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A Guide to College Sports Scholarships (Part 2.)

Dartmouth Yale Basketball

Continued From Part 1.

Here are the top things to keep in mind as the student heads towards the goal to getting recruited as an athlete to college:

  • Which Division is the student interested in playing and/or athletically qualified to play?
  • Are your grades where they need to be?
  • Is your coach savvy to the college recruiting process and capable of working with the student, high school counselor and college coaches to help the process?
  • Have you done your homework researching the schools based on academics, environment, facilities, coaching staff and types of players typically recruited?
  • How do scholarships come into play? What kinds of scholarships are typically available for your sport? how much is typically covered, how many openings are there each year, etc? Are you willing to commit to an NLI (National Letter of Intent) and honor that contract if offered the opportunity?

Athletic Scholarships

Most athletes (and parents!) would love to get a full-ride to the school of their dreams, and while it is perfectly acceptable to encourage your student to try for all they can qualify for (while realizing the fact that most athletic scholarships are NOT full-rides), there should be discussions about back-up plans in case this does not come to fruition.  The most recent statistics show that only 2% of all high school athletes are awarded athletic scholarships to compete in college.

Every sport (and this differs for men’s vs. women’s sports) has an allotted number of scholarships that the NCAA allows each school to give out.  Each institution decides, of the total scholarships allowed, how much money it wants to provide each sport.

In addition, the NCAA has separated sports into “headcount sports” (such as women’s tennis) or “equivalency sports” (such as men’s lacrosse).  It can be easier to get scholarship money in a headcount sport than an equivalency sport, and the student should be aware where his/her sport falls.  When the student is researching their schools and talking with the coach, they should feel free to ask questions about how many players are on scholarship, how much tuition/room/board is typically covered, what are their chances of receiving a scholarship and what they need to do to secure one.

Students should be aware as well that athletic scholarships are not the only form of aid that can be received.  Division III and Ivy League schools (which are DI, but follow different rules) are not allowed to give out athletic scholarships.  However, they are allowed to give out merit aid and often if a coach wants the student badly enough, they will work with admissions and find money in the form of merit aid (assuming, of course, the students’ academics are strong enough to justify outside scrutiny  … yet another reason we find ourselves reminding the student about “ACADEMICS FIRST”!).  Sometimes, such an award will even exceed an athletic scholarship offered at a competing DI school.

If the player receives an offer to join a D1 or D2 team under an athletic scholarship, they will be asked to sign a National Letter of Intent.  This is actually a legal contract that promises the student will play for that school’s team for one academic year (they are renewable each year), assuming the student gains admission into the school.  It is important the student realizes that just because they have signed an NLI does not mean they are admitted into the school or even that they have applied yet.  They need to go through the same admissions procedure as everyone else.  This is typically a technicality, however, since very few coaches would have an athlete sign an NLI without first running their academics past the Admissions office and getting a pre-approval.

Once admitted officially, the NLI kicks in and obligates the player to compete for that school’s team for one year. Typically, barring anything unusual, both the scholarship money and the NLI are renewed each year, but this is definitely something the student should ask ahead of time and be very clear about.

In summary, there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to getting recruited as an athlete to college.

 

Contributor: This article was written by Colleen Heidenreich, J.D. A Former Independent College Counselor

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A Guide to College Sports Scholarships (Part 1.)

Harvard Yale Basketball

Academics First!

Detroit Lions Helmet photoBy the time a potentially recruited athlete starts high school, they most likely have a pretty good sense of where they stand in their sport in terms of their peers.  Perhaps they already have a national ranking of some sort, or they’ve discovered that college coaches are already scouting them, or they’ve simply been given enough genuine feedback from independent third parties (at camps, clinics, travel team tryouts, etc.) to know that, all things being equal, they have a solid chance of being recruited by a college coach.

The first consideration, therefore, is for the student to realize how important their academics are for recruiting purposes.  No matter what, most coaches involved in the student’s sport will be primarily focused on the sport itself and on the level of the sport required for college standards.  Although they may mention the academics and say that academics are important, the student will most likely not realize HOW important that factor actually is unless it is carefully brought to their attention.

