College visits are a great time to find whether a universities sports program is SAFE..
Student Athlete Focused Environments. Ask the coaches what their graduation and attrition rates are. Those rates show the proportion of student-athletes who earn a college degree in a 6 year period. For example the Federal Graduation Rate for colleges is 54%, however D-1 colleges use the Graduation Success Rate and D-2 uses the Academic Success Rate. Those rates are often higher than their Federal Graduation Rate. One of the adverse contributors to the denominator of these rates are student athletes dropping out of college in poor academic standing. The problem with the federal rate is it does not take into account transfers, therefore is considered less accurate.
The national graduation success rates for student-athletes has topped 80% however football and basketball remains below 70%. I suggest as a rule of thumb that a school should be par with national rates. If they are not par with national rates they should be investigating opportunities to lower attrition and increase graduation rates.
As a former D-II student-athlete at Northwood University, I admit money was really tight. Furthermore, most of my friends were from families that provided them with credit cards and debit cards that gave them access to money for gas, snacks, clothes and extra money for whatever they wanted to do. Granted, I was an entrepreneur at that time as the campus barber. I cut the black and white kids hair so therefore although it was tight, I worked between classes and workouts to make on average $35 dollars a week. A great debate in college athletics is whether to pay college players who are the reason why millions of viewers watch college sports both live and on television. there are arguments for and against paying players and honestly, they are all respectable points of views. It is hard to disagree with the fact that many of these athletes come from impoverish families where financial hardship is the second most consistent reality of their lives beyond their athletic ability. Amateurism rules say that to be an amateur you cannot be paid to play. Considering all the scandals that unfold annually around the elite players. these scandals rarely/seldom occur at D-III and Ivy League schools because they are “students” first sports programs. I believe there is a resolution to this conundrum! As I have written in other Noblesteps Blogs, I believe in the student in student-athlete as the key to lifelong success. I think the attitude that you are ONLY an “athlete” is the primary contributor to a culture of individuals who do little to be a great citizens, build strong communities, families and legacies. Rightfully, the media loves to examine how athletes fall from glory at the professional level because of financial defaults, divorces, criminal allegations and child support. Well, life is not fair or perfect in any way, however there is always an option that follows amateurism rules of the NCAA, builds better men (as great coaches do) and not abandon the fact that PLAYERS are student-athletes not ATHLETE – STUDENTS!
Steve Spurrier, coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks recently proposed giving players a $300 stipend for the amount of time they sacrifice for sports with no guarantee or renewed scholarship (athletic scholarships are 1-year contracts, not four year contracts). I like to read that the old ball coach is thinking outside the box; I agree with him!
The Noblestep in pay for college student-athletes is as follows: Student-athletes who need money in Division I & II would all have to enroll in a financial management course. This course would cover every basic home- economic budget structure that would teach players about budgets, spending habits, debt, saving, insurance, investing, retirement etc. This would be exceptional for student-athletes coming from financially distressed families and low education families. Student-athletes involved would be provided a $300.00 stipend card, all transactions would be monitored by the student-athlete, teachers, coaches and summarized to teach athletes about their spending habits. Lastly, student-athletes would have to maintain a 3.0 GPA to promote the importance of education in their lives. The money on the cards would be a low-rate student-loan that would be repaid if the player goes Pro or when they get their first job. This approach insures we are teaching young men with great athletic talent how to be responsible to their gifts both athletically and financially and gain respect for the education system. This format insures that the student-athlete is learning a lifelong skill, borrowing limits could be based on potential earnings based on career profession. The hire GPA would insure that student-athletes were being student-athletes, not athlete students. This Blog is the sole opinion of Coach Lisimba Patilla of Noblesteps Management
- Parents must stay neutral and support their student athletes and accept the recruiting responsibility and utilize coaching staff for letters of recommendations. It is imperative that parents do not compare, live vicariously or compete with the high school coach. Moreover, simply accept that they are responsible for recruiting their kid and graciously ask coaches for support by way of letters of recommendation. If the high school coach does more, consider yourself lucky and be thankful for whatever they do to support your child’s future.
- Student-Athletes should pursue and achieve the highest possible GPA/ACT/SAT scores; it qualifies them for additional academic scholarship aid. Student – Athletes must realize that higher GPA and college entrance scores can qualify for additional academic scholarship aid. For example, a zero EFC (expected family contribution) means your family is not expected to help pay for your college expenses because they can’t afford to help. It means you are eligible to receive the maximum amount of need-based financial aid. Therefore if you are offered an athletic scholarship to a college and you have exceptional grades, you have the potential to have a scholarship aid package to cover the cost of attendance to most colleges.
