College High School

US Lacrosse Issues Statement About Collegiate Recruiting


US Lacrosse released a statement today establishing its position on the college recruiting process for high school lacrosse players nationwide. This statement surfaces following a summer of controversial articles and conversations surrounding the topic.

We think it is worth sharing, and we’re curious to hear your reactions.

The US Lacrosse Board of Directors today approved the following statement on the complex nature of the collegiate recruiting process for high school student-athletes. The statement was developed by the national volunteer and staff leadership of US Lacrosse, in consultation with members of the coaching community, and it reads as follows:

US Lacrosse shares the concern of many lacrosse players, parents and coaches that the college recruiting process is not structured or timed in the best interests of high school student-athletes. The current landscape of recruiting events and club programs — some of which operate throughout the calendar year — has encouraged an increasing number of young student-athletes to forego a well-rounded high school experience based on unrealistic expectations and misperceptions about playing college lacrosse.

Parents are being led to believe that college coaches focus on recruiting only those children who play year-round lacrosse and who attend multiple, expensive recruiting events throughout the year. While some recruiting programs and events offer positive experiences for student-athletes, others — particularly those that conflict with the school calendar or occur outside of the traditional lacrosse season — threaten the well-being of student-athletes with incidents of injury and burnout. This intense recruiting culture also has eroded the work-life balance of coaches and parents.

US Lacrosse will continue to work with high school programs, clubs, tournament directors, the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) and the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) to provide the information, resources and leadership necessary to enable high school student-athletes and their parents to make the best decisions about their lacrosse experience.

US Lacrosse also encourages men’s and women’s collegiate lacrosse coaches to exert their considerable influence to lead reform of the NCAA recruiting calendar, limit the age at which student-athletes begin the recruiting process, and agree not to attend or participate in recruiting events that infringe on the academic calendar of student-athletes.

US Lacrosse certainly saved their best for last. That last paragraph is the meat of the statement, and it’s a clear call, in no uncertain terms, to current college coaches to make the change.

If you’re not interested in this call to action by US Lacrosse, you’re not interested in recruiting. So is it the right thing to do? We can certainly think of an LAS writer or two who would say yes.

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  • I am very much on board with US Lacrosse and think this kind of statement may even be overdue.  The recruiting landscape is such that you are asking teenagers to make a life-altering decision like which college am I going to attend in 3 years.

    The number of variables involved are just ridiculous.  Let’s look at just a few:

    1)  As a Sophomore the only people that will be on the team when you arrive on campus for your freshmen fall are FRESHMAN!  How in the world are you supposed to understand what that team’s dynamic is going to be when the people who will be leading the team are literally still trying to find the weight room?

    2) At 15 most kids don’t even know what they want for lunch, let alone what career path they want to choose.  If you don’t know what you want to do with your life, how can you POSSIBLY choose a school that is a good academic fit? That’s not even touching on does the kid understand what kind of student he is.

    3) Injury, and/or the fear of it, causing multi-sport athletes to step away from other sports which is just a detriment to their further development as an athlete, as opposed to just a lacrosse player.

    And that’s just building the soap box!

    • Devil’s Advocate here.  The programs that are generally leading the charge with early recruiting are Virginia, Hopkins and UNC.  I can’t see a lot of downside to securing an opportunity early to attend one of those schools.  They each provide an incredible educational opportunity, great lacrosse, and a pretty consistent culture of achievement.  Even as you expand it to all of the teams that are recruiting early, it still encompasses a very small slice of college lacrosse.  Most programs, and even most D1 programs, are not committing sophomores.  If the programs recruiting early now start to see a negative return on that practice, they will stop on their own.  A statement like this is great.  But it won’t change anything.  College coaches will glance at it, say “yup, same stuff we’ve been saying” and carry on doing what they do.

  • Isn’t this just the equivalent of the unarmed mall cop yelling “Stop… or I’ll yell stop again!”

    Until restrictions actually get put in place (with punishments) no one is going to stop doing what they fell they have to do (coaches getting the best recruits to keep their jobs and the kids doing what they can to get recruited).

    As much as it’s nice they are seeing the problem, they aren’t doing anything to fix it.

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