The Student News Site of Punahou School

Ka Punahou

The Student News Site of Punahou School

Ka Punahou

The Student News Site of Punahou School

Ka Punahou

Athletic Recruiting in The Pandemic



It is no surprise that this year, the recruiting process for the athletes of the class of 2021 has a very different look. Many Punahou athletes have voiced their concerns about being forced to find new ways to get exposure and looks from college coaches without being able to travel or have in-person recruiting.

Without a fall season for these athletes to participate in, many are left to explore other options for recruitment and some are even giving up their sports as a whole. Rumors float around about the rescheduling of fall 2020 sports and moving them to spring 2021, but that alteration to the athletic schedule could be too late for some athletes to get attention from their dream college.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA has changed many requirements for the recruiting process. For example, normally, the core course GPA is combined with ACT/SAT test scores on a sliding scale to determine eligibility, but many universities have decided to not require test scores in the recruiting process, due to the many cancellations of testing.

Additionally, the NCAA has decided to push back the in-person recruiting dead period to January 2021. This means that athletes and coaches cannot set up official visits or any in-person evaluations until at least after January 1st.

For student athletes looking to get recruited, there still are ways they can keep the momentum going in the recruiting process. Along with reaching out to 4 year colleges with skills videos and hopes in getting their attention athletes may also consider the junior college route.

According to, a recruiting resource website for high school athletes, “Coaches have mentioned considering the Junior College path. Because many recruits are losing a competition season, making it more challenging to be seen by college coaches, JUCO programs would allow recruits to play at the next level with the possibility of transferring after 1-2 years.”

Masina Tupea ‘21, Outside Hitter on the Varsity 2 team, shared her thoughts on the challenges this year has presented. “My junior year could have been the last time I ever played and I didn’t even know it.”

However, she did add that the pandemic has helped her refocus, “I definitely think that academic scholarship is something I could fall back on and COVID-19 has really helped me focus on getting academic scholarships rather than athletics.”

Kharlie Simeona-French ‘21 expressed frustration at not being able to travel this year and said, “I am afraid of committing to a school that isn’t the right fit or that coaches aren’t how they seem on the screen. They could sound nice over the phone, but when you meet them they are a different person.” She went on to explain that in order to find her right fit she would, “rather commit by spring because it is a good amount of time to wait especially because it’s after the dead period.”

Alema Moeava ‘21, an O-linemen on the Varsity Football Squad, has said that when Covid-19 arose, “The recruiting process became very challenging because there are very limited colleges open to unofficial visits and coaches getting in contact with student-athletes. A lot of coaches that I have been in contact with in the Division 1 are in a dead period till January 1st, so they can’t have any physical contact with athletes.”

He went on to explain that this has made him and his parents explore alternative options to get to a big Division 1 school. “I have also been in touch with some JUCO coaches and I have gone into deep discussion about going this route because it might be a chance for me to show I can play D1 football considering this deadline and the cancellation of the fall football season.”

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