- Student-Athletes must adhere to the Highest Code of Conduct. Student-Athletes lose scholarships and/or are denied acceptance into college everyday because of a Facebook comment or picture and/or YouTube videos that were discovered by college coaches and/or admissions counselors. Furthermore, many local newspapers make their papers available online and therefore a college coach and/or admissions counselor can Google your name and find good or bad information about you. Keep in mind; a picture, a sentence and/or video that are not complimentary to you can cost you THOUSANDS of dollars in scholarship aid!
- Accept the responsibility of recruiting yourself; don’t expect high school coaches to do it, get help from a total student – athlete recruiting company, if necessary. High School coaches are most often teachers. Therefore they spend most of their day teaching class, another section of their day preparing lesson plans and grading papers, another part of their day preparing to coach and coaching and finally the end of their day with their families. To expect them to be totally responsible for whether your son or daughter receives a scholarship aid package is a whole lot to ask of them
- 5. Student-Athletes list and interview 10 professionals who you would like to be like beyond the sports competition realm. Talk to your parents and/or family members to find as many different professionals as possible and ask them questions about their careers, how they got there and what is new with their career that you should be prepared for your career path.
- Be a student of the athletic recruiting and career education game; download the NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA rules for college bound student athletes. Start compiling a list of what you want from a college, go on unofficial visits to colleges and assess your results. The aforementioned guides are free and provide you with the rules by those governing associations. Those rules include academic requirements and recruiting policies and procedures. Furthermore they are updated on an annual basis. Go to NCAA, NAIA and/or NJCAA.org to get your copy.
- Perform over 300 hours of community service/volunteerism in a profession or activity you enjoy – Basically: Build your experience for your resume. Why volunteer? Volunteering by definition is working without expectation for payment or reward. This type of action reflects a person who is performing an act that they love and therefore the more they do it, the better they get at it. If you start doing this in a profession that you have found to be of great interest you will graduate high school with a great deal of work experience. That experience will then be complimented by your college studies and become the foundation of a fulfilling career. Malcolm Gladwell wrote in the book Outliers that Bill Gates had been working on computer programs and codes for 10,000 hours before he ever attended Harvard. He loved writing code and programs. Find your professional interest and the money will come. Remember, according to a survey by nonprofit Project on Student Debt performed a survey that reflected that unemployment for recent graduates between 20 – 24 years old was 10.6% the highest of record.
- 8. When you receive offers from a college coach don’t stop! Continue to seek additional offers and then be prepared to negotiate between coaches to get the highest scholarship aid package. If there is scholarship aid available that a coach may be holding out on, being able to leverage him/her against another school is imperative. There are far more partial athletic scholarship offers than there are full scholarship offers. Furthermore, having your name in as many pools as possible can provide you with the convenience of not only choice but leverage to create discussions about increasing scholarship aid packages. Division II, III and NAIA aid packages can significantly lower the cost of attendance and can sometime pay for the entire cost of attendance to a college/university if your grades compliment your athletic potential.
- 9. Sending videos to colleges to be evaluated by college coaches is a good idea as long as the coach requested it. This can be a huge waste of money if you have a tight budget. Coaches receive a lot of films in the mail and they have a lot of responsibility themselves, therefore if they want to watch your video, they will ask you for it, if not, it has the propensity to by placed in a corner and never evaluated. This is why it is so important to develop a promotional recruiting packet and email or mail it to college coaches; promotional recruiting letter & athletic resume and follow-up with a phone call to the coach
- Promote, Perform, Prepare: It can be beneficial to parents and aspiring student athletes to get as much exposure as possible from college coaches by promoting themselves to as many colleges as possible with recruiting packets (athletic resume & promotional letters), performing admirably at football camps, combines, in the classroom and during sporting events. Be prepared for the financial, career and athletic challenges you can face that are unique to your situation. Research websites of colleges that contact you and be prepared to talk with coaches about their school and program. Prepare through solid study habits; exercise skills and vocations in your community that you enjoy and be a student of the game you play to advance the welfare of others to reach fulfilling goals.
- Great student-athletes most often start with parental support and unconditional LOVE: The key note to a child’s success in life and sport: Pushing your student-athlete to be the best they can be and supporting them throughout the athletic recruiting process are immensely important ingredients to your child seeing life according to what they can accomplish versus a feeling of inferiority because they were told that if they don’t earn a Division 1 scholarship they are a failure. Therefore, be sure to remind your student-athlete throughout high school sports and academics that you LOVE them and no matter what the result of the process you are still their number one fan!
