Commitments. Everyone wants them, not everyone gets them, and some that do, really don’t. If that doesn’t make sense to you, allow me to explain.
Commitments, and announcing commitments is a public relations game that teams and leagues play in order to recruit better for the next season. When all other things are equal, it is the commitment numbers that raise some teams over others.
Commitments at Tier III are money. The USHL and Tier II leagues focus on commitments, but no one is more focused on commitment numbers than Tier III.
Several Coaches emailed me over the last few weeks while we do our rankings of leagues, asking me to continue talking about the commitment process and admissions. Some said that the hardest part of the job sometimes is not evaluating the talent of a player, but evaluating the admissibility of the student.
Other coaches wanted me to be sure to let readers know that some commitments are actually not commitments, because the player is later denied in the admissions process, or disqualifies himself in other ways.
One point we need to make perfectly clear is that if you do not meet NCAA admission standards, no matter how good an athlete you are, you will not play an NCAA sport. The days of getting great athletes admitted and fudging their way through classes are over.
If you think a 2.5 GPA will get you admitted to an NCAA D-1 program you are correct. Out of the 60 NCAA D-1 hockey programs, there are about 5 of them that will admit you into school with a 2.5 GPA. So, when you go through High School thinking that your average grades and test scores are enough, you are wrong.
If you have a GED, you are a “non-qualifier”. I had a client a few years ago who told me he graduated from high school, when he actually had a GED. After securing a D-1 commitment for him, he attempted to get admitted to the school, and was caught misrepresenting his academic achievement. Needless to say, he is not at the D-1 program, but is playing D-3 after a lot of work to get him admitted there.
The moral of that story for players now is that if you are taking “on line” or “web based” classes, make sure they comply with NCAA standards. Your Adviser should know what to do to make sure everything is compliant.
At the D-3 level a commitment is nice, but all it is really, is an invitation to come to that school and try out for the team. There are so many “commitments” in D3 that never see the ice that a commitment needs to be investigated before it is to be believed in some cases.
Schools over recruit in D3 all the time and you can see 8 to 10 players on the roster sitting in the stands every night. It is the Coaches job to get admissions up to pay for the program. College is a business, no different than others it has to pay its bills.
Several other coaches asked me to repeatedly write “DO NOT RUSH THE PROCESS”.
Not that all of you will pay attention to that statement, but you should. Coaches are people too, and they get just as irritated with pushy people as anyone else. They really don’t like the pushy parent who is badgering them.
The one simple thing I tell all of my clients is this;
Its great to dream and set a goal of playing NCAA hockey. It is great to have a favorite school. Always remember though. No matter how good, or how ready you think you are, you will not play NCAA hockey until the University says you are good enough or ready enough. Unless you are one of the best players in the world, you will not pick the NCAA program you want to play for. They will pick you.
Planning is critical. Do you have a plan?
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser