Recruiting In College Sports Is Just Getting Crazier
Recruiting high school athletes to college (doesn't matter what sport it is) is and always will be an inexact science. That's almost a rhetorical statement nowadays.
But it's even more nuts now with the advent of college athletes being allowed to receive money from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). That became legal a year ago, almost to the day in America.
The latest example (because it happened this week) was Michigan losing a 2023 football commit, linebacker Raylen Wilson from Florida. Wilson has decommitted and many people think he'll head to Georgia, the defending national champions. Rumors are that Georgia will pay Wilson more in NIL money.
Look, I am not against college athletes getting money via NIL. Especially with all the money the coaches are making. Enough people in authority thought it was wrong for college coaches to make all the money and have the players get basically nothing, other than what's left of their scholarship money. Therefore, you have NIL now.
But what NIL has done, has made the recruiting trail even more unstable than it already was. Verbal commitments were not a lock 100% for a school before NIL, but it's now around 10-20% since the rule change a year ago. This doesn't even cover the transfer portal changes (another topic for another day).
So now, whenever I hear someone make a verbal commit (name your school, name your sport, it doesn't matter). I just say "OK, that's great. Call me when he/she actually signs with the school. Then we'll talk."
And who's to blame for NIL, if you can call it that? Greed...amongst schools, administrators, and especially the coaches. I'll just stop there because I'll get too mad. What most big-time coaches make is almost unconscionable (again, another topic for another day).