This week’s issue of Sports Illustrated features an investigative case study into the world of college recruiting letters.
Using prep hoopster Roberto Nelson — a Top 100 member of the Class of 2009 — as their subject, SI examined the quantity and quality of the letters sent to today’s high school athlete. What they uncovered was revealing about the nature of college recruiting, and cast a light on certain institutions, as well.
Here are the basics:
-Nelson received 2,161 pieces of mail from 56 different athletic programs between his sophomore and senior years in high school.
-The University of Kentucky sent 295 individual mailings to Nelson; not one was personalized.
-Of the 56 programs that sent Nelson mail, only 18 of those programs personalized any of the material.
-Only 200 pieces of mail actually contained personalized messages tailored to Nelson, roughly 9.3% of the total 2,161-piece haul.
-Only ONE program personalized all of their mailings to Nelson.
-That program sent 81 mailings to Nelson, roughly 3.75% of the total 2,161-piece haul.
-The 81 personalized mailings comprised 40.5% of the total 200-piece haul of personalized mail.
And the one program to send the 81 personalized mailings? The University of Washington, of course. I mean, really. Would you expect anything else from Lorenzo Romar’s program?
Yet when all was said and done, Nelson ended up signing with a program that had sent him a grand total of zero mailings. That program? Pac-10 rival Oregon State. You win some, you lose some.