Before I start into this recent official visit horror story, I think it is important for people to understand the difference of official visits and unofficial visits. And since I very recently wrote an article about this (CLICK HERE TO SEE IT NOW), I want to recommend readers to check it out if you are unclear of the difference.
The reason I write this story is because this is the time of the year for official visits in all sports, including football, basketball, baseball, and any other college sport that you can imagine. Obviously with this website, I try to help parents and athletes avoid the pitfalls of what can happen in recruiting and that is why I share this story with you. For any coach about to pay for most of your college education, it is important to always put your best foot forward.
Anyways, onto the story. It involves an athlete who has a great ability in multiple sports but was taking an official visit to the big in-state school. He had an athletic scholarship in his chosen sport from this school so he could have decided that weekend that he wanted to take them up on it. Instead, at the end of the weekend, he left without a scholarship offer as well as angering the head coach because of what he did.
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On Saturday night of the official visit, the prospective recruits are taken out by the athletes. Sorry parents but in 95% of the cases, your children will likely be around alcohol and having contact with people of the opposite sex (I don’t believe it is like He Got Game, for those that remember the movie with Ray Allen). Anyways, this recruit was hanging out with the current players at the school but he had many friends who were older than him at the school as well. Because he knew the other friends much longer and didn’t knew the new guys as well, he decided to have his friends pick him up.
Let me tell you that the last thing you want to do is leave an official visit to hang out with friends from high school. Find another weekend to do this because the school is paying for you to visit. Again, stay with your host during the night. They cannot force you to drink or do things against your will so there is no reason to go elsewhere.
So the athlete decides to leave and didn’t realize that he had to be back at a certain time. While there are conflicting reports about what time he returned, the fact of the matter is that he came back late after hanging out with his friends from home. It didn’t matter if he was sober or too drunk to walk, it was the fact that he went and did his own thing. For his potential future teammates, that is the last thing you want to see a recruit doing. These current college athletes have to speak with the coaches about how the visit went, and they will tell the coach about a recruit and what he did that night.
The recruit eventually finds his way back to the host and it is later than expected. While it is not an NCAA rule, each school mandates that the night ends for recruits at a certain time. Normally this is around 1:00 AM (At least I hope) and probably doesn’t get much later than that. This school had a curfew for recruits set at 12:45 PM and he came back later than that. Over the following days, word quickly gets back to the head coach and the athlete is quickly without that scholarship offer.
While this athlete has other scholarship offers in multiple sports, there are so many different reasons why this is not the smart thing to do. So when on an official visit, I would stay with your host, have a good time, and stay in control. The last thing you want to be is a memorable recruit for your ability to drink or make a fool of yourself. And again, sorry parents, but it does happen.