Recruiting top athletes has always been a dirty business. It's an inexact science with a high level of competition. Every school is trying to gain an advantage to end up with the chosen one. The schools hire charismatic coaches and talented assistants to entice the athletes and steer them towards their program. The most important thing these schools have to recognize is what motivates these players in their decision making process. Here's my list of what an athlete looks for in a school.
1. Opportunity. The athlete wants to know if there is playing time available. Most players would rather not sit 2 or 3 years to see the court or the field.
2. Coaching. Athletes want to know the man in charge can help them get to the next level and that his coaching philosophy is tried and true.
3. Exposure. Players want to know their talents will be showcased on TV regularly and thousands of people will come out to watch them perform.
4. Tradition. Whether it's attending the state school they followed as a kid and their parents are alumni, or a program with decades of success to reference, players like to know they're following a tradition.
5. Benefits. From "hostesses" showing them a good time on their visits to mysterious envelopes in their mailbox to $36 a month car payments on a 2010 Yukon Denali players look for perks that will make their stay at a university a little more comfortable.
6. Geography and climate. Players typically like to stay close to their families and if they decide to leave their familiar surroundings they prefer to go to a place that doesn't have extreme weather issues.
7. Culture. Players like to go places where they will be accepted for who they are. Of course winning games and excelling in your sport makes you popular and comfortable anywhere.
8. Education. You would think this would be the most important thing because the chances of going pro are so slim. The truth is most players can't see past their own ambition and as long as the school has lots of books and classes to attend their indifferent about the quality of education they receive.