The recruiting of underclassmen has been a hot topic in lacrosse the past few years as more and more rising sophomores have made oral commitments to colleges.
On Thursday, US Lacrosse, the sport's national governing body, stoked the debate by putting out a statement essentially condemning the process and calling for reform, including an age limit for recruits. Here's the statement:
The US Lacrosse Board of Directors today approved the following statement on the complex nature of the collegiate recruiting process for high school student-athletes. The statement was developed by the national volunteer and staff leadership of US Lacrosse, in consultation with members of the coaching community, and it reads as follows:
US Lacrosse shares the concern of many lacrosse players, parents and coaches that the college recruiting process is not structured or timed in the best interests of high school student-athletes. The current landscape of recruiting events and club programs — some of which operate throughout the calendar year — has encouraged an increasing number of young student-athletes to forgo a well-rounded high school experience based on unrealistic expectations and misperceptions about playing college lacrosse.
Parents are being led to believe that college coaches focus on recruiting only those children who play year-round lacrosse and who attend multiple expensive recruiting events throughout the year. While some recruiting programs and events offer positive experiences for student-athletes, others — particularly those that conflict with the school calendar or occur outside of the traditional lacrosse season — threaten the well-being of student-athletes with incidents of injury and burnout. This intense recruiting culture also has eroded the work-life balance of coaches and parents.
US Lacrosse will continue to work with high school programs, clubs, tournament directors, the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IMLCA) and the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) to provide the information, resources and leadership necessary to enable high school student-athletes and their parents to make the best decisions about their lacrosse experience.
US Lacrosse also encourages men’s and women’s collegiate lacrosse coaches to exert their considerable influence to lead reform of the NCAA recruiting calendar, limit the age at which student-athletes begin the recruiting process and agree not to attend or participate in recruiting events that infringe on the academic calendar of student-athletes.