The Scholarship Battle

Morgan Kelly

During a high school student’s athletic career, they rely on having a proper high school season with consistent coaching and direction. If the student-athlete is serious about playing on the next level, they will rely on the progress and development of their club sport to guide them. Once senior and junior years, the pace and intensity of the game begin to ramp up in addition to the competition.

A story by Brooklyn Cady found in The Charts-Recruitment struggles amid COVID-19, states,

“current college athletes who have decided to add on another year to their time in school so that they have the opportunity to play when sports come back to Southern.

Several local high schools are seeing an increase in the number of players on their football teams, which also affects how many players can be scouted by Southern.” (Cady)

Earlier in the year during quarantine which happened in the spring season of sports, there were many athletes that were cut short and robbed of their season. As a result, the NCAA extended the eligibility for the 2020s for the division 1 schools in addition to some division 2 schools-varying on school.

With the extension, there have been struggles that are acknowledged by others,

“for example, I know a girl that was trying to get into Tufts University but said they’re not taking any more players because the NCAA extended their eligibility for 2020 girls that were graduating and all of them decided to stay. There are not many opportunities for some places for like high division 3 schools usually or high division 3 School Division 2 because of that eligibility. I think some 2021 girls can’t get recruited”

This was said by a senior who was able to identify the problems that Covid presented to the current seniors of the graduating class of 2021.

With the growing anticipation of whether or not someone will even get looks from a school is somewhat dawning on the class of 2022 and below. Avery Smith from Cypress Creek High, class of 2023 said when answering the question: How has the class of 2022 been affected by the eligibility pushback?

“I think that’s pretty easy thought to explain what’s going on. It’s been hard for juniors to be physically seen by college recruiters and getting to go to prospect days/camps. Videos and emails can only do so much to help you out and sometimes the coaches don’t even answer your emails or watch your videos.”

As previously shown by the quote stated by the sophomore, we can see that the class of 2021 is not the class who’s experiencing major difficulties when it comes to recruitment opportunities and being seen, but with the addition of the class of 2022.

Due to the redshirting of the 2020s and the extension of their scholarships, we see a major gap in the recruitment numbers for, and interest in, younger classes.