My youngest sister lives for softball. Just starting her Sophomore year in high school, she’s one of the star players in Marin County, and has already caught the eye of college and university recruiters. When college recruiters were visiting a few weeks ago, she cracked a 220-foot home run right in front of them, resulting in an invitation to visit their campus. (I have to also mention that she has straight A’s.) Before she knew it, they were offering her a scholarship. Apparently this is a new trend. Universities and colleges are lining up years of talent to keep their institution in Division 1 status so they qualify for the best funding. I read an article recapping an interview with Megan Boone, Stanford’s Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance Services, who commented on this trend:
“If you want to play Division I it’s starting very early...you can already see it happening in the 8th grade, that athletes are choosing to play on particular club teams. To play a top Division I sport, unfortunately, they’re streamlining early. That’s the trend.”
Although the school that recruited my sister is great, I was reluctant to give my immediate approval because she hasn’t even looked at other campuses or considered other schools. She could also have different goals three years from now, and concerned that the university may not offer her major.
On the upside, as a Senior, she will not need to fill out any admissions forms, write any admissions essays, write scholarship essays or compete with other students to try to get accepted into a college. She would avoid the stress of the entire process that other students experience.
What does this recruiting trend mean for other students? Tougher competition. If a school has already accepted hundreds, perhaps thousands, of students years before you submit your admissions application, your grades, accomplishments and essays must be top notch.
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“Stanford compliance officer answers questions on recruiting and playing in college.” Vivo Girls Sports. http://www.vivogs.com/buzz/interviews/stanford-compliance-officer-answers-questions-recruiting-and-playing-college