Sports Recruitment

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by forum_question, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. forum_question

    forum_question New Member

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    Hello!

    Just a quick question from a candidate of multiple academies! If one of the service academies recruits me, what type of commitment would that likely incur before I get a Letter of Assurance? If I were to accept, would that block off any chance of going to a different academy (obviously on the condition that I get accepted to both)?

    I don't mean to sound sure of my self or over confident, but I would like to be informed before I have to potentially make some big decisions!

    Thanks so much!
     
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  2. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    You should read the Plan B thread.

    Depends on how bad the coach wants you, you might get a LOA without any "commitment" from you. The coach could say something along the line that I want you to play for me so I will get you a LOA, would you commit to my school. If you say yes, that you just made a commitment.

    With a LOA, there is nothing to accept since it's a conditional offer - i.e. you will get an appointment if you complete your application, medically and physical qualified, and get a nomination. So getting an LOA from one SA won't affect you chances of getting an offer from a different academy. I am not 100% sure, but I am pretty sure SAs don't share information on who they accepted or given LOAs to. I have seen some candidates informing the other SA of appointment or LOA for another SA in an attempt to induce the other SA to act.

    The question you have to ask yourself is what kind of commitment are you making if you have a discussion with the coach before getting a LOA? If you believe you are not making a commitment, you don't have a big decision to make.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    When it comes to a LOA (Letter of Assurance), each academy is a little difference. For instance; Air Force "Normally" will only give a recruited athlete and LOA once their application is completed and their physical. They want to make sure you qualify. Army on the other hand, has given out LOA's before an individual even starts their application. They take their chances that the athlete isn't going to have a 2.1 gpa or a 13 ACT.

    Bottom line; an LOA (From ANY of the academies mean); "IF" you 1) Complete your application 100% 2) Are 100% qualified academically, physically, and medically and 3) You receive a nomination of any kind from a representative, senator, presidential, rotc, superintendent, etc. then you are "ASSURED" of receiving an appointment. If ANY of those things doesn't happen, they you WILL NOT receive the appointment. Basically, it's a CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENT.

    Now, you can receive an LOA from any/all of the academies. But once the 3 things above are completed; 100% completed; 100% qualified; and a nomination..... IF you are then given an APPOINTMENT, you can have OFFERS from ALL of the academies. However; the moment you say YES to ANY of them, you are from that point on, no longer able to say YES to any of the others.

    E.g. if you are offered an APPOINTMENT to West Point and Air Force, and you say YES to west point, the air force appointment will be taken back. You can't say yes to more than one. If you change your mind, there is no guarantee the one taken back will offer it to you again.

    An LOA on the other hand isn't binding in any way. All 5 academies can offer you an LOA. They are meaningless in that regard. Only when an appointment is offered, does that matter. And when you receive an appointment, you WILL have a deadline on it by which you MUST accept by. If you don't accept by the date given, the appointment is automatically rescinded and you'll probably lose it.
     
  4. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    I think the OP is asking about commitment in the context of a non-service academy, where you sign a letter of intent that is official. The service academies have different recruiting rules and tools than normal civilian colleges. I know first, they are allowed to start recruiting a year earlier to allow time for the extensive application process. Second, I do not believe there is an equivalent of the civilian school letter of intent. The service academies have LOAs to serve a similar purpose (which is basically to let the recruit know they have a spot so they don't go running off to another school) but because there are not SPORTS scholarships, the commitment is really just your personal commitment to a service academy. You can commit, get an LOA, and even an appointment, and then decide to go somewhere else.

    Source: my own recruiting experience from 2006-08 when I was recruited to play at USAFA
     
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Are you in a revenue sport? Things are different if you are planning to play football vs water polo.
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Something else to remember.

    With the academies, vs civilian schools, there are no "Real Commitments". You can say cool to the LOA; then say yes to an appointment; and sign all the paperwork; then the day before basic training, you could say: "Never mind; I'm going to UCLA and playing ball there". No problem. Even "SIGNING DAY" is just a "Feel Good" ceremony to provide something "Similar" to the recruit that other schools offer.

    Matter of fact, you could say YES to the LOA; say YES to the appointment; be a recruited athlete in football, basketball, baseball, water polo, or WHATEVER, get to basic training and say: "I really love this academy, school and military thing, BUT..... I don't want to play sports. I just want to be a normal cadet. You're still a cadet. You still get to stay at the academy and go 4 years and get commissioned, but you're no longer playing sports. You have absolutely NO COMMITMENT at all. And for the first 2 years at the academy, you aren't even committed to staying. You can change your mind and quit at any time in those first 2 years.

