There has been a lot of talk about selling Oregon State to recruits. In many cases, a lot of fans feel that the Beavers just need a great closer who can come in and sell recruits on what Oregon State has to offer. In other cases, people think that the coaches should sell OSU’s style of play and how well it translates to the NFL. Others wonder why just pointing at future top draft picks Brandin Cooks and Scott Crichton isn’t resulting in recruits drooling about the coaching they could get at Oregon State.
To me, one of the biggest hurdles that The Beavers have to overcome in order to attract recruits has nothing to do with the coaches or their methods for talking to recruits.
It has to do with selling vision.
Right now, the vision being portrayed by the athletic department is, “We would like to build new things, but we have a lot of debt and not much money — so we have to make do with what we have for at least five or six years.” While that vision is a stark and honest description about the reality of the situation OSU’s athletic department faces, it is not a vision that screams, “Come here and you will be a part of something special.”
Selling a vision is not about now, it is about getting people to see what we want and do what it takes to take care of today’s issues. It is about saying “We ARE doing these things and you can be a part of it RIGHT NOW!,” rather than giving seemingly insurmountable obstacles for something that no recruits will get to see until the the 2016 class signs their LOI’s (Letters of Intent).
The reality is that in the past two years, OSU improved its record 100 percent. (8-16 from 2010 through 2011 to 16-10 from 2012 through 2013), yet, the mood of Beaver Nation in regards to program direction is as apathetic as it was in 2011. I believe that this is largely due to the upgrades we see and hear about everywhere else and the lack of tangible evidence of upgrades happening at Oregon State.
If your locker rooms are not great, have the vision for what they will be when taking recruits on a tour of the current locker rooms. When they ask when it will happen, tell them that you are already raising the money for the project. If your football offices are antiquated (meaning more than two years old these days) have some images of projected designs to show off.
Here is the most important part of my whole premise: What is happening on campus, or not happening, is not the issue. How it is being presented is.
Many casual fans know that there are plans for a new Valley Football Center and Reser Stadium West Side remodel. What they don’t have is a clear way to donate to those efforts, or a images, even if temporary, that they can pass around and share with friends.
These shortcomings are being used against Oregon State by other coaches when it comes to recruiting, and that is the biggest crime about not selling a vision. If a player the Beaver coaches covet chooses to go elsewhere because that school points out OSU’s outdated facilities and that there’s no plans to change them, then we should all be irate.