Softball - Not a good look for VT pulling scholarship

Not a good look

I know it's done all the time, especially when there is a coaching change, but I hate seeing this.

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Comments

Email, really? You'd expect bigger balls when talking softball, but I guess not.

How to we let the program know that we're not ok with this? Just pulling out of the Hokie Club without them understanding why isn't going to help.

Idk if they actually read it or ever see it, but email addresses of coaches and AD staff are usually available on hokiesports. Agree though that this is a bad look.

Everyone may not agree with me but I think that outside of college basketball and football, where the recruiting services are just so extensive and kids get so much exposure, other college sports should be ashamed and potentially not allowed to pull offers to kids. The coach in this case told her she was safe after getting hired (this was his chance to say they didn't want her), and she's been committed since she was an underclassmen and off schools recruiting radar (where as in cbb & cfb kids never stop getting talked to) so now she's shot outta luck. I'm sure she'll eventually land somewhere but agree terrible for future tech softball recruits anywhere near her area.

Fugazy

The article did state that she subsequently signed with BC for an even better partial scholarship than what VT had offered.

Yeah but she has to live in Bahston and listen to that accent for the next 4-5 years

Nobody should have to suffer through that

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

You must not get around much. There are a lot of worse accents to grate on the ear, Southwest Virginia, West Virginia and Eastern Tennessee provide nearby examples. Besides, Click and Clack were fine examples of the lyrical side of the Boston accent, and I certainly never tired of hearing them speak.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I will fight you. My SWVA accent is a thing of beauty.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

OK. Meet me anywhere in Pew-lasky in an hour and it's on. You'll know me on sight, I'm 6'6, weigh two eighty and will be packin' serious heat in one hand and a baseball bat in the other. Or, I'll buy you a beer instead and together we can make fun of E Tenn accents for fun. s/, of course.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

6'6", 280?

Sir, by any chance can you catch a football and knock down another man while you're at it?

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Hyperbolically, of course I can! In reality, I'm more like 5-10, 187 and I've never been in a fight in my life.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I won't tell if you don't. You'll be our secret weapon!

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

I can talk 'em into the ground, I'd bet.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Even though I still consider myself a Virginia boy, I've lived up on Cape Cod for the past 22 years. My gf, who is as classy and gorgeous as they come, grew up in the projects of Southie (her Mom even worked for Whitey). She has a thick, but adorable accent.

As classy as she is, my gf would cut you to ribbons for making fun of her heritage. /s. Well, sorta.

Worse: my wife's family's Jersey Shore accents
My thesis advisor's Mandarin Chinese accent

SWVA born and raised, VT undergrad here. Last 30+ years in CT and western MA. I think you'd be crazy to pass up a chance to be a student in Boston.

The only Boston accent that bothers me is the Brahmin variant, and that's probably because it delivered with an elevated nose.

The coach in this case told her she was safe after getting hired (this was his chance to say they didn't want her)

Sounds more like they ran into each other at a tournament. Doesn't sound like they had a lot of contact.

As the coach's hiring was announced on May 31st, and the letter was received on July 23rd, they did let her in a reasonably timely fashion, even if a letter wasn't the right way to handle it. You don't think the coach should have 30 days to look over the team roster before making decisions?

I don't like the idea of a coach being able to dump players because they don't fit their vision. A coach should accept or decline the job with the caveat of keeping the existing players/commitments as long as they're not trouble makers. They can start recruiting their type of players, but should honor current players and commitments.

I know it happens and it's the way it is, but it doesn't seem right.

and players should honor their accepted verbals, as long as the new coach isn't a troublemaker?

Yep. They supposedly tell players to commit to the school and not the coach.

The prior coach was at VT for 23 years, so this shouldn't be a frequent problem.

I get your heartburn, but look at it bigger picture. As much as it sucked for her to have an offer pulled the summer before her senior year, it is still FAR better for her to know that now while she still has the freedom to go somewhere else. If coaches were forced to take/keep players that don't fit their plan for the program, sure, it wouldn't be as jarring to the player in the short term, but in the long-run it would be a large disservice to them because they probably are not going to play and then get hung up in the NCAA rules on the 5-year eligibility clock and transfer rules.

