IWLCA Submits Two Recruiting Legislative Proposals to NCAA
The IWLCA has announced that the Division I women's lacrosse coaches have submitted two legislative proposals to the NCAA. The first of these proposals revises the DI women's lacrosse recruiting calendar and the second standardizes the initial date for all communication with prospective student-athletes and their families. These efforts to bring about highly supported change in the recruiting process are the culmination of several years worth of discussion and surveys by the Division I coaching membership.
There has not been an opportunity to revise the women's lacrosse recruiting calendar in over four years due to an NCAA moratorium on new legislation. "Our membership has been discussing amending the recruiting calendar for years, and we finally have the opportunity to do so," said Karin Brower Corbett, head coach at the University of Pennsylvania and co--chair of the Recruiting Issues Committee. "We've spent a lot of time listening to people's opinions, discussing ways to address these concerns and finally measuring support for different models. We believe the proposal we submitted will benefit both coaches and prospective student-athletes."
The proposal to amend the recruiting calendar will make a distinction between "recruiting periods," when coaches are only permitted to recruit at high school/scholastic events, and "evaluation periods," when coaches are permitted to recruit at any type of event. Additionally, the calendar will include dead periods for two weeks in August and for three days surrounding major national holidays.
According to Corbett, "the calendar proposal puts the focus back on high school sports, and allows prospects to stay focused on their academics through the entire school year by eliminating the pressure to compete in outside events year-round."
The second proposal seeks to standardize September 1 of the junior year as the initial contact date for all communication and contact with prospective student-athletes and their families. "It makes it very simple," said Kerstin Kimel, head coach at Duke University and co--chair of the Recruiting Issues Committee. "All recruiting will begin on September 1 of the junior year. Before that, there should be no direct recruiting contact between a Division I coach and a prospect or her parents."
Current recruiting legislation already prohibits Division I coaches from initiating communication with prospects prior to September 1 of the junior year; however, there is no current legislation prohibiting them from communicating with prospects prior to that date if the prospect initiates the communication or the communication takes place on the college campus.
"This proposal simplifies the rules regarding contact by allowing all direct communication to begin on one date: September 1st of the junior year and it is our expectation that this will slow down the recruiting process," Kimel explained. "Right now there is a lot of pressure on ninth and tenth graders to jump into the recruiting process when they really should be focused on making the transition to high school, prioritizing academics, playing high school sports and enjoying their high school experience. This proposal will allow them the time to mature mentally, physically, and emotionally before making a decision regarding their college choice."
Currently, the Sport-Specific Requests Subcommittee of the NCAA's Division I Student-Athlete Experience Committee is considering these proposals and will choose whether or not to recommend them for further review within the NCAA legislative process. "These proposals have a significant amount of support from the Division I coaching body – over 85% voted in favor of each proposal," Kimel said. "We hope the NCAA will recognize the need for changes in the recruiting process, and also the consensus we've built to support these changes."
I have played summer lacrosse since the 7th grade. Finishing my last tournament this past weekend was bittersweet, to say the least. That being said, each summer was different from the other. When I began summer lacrosse, it was carefree and fun. As I began to get older, this all started to change. It was definitely fun, just different.
Two summers ago, I remember seeing college coaches on the sideline with their clipboards and their college logos plastered all over their t-shirts, shorts, hats, even backpacks. I could not stop staring at them and was in complete awe. After a few minutes, my teammates and I knew whom every single coach was, our own coach urging us not to worry about who was on the sideline but rather just to play our game.
Initially, everyone’s game began to change, each of us wanting to look our best, scoring as much as we could, or making the best pass, etc. I was nervous, but I wanted to prove what I could do. I naively thought if I had one good game in front of these coaches, I would be all set. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of a long year before I would commit to a college.
Two years later, nearly everyone on my team has made a commitment to a school, all these decisions coming at different times. The recruiting process is a long, long process and rightfully so, as you need to choose a school that you will love for the next four years and the college coaches have to choose you, as well.
Playing for Lisa Lindley’s summer team, the Grizzlies, has truly made a difference. Lisa has such great relationships with so many coaches, and she has been a fabulous advocate for all of her players. She is honest with us, as well, which, while sometimes is hard, it helps while navigating this whole process.
Darien’s Chandler Kirby contains New Canaan’s Elizabeth Miller during last month’s FCIAC championship game.
I wanted to play at a Division I program because of the level of intensity and competition. Once I decided that, everything else went fairly smoothly. I started visiting schools in September of my sophomore year and made my decision roughly 10 months later. I tried to be thoughtful and thorough and did not want to rush into anything. I visited schools from Boston to Los Angeles, which was great, but time consuming. Getting all of these visits in while playing another sport and doing schoolwork wasn’t always easy.
Once our season started, not much happened. A few coaches would check in here and there, but they, too, are occupied with their own season. I made one last visit in the summer before my junior year, but by that point I knew where I wanted to end up. I visited about eight schools over the course of six months and tried to make a decision over the summer. The coaches didn’t pressure me initially as they knew I was young and trying to get a feel for different programs and different schools.
I wanted to be 100% sure with my decision, which was difficult as I was two years shy of actually attending college. I thought about it a lot, but when it came down to it, Michigan was an easy choice for me. It has a great college town, excellent academics and athletics, awesome school spirit and a large course selection among other things.
Darien’s Chandler Kirby (left) still has her senior season before heading off to Michigan.
Playing this past summer was really different than the summers in the past. Wearing an armband (meaning you are a commit to a school) made me much more relaxed. I knew I still needed to work really hard and play my best, but I didn’t stress out if I made a mistake.
We tried to play as a team and make sure that the girls who were still looking at schools were able to get the most playing time and we, as teammates, were there to help, if at all possible.
It has been a long journey but seems to all have worked out in the end.