8 things you should know about sports scholarships

Weaver has heard of coaches telling athletes as young as seventh-graders that they want them for their team.


Plenty of parents dream of their children cashing in on a sports scholarship, but before you get your hopes up  you need to understand the hard realities of winning these awards. According to a NCAA survey last year, playing football required 43.3 hours per week; college baseball, 42.1 hours; men’s basketball, 39.2 hours; and women’s basketball, 37.6 hours. In these Division I sports, athletes receive a full ride or no ride. 

5. Playing high-level college sports will be a full-time job. These so-called head-count sports are football, men and women’s basketball, and women’s gymnastics, volleyball, and tennis.

4. What really matters is the scholarship amount contained in the school’s official athletic grant-in-aid form. Only about 2 percent of high school athletes win sports scholarships every year at NCAA colleges and universities. Forget about slick videos. And you absolutely don’t need to hire a professional to do the filming. Because of the huge time commitment, as well as time

away from campus, Division I athletes will often not be able to major

in rigorous disciplines, such as the sciences and engineering. Coaches don’t want recruiters to get in the middle; they prefer direct dealings with the student athletes.

8. Coaches can slice and dice these awards as they choose, which can lead to awfully small scholarships. Here are eight things that parents and student athletes need to know about these scholarships. 

7. A coach might not know whether he wants a particular athlete until he finds out what other teenagers want to sign on to his team. A coach can change his mind about a prospect. 3. There is no guarantee that a child who verbally commits to a team will end up on it. Coaches may tell teenagers that they have lots of scholarship money to divvy out, but prospects shouldn’t assume that they will be the recipients, says Karen Weaver, who is on the sports management faculty at Drexel University.

Image courtesy of Flickr user AndrewH324

6. There are only six sports where all the scholarships are full ride. The odds of winning a NCAA sports scholarship are miniscule. Beyond the head-count sports, all other sports are considered “equivalency” sports. Skip hiring an athletic recruiter. For those who do snag one, the average scholarship is less than $11,000.

(MoneyWatch) Do you hope that your teenager will win a college athletic scholarship? . Yes, the odds are that dismal. Take flattery with a grain of salt. “Until you get the grant-in-aid form, it’s meaningless,” observes Weaver, who is a former national championship Division I field hockey coach.

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc.. Full-ride sports scholarships are scarce. Division I athletes may as well be called full-time employees of their schools because of the long hours they work. Coaches typically think sports recruiters are pests, says Weaver, who has served as a CBS sports commentator. Post your action video on YouTube and send coaches the link.

1. A verbal commitment is meaningless. NCAA rules dictate how much money a program, such as lacrosse or track, can spend on scholarships. All Rights Reserved. Two or three minutes will usually suffice, Weaver says. Scholarships can be dinky. Coaches don’t want athletes to send lengthy videos

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