Somehow through the athletic department I am signed up for an email newsletter that comes to me every week. It's called "Selling for Coaches" and it is focussed on "closing the deal" with prospective students you are recruiting to your college. I find it a little bit embarrassing, although I haven't yet bothered to unsubscribe. I don't like the model of recruiting as sales. It's not the model for recruiting sailors anywhere, I don't think, and it's not the model for recruiting scholar-athletes to an elite Division III school, where most of the people who see the school want to come here and most of the people who want to come here can't get in.
I stay subscribed because it reminds me to think about my own recruiting strategy and methods. It reminds me to be systematic about tracking responses and inquiries and applications. But I hate the idea of coaches reading the newsletter the way it seems to be intended (e.g. "use our techniques to overcome objections,") as though this -- a high school student's decision about where to go to college -- is a used car sale. I know that Division I sports is a whole different deal, and I know it's business and entertainment and there are indeed high stakes for everyone. But geez. These are students, picking a college and laying the foundation for their intellectual, social, and athletic development. We are adults who are supposed to care about their lives. The idea of using "Fortune 500 sales techniques" to communicate with them disgusts me.