It’s what you have dreamed of, worked for, and waited on your whole life - a coveted college basketball scholarship offer! Whether it’s your first offer or an offer from your dream school, the overwhelming excitement and pride you feel in that moment can be intensely palpable. If a college basketball coach offers a basketball scholarship or even accepts a verbal commitment from a recruited student-athlete, believe it or not, the coach can rescind the basketball scholarship offer.
While going through the recruitment process, it’s important to remember that nothing is guaranteed or finalized until a National Letter of Intent (NLI) is offered and signed. A college basketball scholarship offer is at the beginning stages of the process; your goal, as a recruited student-athlete, is to sign a NLI!
Here are five reasons why college basketball coaches rescind basketball scholarship offers:
1) Inappropriate Social Media Posts
It’s very common for college basketball coaches to rescind basketball scholarship offers or even not extend a scholarship offer to an otherwise desirable recruit solely because of inappropriate social media posts. For college coaches, social media can be viewed as your online digital resume.
Once a basketball coach extends an offer, he or she is saying that you would be a great representation of the school, athletic department, and basketball program. Anything posted that would draw negative & unwanted attention or portray the school, athletic department, or basketball program in a negative light is highly frowned upon. On social media, it’s important to carefully monitor videos, posts, and pictures that you are tagged in. Keep in mind:
- Retweets/likes are the equivalent of you posting the material.
- Pictures/videos engaging in illegal activities will be scrutinized.
Remember: A seemingly harmless social media post can end up being very costly - post wisely!
2) Unexpected Roster Changes
College basketball rosters are extremely fluid; one day’s worth of change can influence a whole season. Once unexpected roster changes occur, basketball coaches must quickly adapt and make changes to stay on pace with the program’s goals and not experience setbacks and regression. Examples of unexpected roster changes include:
- A current player deciding to use an extra year of eligibility.
- A current player gets injured during the season and decides to medically redshirt.
As unexpected roster changes occur, college basketball coaches must be flexible and make decisions swiftly. Coaches will make decisions based on what they think will give them the best chance to win games!
3) Lack of Basketball Development
Very rarely do college basketball coaches offer basketball scholarships to recruits based on a current finished product; instead, coaches primarily offer scholarships based on a student-athlete’s potential.
When looking at the NCAA recruiting calendar and given the fact that student-athletes are receiving basketball scholarship offers as early as 8th grade, it’s easy to correlate that the earlier a basketball coach offers a basketball scholarship, the more likely that a basketball coach is evaluating based on potential.
However, during a student-athlete’s prep career, a coach is expecting and desires to see growth and development in a recruit’s skills and game. A coach doesn’t want to see a recruit who’s the same during his or her junior or senior year of high school as he or she was as a freshman or sophomore.
After you have received an offer or even verbally committed, it’s imperative that you continue to work on your basketball skills and add to your game. Remember: your end goal is to secure and sign a NLI!
4. More Coveted Basketball Recruits Become Available
Currently, there are many avenues in which college basketball coaches recruit players. Among one of the most popular ways is the NCAA Transfer Portal; during the 2021 season, the transfer portal comprised over 1,700 available male players and over 1,000 available female players. Other rules and developments that play a factor as well include:
- NCAA’s new One-Time Transfer rule, which enables players to transfer without having to sit out for a year.
- Grad transfers, who have graduated from school and enrolled in post-graduate programs, are available to play immediately.
Additionally, a common occurrence is recruits who decommit from verbals or who might even get released from signed NLIs for a variety of reasons, which could include coaching staff turnover. As a result, a recruit that a college basketball coach was initially unsuccessful in recruiting might become available and take priority over a high school recruit.
5. Poor Off-Court Behavior or Character Issues
Coaches work to keep their program, athletic department, and school in a positive light and maintain the values of the entities. As a result, anything that would be disruptive and incongruent with standards will be immediately dismissed. Examples include:
- engaging in illegal or criminal activity
- falling behind in school
Throughout your recruiting process, and even after you’ve signed your NLI, always remember to be on your best behavior and carry & conduct yourself that would be a positive reflection of the schools you’ve been offered by or the school that you have committed to. You are always representing and associated with the school!
There is a myriad of reasons why college basketball coaches rescind basketball scholarship offers; while some reasons might be within your control, other reasons might not have anything to do with you as a person or your basketball skills. If you are in a situation where a coach rescinds an offer, always keep two things in mind: 1) Never let that action define you as a person or a player and 2) Keep working hard to secure the next offer!