Let me start this by saying most people (myself included) don't really care much for change. We get comfortable with things the way they are and we don't want them to be different. I get that, BUT, in this particular case, I think we can all agree that the current recruiting system has some flaws and a major overhaul to recruiting might be in order. A lot of the "cheating" that has been discussed over the past few days (that horse has been beaten to freaking death) is tied to recruiting, and at least the discussion of aliases has revealed that a lot of coaches see flaws in the current system that can be exploited. seble has talked in the past (as recently as last year, maybe 6 months ago) about looking into a significant overhaul of the recruiting system. I think it is time he undertake that task. A few suggestions (and please add to or alter these as you all see fit):
1. Make significant changes to FSS. Either make it free for everyone (not optimal), or limit the data a coach gets by buying FSS to the players at their own level (D1, D2, D3...whatever it is) AND all players that potentially could be pulled down or drop down to that team. This solves a lot of the FSS cheating people are worried about.
2. OR...change the way potential is learned. Why not set up a system where you can see all of the players and you can buy FSS, but that doesn't reveal all of the potentials for all players? In order to fill in the blanks you have to individually scout players you want to know more about. In this case, changes would need to be made to the scouting system so that a coach can select the exact attributes he wants his "assistant coach" to scout when he goes out on evals. You could set up a system where scouting each individual attribute has a certain price (depending on distance), and in one scouting trip you can scout as many or as few attributes as you want, with a discount based on how many different attributes you scout (your assistant doesn't have to fly back or drive back to the recruit's school to scout each attribute, so only one plane ticket or tank of gas is needed). This would make the decision of whether or not to buy FSS more fluid as well and it would add another layer to recruiting strategy. Some coaches might decide not to buy FSS, but rather to scout only certain players. The biggest difficulty with this system would be determining the right amount of cash to allow for recruiting at each level to make sure enough cash is available to properly scout.
3. Make it to where Sims are smarter recruiters, but they have to live by the same recruiting budgets and distance factors as human coaches. This would make Sim teams more attractive to potential new coaches, and it would also make beating Sims a bit more challenging (assuming they have better players.
4. Make SIGNIFICANT changes to the amount of money dished out to conferences for postseason success. This is one of the least "real life" aspects of HD. Superconferences exist in real basketball, but not because they got more money for postseason success. It is virtually impossible to compete at D1 in recruiting if you are trying to do it against a highly successful Big 6 conference. This is not good for the game and it gives those conference far too many advantages in recruiting. I would propose that rather than giving money to whole conferences for postseason success that it be given (in much smaller increments) to the specific teams who have that success. This gives successful teams a small advantage in recruiting (something that exists in real life) rather than whole conferences (crappy teams in strong RL conferences don't benefit in recruiting by the exact same amount as their successful peers). Prestige takes care of what I'm proposing here to a degree, so I'm not totally sold on the idea, but I definitely would like to see far less money dished out to teams based on the postseason success of their conference.
5. Increase the amount of considering credit substantially. The idea here is simple: a lot of HD coaches don't particularly like it when another coach "poaches" recruits late in the game. I completely get that recruits aren't yours until they sign and I totally agree that recruits are fair game until they sign, but I do think that teams who identify and recruit players early should get a little more of a boost in that regard. This change would cut back on the number of complaints we all see about poaching and it would likely also result in far more battles for top players (something that should happen), since being on them early in the process would be key. Think of considering credit as amother multiplier to recruiting efforts, much like prestige is. The early you recruit a kid, the better.
6. Allow for recruiting during the season as long as the coach has another season remaining at his/her school. We all (well, most of us anyway) lead busy lives. Sometimes the exact dates our worlds are in recruiting aren't ideal for our real life schedules. Why not spread out recruiting a bit more? In order to account for my considering credit proposal, have considering credit not kick in until the seasons rolls over and coaching changes occur (so that new coaches aren't trailing in recruiting due to getting a start on considering credit after returning coaches), but allow for recruiting budgets to be spent earlier in the season. Allow for scouting to happen during the season. Maybe the right way to do it would be to only allow scouting of players using your recruiting budget during the season (you can't do HVs or CVs or promise starts or playing time until after the rollover), but at least that way coaches can get a head start on the most time consuming part of recruiting, which if you are doing it right should be scouting.
That's a lot to digest for now, but I'd love to see what ideas others have on this topic. Please try not to douche up this thread with more arguing (we've had enough of that here over the past couple of days), but please do share your ideas at how to make recruiting better.