My DD asked me this question, and I had no answer. I'd never even thought of it.
When your DD commits/signs to play softball, does she still have to apply to the college? Like write the essays, put the whole package together, and actually do all the things that a non-athlete does?
My 2024 has a "verbal commitment" to play for a Pac-12 college. During her "official visit", she did go through the admissions process to make sure she was academically eligible, but won't officially be registered until she signs in November of her Senior Year. The SAT/ACT is NOT required "at this time", but if you take it you can submit the scores. She plans to take the SAT, but unless she nails it, we won't be submitting the results. She will not have to do anything else, other than keep her grades up.
My daughter is getting both an academic and athletic scholarship. The coach informed us, "keep your GPA at 3.0 or higher, or she would lose the academic scholarship. She currently has a 4.0, but has dropped to 3.5 a few times.
For us, my 2024 daughter had three official visits scheduled. One was pulled just a few days before the visit because another player (same position), who was that team's #1 2024 pick, didn't end up going to her #1 choice. That school was also the second call on Sept. 1st. Heartbreaking for my daughter, but life goes on. College Softball may be a game and a path to college to us, but in reality, it's a business, and at times harsh and cutthroat.
The other school was an "Ivy League" D-1 in the ACC. After meeting with the Coach, and going over the academic requirements for admission, we felt it probably wasn't the best choice, simply because my daughter hadn't taken enough AP/ Honors courses at that time, and would basically have to ace the SAT/ACT to get through admissions.
Of those schools, all three were in her "top 5". Each school's process was nearly the same. So yes, she has gone through the academic "qualification" process but has not officially been accepted. All that will take place in November. The process of just getting a "verbal" offer was a crazy ride. People who say the process is "fun, enjoy it", I'm not sure how they found it to be "fun". It was extremely stressful for my daughter and my wife and me. I was thankful it was over fairly quickly. About two months. But I still worry, a verbal commitment, is just that. Nothing legally binding. A lot can happen between now and November. "its a business".