Edit: I will add, from the VT side, there is a better way to handle this than sending an email.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but if I was an AD, and my new coach came in and wiped his ass with a commitment that had been made years ago, knowing this girl has been preparing for your school all that time, we'd be having some words. I don't care how talented or not these players are, it's completely fucked that coaches can just make a life changing decision for them through absolutely no fault of their own. And spare me the, "that's just how the system works," argument. We're talking softball, not football or basketball. Though, I'd argue it's fucked up in those sports as well.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Look at this forum. Fuente has been here, what, three years? With two pretty decent recruiting classes under his belt and a winning record. And there are people already being very critical. Look at the recruiting post. People are going ballistic over one recruit, a year out, naming UNC as his leader.

So I'd say the incoming softball coach does get to review his future recruits and the verbal offers made by the previous coach and make adjustments.

Well I mean, his record has gotten worse each year so it's a bit disingenuous if you just simply say he has a winning record.

I said he has a winning record, and he does. Nothing disingenuous about it.

The point was really more than he's been here three years, and there are people already showing up with pitchforks and torches because he hasn't been successful enough yet.

So the idea that "we don't care about wins and losses" seems like a disconnect.

It's disingenuous to use it as a reason why people should not be upset as it implies that simply having a winning record is a positive. We have gotten markedly worse each year. That is a potential reason to be upset, regardless of if you agree or not.

It's not disingenuous to introduce facts. It's disingenuous to distort them in an attempt to mislead.

Here's Fuente's record at VT:

2016 10-4
2017 9-4
2018 6-7

Now the quiz. Which of the following statements is disingenuous?

1. Fuente has a winning record.

2. We have gotten markedly worse each year.

One of those is a fact. One is an interpretation. Did we really get markedly worse in Fuente's second year?

But the real point was that fans really, REALLY care about the win-loss record. Do you care that Fuente made some roster changes, or that some players have left the program? Or do you care that VT didn't win enough games this year? I'm not saying people shouldn't be upset, I'm just pointing out that they are.

People care about win/loss record. And his win/loss record so far is not something to view as a positive.

Certainly not this year, but overall, I'd call it a positive.

It's fine if we disagree about that.

But like I said, the overall point was that the coach has to make adjustments to the roster in order to win games. That's his job. And if he doesn't do that, his job will be gone. So a college sports coach can't afford to carry players he doesn't think will help him win.

A commitment is a little bit more than naming a leader.

Recruit Prosim

I believe you're actually helping to make my point, which is that fans really care about this stuff.

I must have misunderstood your point then. It felt like you were saying we were overreacting and being critical when we shouldn't be.

Recruit Prosim

I was saying college sports fans care about winning and getting the best recruits, and that helps the coaches determine their priorities.

I care much more about treating people right. I don't want to be a fan of a program that thinks the ends justify the means.

So if you're a coach, and the previous coach gave a verbal commitment to eventually offer a scholarship to a player you don't think you'll use three years ago, you need to honor that for the next four years?

To me, that's not a "end justifies the means" thing, it's more of a "I'm going to do things differently than the last guy did because that's what I've been hired to do" thing.

I don't see it as any different than any new coach coming in and making changes to the roster. Yeah, some people are going to feel burned.

Sports for compensation is a tough gig. It's competitive, and only the best players get scholarships. Not everyone gets to go wherever they want to go AND get an athletic scholarship.

While I can be sympathetic to the student who didn't end up with a partial scholarship to VT, I don't think we need to pretend that the coaches aren't making hard decisions that affect people's lives.

To some degree I think this article is overblown. The person in the article found another scholarship. They say it happens all the time but didn't produce a lot of other examples. A better example would be someone who lost their scholarship and didn't find another one somewhere else. Clearly someone wants VT to feel some heat over it. Probably a UNC or NC State fan.

"So if you're a coach, and the previous coach gave a verbal commitment to eventually offer a scholarship to a player you don't think you'll use three years ago, you need to honor that for the next four years?"

Yes.

Almost the entirety of college athletes don't make it to the pros, and many use sports to pay for their education. If we tell them they're getting help with tuition and they plan the next 3 years of their lives around that, you can't tell me that it's ok to yank away a major portion of their budget because we decided to change a coach. That's treating student athletes as expendable employees, which is wrong.

Is a softball player having to go to Boston College on a 70% scholarship instead of VT on a 50% scholarship the the biggest injustice college sports? I would venture to say that it isn't, which is why the hyperbole in this story is a bit overblown. I'd say a bigger injustice was all those students who got fake degrees at UNC. This story isn't even about the biggest injustice in North Carolina college sports.

