youth sporting events, the sidelines have become the ritual community
meeting place, where families sit in rows of folding chairs aligned
like church pews. These congregations are diverse in spirit but unified
by one gospel: heaven is your child receiving a college athletic
Parents sacrifice weekends
and vacations to tournaments and specialty camps, spending thousands
each year in this quest for the holy grail.
expectations of parents and athletes can differ sharply from the
financial and cultural realities of college athletics, according to an
analysis by The New York Times of previously undisclosed data from the National
Collegiate Athletic Association and interviews with dozens of
Excluding the glamour sports of football and basketball, the average
N.C.A.A. athletic scholarship is nowhere near a full ride, amounting to
$8,707. In sports like baseball or track and field, the number is
routinely as low as $2,000. Even when football and basketball are
included, the average is $10,409. Tuition and room and board for
N.C.A.A. institutions often cost between $20,000 and $50,000 a year.
run themselves ragged to play on three teams at once so they could
always reach the next level,” said Margaret Barry of Laurel, Md., whose
daughter is a scholarship swimmer at the University of
“They’re going to be disappointed when they learn that if they’re very
lucky, they will get a scholarship worth 15 percent of the $40,000
college bill. What’s that? $6,000?”
Within the N.C.A.A. data,
last collected in 2003-4 and based on N.C.A.A. calculations from an
internal study, are other statistical insights about the distribution
of money for the 138,216 athletes who received athletic aid in Division
I and Division II.
¶Men received 57 percent of all scholarship
money, but in 11 of the 14 sports with men’s and women’s teams, the
women’s teams averaged higher amounts per athlete.
the best-paying sport was neither football nor men’s or women’s
basketball. It was men’s ice hockey, at $21,755. Next was women’s ice
¶The lowest overall average scholarship total
was in men’s riflery ($3,608), and the lowest for women was in bowling
($4,899). Baseball was the second-lowest men’s sport ($5,806).
Many students and their parents think of playing a sport not because
scholarship money, but because it is stimulating and might even give
them a leg up in the increasingly competitive process of applying to
college. But coaches and administrators, the gatekeepers of the
recruiting system, said in interviews that parents and athletes who
hoped for such money were much too optimistic and that they were
unprepared to effectively navigate the system. The athletes, they
added, were the ones who ultimately suffered.
“I dropped a good player because her
dad was a jerk — all he ever talked to me about was scholarship money,”
said Joanie Milhous, the field hockey coach at Villanova. “I don’t need
that in my program. I recruit good, ethical parents as much as good,
talented kids because, in the end, there’s a connection between the
The best-laid plans of coaches do not always bring harmony
on teams, however, and scholarships can be at the heart of the unrest.
Who is getting how much tends to get around like the salaries in a
workplace. The result — scholarship envy — can divide teams.
chase for a scholarship has another side that is rarely discussed.
Although those athletes who receive athletic aid are viewed as the
ultimate winners, they typically find the demands on their time, minds
and bodies in college even more taxing than the long journey to get
There are 6 a.m. weight-lifting sessions, exhausting
practices, team meetings, study halls and long trips to games. Their
varsity commitments often limit the courses they can take. Athletes
also share a frustrating feeling of estrangement from the rest of the
student body, which views them as the privileged ones. In this setting,
it is not uncommon for first- and second-year athletes to relinquish
“Kids who have worked their whole life
trying to get a scholarship think the hard part is over when they get
the college money,” said Tim Poydenis, a senior at Villanova receiving
$3,000 a year to play baseball. “They don’t know that it’s a whole new
monster when you get here. Yes, all the hard work paid off. And now you
have to work harder.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: March 11, 2008
A front-page article on Monday about the unrealistic expectations
of families in the pursuit of college athletic scholarships omitted a
reporting credit. Griffin Palmer analyzed college and high school
statistics for the article.
Expectations Lose to Reality of Sports Scholarships
Published: March 10, 2008
(Page 2 of 3)
often look back on the many years spent shuttling sons and daughters to
practices, camps and games with a changed eye. Swept up in the dizzying
pursuit of sports achievement, they realize how little they knew of the
Mrs. Barry remembers how her
daughter Cortney rose at 4 a.m. for years so she could attend a private
swim practice before school. A second practice followed in the
afternoon. Weekends were for competitions. Cortney is now a standout
freshman at Delaware after receiving a $10,000 annual athletic
“I’m very proud of her and it was worth it on many
levels, but not necessarily the ones everybody talks about,” Mrs. Barry
said. “It can take over your life. Getting up at 4 a.m. was like having
another baby again. And the expenses are significant; I know I didn’t
buy new clothes for a while.
