Keeping with the current recruiting theme of get creative or get left behind, University of Wyoming football coach Craig Bohl used a tweet as a help-wanted ad. He is looking for a quarterback. Experience is necessary.
“We believe this is a great opportunity for a transfer quarterback to come in and make an impact on our program,” Bohl wrote. “We’ve seen that before when we brought Josh Allen into our program, and we’re excited for the next chapter of Cowboy Football. Go Pokes!”
— Wyoming Cowboy Football (@wyo_football) December 24, 2021
It’s pretty funny to see a coach and a university use social media to look for a player. But when you look at the evolution of college sports over the past 25 years it makes perfect sense.
Recruiting athletes has always been very competitive, and a university needs to be sending its message to potential recruits on platforms where the recruits spend time.
Instagram and TikTok are also fertile recruiting grounds for the children of the social media era. Somewhere an enterprising coach and university are figuring out how to use the social platforms to their advantage.
Bohl and Wyoming need a new quarterback because Wyoming’s Levi Williams announced after earning MVP in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl that he was entering the transfer portal with three years of eligibility remaining.
The NCAA football transfer portal has been extremely active due to the one-time transfer rule. This option allows a player to transfer without losing a year of eligibility in order to find the best situations for whatever their needs might be.
More playing time, access to better coaching, higher profile situation, etc. Players en masse are treating college athletics the way the NCAA and universities have for decades. Like a business.
Universities and coaches only want loyalty to be a one-way street, so the players should only be as committed as their options. It’s only fair.
In Bohl’s statement he mentioned NIL and his staff’s “clear vision to navigate these uncharted waters.” This is the obvious frontier the recruiting battles will be fought on. Coaches and universities will sell their ability to help athletes secure the best possible deals directly or indirectly.
The NIL is a new policy enacted by the NCAA that allows players to sign endorsement deals and profit off their name, image and likeness. Again, the schools have profited off the players’ names, images, and likenesses since the dawn of big-time college sports. It’s only right that the athletes do the same.
The revenue-generating sports in Power 5 college athletics (football and basketball) have long subsidized their schools’ entire athletics departments and allowed the universities to reap huge financial benefits.
Those athletes want to reap some of the benefits too, since it’s their labor that’s driving the revenue. For the NCAA, this was a tidal wave they couldn’t stop. In a world of increasing options and paths for athletes, the NIL policy is just the cost of doing business.
As for how coaches and universities will manage this process to maintain advantages, Bohl’s tweet was instructive. Highlight the reality, state that your environment is the best to navigate, and cite a high-profile relevant example.
It’s the same recruiting pitch formula that has been used forever, it’s just updated with language that matches the era we’re in.
Yes, the landscape has certainly changed. But what coaches and universities want ultimately remains the same.
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