The author of the piece set out to push people's buttons, and they were successful in doing so. But in spite of saying "it happens all the time", they didn't bother to find any other examples. So do they really care about it as an issue? The NCAA doesn't even allow those early offers any more.

It doesn't seem to have been handled very well from the VT side, but softball scholarships are pretty competitive. Still, I'm glad it worked out for the student in the article.

So it worked out in this case, that's great. What about other cases?

What happened was wrong, and revoking an offer, even if verbal, is immoral. The fact that the NCAA doesn't allow it is irrelevant to my point, as is this one person's happy ending to the story. This can happen, and it shouldn't for no real reason.

The fact that the NCAA doesn't allow it is irrelevant to my point... This can happen

Um, no it can't anymore...

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

To clarify, I meant having offers taken away for a reason other than behavior and academic.

She didn't have a scholarship, only a handshake agreement from the prior coach that would would be made available next year, which is now two years after that coach will have been gone.

You're not adding anything new, it's still the wrong thing to have done.

No, not really

elaborating a bit... no prospect should ever expect a scholarship offer from a previous coaching regime to be honored by the new staff

So the kids get the short end of the stick because the school decides to make a change? Some culture we have, taking care of each other and whatnot.

These kids are getting to go for college for free (or at a substantial discount) because they're good at playing a game. Pardon me if I don't have much sympathy.

It's a transactional relationship to a large degree. Once on board the family element takes over. But it takes commitment from everyone involved for a healthy family. If VT isn't truly happy they should let the player know ASAP, and vice versa. Players don't get much heat any more for de-committing / flipping because fans are recognizing they should be able to do what's best for them. Why can't a coach do what's best for the success of the program? It's what they were hired to do after all.

Why can't a coach be honest with a recruit? Why tell her she was safe when the truth was he was still shopping around for additional players and he was going to cut her loose if he found someone else?

She spoke with the coach at a softball tournament, sometime between when he was named coach on May 31st and when she got a letter from VT on July 23rd. I doubt he'd had a chance to go through the roster at that point, so to blast him for saying something positive a chance meeting is a bit overblown.

Too easy.

1. Be polite.
2. Keep your mouth shut about her roster spot.

It's not rocket surgery.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

I agree, that's what I'd do.

But I'm not going to come down like a ton of bricks on a coach because he was nice when cornered at a tournament by a prospective player. We don't even know exactly what he said, as this entire story is from the student's perspective.

Not in sports like baseball and softball.

Remember softball is allowed 12 scholarships. Currently there are 23 players on VT's softball team. I agree that if the coach told her that her money was safe that is the bad look. Softball coaches are no longer allowed to have direct contact with players until September 1 of their Junior year in high school so you won't have the problem of being off anybody's radar for 3 years anymore. This happens more than people know in the less funded sports and the coaches came up with the new rule so it would slow the recruiting process down in those sports.

Why do I need to remember they only have 12 scholarships? As you say, they may have discontinued such early commitments, but this girl was committed for 3 years. I don't care what her talent level is, if you have someone making plans essentially their entire high school years to come to your school because you offered them a scholarship, YOU HONOR THAT SHIT.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

I don't know about all that.

So if you're a new softball coach, all your players for the next three years have already been selected for you? It should have been handled better, but I'd guess that when a coaching change is made, you might expect some changes to the makeup of the team.

I don't care. This girl has been planning on coming to Blacksburg for three years. The fact that grown men can play with teenager's lives to chase wins is ridiculous. I think when this happens in football it's fucked up, but even more so when it's a non-revenue sport. Whose to say that someone was coming to a school solely for their athletics? You're telling me that if a kid's dream was to come to VT for engineering, and sports just happened to be a conduit for that to happen, that it's just fine that complete adults throw their future into to the wind just because they are the new coach? This ain't the pros.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Do you not read this forum at all?

Everything about college sports is chasing wins. The prior coach just got fired for not having enough of those.

Yes, it's all about wins, because if the team doesn't get enough of those, people on this forum get mad and stop sending money, buying tickets, buying shirts and hats, etc. In the case of "non-revenue" sports, the coach still gets fired if they don't produce wins, and fairly quickly.