“But the hardest part is that nobody educates the parents on what’s
really going on or what’s going to happen.”
When they received the letter from Delaware informing them of
scholarship, she and her husband, Bob, were thrilled. Later, they
shared a quiet laugh, noting that the scholarship might just defray the
cost of the last couple of years of Cortney’s youth sports swim career.
The paradox has caught the attention of Myles Brand, the
president of the N.C.A.A.
youth sports culture is overly aggressive, and while the opportunity
for an athletic scholarship is not trivial, it’s easy for the
opportunity to be overexaggerated by parents and advisers,” Mr. Brand
said in a telephone interview. “That can skew behavior and, based on
the numbers, lead to unrealistic expectations.”
Instead, Mr. Brand said, families should focus on academics.
“The real opportunity is taking advantage of how eager institutions
to reward good students,” he said. “In America’s colleges, there is a
system of discounting for academic achievement. Most people with good
academic records aren’t paying full sticker price. We don’t want people
to stop playing sports; it’s good for them. But the best opportunity
available is to try to improve one’s academic qualifications.” The math
of athletic scholarships is complicated and widely misunderstood.
common references in news media reports, there is no such thing as a
four-year scholarship. All N.C.A.A. athletic scholarships must be
renewed and are not guaranteed year to year, something stated in bold
letters on the organization’s Web site for student-athletes. Nearly
every scholarship can be canceled for almost any reason in any year,
although it is unclear how often that happens.
N.C.A.A. institutions gave athletic scholarships amounting to about 2
percent of the 6.4 million athletes playing those sports in high school
four years earlier. Despite the considerable attention paid to sports,
the select group of athletes barely registers statistically among the
5.3 million students at N.C.A.A. colleges and universities.
are typically split and distributed to a handful, or even, say, 20,
athletes because most institutions do not fully finance the so-called
nonrevenue sports like soccer, baseball, golf, lacrosse, volleyball,
softball, swimming, and track and field. Colleges offering these sports
often pay for only five or six full scholarships, which are often
sliced up to cover an entire team. Some sports have one or two full
scholarships, or none at all.
The N.C.A.A. also restricts by
sport the number of scholarships a college is allowed to distribute,
and the numbers for most teams are tiny when compared with Division I
football and its 85-scholarship limit.
A fully financed men’s
Division I soccer team is restricted to 9.9 full scholarships, for
freshmen to seniors. These are typically divvied up among as many as 25
or 30 players. A majority of N.C.A.A. members do not reach those limits
and are not fully financed in most of their sports.
whose Villanova field hockey team plays in the competitive Big East
Conference, must make tough choices in recruiting. The N.C.A.A. permits
Division I field hockey teams to have 12 full scholarships, but her
team has fewer.
Expectations Lose to Reality of Sports Scholarships
(Page 3 of 3)
tell parents of recruits I have eight scholarships, and they say: ‘Wow,
eight a year? That’s great,’ ” she said. “And I say: ‘No, eight
four or five years of recruits. And I’ve got 22 girls on our
That can mean a $2,000 scholarship, which surprises parents.
“They might argue with me,” Ms. Milhous said. “But the fact is I’ve
girls getting from $2,000 to $20,000, and it all has to add up to eight
scholarships. It’s very subjective, and remember, what I get to give
out is also determined by how many seniors I’ve got leaving.”
Two Brothers, Two Stories
Taylor, a soccer player at Villanova, received a scholarship worth half
his roughly $40,000 in college costs when he graduated from a suburban
Philadelphia high school three years ago. He had spent years on one of
the top travel soccer teams in the country, F.C. Delco, and had several
college aid offers.
“It was still a huge dogfight to get
whatever you can get,” Mr. Taylor said. “Everyone is scrambling. There
are so many good players, and nobody understands how few get to keep
playing after high school.”
In 2003-4, there was the equivalent
of one full N.C.A.A. men’s soccer scholarship available for about every
145 boys who were playing high school soccer four years earlier.
“There’s a lot of luck involved really,” Mr. Taylor said. “I can
pinpoint a time when I was suddenly heavily recruited. It was after a
tournament in Long Island the summer after my junior year. I scored a
few goals. The Villanova coach was there, and so were some other
college coaches. Within a couple of days, my in-box was full of
e-mails. I’ve wondered, What would have happened if didn’t play well
Mr. Taylor has a younger brother, Pat, who followed
in his footsteps, playing on the same national-level travel team and
for the same Olympic developmental program.
