The old saying scholarship offers breed other scholarship offers is still something that I feel strongly about. College coaches, no matter what sport, will evaluate a prospect much longer knowing that they have a scholarship offer on the table from a rival school than one without. The reason is simply because they know that an athlete with an offer has caught the eye of a college coach enough to extend a full ride to them.
But what happens when a college coach extends a scholarship to an athlete and wants to keep that offer on the down low? The coaching staff actually wants no one to find out about it and the less people that know, the better. What if you were in this situation and the college coach told you to keep quiet about the scholarship and word started leaking out about it? Would the coach pull the offer? What would happen?
Before going into the answer to that question, let me say that there are two situations that I have encountered where a college coach wants to keep the offer quiet. The first that I have seen is at a mid-major basketball program. The mid-major basketball programs that have success do not want word getting around about who that they have offered. The reason is if State University gets word that Mid Major U has offered an in-state athlete, they are going to take a much longer look at that prospect. This goes back to the offers breed other offers. The last thing Mid Major U wants is a larger school stealing a recruit from them because word has gotten out about the scholarship.
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The second is when a major football program offers a younger athlete. A few years back I encountered a situation where a talented athlete received an offer and word started going around about it. The athlete didn’t want to lie about the scholarship but also didn’t want word to get out because the coaches at the college requested him to not say anything. In this type of situation, it is difficult because at small communities, word gets out quick if an athlete gets an offer. Then they get posted on message boards and everything hits the fan. The college coaches want to keep this type of offer quiet simply because the athlete is so young and will draw so much interest because of the timing. Again, their rival schools will take a long look at this athlete if they know that they offered a scholarship.
So will a college coach pull the offer if word spreads through the grapevine and a number of people in the media and at other colleges find out about the scholarship? I would have to say that in 99% of the situations, the answer would be no. The coaches obviously think very highly of you in both situations to extend an eventual offer. The only reason that they may do it is because either 1.) they get a commitment from another athlete at your position or 2.) you completely go against their wishes and start spreading it like wildfire.
The second example wouldn’t be a great way to make nice with the coaching staff. Broadcasting an offer is something you should do, but if they say specifically not to, then you should avoid it. Next time you speak with the staff, tell them that there have been some media people asking about the offer and what you should do. Eventually I would assume that they would say it is alright. Once that happens, get to work in making sure the media (Rivals/Scout/Newspapers) know about the offer.
If the college coaches are being somewhat reasonable in their request, then you should just wait. Be excited that there is an offer on the table but know that you can’t capitalize on it in the overall athletic recruiting process until you are given the word that it is alright to publicly comment on it. While the chances are slim of the offering being pulled, it wouldn’t hurt to follow the wishes of the coaches. Remember, they are the ones wanting to pay for your college education.
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