No, it ain't fair. But winning and losing does count for something. Just look at how this board foams at the mouth if the coach doesn't win enough games, or doesn't win the right ones. The debate on this forum is already "How many more years does Fuente get? He hasn't won the ACC yet!" When the people (mainly us) start sending money regardless of wins or losses, then coaching changes will all be voluntary, and they may not feel quite as much pressure to win in their first three years.

I fully concede about the way it IS, but I'm not wrong about the way it SHOULD BE. Doing the right thing will always trump winning.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

I agree about doing the right thing, but a new coach should get to pick his scholarship players a year in advance. This student had time to line up another scholarship, and was able to do that. They should have called her, though.

I sort of see this one from both sides. It wasn't so much pulling a scholarship as pulling a verbal commitment for a future scholarship. The "dark side" was that she had to go to Boston College with a bigger scholarship.

Quit Crying !! Scott was Fired and a New Real Coach was hired !! His Team , His Way, I am Glad Whit Got a Softball Coach for VT. Way Over Due !! You must be from The Scott B-Burg Club ..

Jack R.

Thank you so much for your input. You have changed the minds of everyone on this board. What would we do without you, Jack Crow?

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

You know, if you had just said

Quit Crying !! Scott was Fired and a New Real Coach was hired !! His Team , His Way, I am Glad Whit Got a Softball Coach for VT. Way Over Due !! You must be from The Scott B-Burg Club .

You really wouldn't have been out of line and not far from the truth.

Still far from English.

I'm just over here laughing at being labeled as being in the previous coach's fan club. I don't pay enough attention to softball to even know his name without TKP. Still doesn't mean I can't have an opinion about how people are treated.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

For real. I didn't know diddly about the new guy, but now I only have this negative example to associate with him. Shoot, Scot Thomas is a close friend of my wife's family from growing up in Blacksburg. I've drank at PKs with him when I got invited out for their high school circle of friends "reunion". He's a cool guy. But he was part of the Blacksburg good ol' boy club and as far as the softball team winning recently, it was probably time for a fresh coach.

I never had an opinion about him at all, but a few years ago, I was eating at a Mexican restaurant in Bridgewater and in the booth behind me were some JMU guys, one of whom was obviously a JMU softball coach. They were poking fun at Thomas seeming to regard him as out of the loop or not up to snuff or something. They were yukkin' it up some and I was eating so I didn't hear all of it, but from then on I've wondered about their obvious disdain for his coaching. They beat us that year, I noticed that, and they seemed to know him personally. Wish him all the best, but like you said, probably time.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

To be fair, she could still come to VT for engineering. She just won't have an athletic scholarship to pay her way.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

I thought the same thing. If her life dream was to go to VT for engineering, there are other ways to pay for it, particularly since the scholarship was only a partial (at most, 50%).

I have to trust the softball coach to make softball scholarship decisions, and she did have time to find another one.

And possibly walk on? Even after the first year? Hang with the team, get to know them, and have them lobby for her as well down the road? I've seen this happen a few times.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Yes, that would be a possibility, but also a risk, particularly for an out of state student.

Not if she wanted to go to VT for engineering.
Chase #1 goal while #2 (playing softball) might happen. But make sure #1 happens...
(agreeing with your post above.)

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

sometimes #2 happens and you just have to roll with it (hopefully not in it, though).

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Which makes me wonder, because BC doesn't even have an engineering major.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

It was a hypothetical.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

To be fair, what if she needed the scholarship to pay her way.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Sometimes the math on non-rev sports doesn't work out. My son plays lacrosse collegiality and there is a cost associated with it (private school vs in-state). There is a benefit for me ... he is more engaged in his studies

VT out of state 38k with 50% scholarship 19k
App State in state tuition 16k (including room & board)
BC $70k (not sure about rules mixing academic and athletic money)

So a 9th grade stud commits in football, to DREAM school, and then doesn't grow an inch or gain a much weight in high school and you still have to honor that commit if you get a new coach and he has a late blooming 4* stud that wants to commit but there are no available scholarships. Is there a problem with that?

Maybe not offer kids that are freshmen to begin with. I'm not saying tell coaches to stop doing it, I'm saying outlaw it. If you just frown on it, people will still do it. If the NCAA outlaws it...wait...nevermind. No. Seriously, stop laughing.

Still, it's a messed up situation that should have never been created.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

I completely agree that it is screwed up. Actually the NCAA has outlawed it for non-revenue sports.

Yes, but softball (unlike football and basketball) isn't a head count sport, so all 23 of those players can be on some type of scholarship - full or partial - as long as Tech doesn't exceed 12.0 scholarships in the process.