“He did everything I
did, and in some ways I think he’s a better player than me,” Joe said.
“But you know, I think he didn’t have the big game when the right
college coaches were there. He didn’t get the money offers I did.”
Pat Taylor is a freshman at Loyola College in Baltimore. Though
recruited, he did not make the soccer team during tryouts last fall.
“I feel terrible for him — he worked as hard as I did for all those
years,” Joe Taylor said.
Their father, Chris Taylor, said he once calculated what he spent
on the boys’ soccer careers.
“Ten thousand per kid per year is not an unreasonable estimate,” he
said. “But we never looked at it as a financial transaction. You are
misguided if you do it for that reason. You cannot recoup what you put
in if you think of it that way. It was their passion — still is — and
we wanted to indulge that.
“So what if we didn’t take vacations for a few years.”
Pat Taylor, who started playing soccer at 4, said it took him about
month to accept that his dream of playing varsity soccer on scholarship
in college would not happen. He looks back fondly on his youth career
but also wishes he knew at the start what he knows now about the
“The whole thing really is a crapshoot, but no one
ever says that out loud,” he said. “On every team I played on, every
single person there thought for sure that they would play in college. I
thought so, too. Just by the numbers, it’s completely unrealistic.
“And if I had it to do over, I would have skipped a practice every
and then to go to a concert or a movie with my friends. I missed out on
a lot of things for soccer. I wish I could have some of that time
N.A.I.A. Reports Aid Differently
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
The National Association of
Intercollegiate Athletics also provided scholarship data to The New
York Times. The athletes received an average of $6,784 in 19 sports
during the 2003-4 academic year.
But the portion of that
aid that was dedicated specifically to athletic scholarships could not
be determined because the N.A.I.A., unlike the National
Collegiate Athletic Association,
does not differentiate athletic aid from other institutional aid given
athletes. In the N.A.I.A., all aid from a college or university to a
student-athlete is reported as one sum. Academically gifted students
are also exempt from the aid counted by the N.A.I.A. using a set of
In the N.A.I.A. in 2003-4, 42,730 athletes
received aid for a total of about $290 million. Football players made
up the biggest group of athletes receiving aid, which averaged $5,664 a
player. But other sports distributed more per recipient, like women’s
soccer, in which the average aid package, athletic and institutional,
was $7,442. Men’s basketball players averaged an aid package worth
Like the N.C.A.A., the N.A.I.A. has scholarship limits
for its member colleges by sport. A football team, for example, is
restricted to 24 scholarships. Baseball and the men’s and women’s
soccer programs can award 12 scholarships.
Recruits Clamor for More From
Coaches With Less
Tim Shaffer for The New York Times
College athletes in sports other than football and basketball, such as
the Delaware shot-putter Chase Renoll, often receive only partial
By BILL PENNINGTON
The country’s celebrity college
football and basketball coaches lead nationally ranked teams on
television, controlling a bevy of full scholarships and a sophisticated
marketing machine that swathes college athletics with an air of
affluence. They are far from typical.
Skip to next paragraph
Tim Shaffer for The New York Times
Villanova’s baseball coach, Joe Godri, says money is limited.
More common is the soccer,
lacrosse or softball coach who sits in a closet-sized office beside a
$100 air conditioner and a 12-inch TV, trying to figure out ways to buy
the best athlete possible for the least amount of scholarship money,
which can be as little as $400. A jack-of-all-trades, this coach has a
job that requires the skills of a stock portfolio manager, labor
lawyer, headhunter, family counselor and soothsayer.
“There have been days when you feel like a used-car salesman,” said
Joe Godri, the baseball coach at Villanova University.
“I’ve always been completely honest, but you can’t get away from the
fact that the process can be crazy. You pump up a kid so much to come
to your place, and when he agrees, you say, ‘O.K., and what I’ve got
for you is 25 percent of your cost to attend here.’
“And no one
believes you, but that’s a good Division I baseball scholarship. You
have to convince his parents that you’re being really fair.”
The current cost to attend Villanova is nearly $45,000 a year, and
it has cost more than $35,000 since 2003. The average N.C.A.A.
Division I baseball scholarship, compiled from 2003-4 statistics
obtained from the N.C.A.A., is worth $7,069.
