The development of technology is getting bigger and that is why we must become familiar with it. Although it provides us with very useful things, we must also be aware of how dangerous it can be. Technology has become a very powerful and common tool in our day to day. So much so that most of the things we do are subject to it. New technological advances enable universities to recruit students via online.
Due to this difficult and new situation that we are experiencing, things as simple as going out for a walk have changed. Likewise, more complex situations such as the recruitment of university students are also different now.
Before the pandemic, recruitment was in person. Coaches could visit the players and their families to get to know them better. In the same way, the players had the possibility to visit the university campus and meet their future teammates and coaches in person.
On the other hand, to be admitted to an American university, you must take the SAT and TOEFL exams.
The SAT is required by all American universities and, like the Ebau in Spain, is: an entrance exam to the university. This exam takes place on different institutions and centers of the College Board. Until now, it was a paper-pencil exam in person, but they are thinking of creating an online format for the future. The NCAA uses a scale to balance the SAT score with the high school grade point average to determine eligibility. Depending on the division (DI or DII) of the university, the SAT requirements are slightly different.
TOEFL is a requirement that American universities require to access their programs. It is a test that measures fluency and knowledge of English. ETS carries its exams in different centers and in front of a computer screen. It lasts 4 hours and it has 4 sections: reading, listening, speaking, writing and grammar. The maximum grade that can be obtained is 120 points. When English is not your first language, universities often require between 61 – 80 points.
This situation we are experiencing has forced ETS institutions and the College Board to make changes to their exams and forms.
ETS gives the option of taking the exam online from home. The TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition is enable in several countries (including Spain). This new edition of the home exam has the same content and format. It will be done on a computer and will be supervised using the ProcorU program. This new format has been available since April 2.
As well as the SAT and TOEFL, recruitment has also been affected and is undergoing changes. In this pandemic situation, the NCAA has been forced to make certain decisions. Not only current student-athletes, but also recruits and the recruiting process will be affected.
The NCAA has extended the recruiting dead period for all DI and DII sports until May 31. In-person recruiting with students and their families is suspended until the same date, so it is not permitted to meet with the coach face to face. Universities have suspended official and unofficial visits and do not allow visits on or off campus. Although limited, recruiting does not stop entirely. Coaches can maintain communication via email, calls, messages, or social media with players as long as they follow NCAA rules.
On Monday March 30, the Council voted for universities to grant an additional season for student-athletes to compete as well as an extension of the eligibility period. This measure will apply to spring sports. Financial aid rules are also adjusted because there will be cases of universities with more players with scholarships. Universities will thus be able to use the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund to pay scholarships to those students who will be using the eligibility extension in 2020-2021.
This virus has caught us all by surprise and fills our lives with uncertainty. Both coaches and incoming student-athletes are looking forward to what will happen in the future. Every day we receive new news so it is impossible to predict what will happen in a few weeks or months.
So far, coaches can only recruit via online as previously mentioned. They lack any face-to-face contact with new players but this does not stop recruitment entirely. Coaches can continue to watch videos of new players and try to capture them online. In addition, the coaches do not neglect their players in these difficult times. The coaches remain aware of their current players: both those who have been able to return home to their families and those who have decided to stay.
As for the new student-athletes, they are living these moments with a lot of uncertainty and nerves. The US embassy in Spain announced the closing of its doors. Furthermore, there is a negative issuance of entry visas to the United States. Those families who had appointments to obtain student visas will have to wait until further notice.
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