Academic scholarships empower athletes

When a high school senior signs a letter of intent to play a college sport, it is viewed as the first choice of the student-athlete.

The reality is most student athletes choose the college that will offer them the most scholarship money.

This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the student athlete’s first choice.

Coaches from universities scour the nation looking for the best recruits.

It is a dog-eat-dog world and the high school recruits are the pawns in this corporate game of college sports.

Ryan Cole, a 2002 South Kitsap High School graduate, is a rare example of having the choice to choose the college he wanted to attend.

When you are a prized prospect the power is in the hands of the recruit.

But for most high school recruits looking for a place to play, it is a stressful hunt of finding a school that not only wants you but is willing to pay for you to play sports at that university.

Going to college for free comes in two forms: athletic scholarships or academic scholarships.

Those being offered athletic scholarships sign what’s called a letter of intent.

Once a recruit signs this letter of intent, they are bound to that school.

Of course a signed recruit could decide to attend another school, but he/she would be unable to receive an athletic scholarship or play a varsity sport until sophomore year rolls around.

One scenario that happens is a recruit (we’ll call him Charlie) signs with his second-choice school because his first-choice school already had their prized recruit signed.

But what if something happened to that prized recruit in the summer and he was unable to attend the university?

All of a sudden Charlie sees an opening at his first-choice school.

But Charlie can’t do anything about it because he already signed a letter of intent with his second-choice school.

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