The issue of players flipping from one verbal commit to the next is one that, according to the coaches we spoke to for this piece, has some layover effect from players doing so at a younger age under previous rules.
Before, a Division 1 college coach could offer a player a scholarship at any age. Now, that clock is wound to Sept. 1 of a player’s junior year. The players caught in between this change are the ones changing their pledges the most, according to St. Sebastian’s coach Adam White.
“I think you’re seeing a lot more de-commitments or flipping the last couple years because of the new rule,” said White, whose team won the Independent School title outright this past spring. “So I think a lot of kids committed early, really in eighth grade, ninth grade. And then, when the new rule was put in there, a couple things (happened): One was, in a couple cases, kids, they couldn’t contact those college coaches. So they kind of lost touch with their college coaches after a while.
“I think it also reinforced this idea that these college commitments were a little ridiculous anyways when it was happening that early, and that nobody thought it was the best practice. So it kind of gave kids maybe the moral grounds, the foundation that they needed to feel good about making that switch. So I think that’s why in the past couple of years you’ve seen a real spike in the flipping.”