If you've coached college football, chances are really good that you've spent hours and hours on the phone getting to know a kid and his family only to be informed that he didn't get into school based on a series of numbers and figures that the admissions department looks at.
And if you've been in those shoes, you can understand how frustrating it can be to see a player that you felt was such a good fit - for both your football program and university - land somewhere else.
This past off season, Wisconsin has lost a small few rather high-profile recruits to other schools because they weren't granted admission into UW. According to athletic director Barry Alvarez, coaches used to be able to appeal those decisions to the individual college that the student was applying to, but since the hiring of a new undergraduate admissions director in 2010, that process has changed and now all appeals are seen by the UW Admission Department with no input from the coaching staff.
"You had coaches who knew student-athletes and recruited them and had been through the screening process," Alvarez told the Journal Sentinel. "They've done the screening. That is what we try to emphasize. Our coaches understand the profile of our incoming student-athletes, and they feel that certain people will have success or have a chance for success and they can present that case because they know they have researched these individuals."
"Now, when it goes to Admissions they don't talk to the coaches. They look at scores. They look at numbers. They look at whatever they see. We're discussing with our administration going back to the way we did it, where we take our appeals to the individual colleges rather than through Admissions first." Alvarez added that they hope to have a new system in place, where the input of coaches is taken into account, by next season.
Is this just the byproduct of the recent frustration that the Badgers were unable to get a few student-athletes they had targeted as the right fit for the program into school? Or does Alvarez bring a valid argument to the table here?
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, Alvarez does have a very good point because the fact remains that coaches get to know the student-athletes better than anyone in the admissions department, and the decision from admissions is based on numbers, not the person involved.
"I think it is only fair to our coaches and some student-athletes and our coaches that their stories should be heard," Alvarez shared.
I'd enjoy hearing from programs on both sides of the fence on this issue. If you're at a program where you get input with your admissions department, or your admissions department makes the decision 100% on their own with no input from your staff, let me know how things are going and what you'd like to see change at Doug@footballscoop.com or on Twitter at @CoachSamz.