“It’s like we have a salary cap from the professional sports model,”
said Godri, whose baseball program can dole out the equivalent of six
full scholarships across four years. “Except we’re dealing in
thousands, not millions, and we have to stretch it across 25 or 30
Working against these college coaches is a perception in
the hyper and driven youth sports culture that scholarship money is
plentiful. Online recruiting services and private counselors promote
the notion that some athletic scholarships go unclaimed.
interviews with more than 20 college coaches and administrators at two
representative N.C.A.A. Division I institutions, Villanova and the University of
the coaches said they routinely encountered parents with an almost
irrational desire to have their children earn some kind of athletic
scholarship. Sometimes the amount is irrelevant, as long as the child
can attend his or her high school’s national letter of intent signing
day and be feted in the local newspapers as a scholarship athlete.
“Parents say to me all the time: ‘Can’t you just throw her
Just make her feel good,’ ” said Joanie Milhous, the Villanova
hockey coach. “I have to explain I don’t have money to throw around. I
think these families have just invested so much in private lessons,
tutors and camps, they can’t stand the thought of getting nothing at
all back financially.”
The Delaware men’s track coach, Jim
Fischer, added: “I’m somewhat amazed that the question of scholarship
money always comes up, even when it’s an athlete I haven’t shown much
interest in and who clearly isn’t a college-level player. When I meet
with them, I sit there thinking, this parent will never even ask about
money because their kid would have trouble making some high school
teams. But you know what? They ask for money, too.”
Other coaches said athletes or their parents tried to be too wily
in their scholarship negotiations.
“Families will try to play the coaches off each other,” said Kim
Ciarrocca, who coaches women’s lacrosse at Delaware. “They’ll say that
they’ve got a half or full scholarship offer from some school and want
us to match it. What they don’t know is that we coaches all talk to
each other, and we know the truth.”
She added: “We will call the
other coach and ask, ‘Hey, did you offer that kid a full ride?’ When
the answer is no, that kid might have lost the interest of two coaches.”
Godri said parents sometimes are misled by advisers who use the
high-profile sports of football or basketball as a model for how to
play the recruiting game. That is a mistake, Godri said, because the
money in the nonrevenue sports is limited.
“The first thing
people have to understand is that they are probably not going to recoup
the money they’ve already spent on their kid’s athletic career,” Godri
said. “But that’s what they are told. People get exploited. I wish
people would relax and talk frankly to coaches. I’d tell them to lower
their expectations, and everything will probably work out fine for all
Recruits Clamor for More From Coaches With Less
Published: March 11, 2008
(Page 2 of 2)
At the same time, the coaches concede that there is a competitive
nature to the recruiting system and that they are not above using
tactics to sway or hurry high school athletes in their decision-making.
Ciarrocca’s husband, Kirk, is an assistant football coach at Delaware.
They discuss recruiting strategies.
“I think all the women’s sports have learned from the men’s sports,
right or wrong, we now do some of the things they do,” Ciarrocca said.
For example, if she is looking for a goalie, she might bring to
each of her top three potential recruits at the position in the space
of a few days. She said she would tell them that there were three
players, that all three had been on campus recently and that they had a
week to decide whether to attend Delaware. The first player to commit
gets the scholarship money. The others do not.
“I’ve waited patiently in the past,” Ciarrocca said, “and lost all
Coaches said the rules of this recruiting engagement were understood
anyone who had been in the game before. That is why coaches say they
are happiest when they make their first call to a recruit’s home and
find out the object of their attention had an older sibling who was
recruited by colleges.
“Those people understand the landscape,” Milhous said. “If it’s the
oldest child, I know it’s going to be harder.”
Among the principal things families do not know, the coaches said,
that there is a lot more money available outside athletics in the form
of grants, loans and other institutional aid. In many cases, the
athletic aid will be a piece of the financial package.
athletic money can also increase over time, because a good 17-year-old
player can grow into a great 19-year-old player, and just about any
coach will want to recognize that and keep the player happy,” said
Godri, who has had two recent graduates drafted in the second round of
Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.
For that reason, most
coaches treat their pool of scholarship money as a reserve that must be
strategically invested like a stock portfolio. And like a stock plan,
it can be drastically affected by unforeseen outside forces — in this
case, injuries and academic ineligibility. Other factors are the
attrition of graduation and an always volatile position depth chart.