    At a traditional school, if you sign a letter of intent to play sports, you are committed. If you change your mind, there can be penalties where you CAN'T play for another team for at least 1 year. Same if you attend a school on a sports scholarship and play for a year or two and decide you want to change and go to another school. You have to sit out a year of sports. (This is to stop the high profile schools from going to a lower school that has a star player and steeling them away). Also, if you're a recruited athlete on scholarship at a traditional school and you decide to stop playing the sport, you will lose your scholarship and be kicked out of school. (Unless you have the money to stay there and pay for it yourself).

    The academies have nothing like this. You can change your mind after accepting the appointment and decide not to attend the academy. You can go to another school with no penalties. The only caveat with accepting an appointment to the academy, is that any other appointments offered by the other academies are automatically rescinded. You can't accept 2 appointments. Now, if you change your mind, can the 2nd academy re-offer you an appointment? Yes, it's possible. But it's unlikely. They have to have the full class appointments done months ahead. There probably won't be a spot for you. Unless of course you were a 5-Star #1 national draft pick. But if that's the case, you probably weren't looking at the academies. But again, you can change your mind any time. Or even get to the academy and not play sports at all and still remain a cadet.
     
  7. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    If the OP is asking about a letter of intent for signing purposes per the NCAA the SAs do not and can not honor them.

    Saying yes to one SA does not immediately result in an offer of appointment to other SAs immediately being withdrawn. Each SA has their own timeline and they are not interconnected. They do not share information and probably can't based on FERPA laws.
     
  8. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    [/QUOTE]Army on the other hand, has given out LOA's before an individual even starts their application. They take their chances that the athlete isn't going to have a 2.1 gpa or a 13 ACT.[/QUOTE]

    That is my big problem with recruited athletes being offered appointments before they have qualified academically.

    The acceptance of substandard recruits is why we see for example only: that 80% of the class of ××× ranked in the top 50% of their HS class. With the competition for spots at an academy, all of the appointees should be in the top 20% + or - of their class.

    In fact, I believe that all academy sports teams should be picked AFTER seeing who has been appointed. We wouldn't be division 1 anymore, but the kids that got in would have earned it. I understand that many athletes do qualify in every way, and those are the kids we should try to attract. No offense meant to anyone, but to leap over deserving kids because you're 6'4 and 250 lbs, isn't what I hope the academies are all about.
     
  9. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    I would at least like to think USMA coaches are aware of the athlete's academic credentials. It's not like coaches just watch a video one day and send the LOA the next. The recruiting process for all schools and sports is relatively thorough. The coaches have spoken to the athlete, their family, their coaches. And, as has been stated many times, the LOA is not an Appointment - qualifying academically could be one of the many items remaining on 'the list' which comes with the LOA.
     
  10. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    "Leap over deserving kids".

    Not sure I agree with this. This implies that the recruited athletes in question are not deserving.

    Here's how I believe this needs to be looked at.

    There are minimum standards to get into the academy. Even the recruited athletes in question meet those standards. So what you are saying is, that there shouldn't be minimum standards. Being the majority of applicants surpass the minimum standards, the academy should simply take the best applying. In theory, this sounds good, but how do you determine the best applying? The academy isn't just looking at gpa, test scores, and class ranking. They are looking at all around kids and a diverse class where cadets will grow into leaders by developing and benefitting from the diversity of their class.

    Would the academy benefit more from from a diverse class made up of the whole person, ranging from 3.2-4.0 gpa as well as a spread out test scores but a class made up of kids with a diverse background? Leadership, teamwork, various experiences, etc. Or, would you think it's better to just have those with the highest gpa and test scores. I'll take the 3.5 gpa, 28act score kid with a whole person background than the 4.0 gpa 36act brainiac only kid every day.

    The problem I see, is that the same problem you claim exists with athletes, could be used as an excuse for so many other applicants. Even non athletes. Minorities, kids from poor school districts where they don't have the same educational opportunities, kids who don't test well on standardized tests, etc.

