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Recruiting Services Article

Football recruiting Web sites score

By Frank Barnako
Last Updated: 1/30/2006 11:46:24 AM



WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Hundreds of thousands of subscribers are paying as much as $100 a year to Web sites that track high school football players' college choices.

The two most popular online services, Rivals.com and Scout.com, post players' bios, 40-yard-dash times, and almost play-by-play-like reports on which colleges are romancing which players.

"College boosters and alumni want to hear about all the four- and five-star guys coming in," explained Faustin Riley, offensive coordinator at Beaverton High School in Beaverton, Ore. He spoke with Portland's Oregonian newspaper.

Traffic to recruiting sites will be heavy this week, according to the paper. Thousands of high school athletes across the United States will sign letters of intent to play football at NCAA Division 1 schools. Millions of fans are expected to log on to celebrate or commiserate.

Major media are recognizing the business opportunities in recruiting sites. Fox Interactive Media (NWS)(FOX) bought Scout.com for $50 million last August. ESPN (DIS) recently launched a service focused on National Football League recruiting, Sports Inc.

Rivals.com and Scout.com claim 350,000 paying subscribers. Rivals.com says 1.7 unique visitors come to its site sat least once a month.


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I found this during some idle time last week. :D
I'm addressing it now because we talked about "rankings and stars" during signing week.

This is how it works.

The players who don't commit will draw the most interest. They will be ranked higher for the coaches to look at and pursue even more. Therefore they will pay for the site. Once the player commit he will drop or lose stars! Why? They are no longer a hot topic for coaches and recruiters to pay and receive info. That's why if you caught it this past NLI date and even the Army All American High school Game, you may have noticed that some players said the held out for Rivals or Scout. Or even ESPN.

There is an article about a WR from New Jersey who was a 5 star athlete entering his senior year. He wanted to avoid the pressure of the coming season so he committed early. Guess what? His stars dropped to 2! Before he even took the field for his senior year! He was no longer an asset for the recruiting service because he wouldn't generate cash for people to see his hidden profile in the paid section of the site.

There are some good athletes who are never in someone's system. There are some rated players who can't carry the jock of some of the unrated players. It all comes out on the field with hard work.
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Interesting info OG, I guess I never really thought of it from the ranking sites perspective. Ultimately we would like to believe these services are unbiased, but as you pointed out, that certainly is not the case.
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Pssst.
Don't tell anyone but I did data research for Rivals here in Florida about 3 years ago. That also helps to share a little inside knowledge on how it works. ESPN is now getting in the mix with their own recruiting service. Most thought that they would have bought out Rivals or Scout by now.

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O.G. is absolutely right, since the programs started FAU and FIU for that matter have probably picked up players that on the surface may not even have a star. But were more like 3 and 4 star players and possible a couple of 5's.

What can a kid do on the field everyday of every week, that is the real test of how well a player is. Not what he does for five minutes in a test. I know we have all watched kids pummel kids from the opposing team and get recognition by the local papers only but never here of them on Rivals or Scout.

Again, welcome back O.G. 8-)
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