into her senior year, and it is already pretty late for her sport (softball). She has been offered several good scholarships but we are uncertain what to say. For many (if not all), we are pretty certain that if she says she is holding out for an SA appointment the coaches will move on. We understand that a verbal commitment is not binding, but feel strange about not saying anything.

    Any thoughts/suggestions?

    Thank you
     
  9. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Now there is the hardest question to answer. It was one I also struggled with. I had many offers from Ivies and other D1 schools. Luckily the Ivies, like SAs do not use official LOIs and they were my back up option, so that helped relieve some of the pressure. I totally understand the pressure you are facing. I am actually not sure on the specifics of signing an LOI for one school and being released. Best best is to contact the LOI website or NCAA for better guidance. I believe there is a stipulation that unconditional releases are granted for service in the Armed Forces, not sure if a SA falls in that category. Yes it is active duty service technically, but it is college with D1 programs, so not sure how that is treated.

    The penalty I believe if one backs out of an LOI is to sit one year unless a school offers a full unconditional release (you have to request this). You mention your daughter plays softball, since USNA does not have an NCAA softball team, does she intend to play another sport at USNA? Would this sitting a year have an impact? If it doesn't, it is something to think about. These scenarios are tough as you have big pressure from coaches, but you know where she wants to go, but want to honor commitments.The LOI website and NCAA are your best bets for an 'official' answer.
     
  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    When is the softball signing period? And yes, verbal commitments are non-binding. How to handle this is completely up to you guys. Legally there is nothing binding. Some will say be up front, others will say keep quiet, give your verbal to the #2 and the SA is none of their business. Totally your call. As someone who has now lived through this process and my playing days are well behind my opinion has changed on this. Back in the day I did the upstanding thing and was very up front. Now that I have lived the cut throat world of D1 sports, I say cover your butt. Coaches are covering theirs, it's only fair an athlete does the same. The real pressure is if her signing period ends prior to her getting an appointment, that is why that date is so important.
     
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Ok, was curious and looked up the dates. 4/13/2016 is the start of the signing period for softball. It's not 100% but your daughter should have an answer on her appointment by then. Like I said, it's not guaranteed she will, but it's a decent likelihood. Also, if she doesn't have an answer by then she can sit on the paperwork a week or two until she does.

    The verbal part is tough. The pressure is great. Do what is best for her and the family. Lots of athletes change verbals, it's actually getting more popular, especially sports with early signing periods. Coaching staffs change, kids change their minds too. I would never tell anyone which way to handle this, just throwing out suggestions and the rules, only your daughter and your family can make this decision.
     
  12. Ishibashi

    Ishibashi Member

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    Thank you for your responses. Extremely helpful.

    She is looking at USMA or USCGA (the only two with softball programs), but after reading a lot of your posts I realized that you might have the best insight so I posted the question here.

    As you said, I think we will know by the time she would have to sign an NLI so I think we are good there. We were just concerned about the verbal commitment part.

    Most of our friends that didn't play college sports are telling us to be upfront with the coaches; every one of our friends who did play college sports are telling us not to say anything. Like you, they all realize how cutthroat it is, and are telling us that since the SAs are far from certain, we would be crazy to lose the scholarship opportunity.

    Thank you again for taking the time to answer my question.
     
  13. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Good luck to your daughter. Those of us who played D1 sports learn the reality after 4 years. It is a cut throat world, that can leave athletes in tough spots if they don't watch out for themselves. I was up front in the process. To be honest it was mostly because I was naive and Princeton ended up being my #2 so I sort of knew I was ok. Bottom line, do what is best for you and your DD.
     
  14. ahs67

    ahs67 Member

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    My 3/c son was a recruited athlete who received his appointment to USNA in late October. As he was undecided at that point, he preferred not to reveal that information to other coaches as he considered his options. Although I initially disagreed with him, I came to see how cut-throat the process and some of these coaches were. He wanted to explore his opportunities on his terms, and not have to answer questions about who else he was speaking to. He was also upfront with coaches about that.
     
  15. EVDfootball

    EVDfootball Member

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    How hard is it for me to play football at navy. I started application and almost halfway done. I am 67 inches and weigh 168lbs. I was Jv football captain, I have a bunch of awards and accolades. I play linebacker, running back, cornerback, punt returner, kick returner. I do it all basically i was on varsity junior year, and I will again start senior year. My strength is unmatched, even the lineman sometimes are jealous. I squat 585, deadlift 525, power clean 185( the only one I don't reach two plates) , and I bench 315 but that's not my max. I say that because I can do 10 reps, and the coaches don't let k go over so I don't overtrain. If this wasn't the case, I could probably bench 425.
     
  16. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    EVDfootball, its hard. As you know Navy is a solid D1 school. Are you being recruited to play football at other schools? Do you think its realistic that you will walk on and play at the D1 level? Navy isn't your typical football school, but they have a solid program. USNA typically brings in 30-40 direct admit football recruits with another 30-40 from NAPS. Usually only about 1/3 end up playing 4 years. And probably only half of those end up seeing significant or meaningful playing time. All the weight lifting is great, but D1 skill is what is really needed. With your size you would definitely have a much better chance at trying out and making the lightweight team. Recommend you do some google searches and check out the Navy Sports website and see what the lightweight team is all about. Take a look at some of the current Midshipmen and their accolades.
     
  17. bandad

    bandad Member

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    Ishibashi - we heard a Mid Parent say that USNA may move/is moving from club softball to D1 softball next year. You may want to ask someone in the know.

    Navyhoops - Is there another nomination source for D1 recruits (besides 2 senator, us rep and VP)? And I am not talking about a Presidential Nom. Are there some Supe or Dant nominations that can be given to some athletes?
     
  18. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Yes there are Supt Noms. I believe they are capped at 50. Can a BGO verify that number? These Noms can be used in a variety of ways. Often times they are used for highly (water walker types) qualified applicants and athletes. Remember that USNA has 30 D1 sports. So its not like they are handing these things out like candy. This is why USNA always tells LOA recipients, athletes, etc to apply to all nomination sources. USNA might work hard to "find" noms for some people, but there just aren't alot out there to "find."

    I don't believe softball is headed to D1 and from the research I found, it didn't appear it is. Maybe I am wrong!
     
  19. bandad

    bandad Member

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    Thanks Navy Hoops and I always appreciate your thoughts.
     
  20. EVDfootball

    EVDfootball Member

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    Navy hoops, thanks. I have a lot of "skill" I have been selected to a bunch of combines. Junior year on offense I ran for 1,978 yards and 41 touchdowns. On defense, racked up 67 tackles, I don't remember how many touchdowns. O and the way my coach sent a nomination for the Semper fi bowl game, and the U.S. Army all American bowl.
     

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