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Written by: Billy Splain on Friday, March 13th, 2020
In addition to that statement from Thursday, Friday they made even more decision including closing down the recruiting quiet period and instating a dead period for recruiting until at least April 15,
“I feel really bad for the seniors”.
It’s a statement that we’ve seen a hundred times in the past 24 hours. In these troubling, unprecedented times many people, and not just the athletes, are facing something we’ve never dealt with before.
-Is my season over?
-Is my high school athletic career over?
-What about recruiting, will there still be camps?
-Do I keep training on my own?
Many questions remain to be answered. We’ll try to answer a few of them, but these answers aren’t permanent as this is a moving machine that changes position seemingly every hour. Today Governor Tom Wolf ordered all Pennsylvania schools closed for 10 business days effective March 16, meaning kids won’t return to school until March 30 at the earliest.
One thing we know for sure is the PIAA has released a statement to the effect that winter championships have been postponed for two weeks, at which time they’ll reassess the situation and determine whether to hold them or postpone again. As for spring sports, they are delayed a week as of now due to the mandated school closures. “We’ll have to wait and see what other information comes from the government before making anymore decisions” said PIAA Executive Director Bob Lombardi.
Touching on the football recruiting aspect, right now it’s a whirlwind and nobody knows what will happen. Some have guesses, but that’s all they are, guesses. One FBS coach I spoke with was blunt, “This is my personal opinion, but right now we might not be holding camps. We don’t know if the NCAA is going to change the recruiting calendar on us and if they do we may have to just look at recruiting the guys we have on our boards and skip the camps. We simply won’t have time to hold them if we have to go on visits or hold visits for recruits.”
It’s more than just camps that might be affected. May is a time for combines and showcases that college coaches typically attend to build relationships and talk to coaches while watching players perform a series of timed events and one on one battles. According to the NCAA recruiting calendar right now we are supposed to be in what’s known as a quiet period. A quiet period is that period of time when it is permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the member institution’s campus. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts or evaluations may be made during the quiet period. Due to the NCAA Statement as well as Institutions decisions, the recruiting period has been halted. This means any and all campus visits have been called off.
But on April 15 the evaluation period begins and extends through May 30, (An evaluation period is that period of time when it is permissible for authorized athletics department staff members to be involved in off-campus activities designed to assess the academic qualifications and playing ability of prospective student-athletes. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts shall be made with the prospective student-athlete during an evaluation period), at which point we enter another quiet period until June 22 when the summer “dead period” begins where basically no contact is allowed. Should the NCAA change the calendar, all the above changes. “We could see an evaluation period extended into July but right now we just don’t know” said another FBS coach. Our advice to recruits, keep working and training. It’s really all you can do. We’ll keep you updated on the recruiting process as more information becomes available.
One thing we have to remember, this isn’t just something that is affecting the athletes. There are many aspects of the sports world that are affected. We can start with sports coverage teams like newspapers and news channels. For the time being, they have nothing to cover. That means reporters, photographers, editors, sports anchors and more have nothing to cover. Speaking with Eric Epler of Pennlive Sports, he says it’s tough but we have stuff to do. “We had to re_evealuate our next 10 days, we basically work on a ten day schedule. Next week the PIAA championships was bulk of our coverage so we pushed up spring sports previews. There’s always room for football and we can continue to do spring previews. Plus there will be a lot of news on who’s first to act on bringing spring sports back. We’ll meet as a team and discuss the next ten day cycle.”
Then we can look at the stadiums. No games mean no booster sales. Many teams get a nice portion of their funding through sales at food stands. Speaking of which, many teams are either currently involved in or preparing for fundraisers. Mike DeFranciso of The Funding Zone prepares 100s of teams for their fundraisers. “We are scratching our heads right now. We’ve got over 100 lacrosse teams either getting ready to hold their fund raisers or they’re in the middle of them but their schools are now closed. We’ve done all the bootwork, had items printed and delievered for sale but right now we’re in a holding pattern to see what will happen. We could, if things go bad, lose a bundle.”
Tom Hughes of Vaportrail247, a speed training facility located in Bloomsburg, says for him “it’s business as usual. I’ll have kids coming in and training just like any day, but maybe a little busier now.”
Darryl Daniels runs a training facility in Manheim Pa called DDWRAcademy and is considered one of the top trainers in the state. When asked what kids should be doing now that school has been cancelled for 2 weeks as have workout sessions at the schools, had this to say: “Man, that’s a good question. My phone blew up today from kids looking for training sessions. Plus all the college players are train are now home and they’re looking to train also.” His advice is to continue training at a local gym, but don’t change your workout routine. “You should just be lifting right now, doing some linear stuff. No throwing, no football movements. Your body still isn’t ready for that. If a kid wants to run routes or something, I tell them that’s not what I’m here for. The Weathers getting nice now so they’ll be able to get some running in.”
As more developments become clearer in the recruiting world, we’ll keep you up to date. Stay Safe kids, keep grinding.
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