When it comes to college recruiting, the term “scout” is being thrown around way too loosely these days. I was talking to the dad of a high school baseball player last week and he told me that he and his wife were approached by a scout at his son’s game. Dad told me know that this “scout” was really excited about their son and wanted them to fill out a player card so he could help him with the college recruiting process. Naturally, this dad was very excited and assumed good things were happening for his son.
Well, after talking with dad for a few more minutes and asking some very basic questions about the interaction he had with this “scout,” I realized that the guy this dad was talking to was not a scout. In fact, he didn’t represent a professional team and he was not a college coach. And unfortunately, I’m the one that had to burst this dad’s bubble by telling him that this “scout” worked for a third-party recruiting service. He was merely labeled a “scout” by title. And even though this kid can actually play, the only thing this guy was scouting was dollar signs and this dad’s wallet.
After hearing this family’s story, I wanted to take the time to clarify what the term “scout” means, specific to college recruiting and the world of sports. Because a lot of you high school athletes and parents are getting confused, and quite frankly, you’re getting taken advantage of by people misrepresenting the word. So, here it is: a scout is someone who represents a professional sports organization, not a recruiting service. That’s it. The next time someone tells you they’re a “scout”, ask them what team they are scouting for. If their answer isn’t a professional organization, like an MLB or NFL team, they’re not really a scout.
Along those same lines, I also think it’s important to clarify that college coaches call themselves coaches, not scouts. The language they use is recruit, not scout. They recruit players, they don’t scout players. So, if a college coach introduces his or herself to you, they will clearly state which school they’re recruiting for.
I know I say this a lot, but I’m going to say it again: if you’re being recruited, you’ll know it and you’ll know which school is recruiting you. If you’re lucky enough to be scouted, it’s going to be by a professional team. And likewise, you’ll know which team is scouting you. That’s the truth. The end and spread the word!
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