Newspapers and their reporters are continuing to pick up their athletic recruiting coverage

Newspapers picking up recruiting coverageTwenty years ago, it seemed that most fans of sports got their information from the newspaper.  You would open up the newspaper and read it almost daily before work or school.  This was going to be your sporting fix and allow you to be up to date with most of the coverage going on in the country and in your area.

But with the advances of the Internet, newspapers have taken some tolls in the past few years.  Many have had to lay off sports writers and cut the staff in half.  What the newspapers have also started pushing in all areas of the country is recruiting coverage.  Because it is so popular and covered so well by sites like Rivals, Scout, 24/7Sports, ESPN, and many others, newspapers are jumping on the bandwagon.

Is having these newspaper writers add to the overly excessive amount of calls that recruits get around the country a good idea?  Really, that is a very difficult question to answer.  Like the situations at Rivals and Scout, there are pluses and minuses of the additional coverage.

For athletes, especially those who are fringe Division I players, the additional coverage is a great thing.  I have always said here that the more publicity that you can get, the better.  I covered a recruit who went from zero offers to double digit scholarships over the last year.  And when he had zero, he was asking for articles to be written about him.  With the plethora of offers, he won’t return calls to anyone who is media.  While I don’t support taking that type of stand, the athlete was smart in trying to help increase the amount of attention he gets.

While it may take five to ten more minutes out of your life and you can worry about being misquoted or having a quote read wrongly by those that check out the site, it is worth doing as many articles as you can to help stimulate the recruiting interest.  College coaches, especially those in the lower ranks, will always see these articles and it could help them get added to their recruiting list.

There are also down falls to newspaper stepping up their coverage in terms of football recruiting, basketball recruiting, or any other sport there is out there.  Lets say that you are a recruit who has five Division I scholarship offers and made your first official visit this past weekend.  Originally, the sites that would call you would have been the team sites from both Scout and Rivals.  For examples, lets say that your visit was to the University of Nebraska.

The Rivals site (Huskers Online) and the Scout site (BigRed Report) both call and do interviews.  Once they get done, the national recruiting guys may give you a call and get an article as well.  The prep site in your state may also want to catch up with you and speak about the article.  Between the two sites, there is a possibility of six calls.  And that is not counting those other teams that you are considering at this point.  Reporters from the other team sites may also call and see how it compared to your visit to Texas.

Now you throw in sites like Max Emfinger, Tom Lemming, ESPN, and anything else independent.  If they all call, the total number may now be up to ten calls.  If there are three major newspapers in Nebraska (Which may be pushing it for the Cornhusker state), all three have reporters that call and speak with you about the visit.  That means you may now spoken with thirteen possible people repeating the same quotes every time.  At five minutes a call, that is at least an hour of your time.  That also does not include a possible practice, lifting, talking to college coaches on the phone, and school work.

So is it a good thing?  In one way, it helps simply because it gives other athletes a chance to be recognized by colleges.  But for those hyped up kids who are getting more than enough attention, it just adds to the mess of calls that they will be receiving.  Things are not as great being an undecided Division I recruit as others may think.

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