When are offers pulled?

Submitted by StephenRKass on March 1st, 2012 at 12:57 PM

I am curious about how and when scholarship offers are pulled off the table. There are several instances last year where it seems an offer may have been pulled:

  • Yuri Wright (use of social media?)
  • Stefon Diggs (going out of town during a scheduled visit?)
  • Ron Thompson (didn't need him?)
  • Pharaoh Brown (went on an official, therefore rescinding commitment, and possibly offer?)
  • Tommy Schutt (didn't want, especially after Pipkins committed?)

In particular, I'm wondering what happens when a position group is largely filled. We have five offers accepted for 2013 on the offensive line. Does this mean that existing offers are "wait listed," ( i.e., "If a spot opens up, we'll let you know, but there isn't space now?") Or, if a player is rated highly enough (Tunsil?) they can commit at any time? Or, if a player is rated low enough, "thanks for your interest, but we no longer have room for you. Sorry it didn't work out."

For those of you who actually either played D-I ball or have been part of a coaching staff or have been related to a player, what does an offer look like? Are there conditions and strings attached?

In some ways, it seems a little bit like a game of "chicken," waiting to see who blinks first. If you wait too long, there is no longer a spot available. If you commit too quickly, maybe you don't investigate the field of suitors as comprehensively as you'd like.

I can see that at some positions, where several athletes have expressed serious interest, you are playing with fire if you don't commit soon enough. I don't think it was a coincidence that some of the offensive linemen who had serious interest pulled the string once they saw the positions filling up.



March 1st, 2012 at 1:06 PM ^

Obviously there are conditions.  One is the number of commits at your position.  Others have to do with performance, behavior, grades, etc. 

The coaches have the right to pull an offer on an uncommitted kid whenever they want, for whatever reason they want.  If we wanted two LBs and two LBs commit, chances are the other guys (or most of them) will get a thanks but no thanks phone call, or simply already knew that was the case. 


March 1st, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

It's definitely not a coincidence that some of the 2013 kids committed when they did, just like it wasn't a coincidence when Terry Richardson committed last year.


March 1st, 2012 at 4:35 PM ^

Without being given an ultimatum a kid can say "Hmmm, the coaches told me they were taking 5 linemen and 3 already committed. If I want to go there I better commit while there is space or risk losing out" and therefore commit before he would have without outside influences.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:19 PM ^

A follow up curiosity: say we have 5 OL committed.  If we adamantly ONLY wanted to take 5 OL, and a 6th OL who is higher rated than all current committed recruits wants to come aboard, would the coaching staff be able to pull offers from currently committed, but unsigned, recruits prior to signing day?  If so, wouldn't it be in the student's best interest to have a back-up school, still take visits while committed, etc.?

I understand that this would create a negative windfall with high school coaches and a negative rapport with future recruits should a coach do this, but is this "legal"? Does it happen often?


March 1st, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

It's totally legal, but also totally stupid, especially when done overtly.  Now, if we have 5 OL commits and want 5, we might take a 6th commit from a really highly rated kid and hope one of the others doesn't like it and bails, but the coaches would never tell one of the committed kids that their offer is no longer valid because they found someone better.

This same thing happens at some schools, but the coaches are a little sneakier about it than how you suggest.  And like you said, it's a good way to get bad press for your program and piss of high school coaches who might have other kids you're interested in.  That said, if you're the coach of Alabama or LSU, your reputation in the South is likely stronger than a couple pissed of recruits can change.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:34 PM ^

there is no binding agreement until NSD.  Some schools will "stop showing the love" in hopes that a kid de-commits on his own and/or noting that promises of playing time no longer apply given the later commits, some will convert the offer to a grayshirt, and in some cases (like UM last year) they will offer a grayshirt up front if a spot does not appear available.


I recall RR and staff losing a few early commits (lower rated ones) after doing the first, the 2nd is unethical but not as bad as outright telling a kid his offer is no longer good.

