Seven Myths about the Recruiting Process Article Type: Quick and Dirty
There are many myths surrounding college athletics. Here are some of the ones that we hear most often:
Myth #1: Coaches will come to you.
Let's bust this one wide open first. Coaches will not be coming to you unless you are LeBron, which we know you're not since he already plays for the Miami Heat. This means that you will have to go after them. Call them, email them, send in video, visit the campus and meet them—anything to get you on their radar.
Myth #2: Every recruitment option has a full scholarship attached.
The percentage of recruited freshmen that are signed to a partial scholarship, let alone a full scholarship, is extremely low. So throw away the idea that there is a hefty amount of money waiting for you and take whatever they will give you. Trust us, your parents will appreciate any amount of your tuition they don't have to pay for.
Myth #3: If you don’t get recruited, you can’t be on the team.
There are many cases of un-recruited players showing up to try-outs and making the team. They are called walk-ons and are more common than you would think. There are also players called recruited walk-ons who did not sign with the school but were identified by the coach before they attended try-outs. Do not get too caught up in the official titles of recruitment. Stay focused on accomplishing your goals.
Myth #4: College is way easier for athletes.
Athletes may receive some free tutoring. Maybe professors let them take an exam late because of an away game. However, don't think that playing for a collegiate team means you'll get A's handed to you. You have to do the same amount of work as everyone else, and you'll probably have to do it in less time because of your practice schedule. Taking finals, midterms, and doing homework in noisy buses, crowded planes, dirty airports, or hotel lobbies is certainly not preferential treatment either. Remember that you're not just an athlete, you're a student-athlete. Professors won't be giving you any free passes, so get ready to bear down with your books on creaky buses.
Myth #5: Division I or bust.
While this may be the prevalent theme on ESPN, it is not realistic. The level of play at Division II or III, or NAIA and the junior, community, and city college level can be just as good if not better than Division I for you. Let us say that again, for you. It’s all about finding the right fit, like that perfect pair of jeans that you barely have to shimmy into.
Myth #6: Being on a good team will make up for an undesirable college or location.
You're a beach bum, but you've chosen to attend a school in Vermont. Winning a national championship may help you survive those cold, snowy winters. However, do you really want to live somewhere you don't like for 4 years with only one aspect of your life making you happy? We wouldn’t either.
Myth #7: College athletes are not as smart as the rest of their graduating class.
This commonly held belief has been thrown around for years, and, honestly, it's easy to understand why. College athletes do get preferential treatment in terms of admission and class selection, but not in the ridiculously overboard ways that have been made notorious through certain cases. A 2.3 student will never get into Stanford, and the Harvard basketball team is not full of 2.5 students who are majoring in Dance. College recruits do get put on top of the admission pile, but they still need the grades to show that they can succeed at the school.
The myth that often accompanies this one is that college athletes should not be hired because they are not as smart as their non-athlete graduates. Again, this belief is misguided. College athletes graduate with the same degree as their peers. Further, they have shown the ability and maturity to successfully balance multiple other commitments, the biggest of which being the approximate 30 hours per week dedicated to their sport. If anything, college athletes are better prepared to handle a bigger workload because they have learned that oh-so-valuable skill called time management.