By JESSICA FINELY
In order for college teams to grow and continue to succeed, recruiting, or the act of seeking new players from high school to play on college teams, is a necessary component of athletics.
Throughout the year, coaches search for new talent to add to their growing organization, whether the sport is tennis, lacrosse or basketball.
Constantly, coaches, including those at Piedmont, travel, email and make phone calls to look for students that love the game they play.
For Piedmont’s teams, some new recruits have already been chosen and give a promising outlook on the upcoming seasons.
According to head woman’s basketball coach Jamie Purdy, a lot of recruiting comes from word-of-mouth.
Addtionally, Purdy attends high school basketball games, while some other recruits are transfers from other colleges.
“When searching for recruits, the first thing that we look for is talent,” said Purdy.
“Then, we look at grades to see if they can get into Piedmont. Generally, if their grades are low in high school, it is going to be very hard for them to handle the rigorous schedule of a college student, as well as the work that goes into playing basketball.”
Along with academic and athletic superiority, coaches also look for character and a positive attitude.
Purdy said that coaches can tell a lot about a student’s character by the way they carry themselves on the court.
“Taunting and bullying the other team is a complete turn-off,” she said.
Another way athletes can be considered for recruiting is to fill out a “Prospective Athlete Form.”
The form is not an official Piedmont admissions application but is used by the coaching staff.
The student fills in information ranging from the athlete’s age and address to athletic qualities like athletic honors and statistics.
According to Liz Butikofer, Senior Woman Administrator with the Piedmont College Department of Athletics, recruiting is a tough job and a lengthy process.
Coaches don’t visit a student once and expect to recruit them automatically.
Generally, a lot of time is spent with the student and their parents.
“Our coaches do a great job [with recruiting],” said Butikofer.
“They spend a lot of time recruiting students. And, after [the students] are recruited, [coaches] do all they can to help [the players] succeed on and off the court.”
The recruiting process for Piedmont is different from the DI and DII league schools since many of the rules differ.
Piedmont does not offer an athletic scholarship to potential recruits, which may be a deciding factor for talented athletes considering Piedmont.
“It is important to get the students on campus because the school will usually sell itself,” said Purdy.
Piedmont does offer several academic and other scholarships, so students are encouraged to apply to see what their financial package looks like.
Purdy said her motto is “money is money,” emphasizing that an athletic scholarship or academic scholarship carry the same importance.