I believe thata Hoke and Co. have a bead on recruiting that they really don't have to do any of the first two.  They were very open up fornt last year with our "grayshirt" (Clark?) and were happy to give him the scholarship once the opening in the position group appeared.


In answer to your other question - I believe that you can't say "no" to a Tunsil caliber player, but I would hope that Hoke would approach the current commits first, particularly if they told all that 5 was their OL cap for 2013.

(EDIT - beat on the reply.  Damn you, below-average typing skills!)


March 1st, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

OT - are you on vacation this week OP? Can we bomb your threads with Kate or is Mrs. Kass lurking around?                               


March 1st, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

I would like to know what does actually happen. I have always envisioned a verbal "commit" to a verbal offer, and related an offer being pulled from an uncommited athlete to a phone call.

I suspect your chicken analogy is not far off for a lot of athletes. I would expect there to be some who have been offered by their dream school, some who just want the endless interview requests to stop, and  some who bow to other pressures. Among the remaining class there have to be some number that are, for all intents and purposes, negotiating.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

wrong with asking that question it is an intersting topic for conversation for those who follow recruiting.  But this part of your question needs some work. 

  • Yuri Wright (use of social media?) Refuted already by Sam Webb. Wrights offer was pulled before those tweets.  

Ron Thompson (didn't need him?) Supported by Sam Webb and Others services, it was known that he needed to be away from Michigan by those close to his camp.  He wanted Michigan, and Michigan wanted him. But he needed to be away from his present environment.

  • Pharaoh Brown (went on an official, therefore rescinding commitment, and possibly offer?)
  • Tommy Schutt (didn't want, especially after Pipkins committed?) Shutt wanted to visit and was turned down before Pipkins committed.

Next time just ask the simple question> When, How and Why are Offers pulled?


March 1st, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

You're wrong about Tommy Schutt. Pipkins was already a silent verbal and for that reason the coaches turned him away.

No need to seem like an ass, the OP's additions made it possible to discuss many issues within the simple question that you wished she had asked. 


March 1st, 2012 at 1:44 PM ^

only verbal at this point?  I recall something about written offers not being extended until the start of an atheletes Sr. year. (or at least after the end of their Jr. school year).

Does the offer becoming written change things?  (I suspect "no" much like an accepted offer on a house is not binding until the paperwork is signed.)


March 1st, 2012 at 3:20 PM ^

I believe, if we're getting technical in a "what can I legally do" way instead of "what can I do without expecting a shitstorm of bad press" way, the school isn't obligated to anything until the coach signs the financial aid agreement, which is after a student has enrolled in summer classes.

Only a Miles or Saban kind of coach would deny a kid a scholarship after they enrolled, but a LOI isn't binding on a school, and I don't think a written offer is either.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's the case.


March 1st, 2012 at 9:00 PM ^


I was curious about the process and came across an article published by a BC law professor in 2011 on the subject, which article is linked above.  It is self explanatory.

As in any contract, recruiting is a matter of an offer and acceptance. The contract (LOI) must be in writing and executed by both parties after a specified date (in the recruit’s senior year). No verbal agreement is binding and any verbal agreement can be revoked at any time for any reason. The article discusses the problem with the process.

Only after the LOI is executed is another university prohibited from contacting the recruit. After the recruit executes and delivers the LOI, the recruit is bound to the school. A de- commit thereafter costs the recruit a year on the sidelines.  The LOI governs the terms of the scholarship and obviously is binding on the university

The number of scholarship years is negotiable (1-5). This year all of Michigan's recruits were offered 4 year scholarships. That means that the University is not required to offer a 5th year scholarship to redshirt freshman, ect. If the scholarship is for 3 years, the 4th year offer is optional. Football is the only sport in which a scholarship cannot be split among the athletes .







March 1st, 2012 at 2:08 PM ^

LTT - and later Kugler were faced with the choice to make their decision to go to the school they knew they wanted (per direct quote from LTT) rather than "enjoy the process" and possibly lose out on getting one of the 5 spots.

