My apologies if anyone has previously floated this idea...I don't recall seeing it, but I'm definitely not trying to steal anyone's thunder if it has been discussed previously.
So here's the idea -- in addition to the current "by state" purchase options in FSS, I would like to suggest that it be possible to purchase a "local package" of recruits, in essence reports for all recruits within 'x' miles of campus. We can discuss whether the 'x' should be one flat distance or a dropdown menu that would allow each player the option to broaden or narrow his/her search radius based on cost and personal preference.
My assumption is this wouldn't be difficult to set up since each recruit has a mileage from campus listed on the search screen, leading me to believe this information could be employed to make such a purchase feature possible. Cost-wise, I think it should cost the same "per-recruit" dollar fee that governs how much each state costs, but if anyone wants to make the argument that such a service should cost more/less than the per-state rate, by all means throw it out there for discussion. We can also argue whether it should count as a state or not for purpose of determining a players 10/15/20 percent bulk purchase discount percentage (I think it should).
1. From where I sit, it seems allowing a search by geography in some cases makes more sense than the "by state" method, particularly for schools situated near the borders of several states. Coaches could get a read-out on their "local products," without necessarily needing to spring for a half-dozen states. Currently the cost of recruiting actions for schools are based on geographic distance between the campus and the recruit, but as coaches we have no scouting method that corresponds to that principle. We are either overpaying for recruits outside our "radius" (and finding an occasional gem as a result, admittedly) or picking and choosing states that make up a segment of our school's area to ignore in the name of holding down recruiting costs.
2. For D3 schools in the "expensive" states, it provides a midrange strategic option for recruiting that lies somewhere between swallowing the full cost of the state or blowing off FSSing altogether. Have a program in Southern Cal and don't want to pay for those Bay-area recruits? Now you don't have to! Have Sul Ross St over by El Paso and don't want to spring for the kids 500+ miles away in Houston? This would be your option! Want to do some scouting of a nearby larger state without having to either spring for the whole state or wait unti signings begin to see a price drop? This would be for you.
3. At D2/D3 it's a cost-friendly option for schools that have only 1-2 scholarships to fill the chance to scout a bit without "overspending" on scouting people out of your area. (Being a central/southern Texas school with 1 open scholarship can be a very helpless feeling at D3...)
4. From a "real world" perspective (I know, I hate to bring the real world into a sim, but go with it for now), which is more likely -- that a school would be aware of all recruits in a particular state, or that it would be aware of the kids in proximity to its campus who are capable of playing collegiate ball? Maybe I'm blissfully ignorant, but I would argue the latter is the more likely.
I really don't see this proposal doing anything for coaches at the D1 level -- budgets there being high enough that all states in a 360-mile radius are likely FSS'd every year anyhow. For the D2-D3 levels, I think it would be one more tool that coaches could use if they chose to do so.
So there you have it -- discuss, blast away in criticism, offer tweaks in support or ignore at your leisure.