“Sometimes you have to try to predict the future, and if you think
easy, you’ve never done it,” Godri said. “This is why when a parent
says to me, ‘You must have more money,’ I can say with a clear
conscience, ‘There ain’t no more money.’ ”
interviewed said the battle over scholarship dollars would go more
smoothly if parents and athletes did their homework and knew how few
full scholarships the N.C.A.A. allowed in each sport (11.7 for
baseball, 12 for field hockey, for example) and how few Division I
institutions actually funded sports to those levels (far less than
half). Most said there was an overemphasis on the potential financial
benefit of a child’s athletic success.
“What they should be
doing is attending the games of a college they are considering,”
Milhous said. “Go sit with the parents of the current players. That
will tell you everything. By the end of the game, they’ll know
everything — good or bad. And that’s what really matters.
people tend to just focus on the money. They chase the scholarship and
I’ve had several families come back to me a year or two later and say,
‘Chasing the money was a mistake.’ It sounds like a cliché, but
a lot more to being a happy college athlete than how much money you
get. The money alone won’t make you happy.”
For years, some coaches have
signed a handful of high school athletes to what were viewed as tryout
scholarships. For $1,000 or less apiece, four or five players would be
enrolled and then evaluated during the college’s fall practices.
who were deemed good players were asked to remain on campus for the
spring baseball season and might have their scholarships upgraded in
the future. Players not considered likely to be valuable contributors
would be cut from the team and encouraged to transfer elsewhere by the
spring, which an athlete could do without interrupting his eligibility.
Baseball coaches and college administrators said such maneuvering
evolved in part as an answer to scholarship limits. The N.C.A.A.
limits Division I baseball teams to 11.7 full scholarships, but a
college roster customarily has about 35 players. Since coaches are
forced to split scholarships into small amounts, it is not unusual for
players to be lured to a campus for as little $500 or $1,000.
some coach brings in four guys at $400 and gets one keeper, that has
been viewed as a good deal,” said Joe Godri, the coach at Villanova University.
“He got a good player for $1,600.”
Godri prefers the new frontier that college baseball is facing.
Baseball-specific N.C.A.A. restrictions going into effect this fall
will eliminate the tryout scholarship. All scholarships in the sport
will have to be worth at least 25 percent of an institution’s tuition
and room and board.
Also starting this fall, any baseball player
transferring between institutions will lose his eligibility for a year,
something already in place for football, basketball, ice hockey and
volleyball. And because the N.C.A.A. has said that graduation rates for
baseball players were among the lowest in college athletics, the
organization will soon require that players be academically eligible in
the fall to play during the spring.
“This will be a lot more fair
for all of us,” Godri said. “Now everybody has to look at a prospect as
someone you’ll probably have for four years. You won’t have people
running off kids after four months just because they don’t like them.”
new rules will also limit the number of players who can receive
athletic aid on a team to 30 by 2008-9 and 27 by 2009-10. For the
dozens of coaches like Godri who are not overseeing fully funded
baseball programs, this last guideline may not be a major problem. He
has the equivalent of six full scholarships.
But for the major
college baseball powers handing out the limit of 11.7 scholarships, the
new rule is highly controversial. Some coaches say they feel that
baseball is being unfairly persecuted.
“We’re the only partial
scholarship sport with these kind of sanctions,” said Mississippi
State’s longtime baseball coach, Ron Polk, who wrote a host of N.C.A.A.
officials and college presidents an 18-page letter delineating his
objections. “We’re the only partial scholarship sport that has to have
its athletes eligible two consecutive semesters and that has
restrictions on how to distribute our scholarships.
rules are flawed because baseball is not football, where they get 85
full scholarships for a team. In football, they can afford to have
their kids all go to summer school to help their eligibility and their
grades. Give baseball some of that money and we’ll be happy to send our
kids to summer school, too.”
the N.C.A.A. president, said the driving factor in the new rules was
the realization that while baseball players tended to enter college
with higher academic qualifications than most other college athletes,
their grades in college were poor when compared with their athletic
Brand cited the fall semester tryout scholarship as a contributing
“There were just too many athletes changing schools every year and
never staying long enough to achieve academically,” he said.
Polk countered that the N.C.A.A.’s Academic Progress Rate, a
stick that assesses the graduation rates of college teams with
penalties built in, would have ultimately penalized those baseball
teams handing out tryout scholarships.
