In a follow up to our last post, we would like to comment on some recent activity by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). This association is primarily comprised of collegiate coaches. Part of its primary purpose is the " Encouragement, support and guidance in the development and conduct of fastpitch softball programs whose purpose correlates with general objectives of education." Recently the NFCA has been circulating an online petition in favor of potential NCAA recruiting reforms. Yellow Ball 101 is a huge proponent of these reforms and encourages all of our readers to click on the link below and join the fight. Our hats are off to the NFCA for taking a stand which clearly correlates with its intended mission. That being said, we challenge the NCAA to take recruiting reform even further, specifically by condemning the business entities that have consumed the collegiate recruiting process. The private financial gain derived from the process has become staggering.
Showcase Tournaments: Diamond 9 and Triple Crown just to name a few have taken destination sports to a very bad place. The volume of tournaments paired with the skyrocketing costs have grossly over saturated and devalued the original intent of these tournaments. Even the high end D1 programs lack the staff and finances to scout a fraction of these tournaments nation wide. The absence of collegiate scouting is becoming painfully evident at these events. We propose these additional reforms:
Endorse and host a set number of events collegiate coaches will attend exclusively.
At very least identify a set number of existing events coaches will attend exclusively.
Develop a qualification system for teams who wish to attend these events. ( This will help prevent teams from over saturating events they cannot effectively compete in.)
Conduct recruiting workshops at these events and provide honest and realistic evaluations. ( Again this will help desaturate the pool of potential recruits)
Communication: Everyday more and more college coaches are acknowledging the need for recruiting reform. To assist in calming the process coaches should effectively communicate which recruiting processes are preferred by their program. ( Pop up visits, videos, recruiting sheets, e-mails from club coaches, phone calls, online recruiting sites). For instance online recruiting site have become very popular, however there is a tremendous debate as to the effectiveness of these paid services. A lot of anxiety could be avoided if more coaches had an open public opinion regarding the usefulness of these services. In our opinion the more third party financial gain that can be removed the better.
Combines as opposed to Showcases: Perhaps the use of an NFL type combine would be a more effective tool than showcase tournaments. Again we would suggest some sort of qualification process to desaturate the field of recruits and make it more effective. The NCAA needs to conduct honest publicity campaigns outlining what it really takes to succeed as a student athlete.
The bottom line is very simple! Not only is it time to stop the aggressive pursuit of 13 year old athletes, but it is time to remove the profiteering from the recruiting process. Its time for the NCAA to step up and do what is right.