DEAR MISS MANNERS: How would you expect high school athletes who are recruited by college coaches to respond when a decision is made not to attend their school?
In many cases, these athletes are offered paid visits to the campuses and provided food and housing while there. The coaches and college students that host them at their schools can sometimes spend an entire weekend entertaining them.
When the time comes for the prospect to initiate some communication to let the various coaches know of his/her decision, what is the best etiquette? Do they definitely owe the coaches a response? If nervous about telling someone "no," what would be a good approach?
GENTLE READER: It is now recognized that most aspects of college sports are big business, so it makes sense to apply business etiquette.
When times were flush, corporations were known to woo potential hires instead of plunking the money on the table and demanding service. Miss Manners hopes that employees who were told that "working for us is like joining our family" were not fooled either by the faux personalizing of the professional or the faux foie gras.
Therefore a businesslike letter will do: "I appreciate your interest in me, and thank you for your hospitality. However, I have decided to attend Feynman University because of the excellence of its physics department."