Myths About Recruiting
MYTHS AND REALITIES ABOUT THE COLLEGE ATHLETIC RECRUITING PROCESS
Myth: If you are good enough, coaches will find you
Reality: For every Division 1 football coach with a multi-million dollar recruiting budget, there are a 100 NCAA coaches with limited time, limited coaching staff and limited budgets that rarely give them access to recruit throughout the country. Most college coaches depend on direct contact from high school athletes that express interest in their college and athletic program. Playing high school football for a reputable coach or program helps your exposure.
Myth: Division 2 & 3 Schools are weaker athletically
Reality: Many Division 2 & 3 programs have very talented athletic programs. This is often because players are there to get an education first and play athletics second. But they are still talented and dedicated athletes who wanted to continue their athletic career in college, but wanted to do it on their own terms. If you think you can just stroll onto a D2 orD3 program you are in for a surprise. Go check out many D2 & D3 colleges in the last 25 years that have won NCAA championships. You will see how they attract top high school athletes from around the country.
Myth: All colleges offer athletic scholarships
Reality: Only Division , 1AA and 2 colleges can offer athletic scholarships (as well as NAIA and Junior College). NCAA Division 3 Programs (about 400 schools) cannot offer athletes athletic scholarship money and many D1 and D2 teams have little scholarship money to offer. There are also no athletic scholarships offered at the Ivy League level. We know several D1 coaches who have one athletic scholarship to offer for their entire team. In this scenario you might be lucky to get a few thousand dollars, and may need to come up with an additional $30,000+ if you want to attend a private school.
Myth: Most athletes get a full scholarship or no scholarship
Reality: Full scholarships are very rare and most coaches divide scholarship money up between several players. The only guaranteed full scholarships are for D1 basketball (men and women) and D1 football. Each program is fully funded and offers the maximum amount of scholarships allowed by the NCAA, 85 for football.
Myth: Division 1 programs do not offer walk-on tryouts.
Reality: While walking onto the Kentucky basketball team or the USC football team will be pretty difficult, many coaches rely on walk-on’s each year and will usually conduct tryouts to give as many kids a chance as possible. It is better to find out what walk-on opportunities exist before you show up at tryouts. It certainly is not easy, but it is not impossible either as many players walk on to college teams each year.
Myth: I shouldn’t go to a Division 3 School if I need scholarship money
Reality: Many D3 schools offer attractive financial aid programs and you should never overlook any school, even if they do not offer athletic scholarships. We have met parents that are basically sending their kids to school for free because their son’s and daughters had strong academic backgrounds and coupled that with athletics to make themselves an attractive student-athlete for a certain school. What would you rather have, $3,000 in scholarship money at a D1 school or $20,000 in academic money at a D3 school, while still getting the chance to play athletics at the college level?
Myth: College coaches will help me get into their school if I am on the bubble academically.
Reality: Coaches can submit a list of names to the admissions department, but you need to be very close academically to what the school seeks out in any student and you need to be committed to the coach and express a strong interest in attending that institution. It can also depend on the needs of individual teams, and the number of applicants the school is dealing with in a given year.
Myth: All Division 1 and 2 programs have scholarships available
Reality: While the NCAA mandates how many scholarships a school can offer for a particular sport, it is up to the school whether or not they want to and can offer the number of scholarships allotted to them. Example: Division 1 baseball programs are allowed to offer 11.7 scholarships, but many division 1 baseball schools may offer only 3 or 4 scholarships because baseball is not a high revenue generating sport and it’s more difficult for a college to justify scholarships for non-revenue sports.
Myth: If you receive a letter from a coach, you are being recruited
Reality: Coaches send out thousands of letters to players they may or may not have heard of and there are probably a thousand high school athletes tearing open the same exact letter you received. We met one player 2 years ago who received 180 letters from one school and never once received a single phone call from the coaching staff. Receiving a letter means a coach knows your name and knows you play their sport and that may be about it. Respond to the letter and follow-up with the coach. Until the coach calls you and tells you he is interested in you or invites you to the school, the letters mean very little. In 2004 a certain D1 football program that will remain nameless had a list of 4,000 prospects they were sending letters to on a regular basis. Ultimately they are trying to sign 21 players out of a pool of 4,000 and 3,979 players that received letters from that school will ultimately not be recruited or sign with that school.
Myth: College coaches only recruit top players
Reality: College coaches recruit anyone they think can play at their program and recruit anyone who shows an interest in their program. Just because you are not the star of your team does not mean you cannot play in college. However, just because you are the star of the team does not mean you can play in college.
Myth: High school coaches are qualified to determine if I am college athletic material
Reality: The bottom line, there are many factors that determine if you can play in college.
Myth: College coaches can contact me anytime they want.
Reality: There are strict rules as to when a coach can send you literature and how often they can contact you and the rules vary for every NCAA Division. Junior Colleges and NAIA schools have fewer recruiting rules.
Myth: Playing college athletics will not be much different than high school, aside of the skill level
Reality: Playing college athletics is an unbelievable commitment in time and in dedication and will be nowhere close to your high school experience. In college you will play perhaps double the amount of games you played in high school, play or practice for 3 seasons (fall, winter and spring), and be required to do lifting and running programs as well throughout the year. You may also be practicing at 6AM or Midnight or three times a day depending what facilities are available when.