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Another Take on the Early Verbal Commitments

Another Take on the Early Verbal Commitments

     I was having lunch with one of my high school buddies the other day when the topic of college recruiting was brought up. It seems that his child is one of the better players out there and has already been offered a nice package deal from one of the top programs in the country. The coach asked for a verbal commitment and placed a deadline of a week to accept before they would pull the offer. The only problem is that the kid is only a freshman and has never played a minute of HS varsity lacrosse. The kid is naturally caught up in the recruiting hysteria and wants to verbally commit even though they have not visited any other colleges. The kid solely wants to commit because this powerhouse school wants them. Fortunately my HS buddy is not going to allow his kid to commit; at least until they visit several other top academic schools. He has the courage to walk away from a pressured sales pitch and has confidence that his kid will eventually get an offer that makes sense…but not when they are a freshmen. Unfortunately most families don’t have the courage to say, “No, we’re not ready to make any decision and we will not be pressured into committing.” Most of these families get caught up in the pressured environment and allow their child to commit. Besides it’s great cocktail party talk to tell other parents that your superstar is already in college.

     So while this trend of players verbally committing has become a hot topic and source of great debate, nothing is being done to curtail this practice. The NCAA and the college coaches note that it is a dangerous trend, but besides some comments about the practice, no changes are on the horizon. Parents could use their influence to disallow their freshmen from committing but with skyrocketing tuition and the promise of a cheap ride, it’s hard to turn down these offers. In a recent article written by former Denver assistant coach Trevor Tierney, he proposes eliminating the Verbal Commitment altogether. He points out the unfairness of the Verbal commitment and discusses why football doesn’t really place any value to the verbal. Perhaps lacrosse should follow suit. To read the complete article and other articles written by Trevor, please go to


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