The Web's role in recruiting
student athletes

  • Instead of digging through stacks of paper looking for an athlete who meets their specifications, college coaches can enter their specs into a search engine and search a database containing large numbers of qualified athletes.

    Instead of waiting weeks for their old "hard copy" service to get information on the award he just won out to the colleges he is interested in, the student-athlete can update his promotional web page the night he won it.

    With the Internet becoming a way of life, it is natural that it would start making waves in the sports world as well. With the introduction of on-line recruiting services, it has. Students and coaches can now promote themselves and receive information via the Internet.

    "It is not really a revolution, but an evolution," said Annis Karpenko, the managing director at Varsity Link. "We use technology to enhance what is available. There will always be room for more than one method of recruiting. The bottom line is, no service can be everything to everyone."

    This evolution is helping coaches and colleges save money. It is helping students gain more exposure. In general, if someone chooses the right service to help them on their way to college, it is a win-win situation.

    "In the days of reduced recruiting travel budgets, colleges are being forced to look for alternative ways to find recruits," said Jon Underwood, director of operations for Allsport Recruiting at Scout USA. "I feel that the combination of the net and direct exposure provides a great outlet for kids wanting to get their name out."

    When students are looking for a service, they need to know what they want -- and how much they are willing to spend. There are literally hundreds of services out there, this page only attempts to look at a few.

    As with everything else on-line, recruiting has a lot of potential in its future. The future of recruiting on the Internet, however, is hampered by those who feel it is something that should be left to pulp media.

    "I don't see a real radical switch from the current recruiting methods," said Dan Tudor, president of Recruit Zone. "Some coaches are 'old school' and aren't all that comfortable getting on the net and 'surfing' for prospects. Until that changes, there won't be many alterations from the current methods of recruiting."

    Recruiting ServicesWhat to look for in a serviceLinks/Bibliography