- 12. Hitch Yourself to Something GREATER Than Yourself to achieve excellence in Life: To achieve excellence in life, career and sport it is important that student-athletes learn to play the game for reasons that exist outside of their personal achievement and pursue careers for reason greater then money. Those reasons will be attached to your value system and become the building blocks to continued motivation and inspiration to those who meet us and carry you through adversity.
13. Keep Track of What Your Scoreboard Says: As a student-athlete it is important to understand that you are a student for the rest of your life and an athlete for only a short period of time even if you are talented enough to make it to professional level. Therefore as a student you should keep a work ethic that reflects a 4.0 effort in every class, volunteer project and community involvement. Also you should do the same as an athlete and give a 4.0 effort on the field as a player, teammate and as a student of the game. The results are your scoreboard. Your GPA, your degrees, your work-experience, letters of recommendations, athletic and academic accomplishments; testimonials from clients and supervisors. All of the aforementioned areas represent your scoreboard and it’s up to you to build it.
Lost in the grocery store of Bowl Championship Series football and bowl games was a dedication to the Allstate, AFCA 2011 Good Works Team at halftime of the 2012 Sugar Bowl game between Michigan and Virgina Tech. If you missed it, CLICK HERE TO WATCH. This dedication and recognition ceremony was amazing! It reflected what being a student-athlete, not just an athlete is all about. The 22 nominees worked passionately in their communities to make a difference in their chosen career fields to be a leader and subject matter expert. They volunteered their time for various roles in various fields to go above and beyond just attending class and football practice to be elite student-athletes. Three years ago I started Noblesteps Management for this exact reason to insure elite athletes graduated and matured to become elite student-athletes who were inspired to be more than just a jock. I have successfully helped many student-athletes pursue their dreams outside of sports and I will continue to do so. However, a narrative from the media elites, educational system and athletic system should responsibly balance the communication of student-athlete achievement. In my opinion there is not enough Wendy’s High School Heisman’s and All State, AFCA Good Works Teams out there. The expectation on student-athletes as it relates to academic success is often around respectful and humble behavior and eligibility. I think this is a good but eligibility is a 2.0 – I don’t believe that is a balanced approach to being a student-athlete. I believe in the midst of high expectations, potential and high performance is achieved. If the system is going to exploit the “athlete”, exploit the student just as much!
Coach Lisimba Patilla
The three most important qualities to get a college scholarship are as follows: TALENT, good grades and English Language Proficiency.
Talent, you must be realistic in the real skills that you have. You can dream, but you have to be honest about your capacity to play in another level. This is a sensitive area for many student-athletes; especially the parents believe that their children are better than they really are. That’s why both the young athlete and especially their parents must be very realistic, when evaluating athletic skills ‘prospect’.
Second, have good grades. You must remember that you’re going to enter an academic institution, and there are regulations on this aspect of the sport in which a student-athlete must maintain a minimum academic achievement, cannot otherwise participate in any athletic activities.
Third, is the English Language Proficiency. Unfortunately, you find many students-athletes returning from the United States after obtaining scholarships, because they cannot communicate or they cannot adapt themselves to the community. The biggest problem is not with the ‘coaches’ or his teammates. Main problem is the life outside of the campus and the interaction with the new environment in which you’re living.
By Keys to Success
Participation in college athletics is a fun and enriching experience for many students. In fact, about 400,000 student athletes participate in athletic games each year, and thousands receive scholarships to do so. But the life of an athlete in college is not always as fun as it seems, and there are some hard truths to face if you’re interested in becoming a student athlete. Read on, and we’ll share information about scholarships, going pro, and managing your time on campus.
Athletic scholarships can only be given out one year at a time, so promises of a full ride scholarship can be pretty thin. They are renewed each year at the coach’s discretion for a maximum of five years within a six-year period. Even then, there’s a good chance your scholarship won’t even cover the cost of tuition, with the average athletic scholarship coming out to about $10,400. Outside of football and men’s basketball, the average is $8,700.
We’ve explained why athletic scholarships aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, but chances are, you won’t have to worry about how good your scholarship is, because you’re not getting one. About 250,000 high school seniors play basketball every year, but only about 12,000 of those same seniors will receive a scholarship to play basketball at the collegiate level. Of course, that does not mean you won’t be able to get a scholarship, it just means an athletic scholarship is not high on the list of possibilities. Student athletes should pursue all types of scholarships and financial aid, not just athletic ones.
Division III schools are not allowed to award athletic scholarships, but according to US News & World Report, some of the best scholarships for athletes come from these schools. It sounds confusing, but Division III schools are typically smaller private colleges, and they often give merit awards for student accomplishments. Even better news is the fact that these merit grants often cut tuition by more than 50%, an excellent figure for any budding college athlete.