This is also shown in a recent interview with an OL recruit (McGovern?) who noted the ealy commits and noted "good thing I am visiting in early March" inregard to getting an open spot.  Turns out March was too late - although I expect the coaches would have slow-played Kugler if that recruit in March was one of their must-have guys.

That said, some kids aren't going to make an early decision. We may see the same with LB's if one of the 2 (?) spots fills early but a kid like Treadwell at receiver not only has many options but also appears to know that UM will save a spot for him if he waits out the entire process.


March 1st, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

This is why Hoke said ' This is Michigan fergodsakes!' Hoke is bringing back that unwavering want to be a Wolverine back to recruits. If you get an offer from Michigan and you truly want to be here commit because the way it is going spots will not be open for long. This is the way it should be. Look at how it is working out for our current class of 13 and its only March 1st!!!


March 1st, 2012 at 2:55 PM ^

Having just started a new business, I'm learning that the "This is Michigan fergodssakes" philosophy applies to business as well. Undervaluing what you have to offer is probably worse than pricing yourself out of the category. Hoke's putting a high price on playing at Michigan, and you either buy it or you go elsewhere. And people are buying it.  


March 1st, 2012 at 2:37 PM ^

What I don't understand is, let's say you have your entire 5 man OL set now. What if there were 5 5-stars that wanted to commit in August, but now can't/don't want to? Aren't you shooting yourself in the foot from that perspective? And then aren't you leaving yourself vulnerable in case any of your commits absolutely suck their upcoming season? Or get injured? Or get lured away?

I'll never understand this process. Or maybe I will one day. I'm glad I'm not a coach.


March 1st, 2012 at 2:57 PM ^

like Tunsil (ethically) assuming that Hoke and Co. left that door open or opens it with the existing guys in the fold.  Most 5-stars probably aren't worried about the potential competition although some of the current commits might.  I also suspect that the coaches have a decent feel for which top recruits they have a good shot at and plan accordingly in the early months.

In regard to the early commits, there is always a risk of regression or injury but this is where first-hand scouting comes in versus relying solely on the recruiting services. (Also gives the coaches a better feel for the character of potential recruits).  The biggest danger of filling up early is not having a spot for that great, but too short, lineman etc. who has a late growth spurt to bring him to a 4-star+ capabilities.


March 1st, 2012 at 3:11 PM ^

What if you held spots open for the five stars but they commit elsewhere?  In the mean time, the four stars that would have committed to you in February, commit elsewhere while you were waiting for the five stars to decide.

What if one of the five stars that you waited on, commits, but ends up sucking? Or gets injured?  Or gets lured away?

What if the coaches rate a four star player higher than recruiting sites do?  What if the coaches rate a five star player lower than the recruiting sites do?

Bottom line, trust the coaches.  They know a lot more about what they want/need than you do.  They have a lot more at stake than anybody else - their livelihoods depends on it.


March 1st, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

In simplist terms recruiting is a crapshoot; 5 stars dont always pan out and 3 stars become All Time greats (Mike Hart)

The coaches have had the chance to watch these kids films, talk to them get to know their character, and get to know their families.  So just because a site ranks one above the other doesnt mean he fits Michigan better and these kids fit Michigans style to the T.   

To be quite honest I am more than happy with them taking these early commits as it means these kids want to be here and do not sell them short; these kids are all Watch List if not Top 100 players to all 3 services. 

This is not quite the same as RR shotgunning out offers and getting a bunch of 3 star (3 star Mafia Represent) kids to commit in Feb/March who end up not qualifying and cause your depth chart to quiver in fear. 

Mr Miggle

March 1st, 2012 at 5:52 PM ^

yourself in the foot when you get an o-line class like this. It's probably going to be the best class in UM's history.

There is no foolproof way to get the absolute best players who would be willing at some point to commit. Turning down this group in the hopes of getting all 5* players would almost certainly get you a weaker, possibly much weaker group.

Cville Blue

March 1st, 2012 at 6:37 PM ^

Seems like the staff did their homework and are happy with commitments from anyone they have offered this early on unless the position is full. I'll trust them, they seem to know what they are doing.