The Business of College Recruiting

College recruiting is all about finding the best players for college programs. Recruiting at the major college level is big-time business in order to recruit big-time players. The game of college recruiting is cut-throat; it’s kill or be killed when you’re out there looking for the best talent for your college program. College athletics is mostly about winning, making money and turning your program into a success right now. The days of taking three to five years to build a successful program are long gone.

To be a success at any sport at the major college level you have to reach your conference tournament then go beyond the tournament to compete for a national championship. Anything less, especially if you’re a college coach. Chances are you will be fired.

College sports is big business; from the games on TV to the fans who see the teams play in person, big money is being made and the better your college program does in a tournament or ball games means more money for your college or university.

The pressure to achieve that goal year in and year out is extremely difficult and only the most successful coaches, with a strong background in recruiting, will succeed. Keep in mind, to reach the level of the major college coach you already know strategy, you already know how to coach and motivate players and do all the things that it takes to prepare your team for each and every day, but if you do not have the best players for your program to succeed then you will struggle.

Recruiting is such a sophisticated process that it requires a coach to handle those responsibilities full time.

How has college sports become big business? The answer to that question is television, the NCAA tournament and the BCS Bowl championship series. Fans at the stadiums want to see their favorite college team compete which generates millions of dollars in revenue, merchandise is sold, television rights are sold and the larger college programs get that money which could stretch from $40 to $50 million per year in revenue.

College athletics is an extremely powerful presence in American culture. Millions of people watch the games, millions of people read about their favorite team, and millions more spend money on their favorite teams’ merchandise. With all of that being said, you must produce a successful college program every year and the only way to do that is to recruit top caliber players by any means necessary.

The best college coaches who can recruit and win successfully are paid millions of dollars. Many coaches make more money than the President of the United States. Coaches who receive these large salaries are there for one reason: to win games. Because of the pressure to win each and every year, there are some college programs that will cheat to secure the top high school talent in America. The rules that govern college programs, set forth by the NCAA, are as big as a phonebook. There are so many rules and regulations that govern college programs and the college recruiting process that it can be a challenge to stay within the guidelines of the NCAA rulebook.

Many college programs have what is called a “compliance department” that oversees the athletic programs to ensure that the rules are being followed. Cheating at college recruiting happens almost every day. Many college coaches, in order to succeed, feel they have to go outside the rule book in order to recruit players.

With that type of pressure placed on college coaches to win many turn to cheating. Cheating is almost a way of life in the world of college recruiting because in order to achieve some level of success, rules will be broken.

College coaches, it seems to me, do not fear getting caught. So what if they lose a scholarship or two or have to vacate ballgames that they won. Cheating to recruit players will never stop. Nobody cares about the players it seems. When a college program only cares if that player can help that program win ball games, then that college program will do almost anything to recruit a potential superstar athlete and do whatever necessary to keep that college athlete eligible.

What does this say about the college coach who only cares if you can play a game and is willing to manipulate the rules of recruiting to recruit you to their program? There are many college student athletes who, for the most part, have no business ever being admitted to college in the first place, but because they can play a sport better than many others, that college’s athletic department is willing to bend the rules to get that superstar athlete admitted into their college program.


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