It may seem extreme, but college coaches can start building files on players as early as 7th grade, according to Karen Weaver, the athletic director for Penn State-Abington. Weaver reports that files for basketball players begin as early as 7th grade, and often by the end of 9th grade. At this stage, parents should be making the initial contact, but eventually, students will need to take over in the recruitment process. Weaver recommends that student athletes take control of their athletic career by their junior year, avoiding conflicts between coaches and “helicopter parents.”
The average student athlete spends about 30 hours a week on class and schoolwork, then turns around and spends 20 hours a week on athletics. This leaves very little time for much else, including relaxation or a social life, much less additional commitments. It’s for this reason that student athletes often don’t participate in internships related to their degree, which can lead to missed opportunities that non-athlete friends can snatch up instead. Of course, one might argue that for future pro athletes, student athletics functions much like an internship might, but be careful: the odds of going pro after college are very slim.
Forty-three percent of young black athletes believe that they will eventually go pro, but the real statistics paint a much different story. In 2008, 400,000 students participated in athletics, but only one of every 25 of those students went on to compete professionally. Depending on your team size, that means one (or none) of you will actually earn a paycheck from sports upon graduation. It may be disappointing to hear, but knowing this reality means you can be better prepared for the future, meaning, don’t forget to take care of academics and plan for a career outside of sports.
Unfortunately, it’s clear that not every college athlete has considered a life outside of sports, as statistics reveal that graduation rates among certain athletes are shockingly low. ThinkProgress reported that out of the 65 teams that played in March Madness 2005, 43 of them would not have qualified if there was a 50% graduation rate requirement. Meaning, a large number of the players participating in March Madness will not actually graduate. In 2010, the average graduation rate for March Madness teams was 43%, with six teams under 20% and two under 10%. In fact, only one team, California State-Northridge, offered a better NBA drafting rate than graduation at 1.2% vs. 0%. Yes, that’s a 0% graduation rate.
Student athletes may be suffering from less than stellar graduation rates, but in order to qualify for play as a graduating high school senior, you have to follow careful requirements, as the NCAA has specific and even strict academic requirements for new college players. In fact, even if you’re eligible for graduation from your high school, you may not be eligible for the NCAA. It is for this reason that the NCAA recommends student athletes consult the NCAA Eligibility Center to stay on track with requirements.
Low graduation rates aren’t incredibly shocking when you realize that most student athletes end up identifying more as athletes than students. An NCAA study on the experiences of college athletes revealed that 60% of student athletes reported viewing themselves “more as athletes than students.” Again, this is unfortunate, as upon graduation, they are much more likely to be faced with a traditional career than continue on as an athlete.
Unfortunately, coaches may be exacerbating the student athlete’s mistaken identity as simply an athlete. The same NCAA study reported that often, coaches do not follow the 20 hour per week limit on practice time set by NCAA law. More time in practice means less time in class and fewer opportunities to study, taking precious academic time away from student athletes who may be struggling with schoolwork.
Again, this one is surprising on its own, but not so shocking when other facts are considered. With scheduling, academic, and physical pressure looming, student athletes often report more stress than non-athletes. Student life can be stressful enough, but according to Athletic Insight’s study, student athletes reported higher than usual stress in several variables, including: having lots of responsibilities, not getting enough time for sleep, and having demanding extracurricular activities. However, athletes do enjoy lower stress in some variables, like social isolation and satisfaction with their physical appearance.
You might think that with all these issues for student athletes, it would be good to have an advocate on your side to help you enforce practice times, scholarship opportunities, and give you a better shot at making it out of college and into the professional realm. In other words, an agent to protect your interests. But according to NCAA rules, no student athlete can be represented by an agent and still qualify to play at the college level. However, parents can act as unofficial advocates, and better yet, students can advocate for themselves as well.
We’ve shared a lot of bad news for potential and current student athletes, but there is some good news in the statistics, at least if you’re into baseball. Statistically, more college baseball players will go pro than athletes in any other sport. The NCAA reports that 10.5% of baseball players will go from college to pro, followed by 4.1% for ice hockey players, and 2% for football players. At 1.9%, men’s soccer, and women’s basketball at 1%, these players are the least likely to play at a professional level after college, but numbers may grow as interest and new teams develop in these two sports.
Another surprising but exciting fact for college athletes is that they may actually be paid for playing at some point in the near future. Many have shared their opinion that collegiate players are being exploited by not receiving money while schools enjoy revenue from NCAA sports, and that may soon end. Commissioners from the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, and Conference USA all indicated that paying college athletes is an issue worth looking into, with some actively researching the possibility.