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Division III discusses potential benefit of recruiting calendar

By Greg Johnson

Recruiting at the Division III level is a 12-month proposition.

However, an educational session at the NCAA Convention on Thursday revealed it might be time to tug on the reins through the development of a recruiting calendar.

At the session titled, “Division III Athletics Recruiting: Finding a Balance That Makes Sense,” DIII ADs Al Bean (Southern Maine), Susan Bassett (Carnegie Mellon), Tim Shea (Salem State) and Jackie Slaats (Lake Forest) led the discussion. They were joined by Grand Valley State AD Tim Selgo, who helped developed a recruiting calendar for Division II.

The panelists, along with others in the audience, wondered if the lack of a recruiting calendar was a bane to coaches working at the Division III level. Many believe their coaches become “burned out” since their work/life balance can become extreme.

The abundance of year-round nonscholastic events in several sports pressures coaches to constantly be at these gatherings for recruiting opportunities. Some believe recruiting calendars could alleviate some of the pressure.

Selgo said the issue could go deeper than just burning out the current coaches. He asked the group to consider the fact they may be losing out on talent because the coaches may not want to face the recruiting rigors of Division III.

All agreed that the time demands of recruiting are tough in every aspect, but it is also the lifeblood of any college athletics program, regardless of division.

While Thursday’s discussion was an informal conversation, it could come up in the Division III governance structure. Selgo also added that presidential buy-in is critical to making any changes work.