When talking with recruits, I mention the term “4 for 40” in two situations. First, is about relationships. I always say we are on the “4 for 40” plan. For 4 years we’ll have a player-coach relationship and for the next 40 years hopefully we’ll be friends. Ten years after you graduate, you will not remember how many points you scored, which games we won and lost, except for the big ones, or what color the locker room was. What you’ll remember is the friendships you made, the relationships you built, and the way people made you feel. When you walk across the stage and get your diploma, I want you to give your family a big hug and kiss and say thank you.
I want you to come give me a hug and say, “Coach Whit, if I had to do it all over again, I’d come back to the Mount”. If you can say that, you had the experience you were supposed to have.Secondly, I talk about their education. The 4 years you are in college is the base, the foundation, for the next 40 years of your life. We want you to have a great foundation to build on and have great success in your lifetime.”
Head Coach Bryan Whitten of Mt. St. Mary’s
For those who understand 7-10-7, those words will serve them well…for those who don’t believe or understand how the new NCAA recruiting rule truly changes the landscape of recruiting these words will come back to haunt them. Everyone on the AAU circuit will need to CHANGE and understand that things are not the same ANYMORE and NEVER will be the same again.
First let me start with open gyms, in the past open gyms was a big part of the recruiting in the fall. In an effort to prevent AAU coaches from giving the impression they had the college coaches ears, the NCAA has made Open Gyms a thing of the past. Gone are the days where 40- 50 college coaches can watch kids play.
7-10-7 is easy to explain, it says this college coaches are allowed out recruiting for 7 days, then they must return to campus for days 10 days, after those 10 days they may go back recruiting again for 7 more days. In a nutshell there are now 6 less days in the July recruiting period. Now on the surface this doesn’t sound like much. But College coaches watch ten games a day in July….. meaning 6 days x 10 games=60 games watched….3 coaches are allowed to recruit, meaning 3 coaches X 60 games = 180…..that number is most likely much higher because coaches will not always split up as they will watch games together at times. The question everyone is asking is why the NCAA is doing this? taking away chances for kids to be seen? My guess is to limit AAU coaches power and make BCS (big east, acc, pac type schools) schools life easier.
Many of the showcase summer events will run the first 7 days of the recruiting period. College coaches will no longer…GO FROM EVENT TO EVENT watching all the events. People who don’t understand this are in TROUBLE …college coaches must now cover all these events in 7 not 10 days. Some of these events include Nike in Atlanta..The Gauchos event…York(the old Penn State)…Boo Williams..The real heavyweights events Nike Chicago, Run for the Roses in Kentucky, Orlando and Battle of The Boro ALMOST all division one schools will attend next year for a number of reasons. College coaches in the past got to all these events and some. That is no longer possible in 7 days, for example Nike and Battle of the Boro run at the same time. These two events alone will each take 2 days each to cover. So four days are lost for schools attending those events. Some colleges may choose to attend Atlanta or Run for the Roses in Kentucky instead. These two are also heavyweight events. They also burn up 4 days of the recruiting. College coaches will to make some tough choices as to where they will attend and at most will only have time to attend 3 of these events. Showcases such as Boo Williams or York(old Penn State) will still run but it will be much different now and don’t let anyone tell you DIFFERENT!…College coaches use to come to this event for example and with their entire staff and
babysit their top recruits, then they would go check out the best teams in the event
watch kids who they heard were talented and have expressed interest in their program
Watch teams from their local area
finally watch…u12, u13, u14 and u 15 to get a jump on the future
Mid Majors love this set up because they could discover a kid and out work a BCS college. Unfortunately
Coaches now will come in and watch the kids they are recruiting and hopefully see the best U- 16 or U -17 teams and get out of town in 36 hours and nobody will bring their entire staff. Coaches will not have the time to watch teams with players they don’t know about or underclassmen unless the schedule gives them a break during the course of the day. If they can some coaches will watch half of games in order to stretch things out and see more.
If a kid is playing U15 or lower she is better off staying home and shooting in their driveway and saving their parents money, unless they are a big time player” that quote is from a Division one NEC head coach! As one D1 MACC Conference head coach told me ” Once kids and parents catch on we will have all the best underclassmen playing U17 and U16 and then the young kids not as advanced can go back to improving like in the old days”. Younger players who wish to seen, will need to join an older team filled with talent….. or they must be willing to wait their turn. College coaches will have other ways and plenty of time to see this age group now. The NCAA has now given college coaches 7 evaluations instead of 3 for high school kids and Division one schools have 100 days during the year to see high school kids play. If you for example play for RFH, SJV or RBC for the most part you will be seen, not just in games anymore but practices as well. Colleges will be in high school gyms watching the underclassmen play in fall and this will replace open gyms in a sense. The difference is that players only on that high school’s team can practice, no outsiders. There is a minor flaw in the rule in my opinion. Lets take RFH for example Grace Stant, Sam Sabino and Nicole Morris are household names already on the recruiting circuit. So college coaches will flock to RFH and won’t mind burning one there 100 days. They are seeing multiple players and in the process they will notice for example another D1 player like Emma Miller or even better get to take another look at senior Jess Harvey. In this case it works for the school. But a school may not want to burn a day with another school that only has one D1 player. Remember every day an asst coach leaves campus it counts as a day, so colleges must use their days wisely. I love the idea but it does have some draw back…I say add two days in the fall and give back two days in April.
Picking the right events is key to everything now. Coaches will not just show up and watch games anymore. You should know in advance if a college coach is attending your game. Coaches are now picking their spots as to what events they will attend There will be, with no doubt a number of AAU coaches who will believe that this rule will not impact their kids. The HERSHEY event is one of the best events for D2 and D3 recruitment and many kids will benefit from this. But for a kid dreaming of going Division 1…. going to a Division One Colleges campus and attending that schools Elite Camp in June is simply choice.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO BATTLE 7-10-7
Freshman and Sophomores get better, work on your game everyday.
Go be the 7th, 8th or even 9th man on a good team with upper classmen in July.
Send tapes to colleges, this will not get you a scholarship, but it may get a coaches attention and get them to use one of their 100 recruiting days on you.
Nothing is better than attending College Elite camps, this is where a college coach can watch you play and work you out. This also allows college coaches to get to know you and for you to get to know them….pretty good deal if you ask me….attend these events at multi colleges and do it over a few years!!
Junior and Seniors:
Call college’s and ask what events they are attending
If you are on a weak AAU team that doesn’t play top competition, move to a team that does, even if you do not start.
Have your summer schedule in college coaches hands as soon as possible. Planning the summer recruiting days is huge now…Coaches can no longer change plans and do things on the fly.
Try and make your schedule fit the colleges you’re interested in…flat out ask them if they are attending your games
**most important point** Go to the Elite Camps….over and over and over….
Film everything, games, workouts, weight room and anything else that may catch the eye of a coach
Make sure you live in the gym in the pre-season.
Make sure your high school coach advocates for you everyday….I know I will do my best!
Let me say this….Parents, High School, Coaches and AAU coaches. This rule is real and if you try to do things the way you have done it in the past, you will really be hurting your kids but if your smart and you understand the process ….you will be just fine and in alot of ways it may help everyone ….AAU Coaches I beg you to learn all about this rule by CALLING COLLEGE COACHES they will be glad to talk to you and give you advice…remember these kids are counting on you!
Thank You to…. Rider College…St. Francis ….Mt. St. Marys….UCSB and all the other colleges FOR YOUR HELP…. I can’t list everyone for helping me get this new rule on paper.