Coronavirus Pandemic affecting NCAA college sports recruiting process

Ever think the recruiting process could get any harder? This year it might just have gotten a whole level harder. Due to the Coronavirus, many restrictions have been put on college recruiting. Specifically for the NCAA, all in-person recruitment has been extended until January 1st, originally set as June 1st. Players who lack access to video recording during games get set back even more in the recruiting process. Digital recruiting has become the biggest form of recruitment recently where coaches are allowed to view the players’ ability virtually.


Coaches and schools have found many alternatives to having recruits on campus. According to B.J. Dunne, head men’s basketball coach at Gettysburg College, he expressed when asked about how they were dealing with college campus visits that “I drove to campus and gave a tour while the family was in the car behind me, and we communicated through the Bluetooth in the car. He committed, so I may have to try that more often. You have to get creative. You have to go above and beyond.” This coach showed that there is a way in order to recruit these student-athletes – there just has to be a creative way around it. 


Student-athletes have definitely taken a huge hit during recruitment due to the pandemic, it has been hard for all sports but some more than others. Since the Coronavirus had restricted their seasons and for some sports completely canceled them, many players had trouble getting their name out there. When asked how the pandemic has impacted his recruiting process, Ian Fitzgerald, 2020 graduate at Norfolk Academy, and starting Face Off for the Norfolk Academy Lacrosse team said, “Having our spring season cut short last year and having many restrictions for our club team, Amped Lacrosse, my recruiting process almost came to a halt.” Ian expresses that not only has the pandemic slowed down his recruiting process but also disabled him from playing lacrosse to the fullest opportunity. Ian also mentions, “During the summer, we usually have around 5 tournaments that tons of college coaches attend but last summer we ended up with 2 tournaments with not many division 1 coaches.” A big point that Ian pointed out was the fact that the NCAA had pushed back the in-person recruitment multiple times expressing, “Right when we think these coaches can start coming to our games just another deadline appears on their website.” These student-athletes are having an even more difficult time trying to get recruited due to the pandemic but are trying to make the most of it.


Another student-athlete who is being impacted during his recruitment process is Gavin Dooren, junior starter for the Cape Henry soccer and lacrosse teams says, “Being recruited without any game film is impossible at the moment.” Gavin believes the recruiting process is already hard enough and now with the pandemic recruiting is even harder. He mentions that some schools are not doing campus visits which “makes it way harder to find a school I really enjoy without physically being there.” He also said that he can’t wait for the pandemic to end hoping it is not too late for him to really get going with his recruiting process.


The last interviewed student-athlete is Mitchell Lugo, junior starter for the Cape Henry soccer team and key aspect for his club team, Virginia Rush. Mitchell was asked how the coronavirus pandemic has affected his recruiting process and his response was “soccer is one of the hardest sports to get Division 1 recruitment from because of so many restrictions and good talent there is. Now with the coronavirus pandemic, the recruiting process just got 10 times harder.” Mitchell wants to express how this is such a setback for all student-athletes. He added how hard it is to begin with, and how COVID-19 made it so much harder. 


Overall, between Division 1 colleges having restrictions on recruiting student-athletes and the majority of those athletes not being able to play their season, college recruitment by the college and for the athletes got way harder. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the recruiting process as a whole got delayed for student-athletes and the universities. After interviewing some student-athletes, it is clear these players just want their seasons to return to normal and for these recruitment restrictions to go away.