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Online recruiting service helps link athletes, schools.

SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden  (AP) -- When Rachel Cho decided at the beginning of her senior year of high school in British Columbia British Columbia, province (2001 pop. 3,907,738), 366,255 sq mi (948,600 sq km), including 6,976 sq mi (18,068 sq km) of water surface, W Canada. Geography
 to pursue a collegiate running career in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , she hadn't even heard of Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Less than six months later she accepted a scholarship offer to the Division II school more than 3,000 miles away.

The school and athlete got connected in what has become an increasingly popular fashion, by using the website Like a form of online dating to connect interested athletes and schools, beRecruited has brought efficiency to what had been an overwhelming process.

"I saw that they looked at my profile and that's how it all started," Cho said. "It really streamlined the process. I'm not the most exceptional athlete you'll see, but I was good enough for Division II. Most people think it's hard to get recruited because there are so many athletes out there. This does make it a lot easier."'

Many elite athletes, especially in higher-profile sports like football and basketball, still get recruited the old-fashioned way, through tournaments, relationships between coaches and schools and in-person scouting. But Internet recruiting This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.

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 services are a boon to athletes in sports like swimming, volleyball and track, as well as those seeking opportunities to play football or basketball at lower-level schools.

"We are for the 99 percent, not the 1 percent," said Vishwas Prabhakara, the CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  of beRecruited.

Founded by former Duke swimmer Ryan Spoon in 2000 as an attempt to streamline recruiting in swimming and diving for athletes and coaches, the service expanded to other sports and has been growing rapidly ever since.

The site serves athletes and coaches in 31 sports and has more than 1 million registered users. There are more than 500,000 current high school athletes on the service, with the growth going from about 85,000 members of the class of 2009 to more than 200,000 athletes graduating high school this year.

There are athletes from more than 80 percent of all U.S. high schools using the service and about two-thirds of college coaches are registered.

The growth has been fueled in part by the fact that registration for athletes is free, compared to the hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars some recruiting services charge. Students can pay $60 to find out what coaches have looked at their profile.

"It was a really great way to communicate to colleges and see which ones look at me instead of me just reaching out to college coaches," said Nikki Bond, a basketball player from Vancouver, Wash., who will play next season for Corban University in Oregon.

"It made it simple. It's hard to talk to college coaches all the time on the phone. You can take 10 minutes out of the day and see every single coach who book-marked or looked at your page. It's a faster and simpler way to get recruited."

With so many athletes having used the service successfully so far, the site is able to give out advice about how best to go about the recruiting process.

The biggest lessons are to put profiles up early and update them frequently with results, video and any other pertinent information.

"It won't do your work for you," said Jake Prodoehl, a swimmer from Pewaukee, Wis., who will attend Miami of Ohio in the fall. "You need to be committed throughout the whole thing. You can't wait and sit back for schools to come to you. It's hard for kids my age to approach big college coaches but it has to happen. Staying up to date with your profile is so important. When you see a coach has looked at your profile, you have to touch base with them or nothing will happen."

The service is also extremely helpful to coaches, who are able to recruit wider areas despite shrinking recruiting budgets.

For Rick Younger, a volleyball coach at Butler Community College Butler Community College is an accredited 2-year community college located in El Dorado, Kansas, United States. Founded in 1927,[1] it was originally named Butler County Community College, as El Dorado is the Butler County seat, but was it renamed in recent years. , the site has helped differentiate his program from the nearly 20 junior colleges in Kansas he competes against.

Since starting to use the service, he has been able to supplement in-state athletes with others from Colorado, California and Texas to remain competitive in his conference.

He has the site on his cellphone (CELLular telePHONE) The first ubiquitous wireless telephone. Originally analog, all new cellular systems are digital, which has enabled the cellphone to turn into a smartphone that has access to the Internet.  and home computer and is constantly checking it to see what athletes are checking out his program.

"I always joke and call us bottom feeders," Younger said.

"The big boys will get their stuff. We generally have to deal with Division II, the NAIA NAIA
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes
 and the other community colleges. The database they have is tremendous. It has allowed us to fill holes in the program and compete in our conference."
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Title Annotation:sports
Publication:Community College Week
Date:May 14, 2012
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