The best known college athletic association is the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA. The NCAA was formed in 1906 and is the association that represents the bigger schools and universities. NCAA schools are organized into three divisions, D1, D2, and D3.

 

  • Division 1 schools are typically the largest universities, and compete in a minimum of 14 sports for both males and females. These schools often have world-class facilities, attract the top athletes in the country, and receive the most media attention.
  • Division 2 schools are smaller than D1 schools, and student athletes usually finance their education with a combination of athletic and educational scholarships.
  • Division 3 schools are the smallest of the NCAA institutions. D3 schools are not allowed to offer athletic scholarships.

The NCAA has its own academic requirements and certification, which apply for Division I and Division II schools. The NCAA baseline academic requirements only apply to D1 and DII schools because those are the only divisions allowed to provide athletic aid to students. Division III schools do not require NCAA certification because they do not provide any athletic aid – but they typically tend to have fairly high academic standards as well, regardless.  These requirements are laid out very clearly for the student on the NCAA website.  An affiliated organization called the NCAA Clearinghouse evaluates students’ academic records for NCAA eligibility.  So, not only does the student need to meet their individual high school’s graduation requirements, but they must also fulfill the NCAA .   Often these will overlap, but the student (and their counselor) can’t be too careful and should examine any potential recruit’s curriculum choices to be certain all of the requirements are being met.

In addition, once the student has narrowed their list of top college choices down to the ones they intend to apply to, they will likely need to meet additional course requirements for those colleges.  So there are actually three layers of requirements the student athlete needs to keep in mind when selecting courses:  their high school’s requirements, the NCAA requirements, and any additional requirements from the colleges they intend to apply to.

(Note: there are two other collegiate athletic associations, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, or NAIA, and the National Junior College Athletic Association, or NJCAA.  This article addresses only the NCAA.)

It has been noted that no coach can convince an admissions department to admit a student into the college that does not meet the academic standards they require.  Student athletes must remember that they are looking to play a college sport, and that the operative word here is COLLEGE.  Therefore the academics are extremely important, not just the athletics.  Every coach and admission department is aware, of course, that for the elite athlete to have reached that level of athletic ability, some time and focus inevitably is pulled away from academics and they do factor this in, but nevertheless, it is college, and the academics are critical.  The different Divisions (and different schools within the Divisions) have differing requirements for their athletes, but overall, the better academics the athlete can maintain and present to the schools (and coaches), the more choices the athlete will have and the more desirable they will be to the coaches & programs.

Coaches are critical!

Another unique aspect to counseling the student athlete is the importance of the high school, private and/or club coach in the actual recruiting aspect of the process. The student’s coach(es) will be instrumental in providing the college coaches with information as to the player’s unique strengths, character, work ethic, and leadership qualities.  It is critical for the counselor to be in close connection with the student’s current coach in order to be on the same page in terms of academic requirements of the potential colleges, sharing of contact information for the college coaching staff, reminders of the NCAA rules in terms of acceptable college coach-student contact, etc.  When the coach is a high school coach, this is easier done than if the primary coach is a private or club coach, but either way, it’s an effort the counselor should make for the sake of the athlete’s application process.  For example, if the athlete is overestimating their chances of playing collegiate athletics, it would be very important for the counselor to know this in advance in order to help guide and direct the student appropriately.  Also, often the college coaches will contact current coaches directly and express an interest in the player.   The information imparted to them can be an important factor for the counselor to be aware of as well, and often the student is unclear or vague as to what has actually been said or promised.

The NCAA has very strict rules regarding when and how the college coaches are allowed to contact the students, have official visits, etc., and it is critical that the student, parents and current coaches are up to speed on these rules in order to protect the student’s chances at receiving scholarship money to play for the school.  Sometimes coaches bend the rules and overreach and if it is discovered to have happened, unfortunately it is the student who pays the price by becoming disqualified from becoming a recruit.  Therefore it is very important that everyone is kept up to date and made aware of each NCAA rule for each year of high school (rules change depending on the year they are in, and rules change within the NCAA on occasion so this must be revisited regularly).

