YCH Interview Series
Cardinal Sports
Craig Barnett Interview

Craig Barnett

  • Client Development Consultant - Cardinal Sports
  • Management - Pointstreak Sports Technologies

1. What is the difference between an agent and family advisor?

Per the NCAA bylaws, an “agent” is defined as a person or company that will reap financial gains from a student-athlete after he/she leaves school. In other words, an agent will receive some type of compensation from an athlete once he/she goes pro. A family advisor, in which we are at Cardinal Sports Management, is just that, we advise families on the recruiting process. Our goal is to help that family find the right college fit based on their goals. Once they enroll in college, our job is done.

2. When should a player consider working with a family advisor? What age? level of play?

The recruiting process can be very overwhelming for families as it has changed a lot in recent years. With pre-draft camps, scouting combines, main camps, festival’s, etc., the best route for one family may be different than others. Once opportunities to attend these types of events start to begin, it may be a good time to reach out to an advising group to ask questions.

3. What questions should a family be asking when choosing a family advisor?

First and foremost, you want to ask about their experience in this field… What type of network do they have at various levels – U16/U18, juniors, college, etc.? What criteria are important for them to know about your son/daughter and family that will allow them to be most effective? How involved will they be in other areas aside from hockey? What do their services cover and what are the fees’ associated with those services?

5. What is the first thing a player and the family can do to prepare for the college hockey recruiting process?

Focus on the academics! Academics must always come first. If they are not familiar with NCAA core courses, eligibility center, SAT/ACT preparation, etc., then start to ask questions and make this a priority. The better the student, the more opportunities you will have.

6. What do you feel is the most common misconception that families have when approaching the recruiting process?

If you are good enough, the colleges will find you is a big misconception. It is imperative for families to be proactive in the recruiting process. Even if they have a family advisor, a college coach always likes to see a prospective student-athlete being engaged in the process.

7. What is unique about your service?

Personally, I have been a head coach and athletic director at both the NCAA I and III levels for over 15 years. Thus I have been on the other side of the fence. I understand how the recruiting process works, how college admissions works, and what college coaches (my former colleagues) look for. As a college coach, my staff always utilized Cardinal Sports to assist us with recruiting, thus I am a happy customer as well! Aside from the first-hand, personal experience, Cardinal Sports is also a division of Pointstreak Sports Technology, which many leagues use to manage their games with real-time stats. Having this technology gives our business model a tremendous amount of information unparalleled in this business. Some of our partners include the USHL, NAHL, NAPHL, EJHL, OJHL, CJHL just to name a few. As you know, these are prime recruiting league for college coaches.

Learn more about Craig Barnett and Cardinal Sports Management at www.cardinalsportsgroup.com

Learn more about Craig Barnett and Pointstreak Sports Technologies at www.pointstreak.com

Craig Barnett

  • Client Development Consultant - Midwestern United States
  • Cardinal Sports Management
  • Phone: (814) 449-9868
  • Email cbarnett@cardinalsportsgroup.com
  • Web: www.cardinalsportsgroup.com

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