Pandemic has effect on college recruitment for high school students around the country

Jackson Williams, Staff Writer

Sports were among the first things to shut down at the beginning of the long quarantine period in 2020. Beginning with the NBA, all the major sports leagues and college programs were forced to delay and or cancel their athletic seasons.

The world of recruiting took possibly the biggest blow when the NCAA implemented a dead period beginning in March 2020 that will extend through April 2021.
This leaves schools and athletes unable to hold in-person or in-home visits in addition to restrictions against coaches attending recruits’ games at the Division 1 level.
According to the official NCAA website, the reason for extending the recruiting dead period was simply because of the recent trends in COVID-19 cases.
Council Chair M. Grace Calhoun, when asked about the reason for the extension of the dead period, said, “The COVID-19 numbers are not trending in the right direction for the Council to allow in-person recruiting and the associated long-distance travel for coaches, prospective student-athletes and their families.”
Although in-person contact is still prohibited, the NCAA has recently allowed for virtual recruiting and recruiting calls between coaches and players, which had been suspended throughout spring and summer 2020.
Not only has the pandemic affected the various college programs’ abilities to in-person recruit, but it has also derailed many athletes’ recruiting efforts and for some, chances at gaining exposure to possibly receive scholarships.
For many, the cancellation of the spring and fall athletic seasons did not mean much. However, those still seeking an offer or scholarship had their dreams dashed without the extra film.
Many saw the best side of the cancellation of their seasons, however. Senior softball player Kyleigh Waugh, when asked about her experience through not having a season and recruiting restrictions said, “With the high school season being canceled, I had a lot of free time to lift and get stronger and improve little techniques.”
Even through the recruiting restrictions, which prohibited coaches from speaking in-person to recruits, Kyleigh was still able to commit to Millersville University.
Aside from recruiting, the cancellations of athletic seasons have had detrimental impacts of millions of students. Some see sports as just something to do. Others see it as an escape or as their future.
As one may not think much of it, others may see sports as the only reason they are motivated for school or the reason that they even go to school in the first place.
As many lost their seasons and opportunities to the COVID-19 pandemic and college recruiting efforts were hindered, the brighter days ahead give hope for the futures of athletes and teams alike.