 

 

jamesdevelin

Finding the Right School, and then the Right Environment/ Coach/Team

You will do your student a great favor if you hammer in the point, early on in their search, that they need to select the school with the primary importance being the academic climate and opportunities.  They should be able to say “I would want to stay at this school even if I blow my knee out on the second day of practice and am unable to play my sport again.”   In this respect, they are looking to create a list of schools to apply to in the same way that every other student is.

However, realistically, there is a kind of “sliding scale” of interest for recruitable athletes, because even though, for example, your student falls in love with Wake Forest, if they are a male lacrosse player and want to play lacrosse, they won’t be doing it there anytime soon because the school doesn’t have a men’s lacrosse team (at this point in time).  So, in reality, the student athlete is best served by doing a dual search: first off, they should do an initial college search based on their particular sport first, and then factor in the academics from there. Simultaneously, the student should create a separate list of schools with academics as the main priority, and cross-check for their sport afterwards.  It is important to encourage students to conduct the “academics first” search as well, because otherwise they may not have an open mind to schools that may capture their hearts and cause them to reconsider making athletics as high a priority.

Once the student has narrowed the field and has a list of schools whose academic offerings are enticing and varied enough to hold up to the “blown knee” test, the sport-schools should be examined closely for three unique factors: the athletic environment (specifically the athletic facilities); the coaching staff; and the type of athletes currently on the team.

Does it matter to your student that the locker room is bare bones, there is no nutritionist or physical therapist available to the players, and they will have to share practice space with the football team?  The environment is important because, particularly for the DI athlete, a huge amount of time will be spent at that facility.  It will become their second home, and if they like the way it feels, they will be much happier.

Who is the coach, and does that coach share your student’s philosophies about the sport, about practice, about sportsmanship, etc? Although coaches do move around (so this factor can’t be controlled 100%), the student should try to establish contact early on with the coach and get to know as much about that coach as possible to ascertain compatibility and respect.  Nothing can ruin an athlete’s experience more than disliking the coach.  The student should also not expect that the coach will just “find” them.  If they are interested in a program, they should reach out to that coach through the school’s website (sometimes there is an email address provided, sometimes there is a Potential Recruit form that can be filled out, and sometimes they will need to engage the assistance of their current coach to reach out).

Similarly, although it’s likely that most if not all of the current team composition may be different by the time your student joins, there is usually a “type” of student who joins that school’s team, and it will behoove them to see if they can see themselves fitting in there.  Additionally, there may already be athletes on the team who the student knows from prior competitions, and this can be a draw (or a turn-off) as well.

 

Continue reading Part 2  here ! 

Contributor: This article was written by Colleen Heidenreich, J.D. A Former Independent College Counselor

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7 Ways You Know You’re An Ivy League Athlete

ivy-league-athlete

1. You wear sweats to every class, and when I mean every class, every single class.

  • The awkward looks you get from the fifteen other kids in your upperclassmen sociology course who are all judging you for wearing the same sweat suit four days straight.

2. It is a constant struggle to stay awake.

  • Did you say 5 pm class? That’s so late I had morning workout at 5am this morning, I need a nap.

3. You admire how much free time the other students have.

Oh you have a 4.0 GPA? Try balancing a full workload with 30 hours per week spent at the athletic complex?
4. You may not party often, but when you do it is chaos.
 

  • Oh, well there goes Johnny again, the starting right tackle for the football team. Why is he taking all of his clothes off as he runs around bashing exit signs?

5. The guilt you have on Sunday for ruining all the workouts during the week.

  • Wow, how many calories are in a Long Island Iced Tea? I ate a whole cheesesteak last night? Damn, I’m going to pay for that tomorrow morning.

6. Walking to class in season you say? More like slow torture while climbing the Himalayas!

  • That motorized scooter for that old woman in the commercial sounds good right about now!

7. Ultimately, the feeling you get to say you were a part of something special.

  • You were a part of a brother or sister hood which cannot be broken as it was forged through competitive fire, and you can know you persevered well balancing the most challenging workload in the country.
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Updated Knicks Trade: JR & Shumpert

New York Knicks Logo

Knicks Fans,

Looks like Phil Jackson has officially launched rebuilding mode through a 3 way trade with the Cavs & Thunder. The Cavs would get JR Smith & Iman Shumpert. The Thunder would get dynamic guard Dion Waiters.Whereas the Knicks get the Cavs’ Alex Kirk, Lou Amundson, as well as the Thunder’s Lance Thomas. In draft compensation they receive a 2019 second round pick.

