Sports recruiting takes hit as economy keeps prospects home

Despite the lagging economy, college football staffs are spending millions of dollars nationwide to seek out the best high school football players for their schools. But many of the players who are being recruited are cutting back on their own spending.

"You don't see kids taking nearly as many unofficial visits," said Miller Safrit, a recruiting analyst for the Web site "And it was very plain last summer that the players aren't going to as many college camps. Attendance at the college summer camps was down almost everywhere."

Colleges spend their recruiting budgets visiting high schools, gathering information on prospective players, and bringing athletes in for official visits.

The process for many players culminates today when they sign national letters of intent, officially binding a player to a specific school and obligating the school to provide scholarship assistance. Players have been committing to colleges and colleges have been offering scholarships to players for months. But until the national letter is signed, none of the agreements is binding.

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