The long-time poster on the Vandy board on Scout, VandyWhit, recently said this about the factors in recruiting to the school.
"Most obviously, Vanderbilt is pretty demanding academically. Some highly regarded prospects can't pass admissions, and even among those who can, all of them aren't looking for that type of environment. In their classrooms, their classroom peers will mostly include the kind of super-high achievers that they knew in high school (the mid 50% range on the SAT goes from 1380 to 1550). Vanderbilt has terrific support services for student athletes, but some kids just don't want that kind of academic demands while they're pursuing their basketball dreams.
Then there are the social/demographic characteristics of Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee, and the South. Vanderbilt is a relatively small private research university, with only about 6,000 undergraduates, and whose main fame in sports has been the futility of its football program over the past several decades (hopefully James Franklin is changing that perception nationally, but we're still an SEC school that doesn't fill up a 40,000-seat stadium). Vanderbilt is pretty diverse in political/social leanings (which some prospective families would see as an asset, others not so much), but overall Tennessee is still part of the Deep South. Nashville is a city, not a college town, a positive for some, not for others. Vanderbilt's location is fixed. It's close enough to be "close to home" for some prospects, not for others. That's important to some kids, not for others. "
I've read more than one opinion through the years that Balcomb flirts with leaving because she knows she will always be fighting that "other school" in Tennessee; although she has had some success against the Lady Vols throughout her tenure.