This is an interesting trade for the Knicks because JR Smith was owed almost $7 million against the Knicks cap. Kirk has a contract running through next year at approximately $845,000. No matter who is included a future draft pick is also included could be helpful as the Knicks have had a successful draft history with choices of Nate Robinson, David Lee, as well as Trevor Ariza (a former 2nd round pick).

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Beefeater’s Underdog Lock of the Weekend

Detroit Lions Helmet photo

Place To Bet:
Top Bet
Betting Card:
Detroit Lions Moneyline +250
Bet : Payout Ratio
1 : 2.50
This bet is a great bet. People forget that the Detroit Lions have been one of the most consistent teams all year. They had an injury to Calvin Johnson in the middle part of the year, but were still able to pull out key victories. This is can be greatly attributed to the play of their #1 against the rush defense. Additionally they finished with an 11-5 record after having two games stripped away from them from inconsistent kicker play prior to Matt Prater’s arrival. That puts the realistic value of the Lions at 13-3. Dallas has been hot as of late and will be playing at home. However Dallas has not been in the playoffs since 2009, and Tony Romo is desperate for a big fuck up game. Not to mention that the fact that Dez Bryant is liable to flip the fuck out at any point, but especially if he is not getting touches while Calvin Johnson is going off. Oh yah, not to mention the fact that Suh might stomp out Romo and cripple his back subsequently ending his career.

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Beefeater Parlay: NFL Wildcard Weekend

Andrew Luck photo

This post is a blessing for all of you Finches out there trying to get your first Parlay card fix from our website. You are in store for a doozy of a Sunday if you follow these picks. However you’ll notice that I broke one of my golden Parlay Rules found in this article. I guess we will see if I am able to break my own rules like a hypocritical girlfriend, or if it crashes and burns in my face like an adolescent teen arriving home after being caught broken his parents’ rules.

Bet: Payout Ratio

1 : 13.619

Place To Bet: Top Bet

Parlay Card:

  1. Detroit +250
  2. Baltimore +145
  3. Colts -170

Detroit at home is my lock of the week. So you better damn know that Daddy is going to include them in his parlay rather than let any arbitrarily imposed rules from my first article aforementioned. When a gambler’s got a gut feeling all rules are out the window and all cards are on the table. Baltimore is a solid bet considering Le’Veon Bell is going to be out for the Steelers. He was the heart and soul of this offense with over 1,300 yards rushing, and 854 yards receiving. That is a lot of yardage to make up as well as added attention able to be given to stud receiver Antonio Brown. Finally, this playoff is the playoff of Andrew Luck. Cincinatti has never won a playoff game under Martin Lewis, so what makes you think that is going to change? Luck is going to have a great preseason with his favorite dynamic receiver TY Hilton returning. Do not forget to sign up and place your bets at our trusted partner:

 

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Beefeater’s 5 Parlay Rules For Success

sports betting and gambling

Before reading remember that you can always find a home for your betting here, even if you’re in the United States: TopBet

  1. Respect The Parlay
    • Never include a bet which you have made an individual, solo bet on first into the parlay. There is nothing worse than your solo bet and parlay all going to shit because of one fuck up.
  2. Maximize Your Earnings
    • Always include at least one dog into the parlay in order to maximize your earnings.
  3. Be Realistic
    • Do not make serious parlay bets with more than 4 events. However if you’re a broke fuck and still surviving on your refund checks in college throw $1 on a 9 or 10 team parlay you have my permission.
  4. Be Patient
    • Do not rebet the parlay once it has been broken with a loss. This is for all you suckers that think your 4 team parlay is a lock and the first event you chose which lost was just a fluke, so you reenter a 3 team parlay. Bad News.
    • They always want to take your money twice. Once it’s gone, let it go, and start again the next day.
  5. Rome Was Not Built In A Day
    • Parlays are tough and you should enter them with the correct expectations. You will always lose more than you win, but the important part is to choose the correct bets to include and always follow the above rules to ensure you make money. Which is always the goal!