    People think it's great if you excel in ROTC, cap, scouts, class officer, president of a club, etc. but for some reason, there's no merit if you spent the last 6+ years working hard and excelling in a sport. Too many people think sports don't bring any useful or meaningful attributes to a person's application or their contributions.

    When people realize that each activity can be excelled in, and those people should be considered, whether it's the best band member, best scout, best JrRotc member, best academia, best volunteer, best leaders, and best athletes,,,,,, then and only then will they realize the true purpose of an all around and well diverse cadet and leadership Corp.

    Assuming of course that all cadets met the standards to attend. And they have. It doesn't matter if they excel in academics or sports.
     
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  11. Milly

    Milly Member

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    I thought that the poster was asking about a "verbal commitment" rather than some service academy equivalent to signing a letter of intent. Other division 1 programs will treat a verbal commitment to a service academy just like any other verbal commitment. So when an athlete verbally commits to a service academy (which can happen VERY early in the high school years), other D1 programs will cease all communications with that athlete. You would have to de-commit from the service academy in order to resume communications with any other D1 program (or even any other D2 or D3 program too). I've no clue how the various coaches at the different service academy handle this, but my best guess is that they are looking at all the student's academic records that are available at that point in time and making a best guess at whether they will be eligible for admissions directly to the service academy or will go to, say, NAPS first.
    Also, I agree with other posters who have made the point that those who automatically assume that the athletes are not qualified on their own merits, or even that the highly recruited athlete shouldn't get any sort of advantage in the admissions process - all of this is short sighted, in my view. MANY athletes are also great leaders as well as great performers in the classroom, precisely due to the characteristics that made them successful athletes. They work hard, are driven, can handle adversity, hold themselves to a high standard, and work well in very difficult group circumstances, all of which are reliable predictors of success in plebe summer and throughout a military career. For a service academy coach, looking at an academically strong, high quality sports recruit - it's a no brainer to recruit them early and have some sort of tool to assure them that they will be admitted.
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    There's no need to decommit from a service academy, because there was no commitment in the first place. Even signing day is just a show to make recruited athletes feel part of the ceremony other schools have. Academies don't offer scholarships, so there's no commitment. That's also why they can "recruit" for a lack of a better word, 50 freshmen.
     
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  13. Milly

    Milly Member

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    I can tell you that this is incorrect - ANY verbal commitment to ANY D1 school is indeed a "verbal commitment" in the same sense that a verbal commitment means something to non-service academies. These commitments, being verbal, are non-binding, but they do indeed take the student/athlete out of the running at other schools. It would be a very bad idea for an athlete to verbally commit to a service academy yet continue behaving as though there were no commitment.
     
  14. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    there are many examples of people reneging on verbal commitments both athletes and coaches and schools
     
  15. Milly

    Milly Member

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    yes indeed individual athletes do back out of these verbal commitments. My point is that as long as the verbal commitment exists, the athlete should not communicate with coaches of other programs and the coaches of those other programs will not knowingly communicated with a verbally committed athlete. The athlete who has verbally committed - if he wants to back out, he must notify the first coach first. That's all.
     
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  16. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    I got news for you

    Coaches contact kids who have made verbal commitments elsewhere
     
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  17. Milly

    Milly Member

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    Me oh my such an attitude! Yes for sure, you are right. Yes, there are coaches and even players out there in this big world who behave badly. Nonetheless, it IS bad behavior. In terms of right and wrong, it is wrong for a high school athlete who has verbally committed to one school to engage in conversations with other coaches and it is wrong for the coaches to talk with those players knowing that they have verbally committed. Yes it happens. It is still wrong. Verbally committing is a public act, akin to giving one's word to follow through. Backing out of a commitment is different in that it is an acknowledgement that things change and people make mistakes.
     
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  18. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Are we talking "should", as in what would be nice? Or are we talking about legal. Until signing day, or earlier if a student athlete initiates a commitment, there is no commitment. "Legally". And as for the academy, that never exists. Just like if a kid backs out of a commitment because a "better" school offered them a scholarship, they could face having to sit a year and lose a year of eligibility. That doesn't apply with the academies. Because they don't offer scholarships.

    But it is true that in the recruiting process, the academies have to follow many NCAA rules that other schools must follow. Such as visits, contact, times, etc. As an ALO I know there was a fine line I didn't want to cross acting as an athletic recruiter for the coach because of such limitations. And ALOs don't cross that line.