While this is a bad look and unfortunate, I would have to say this is happens a lot. Every small ball parent I have talked to has said it is incredibly cut throat.

One particular parent had his boy going to Tech for baseball. New coach came in and pitchers not tossing 90+ are off the team or uncommitted. Boy was tossing 89 and had O&M athletic pedigree. Opted to play at Liberty. Played summer league. Great stats. Goes in the fall. Bunch of the kids were getting their logo apparel. He got his. Batting gloves came in. His were on 'backorder'. Coach told him to wait. After 3 weeks, asked coach when he would expect his. Coach broke news then that if he didn't get his gloves then he wouldn't be playing. This was after school year had started.

I've heard numerous other stories about how cutthroat it is. I think if you go and look at the players careers, you might be surprised how many ball players don't make it all 4 years at the college level at one school.

Again, bad look, tough look. But reality, I'm surprised the HS coaches didn't prepare the parents better or understand the process better.

‘Boy, wake up, we’re going over the mountain,’ and that was code for we’re going to watch Virginia Tech play football today,'

That definitely stinks, and makes me a little ill. Seems like at a minimum, it could have been handled better. She should have gotten a phone call, not a letter.

I'm sure some people think we should have stuck with the prior coach's verbal commitment, but o be fair to the new coach, though, if you're a new softball coach, you have to stay with all of the prior coach's verbal commits that were made verbally several years ago? Then what's the point in changing coaches?

For me, the problem is more with the timing and verbal nature of softball verbal offers. Like in all sports, offers aren't binding until there is something in writing from both sides. Recruits in softball likely change their minds sometimes as well. When you have a coaching change, I'd expect some of the offers might change.

All of these scholarships are funded by revenues generated by football, basketball, and donations. We're fortunate to be able to offer them, and those students are fortunate to receive them.

Of course it's horrible to pull a scholarship offer, I hate it for her. However one of the reasons VT does not have any NCAA recognized team sports championships- zero in any sport- is because we had good ole boy coaches that loves their cushy blacksburg paychecks and status quo too much. If this scholarship was pulled in favor of someone that can help us win a national championship in softball, I understand it- other teams have been playing by these rules much longer than VT.

Lets look at this from the coaches perspective. Does a coach GAIN job stability for honoring a scholarship for a player they don't want? No. If that player doesn't pan out or doesn't perform, it hurts the coach. Coaches don't get to coach if they don't succeed, and you can be damn sure that they will use every tool in their toolbox to succeed so they can continue to support their family.

Players can withdraw a verbal just like coaches can. Everyone knows the game

This is the same fallacy as "at-will" employment. Employees and employers do NOT have an even playing field, and neither do schools and commits. All the leverage is with the organization as they're not dependent on one individual, while athletes and employees very much are. Athletes, once they are told they are getting a scholarship, shouldn't need to indefinitely keep seeking other opportunities just in case the one they've been promised doesn't pan out.

The only game here is letting schools screw over prospective students at their own whim.

Should have at least picked up the phone. Everyone hides behind e mail/ texting / twitter etc anymore.

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Hey, that's not fair. Some of us hide behind anonymous posts on TKP, too.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Why not be upfront with her and her family and say something (in person, not email) like this:

"Hey, I'll be upfront with you. I've been hired to turn around the program and you're a good player, but you don't fit my vision for the team I want to field. I think you'd have limited opportunities for playing time. Having said that, VT took your verbal commitment and you are absolutely welcome to come and join the team and see how it goes. I'll treat you the same as anyone else. If you want to look elsewhere, I'll help you find a spot"

That would be doing things the right way, in my opinion. And it would seem less likely to hurt recruiting ties.

I agree.

Taking the time to do it like that would have been better. I'm not sure the family's response would have been all that much better, but it would have been worth taking the time to do it like that.

Devils advocate how would he have been best able to do that? Drove to her hometown just to do that? This costing money, his time and does softball have a no face to face contact period?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I should include telephone as 'in person'. Just something less cold and impersonal as an email.

I would support that.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I agree about the fact that he should have at least had the decency to pick up the phone. While being recruited players are called at an annoying rate (I stopped answering when I was in HS and I wasn't D1 level). If you can pick up the phone to try to convince a player to join your team, the least you can do is pick up the phone to rescind a scholarship offer.