“Instead I’m going to
have to dump five to eight guys from my team to satisfy the N.C.A.A.,”
Polk said. “They’ll probably transfer. How is that going to help
The Scholarship Divide
It’s Not an Adventure, It’s a Job
By BILL PENNINGTON
A few months into her first year at Villanova, Stephanie Campbell
Skip to next paragraph
Tim Shaffer for The New York Times
Stephanie Campbell received a $19,000 athletic scholarship to play
field hockey at Villanova, but she said the demands of the sport and
her schoolwork left her little time for a social life.
Tim Shaffer for The New York Times
Many college athletes, like Elvis Lewis, who runs track at Villanova,
start their classes early in the morning to accommodate training and
game schedules. For events away from campus, teams can leave at 1 p.m.
and not return until 10 p.m.
As a high school senior in New Jersey, she had been thrilled to receive
a $19,000 athletic scholarship to play field hockey at Villanova University
a select, private institution outside Philadelphia. But she had not
counted on the 7 a.m. start of every class day, something required so
she could be in the locker room by noon to prepare for a four-hour
shift of afternoon practices and weight-lifting sessions. Travel to
games forced her to miss exams and classes. There were also mandatory
team meetings, study halls and weekend practices.
She was overwhelmed.
her roommate had a typical college student’s social life, while
Stephanie was in her room on weekend nights trying to sleep because she
had a game the next day,” her mother, Kathleen Campbell, said last
month. “She came home crying.”
So Kathleen Campbell sat her
daughter down, waited for a break in the sobs and said: “Villanova
costs more than $40,000 a year to attend. They’re paying you $19,000 to
play field hockey. At your age, there is no one out there anywhere who
is going to pay you that kind of money to do anything. And that’s how
you have to look at this: It’s a job, but it’s a great job.”
22, kept at it all four years, serving as a team captain last fall
while majoring in marketing. She is expected to graduate this spring.
missing the sport terribly already,” she said last month. “But it was a
ton of work. Receiving an athletic scholarship is a wonderful thing,
but most of us only know what we’re getting, not what we’re getting
Dozens of scholarship athletes at N.C.A.A.
Division I institutions said in interviews that they had underestimated
how taxing and hectic their lives would be playing college sports. They
also said others share a common misperception that athletes lead a
“You know, maybe if you’re a scholarship
football player at Oklahoma, everything is taken care of for you,” Tim
Poydenis, a scholarship baseball player at Villanova, said. “But most
of us are nonrevenue-sport athletes who have to do our own fund-raising
just to pay for basics like sweat pants and batting gloves. We miss all
these classes, which obviously doesn’t help us or make our professors
happy. We give up almost all our free time. Our social life is stripped
“Friday happy hour or spring break? Forget it. I haven’t had a
spring break since I was a sophomore in high school.”
athletes were interviewed over several weeks from a cross section of
sports at two representative Division I institutions, Villanova, a
charter member of the Big East Conference, and the University of
a state-run institution that is a member of the Colonial Athletic
Association. None of the athletes asked for or expected sympathy. They
know there are many overscheduled college students who devote extra
hours to academic and extracurricular activities or part-time jobs and
“We love what we do, and it is worth it,” Poydenis
said. “But everybody thinks every college athlete is on a pampered full
ride. The truth is a lot of us are getting $4,000 and working our butts
off for it.”
The life of the scholarship athlete is so arduous
that coaches and athletes said it was not unusual for as many as 15
percent of those receiving athletic aid to quit sports and turn down
the scholarship money after a year or two.
“I came in with 10
recruited girls,” Stephanie Campbell said. “There are four of us left
as seniors. Not everyone was on scholarship, but maybe half who left
were getting money.”
Campbell said she had a teammate who wanted
to be an engineer but that the classes and off-campus projects in that
major clashed with field hockey practices and trips.
a senior softball player at Delaware, said at least one scholarship
player had quit the team in each of her seasons. Of her former
teammates, she said, “I see them around campus, and they look happy.”
Schaknowski, a sophomore lacrosse player on athletic scholarship at
Delaware, said 5 of the 12 women she entered with were no longer on the
team. Most had relinquished their scholarships.
Joe Taylor, a junior soccer player at Villanova, said he was one of
four left from a freshman recruiting class of 10.
wonder if you should try to talk them out of it,” Taylor said. “But for
most of those guys, it probably is the best decision to walk away.”
Villanova, Poydenis said he thought the defections resulted from the
shock that set in after a youth sports culture ethos collided with the
realities of college athletics.