By Wendly Alce ’17 and Salma Ali ’17
Many student athletes are receiving scholarships and playing college sports in multiple divisions, including those going to Division I schools on scholarships. Others are paying for their school tuition with academic scholarships and grants but still get recruited to play for the team. Playing college sports on an athletic scholarship is a great way to pay for school.
“I want to be a professional football player but I’m also playing to help get through college,” said Casey Boston ’16, who received a scholarship to play football at Boston University.
Not every athlete’s dream is the same as Boston. Some athletes want to be able to have fun and relieve their college stress through the game.
Getting recruited onto a team is almost the same as applying to a college. There are many athletes competing with the same skills, so it is necessary to show that you work harder than any of the other athletes on that field, court or rink.
“Give it your all when in practice and playing games because there’s always someone working just as hard or harder than you,” said Darryl Robinson ’16.
There are three levels of athletics offered by the National Collegiate Athletic Association at colleges: Division I, II, and III. DI and DII schools are very well funded, but DI schools offer athletic scholarships while DII schools do not; DIII schools do not offer scholarships and gives their sports teams fewer funds than the other two divisions.
According to the National Collegiate Scouting Association, about 1000 to 2000 highlight videos get evaluated every year, but only 500 calls are made to potential recruits. Getting a call from a recruiting coach doesn’t mean you are accepted into the team. Out of those 500, only an average of 25 athletes per year are signed to the team. The recruiting process is a nerve wrecking experience for the athletes but it’s worth the stress if successful.
“Taking care of what you have to do in the classroom is essential to this process because that is what’s going to separate you from the next athlete that is just as good as you,” said Robinson ’16.
Robinson also mentioned to stay active and start the process early. It is crucial to show the colleges how eager you are to play for them and to constantly show interest.
When choosing a college to play for, it is also necessary to choose the school as a student, not just an athlete. It’s important to make sure that education does take a backseat to sports. As a student athlete it is necessary to meet both the academic and athletic needs of the college.
Robinson said, “I looked into Ithaca College to see if it was a good fit as a student first and then as an athlete.”
When these standards are met the next dilemma could be the tuition. Because many colleges tend to be expensive, students often end up in debt. This is where scholarships are beneficial. Robinson received four scholarships from Ithaca, including a Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship. For this scholarship he had to write an essay and was one of the 15 students chosen. This scholarship is a full ride and Robinson is grateful for it.
Some students such as Stanley Goldberg, a Midwood alumnus, get athletic scholarships for their successes during their high school seasons. However, many schools require students with these scholarships to not only fulfill athletic requirements, but to maintain their grades at a certain level as well, which might be difficult for some students because of time management issues.
“Time consumption is much higher than high school. We wake up to go to practice at seven in the morning and during preseason there are two practices per day. Balancing grades and sports is very crucial and if you can’t do that then sports aren’t for you,” said Goldberg.
Natalia Wiater ’16 contributed to this article.