When It Comes To Their Internet Sites
by: Bob Howdeshell
High School Baseball Web
I recently spent several days "sprucing up" our NCAA Division I college
baseball website / email link page, here on the High School Baseball Web. The supposed "big boys" of college baseball.
What I found almost drove me crazy! One of the standard comments made by college coaches is
about the continuing tightening of college baseball recruiting budgets. After my travels to over 300 college baseball
websites it seems obvious to me that many coaches and their programs are missing the obvious.
Is their a better recruiting tool than the internet? Well the answer is probably yes .... but the only
thing better would be to make it to the College World Series. Can every team count on that?
College coaches should realize that their target recruiting
group is very internet savvy. Even if the coach is unable to turn on a computer someone at
his institution is a "whiz" around a website.
The following is a list of things that I found annoying while trying to gather information about the various NCAA Division I baseball programs.
I found that many of the smaller DI's did a great job with their websites. In general the size of the school
or the status of the baseball program had no relationship to the quality of the website.
- Mailing address for the baseball program were nowhere to be found on the website. Are we trying to make it difficult for a player to contact the program?
- Easy links to the coaching staff were not available -- Many times I had to hunt thru various
rosters just to find the head coach's name. In a few cases I never did find the head coach's name listed!
- No email address was available to contact the head coach - or any coach for that matter. What would be wrong with an
email link to the baseball office secretary or the baseball sports information director?
- No telephone number was listed for the baseball office. Why Not?
- So many programs did not have an article (or articles) about their November early period signees that I lost count.
Makes you wonder why not? Are they trying to hide them, don't want to list them?
Do the coaches realize how important a little thing like this is to a high school athlete? It is a reflection
on your program and how you run it.
- As of the middle of January the 2003 rosters and schedules were still not posted! What does this tell a potential recruit about the
athletic department's interest in the baseball program?
- The site contained no stats or news articles from the previous year. How is a prospective recruit going to learn more about the program?
- There were no pictures (or even one picture) of the head coach and his staff on the site. How long does this really take in the day of the digital camera?
- Many sites did not have a player biography linked to the names on the roster. This is easy to do
and makes your current players just a little prouder about where they play baseball
- Again many sites did not have a picture linked to the players names on the roster -- Same comment as above -- Keep in mind that
Mom & Dad, relatives and friends love this stuff. It is easy to do and costs nothing. (a simple "head shot" of the player will do)
- Many schools that I know have excellent camps did not have a link to a camp information page.
Doesn't this seem logical when so many coaches will tell you that one of their primary recruiting tools are their camps?
If the dates for the next years camps are not available what about a simple "fill out" form that will
provide the program information in order to send the player a camp brochure when they become available?
- To carry it a step further -- What about an alumni page? This is a great recruiting tool for a program. A list of the
players from old State U. that went on and played a little pro ball. Seems easy enough.
- Pictures (photos) of the program's facilities. Why not? Are they ashamed of them? That would
be my first thought if I were a potential recruit and none were available.
To the NCAA Division I college coaches I offer that many of you are missing one of the easiest and least expensive recruiting tools that you have
available. Make that website SHINE! It will impress a potential recruit. If your baseball internet site is
classy you are sending a very positive message about your school's commitment to the baseball program. If it is a weak and poorly done site -- you
are sending a message as well!