DD found her dream school and went for it: SUCCESS STORY!

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Jul 31, 2015
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DD is a 2022 C/1B. She has played for A-level TB teams for the past 3 years (the ones before that were probably B teams in hindsight). Before COVID hit, she had her eye firmly on a mid-major DI school here in the South (highly-touted liberal arts university). She has been in contact throughout 2020 and it was apparent that they had interest in her, but had been really ham-strung by COVID, the extra year of eligibility, etc...

I was concerned about all of this and encouraged her not to put all her eggs in one basket and to look more widely. She began focusing on some AWESOME schools in the NE (mostly NESCAC) and have received a lot of interest from one of them. Honestly, though, we were concerned about the cost. I wrote about it in another thread, but we won't qualify for needs-based money and those schools give no merit money.

Well, she had had a smaller DIII liberal arts school in the South on her list, but hadn't been pursuing it very hard. She had a conversation with the Coach back in the fall and it sounded hopeful. The only issue that was a turn-off was that the team, frankly, is not great. Their record is pretty bad. BUT, he told her that she would undoubtedly play almost all of the time, as he keeps his roster small (16-19). He also said she might even get to play her secondary position when not catching. She took that in and moved on.

Fast-forward to last weekend. On kind of a whim, DH and I drove with DD up to this school to take a look around (2.5 hour drive). Students have not returned to campus yet, but we just explored. The campus is absolutely drop-jaw gorgeous and resembles Oxford in England. We found the softball field and DD loved it. We went to lunch off-campus and DD was typing away on her phone. She said she had emailed the Coach and I asked to see what she wrote. Imagine my shock when I see that she has written, "I'm here on campus and I am in love. I want to be a part of the school and will do whatever it takes. I would love to discuss committing to [the school] with you if that is an option." Not ten minutes later, Coach calls and offers her a spot!

I know it's DIII and it's not technically the same as a verbal commitment in DI. But we believe it's perfect for DD. STELLAR academics, small and close-knit community, and the ability to be serious about softball but also have enough time for studies and a social life. DD is over the moon happy. It would appear that putting it out there the way she did in that email really did the trick (of course don't do that unless you mean it!).

Can't wait to watch DD play without the stress of worrying about recruiting from here forward.

Stunning story, congratulations!

But one correction: "it's DIII and....we believe it's perfect for DD." 👏👏👏🎈🎈🎈💖💖💖 🎆🎆🎆🥎🥎🥎
Excellent choice!
 
Dec 2, 2013
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Texas
So how do you go about making that request? I would be very fearful as a parent that the offer would go away, especially if the coach changes. Would not want to offend the coach, but at the same time, if your making an offer, put it in writing.

Coaches will not give anything official in writing until Letter of Intent is delivered. That's the only thing that is official and binding.
DD verballed during the fall of her Jr year to a D3. Less than 1 week later the coach calls her to let her know that he is stepping down and moving on to another coaching gig in the Big 12. New Interim coach comes in and TB coach had a long time relationship with her which helped. DD made sure to keep in touch with new coach, attended winter camp, chatted with coach after games, kept her updated. That coach did not get the coaching position. 3rd coach comes and DD has to start over. He is still there.
 

Vertigo

Jersey Girl
May 27, 2013
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Yay!!! Congratulations to you and your dd!!! This is such an exciting time for you both! So glad to hear that she found a home. Such a great story and kudos to your dd for reaching out to the coach that same day!
 
Nov 18, 2013
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Being new to this whole recruiting thing, my understanding is verbal commitments from both Players and Coaches are non-binding? How excited should you be when a coach makes a verbal offer like that? I do contracts for a living and usually do not celebrate till the ink is dry on the paper. Just asking because I am not sure.

While verbal commitments are non binding there’s every reason for players and parents to enter into them and be excited about it. Coaches and colleges don’t want a reputation of continuously breaking their verbals. It would cause other top recruits to look elsewhere. Daughters school went through three coaches while she was there. The new coaches all honored the verbal commitments from the previous coach.

I often hear people talking down verbals or claiming anyone can say they’re verballed. These are usually jealous parents whose kids didn’t get similar offers. There’s several web sites that track verbal commitments. Somebody would really look like a clown if they claimed their kid is verballed when they’re not.
Entering into a verbal commitment at any level is a big deal.
 
Jul 29, 2016
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So how do you go about making that request? I would be very fearful as a parent that the offer would go away, especially if the coach changes. Would not want to offend the coach, but at the same time, if your making an offer, put it in writing.

If you do contracts for a living, you know that minors don't have the legal capacity to enter into binding contracts. Even if there was something in writing that you could point to as indicating offer, acceptance and consideration, you'd have to get into all sorts of sticky legal concepts to create a document that would be binding on both parties. As a general rule, I think the coach's credibility with recruits and parents is enough to create a strong incentive to honor a verbal commitment.

And at the end of the day, do we really want contracts binding 16- or 17-year-olds, especially when so much can change over the course of a year (or more). What if the kid can't get admitted or can't afford to go to the school? What if the coach leaves? What if there's an NCAA investigation or eligibility question? Or, God forbid, you might find out the school has perverts on staff (e.g. the big scandal at Auburn and ASU).

The offer could go away for plenty of good and not good reasons, but at some point you've got to take the leap of faith. In any event, would you really want your daughter to be forced to play for the kind of coach who'd ignore a verbal offer?
 
Aug 11, 2016
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My DD got offered a spot in a NESCAC DIII school, but it was contingent upon acceptance to the school. The commitment was just a commitment from my DD to apply through the early decision process.

I’m sure that they put a little weight on sports recruiting, but for the most part, she needs to have the grades and test scores to get in.

So that’s all there is, a commitment to apply through early decision, and if accepted, she gets the spot at the team. No letter, no signing of anything, other than the early decision process. The coach didn’t even want her to publish that she was committing to the college. She only authorized her to say that she was committing to apply through early decision to this college.

That was my DD’s experience, and she will be playing at NESCAC.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Jun 11, 2012
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Finding a school that she loves and will be happy at even without softball is the most important thing. Congrats to her on finding that.
My DD is a junior at a D3 that she loves and will likely be staying at for grad school. I knew the first time we visited that this was the one, the school fits her perfectly
 

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