Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Youth Sports: The Reality of NCAA Scholarships (Part 3)

All State in athletics + National Honors Society in academics = Acceptance into a great university and perhaps a scholarship

I always remind my kids that academic achievement is more important than athletic achievement. I tell them that participation in sports is fleeting, but knowledge will take them anywhere they want to go. Even if the place they want to go is to college to play sports. Ironic isn't.

There are two reasons why.

1) Athletic ability can open doors to great academic universities.  If your son or daughter has great grades and high ACT / SAT scores, his / her application will be considered by the admissions staff along with countless others just like it. Athletic ability can be the difference maker.  If a coach wants your son / daughter to play a particular sport for the school, they will lobby the admissions office to accept an athlete. Some good student athletes who could not get an athletic scholarship at a Division I school, may find a place on a roster and academic merit money at a Division III school. (Division III schools are not allowed to offer athletic scholarships)

2) Academic ability can open doors to NCAA locker rooms. In my recent post regarding the Reality of NCAA Scholarships (Part 1), I wrote about the limited number of scholarships for certain low revenue generating sports. For example, a women's soccer squad gets 12 scholarships for 28 roster spots. I explained that many collage coaches have to be creative with the limited scholarship dollars allocated to their program. They often split one scholarship 2 or more ways to attract as many impact players as possible. Great student-athletes can provide a coach another option. A friend of mine has a daughter who is a talented volleyball player. She was offered an athletic scholarship. The coach knew that his new recruit was a fantastic student with outstanding ACT scores, so he encouraged the recruit to apply for academic scholarships. She won an academic scholarship, so the coach was able to reallocate the athletic scholarship money to another player. So if two players competing for one roster spot are equal in ability, the coach will likely choose the player with the best chance to earn an academic scholarship.

The Main Point

Message to youth sports athletes: Study as much as you practice and you will be on a college court (field or pitch) before you know it.

My daughter CC playing during the
halftime of the Xavier Women's Basketball Game
#6 Xavier vs GW 2011

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