11/26/2012 3:35 PM
My apologies if anyone has previously floated this idea...I don't recall seeing it, but I'm definitely not trying to steal anyone's thunder if it has been discussed previously.

So here's the idea -- in addition to the current "by state" purchase options in FSS, I would like to suggest that it be possible to purchase a "local package"  of recruits, in essence reports for all recruits within 'x' miles of campus. We can discuss whether the 'x' should be one flat distance or a dropdown menu that would allow each player the option to broaden or narrow his/her search radius based on cost and personal preference.

My assumption is this wouldn't be difficult to set up since each recruit has a mileage from campus listed on the search screen, leading me to believe this information could be employed to make such a purchase feature possible. Cost-wise, I  think it should cost the same "per-recruit" dollar fee that governs how much each state costs, but if anyone wants to make the argument that such a service should cost more/less than the per-state rate, by all means throw it out there for discussion. We can also argue whether it should count as a state or not for purpose of determining a players 10/15/20 percent bulk purchase discount percentage (I think it should).

Rationale:
1. From where I sit, it seems allowing a search by geography in some cases makes more sense than the "by state" method, particularly for schools situated near the borders of several states. Coaches could get a read-out on their "local products," without necessarily needing to spring for a half-dozen states. Currently the cost of recruiting actions for schools are based on geographic distance between the campus and the recruit, but as coaches we have no  scouting method that corresponds to that principle. We are either overpaying for recruits outside our "radius" (and finding an occasional gem as a result, admittedly) or picking and choosing states that make up a segment of our school's area to ignore in the name of holding down recruiting costs.

2. For D3 schools in the "expensive" states, it provides a midrange strategic option for recruiting that lies somewhere between swallowing the full cost of the state or blowing off FSSing altogether. Have a program in Southern Cal and don't want to pay for those Bay-area recruits? Now you don't have to! Have Sul Ross St over by El Paso and don't want to spring for the kids 500+ miles away in Houston? This would be your option! Want to do some scouting of a nearby larger state without having to either spring for the whole state or wait unti signings begin to see a price drop? This would be for you.

3. At D2/D3 it's a cost-friendly option for schools that have only 1-2 scholarships to fill the chance to scout a bit without "overspending" on scouting people out of your area. (Being a central/southern Texas school with 1 open scholarship can be a very helpless feeling at D3...)

4. From a "real world" perspective (I know, I hate to bring the real world into a sim, but go with it for now), which is more likely -- that a school would be aware of all recruits in a particular state, or that it would be aware of the kids in proximity to its campus who are capable of playing collegiate ball? Maybe I'm blissfully ignorant, but I would argue the latter is the more likely.

I really don't see this proposal doing anything for coaches at the D1 level -- budgets there being high enough that all states in a 360-mile radius are likely FSS'd every year anyhow. For the D2-D3 levels, I think it would be one more tool that coaches could use if they chose to do so.

So there you have it -- discuss, blast away in criticism, offer tweaks in support or ignore at your leisure.
11/26/2012 4:06 PM (edited)
Just an example of how this could "help" from a budget standpoint, I just ran a 250-mile radius for my team in Naismith for the upcoming recruiting period. (Why 250? Because I couldn't get to 300 miles due to the presence of more than 300 recruits that filled the criteria...). There were 283 recruits in that radius that resided in parts of eight different states.

Under the current FSS methodology, to see these recruits I would need to FSS all eight states at a cost of $3,189 (bulk purchase multi-state discount included), which would also allow me to see kids beyond that 250-mile radius in these states

Under my proposal in the OP, I could scout just the 283 recruits within 250 miles of campus for $1,840 (283 recruits at $6.50/recruit, which seems to be the rate of calculation for all but the smallest states that clock in at the minimum $200 state fee).

The strategic tradeoff for the coach would then become whether or not it is worth the extra $1,349 in their mind to possibly locate a blue chipper in a recruit that would be seen via the first search method that would not be seen by a coach utilizing the second method, or to hold that money back for use in other recruiting actions.
11/26/2012 11:24 PM (edited)
I like it. My Texas team pays almost $2k for FSS on Texas alone every season. That's affordable at D2 and D1 but it's most of one slot for D3.

Add to this the ability to tell your assistant to scout for specific ratings instead of coming back with 5 or 10 reports on FT shooting and it could all be much more useful.

Edit to add: It's not just that FSS for Texas is expensive. it's also that a team like my Abilene Christian is in the western part of the state, and Texas is so big that 360 miles (for a pulldown) doesn't even cover the entire state. Now, the recruits outside of that might be recruitable for me after they drop down, but I'm basically paying for an FSS that is only half useful to me when it comes to pulldowns.


