One of the most difficult factors in basketball about the fall Signing Day is that things can happen so quickly during the winter and spring that make you want to change your mind. For example, coaches can be fired or move on to different jobs. Even if you are signing a Letter of Intent with the school and not the coach, it is the coach that played a major role in bringing you to their school.
Recently I was told of a story about a very talented volleyball player who had signed in the fall with a program that was not very good. If they had really thought about it, they you could figure that the head coach would be getting some pressure as far as winning or losing. Well, the school fired the entire coaching staff. With a binding Letter of Intent to the school, what does the recruit do now?
After speaking with the athletic director and the school, the recruit was told that they were not letting her out of her Letter of Intent. As the letter states, you are signing the letter with the school and not the coach. But the problem is that you signed the letter because you trusted the coach and appreciated the way that she recruited you.
The coach really has a lot to do with you ending up at a program. I don’t care what Division or level you plan to play at, unless you self recruit yourself to a school, the coach is an important factor in your eventual decision. Every person wants to feel wanted and that is exactly what coaches do to bring you unto campus.
My first thoughts about this were that I had seen enough cases that if the athlete and their family pitches a big fit, they would get out of the Letter of Intent. For non revenue sports like volleyball, most schools will let athletes out of their Letter of Intent with a good reason. Obviously having a turnover in the coaching staff should be a good enough reason.
The problem that the school has is that this girl is good. She is one of the top volleyball players in the country and she wanted to stay close to home when she signed her Letter of Intent. But now with so many question marks regarding the new coaching staff, she wants to look at other options.
Her options are to attend a Junior College, prep school for a year, or not be able to play for one year (And I believe she has to pay her own way during that year at wherever she picks). Would that really be worth it for her to be able to play with a coaching staff that she has always been comfortable with?
The first thing that she must think about is that she is going to college to be a student athlete. Regardless if the athlete part is disappointing, she did pick the actual school for a reason. Yes, the coaches did change and that could affect you. But you have to look at it that you are getting a good portion of your education paid for. Can you really beat that?
In the future, if you are going to sign with a school that has a coach that is either on the firing block or could move up to a bigger school, consider waiting until the spring to sign. Yes, this is a dangerous move because you may play really bad. But this offers you protection that if the coach leaves and they hire someone outside of the school, you can make another college choice.
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