FieldLevel Recruiting 101: A series where we answer your questions, provide insights, and cover all aspects of the recruiting process.

Is it possible to lose a scholarship after you’ve been accepted and signed?

When you sign an NLI, it is a legally binding contract between you and the school for one academic year. Therefore, you’ll receive a scholarship as long as you hold up your end of the deal. However, this contract must be renewed each year to guarantee your scholarship and there are a number of reasons the school can choose to decline. This can include giving your scholarship to another player/recruit, disciplinary reasons, academic standing, etc. You can also request to be released from your contract if you’d like to transfer or stop playing your sport.

Are showcases a big part of recruiting? I haven’t been to one I just feel they aren’t needed?

Each showcase and camp is different, so it’s important to do your research. Showcases can provide great exposure to a number of colleges at once as well as face-to-face time with college coaches. If you’re looking to play in front of specific colleges, make sure they’ll be in attendance and work with your coaches to let those colleges know you’ll be there ahead of time. Most college coaches have a list of athletes they’re looking to evaluate at events. You should also make sure your coach thinks you’d be a good fit at the colleges who will be attending the event.

On the flip side, there are many showcases that are expensive and not worth it. Specifically in a showcase setting, you might only get a couple of reps or opportunities to show off your skills to colleges, so there’s a lot of pressure to perform well in that small amount of time. A showcase is not going to make or break your college recruiting, as college coaches take much more into consideration when recruiting athletes than a few moments at an event.

What are the visits like in early recruiting?

In early recruiting, it is very likely you will be going on unofficial visits. There are strict rules when it comes to communication between college coaches and recruits, including when a student-athlete can take an official visit to a school.

Unofficial visits are those that are not paid for by the school or team. Typically, they are paid for by the athletes or their families, and athletes can take as many unofficial visits as they’d like. These visits allow you to get a general feel for the campus and surrounding areas. This is a great way to picture yourself at the school and see what life would be like as a student. While on an unofficial visit, you can receive three tickets to a home sporting event, but everything else cannot be funded by the school.

Official visits are funded by the program including flights, lodging, transportation, meals, and more. Being invited for an official visit is typically a great indicator that program is serious about having you join their team. Taking an official visit gives you the ability to communicate with the coaching staff, meet the current players, see the facilities you’d be using as a student-athlete, and more. Keep in mind there are restrictions about the number of official visits you can take and when these visits can occur during the recruiting process.

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