11/26/2012 7:23 PM
I think it's a cool idea.  I just wish seble would communicate with us any future plans.... it continues to drive me nuts that they don't do something about scouting visits providing duplicate information (for example on international recruits).... or perhaps changing scouting visits to provide more information (or even the ability to customized what information is received).
11/26/2012 8:08 PM
I like the idea. I complained about the same thing when I was coaching at D2 Christian Brothers in Memphis. The 'state" scouting is a huge drawback for schools located on state borders.
11/26/2012 8:24 PM
As long as we are talking about scouting trips and potentials, I would love to know the high/high potentials of recruits once I signed the guy.  i.e. I have a guy that I recruited late and with very little money left.  He has seven high potentials, but I don't know the kind of high for any of them.  Can't my scout tell me his potential based on watching him practice?

Okay so maybe that was off topic.  I could go either way on the FSS.  I have one DIII team in PA, very expensive, but that is one of the challenges I liked about recruiting there.

11/27/2012 1:41 PM
I think this is a great and very pratical idea. My D3 team has recruits within 250 miles covering 6 or 7 states. I can only pay for FSS for 1 of the 3 big states and 1 or 2 little ones. Some years I can't even afford that. This would change the entir makeup of my program. With this system it would be extremely fair for everyone.

The current system punishes my program in a number of ways. If I don't buy or can't afford to buy any FSS I can't scout quality recruits effectively. If I buy FSS I can't afford to scout approximately 2/3 of the available recruits. I love my D3 program but because I can't afford to scout my local area effectively I will have to leave my school to have the opportunity to compete effectively with the elite programs. It is not a level playing field. There is too much of an advantage for schools who are located in a state with a dense local recruitng base. Then you add the additional advantage of being in a hunam populated conference and it's overwhelming.  Even good coaches can not compete if they are not in a heavy populated state and a human conference. That is why you can't keep coaches at good programs in nonhuman conferences. You end up with 3-4 good conference and 15 -20 dead conferences that you are always trying to fill. I believe changing this one item would help keep coaches from moving so much. It certainly would keep me where I'm at now.
11/27/2012 5:15 PM
Your idea would be a great improvement over current FSS.  But IMHO, individual FSS would be the best way to go about it.  20-50 bucks per recruit.  Add more strategy to recruiting instead of just throwing money around. 

With that, I would change two other things.  First, change how we see potential on FSS to just two tiers (good/bad, high/low, red/blue, whatever you want to call it).  Second, give more detailed information on potential (along with O/D, pro intentions, etc.) in the scouting trips.  It would be similar to the clues we get now (i.e., Sky's the limit) except there would be clues across the whole range of potential.  

Implement these three ideas and you create a much more strategic style of recruiting.  First deciding which recruits you want to run reports on and then having to whittle that list down from there.  At DI, I could see this being a great way for lower tier teams to find those diamonds in the rough.  Payers with 550-620 ratings that maybe have outstanding potential.  In the current system, any team can stumble upon those just by paying for the whole state.  With this system a coach is rewarded for keying in on individuals and investing the time and money in finding out if the player is worth a shot.

My two sense. 
11/28/2012 2:50 PM
I like the idea, but I think unless it was done properly nearly everyone would use it instead of state-wide recruiting, as state-wide would have little use then except maybe at DI.
11/28/2012 3:08 PM (edited)
Great idea red!

Costs may have to be marginally higher than on a by-state basis though, or else I suspect nobody would scout states anymore. Having both methods be viable/useful depending on your situation would allow more of an element of strategy to come into play.

I also like Millwood's suggestion of being able to see the detailed potentials (low-high/high-high etc.) of your recruits once they arrive on campus.

11/28/2012 4:01 PM
My biggest concern/question if there's a different per-recruit cost for a local vs. a state search -- would the differing price structures unfairly confer advantages for coaches in smaller Northeastern US states? Say you charge 6.5/recruit for a state search and 9.5/recruit for a local search. A coach at E. Connectcut St. might completely envelop three or more states within a 200-mile circle. In that case, that coach (if smart) would buy the state search package for those states enveloped within the desired radius, paying 6.5/recruit for every player within, and then buy the local package, paying the higher cost for only a percentage of the "local" kids. He's also now purchased 4 'states" (assuming we count a local package as one state) toward FSS discounts of future scouting.

Does that put those Northeastern US coaches at an unfair advantage vs. a central/southern/western US school who can't similarly absorb entire states within the radius of a local search and must then pay the full 9.5 per recruit cost? I'm not saying the playing field has to be 100 percent level (and completely recognize it isn't now), but currently the inequities seem confined to individual schools rather than an entire league or geographic region. I worry a different price structure might slant things toward the Northeast/New England region.

Still very much playing with exactly how I'd use such a feature at my various programs.
11/28/2012 9:06 PM
I like this idea but wish we could find a way to have more chance in the recruits and think that is a higher priority.  Right now, I think luck plays too little into the equation and I would like to see some gems or busts to help make the game more challenging/interesting and more comparable to rl recruiting.

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