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The NCAA Coaching Carousel

03/10/2017, 11:00am CST
By Max Ivany

In a previous article I outlined the possibilities and the likely process that occurs to a player seeking to earn their scholarship in the spring of their senior year. Typically most schools sign their complete class in November and thus won't have scholarships available in the spring.


There are a number of things that can happen including fall commits don't qualify academically, or they have a legal/social issue.  But make no mistake about it.  Many times returning players who are underachievers on the court (in other words, not as good as the coach thought when he recruited him) but yet have a great classroom standing are subtley pressured to leave. This is especially prevalent among players who were not recruited by the current coaching staff.

Many of these Division One coaches are friends of mine and like every profession their integrity and hearts vary on a continuum from man to man.  With the exception of a couple of real ass hats, I don't believe most coaches want to hurt a kid or "dispose" of them...but they do!

Why? Because this is a cold, hard business and if they don't perform by producing success and wins, then they are likely candidates to be replaced by their administration.  Alumni bases don't like losing and coach's wives want a paycheck coming in twice a month.  So, when push comes to shove a coach will want the best players on a roster.  End of story and buyer beware.

That's why it's important to have an experienced mentor (whether this is a high school or AAU coach) that understands the terrain.  Sure, nothing is cast in stone but there are mitigating factors that should cause you to pause before you sign that National Letter of Intent.

Coaches leave.  Why can't players leave?  Well, they can under some circumstances. Usually a school will release an INCOMING freshman from his letter of intent if the head coach who has recruited him has moved on; either from termination or if they're successful and moved on to a bigger payday.  But even then chools drag their feet in issuing release. Many times while the player is being stone walled on his release, scholarships and other opportunities dry up elsewhere.

I can speak about this first hand with my daughter in law when she expressed her desire to transfer, and the process dragged on and on. When she was finally released in June so many of the high level schools that would have jumped at her, no longer had scholarships. Shoot, her school even initially declined to pay her medical bills until the threat of a lawsuit. Is this a business? You'd better believe it!

Two years ago we had a prominent recruit whose coach bolted and the school did not want to let him go.  When he was going through the recruiting process I pointed out most strongly to the parents that I did not feel that coach would be there and if that's why he was signing there, he might truly give it second thought.  if it was for the school itself, ok.  Guess what?  He left and the family was left scrambling because once again most previous scholarship offers had been rescinded.

Keep in mind these examples above only occur if you're a hell of a player, because if you want your release and you're mediocre they're happy as hell to have the athletic department release you from your scholarship.