    But whether a kid morally shouldn't speak to other schools after giving a verbal commitment or not, that's totally a moral issue. With the academies, it's not a legal issue. Hence, why a recruited athlete could be the #1 sought after athlete in the country, accept Air Force or another academy, and a week into basic training they decide they want to just be a cadet and not be involved in sports. The academy can't make them play the sport or lose their academy slot. Not like a traditional school can pull the individuals scholarship away.
     
  19. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American

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    You didn't read my post very well.

    And, I think you're wrong. My belief is that there are three sets of minimum standards that are never admitted or published. One for blue chip athletes, one for minority/diversity applicants, and one for regular applicants.

    As I said before and you overlooked, there are plenty of recruited athletes with stellar numbers that would get an offer regardless of whether they played college sports or not. The same goes for the other two groups. Plenty of deserving, qualified kids in those groups.

    Look at the published class stats. There are some low scoring kids admitted. I'm betting it's because they fill a need, either athletically or to fill a quota.

    As I said, it's just my opinion.
     
  20. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    No. I read and understood your post quite well. Where we differ, is that you believe certain things. Some without facts and some without understanding the whole story or big picture.

    For instance. You just now linked minority students and diversity together. That shows that your definition of diversity is limited to minorities. Race, ethnic, gender, etc. the old concept of affirmative action and the like. As you defined it, "to fill a quota".

    You don't seem to comprehend the notion that diversity can and does mean, to create and establish a cadet class and officer Corp that represents the enlisted Corp that they'll be leading, as well as representing the society for which they serve. Yes, this includes minority races, color, and gender, but it also includes the urban city kid, the ranch and farm kid, the single parent kid, the first generation to attend college kid, the kid who live a lot of their life overseas, the rich kid, the poor kid, the band geek, the computer nerd, the brainiac, the jock, etc. that's why the academy, ALOs, and MOC emphasizes the applicant to sell themselves on their uniqueness and even differences. This makeup is exactly what the enlisted Corp is made up of. This makeup is exactly what our country is made up of.

    The academy and I do not want a cadet class made up of only kids that were fortunate enough to attend a school where they were able to take every AP class or the IB program and get a 3.90+, a 34+ACT, and was also the valedictorian. We want the kid who had a graduating class of 50. The farm/ranch kid that helped on the farm 2 hours before and 3 hours after school. The kid who was into 4H. The suburbia kid who was in scouts and played sports. The inner city kid who helped raise his or her 3 siblings because mom and/or dad had to work more than one job to put food on the table. We want the kid who's parents immigrated here and they are the first to graduate high school let alone even considered college. And yes, we want the kids who excelled in their field of interest above their peers. Maybe they are the Eagle Scout. The Billy Mitchell awarded, the best musician in their schools band, the class president, or even the star football player.

    Every one of these cadets brings a level of diversity to the academy that the other cadets learn from. Different perspective on live. A Different understanding of what motivates others than themselves. This will make every cadet there a better leader for those enlisted who are just as equally diverse.

    You are free to believe that this goal of diversity means that different standards will be used to ensure the academy is able to bring in certain people. But I know first hand this isn't so. The standard is the same. It's just that most applicants far exceed the minimum standards. But I've also seen the highly recruited athlete not get an appointment because their act score or gpa was too low. I've seen the 4.0 gpa and 33+ act student not get accepted because they had absolutely nothing else on their resume that showed leadership, teamwork, or social involvement.

    In the end, the academy must ensure that those they appoint can make it through the academy. It does no good to recruit the super jock or the minority student under a different set of standards if the individual can't make it. It's a waste of time and money. Every student, including those you believe came in with lower standards, are taking all of the same core classes. Which include engineering and advanced math and science. Even the history major. When you look at the 1200 initially appointed, then take out the ones who quit and don't commit, and those for disciplinary reasons, you'll find very few who were let go because of academic reasons.

    I do understand what you wrote. Unfortunately, I believe your beliefs, as you put it, about different standards is simply unfounded. Just because most applicants exceed the obvious minimum standards, usually academic in nature, doesn't mean those who didn't come in at the top of their high school class didn't meet the standards. Everything about an applicant is scored. You get points for JrRotc just like you get points for band or sports. Of course, you are free to believe some get more points because they are a recruited athlete or minority. That's not something that we can prove here either way. But that's totally different than saying the individuals applying are applying under different standards depending on the color of their skin or whether they can play D1 sports.
     

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