Should you tell coaches about an injury during the recruiting process?

examining injured leg representing if you should tell a coach about an injuryJust asking this question suggests that it’s possible to hide the injury from the college coaches. I suppose it’s possible if it occurs off-season and the player isn’t actually on crutches or doesn’t have an arm in a sling. But how many sports today actually have an off-season? Even those players being recruited in sports that do have a limited season such as football are likely to be playing other sports. Don’t you think the recruiting coach might wonder why the player is sitting out his secondary sport?

The following are answers from various college recruiting resources to the question “should you tell coaches about an injury during the recruiting process?” All say “yes.” But don’t expect to be rewarded for being virtuous. I think the CSS response sums up the situation the best: “be prepared for any kind of response from the coach.”

Injury During the Recruiting Process
Locker Room Talk

This doesn’t really add much to the discussion of whether not to disclose the injury one way or another. It just has comments from six athletes who had been injured and their experiences. The reason I’m including it is because it’s important to remember as you go through the various articles, they really only include athletes who were injured and yet managed to make it to the college level. No one is tracking down the ones who didn’t make it.

Ouch, That Hurts! What to do if You’re Injured During Your College Search
By Catharine Aradi of Fastpitchrecruiting.com

Reading this it’s apparent that Catharine Aradi assumes that you will tell the coach about the injury. All the information is about how the impact of the injury will depend on when it happens during the player’s career. Main point-start your video early so you have something to show if you do get injured.

College Volleyball Recruiting while Injured
College Volleyball Coach

This is a question from an injured player who had been recruited at the lower D1/competitive D2 level. The advice “I would focus on JC’s at this juncture, just because you won’t be back to full speed in 2016 to have an effective recruiting opportunity and I would be wary of a 4 year scholarship’ing you, because they could just as easily cut you if they don’t think you have progressed well enough.” says more about the likely effects on recruiting than most of the articles.

Dear Coach Taylor – How does an injury affect my recruiting process?
NCSA Athletic Recruiting

Basically says an injury shouldn’t make a difference, “As long as you have recovered or are recovering, you should not be affected by the injury.” Therefore, “it is not necessary to advertise your injury, but don’t hide it.” Maybe this post is just a determined effort to focus on the positive but I can’t help but think it’s not very helpful. I suspect a lot that isn’t said hinges on how they define “recovering.” Oh yeah, another mention of the importance of video.

College Recruiting Questions & Answers
Your Sports Reel

Argues that honesty is the best policy: “As for the question, there are some people out there who say that you shouldn’t tell your college coaches. That is bad advice. The best thing you can do in the recruiting process is be honest.” No suggestions that it won’t cause problems. The answer is prefaced with “This happens all too frequently and really derails the recruiting process for some people.”

Road to Recovery: Injuries During the College Recruitment Process
Recruiting Sports Network

Another vote for honesty but definitely shows that it won’t necessarily be rewarded. This post starts with the depressing story of an injured linebacker where

Though Ole Miss was aware of the injury, they ended up revoking their promised scholarship at the end of July due to concern of Mathis’s recovery (1). Because of his commitment to Ole Miss, he’d stopped all communication with other schools and, in the end, was left to start at square one with the recruiting process.

The interesting part is that all of this seems to have occurred before his senior year.

Should you disclose an injury to college coaches during the athletic recruiting process?
Recruiting-101.com

A slightly different take on the issue. Honesty is still the best policy but because “Chances are that if a coaching staff is going to pull your scholarship offer or no longer recruit you because of a torn up knee, then the same staff may eventually sell you out down the road as well.” Something worth thinking about.

3 Tips for Injured Athletes in the Recruiting Process
College Sports Scholarships

Another recommendation for informing the coach about any injuries although it emphasizes knowing everything about the injury before doing so including the severity and recovery time. Again, no sugar-coating the possibilities, “Most college coaches understand that injuries are a part of being an athlete, but be prepared for any kind of response from the coach, especially if it’s a serious injury.”

Athletes face uncertainty after injuries hurt their recruiting plans
By Andrew Ivins, Sun Sentinel

Nothing on whether or not players should disclose an injury but a story on the consequences for three players. These three were lucky and landed on their feet but their experiences are worth noting, “Matt Dillon has been coaching for 33 years, and he can only recall a few occasions when a college honored a scholarship after a major injury.”

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Suggestions on whether or not you should you tell coaches about an injury during the recruiting process.

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