My son William was born in New York on 8/25/92 but he is an Italian citizen.
He is currently playing for the Under18 and Under20 team of SYSLEY TREVISO www.sisleyvolley.com and for the National pre-Juniors team.
Last year his team ranked second in the Italian league and the year before he was nominated best player of the region.
He is 1.98cm.
For the year 2011-2012 I would him to attend a University in the States playing I Division. I already enrolled him to NCAA eligibility center.
In order to improve his SAT he needs to improve his English. What is the best solution for him to spend the summer in a College and get acquainted in order to join the following season.
Which campus/university would you suggest?
Well, before I can give you just a basic answer about where to go in the USA for Men's College Volleyball, there are some other issues which must be considered. As I read your e-mail, it is apparent that you have a good grasp of some of the steps needed to come to the USA and play college sports, but there are some specific areas which must be brought to your attention.
I hope that my information, in response to your question, might help a number of Prospective Student Athletes (PSA) from Europe in their consideration of coming to the United States to compete in college volleyball.
By my reading of your e-mail, the following questions/observations have come to mind:
1. Your son is 17 years old? Has he graduated high school yet? Have you submitted translated high school transcripts to the NCAA Clearinghouse? Remember that the Clearinghouse has two distinct areas - Amateurism and Academic Eligibility. The reason I ask about transcripts, is that the NCAA Clearinghouse has two views with international high schools when it comes to classes and being eligible to compete in NCAA Athletics. One view is like here in the United States; a certain number of core classes (14? - I know I should know this!!!) must be passed to be eligible.
The other view is that Exit Examination (comprehensive examinations covering all subjects while in high school) scores determine eligibility. This second type of view is more often applied to European high schools (for instance, France). A PSA could make fantastic grades in all their classes all through high school, but if they score poorly on their Final Examinations for High School, they will not be eligible. I know this because the tennis coach at my school lost two elite European players because they did not take their Final Examinations seriously and did poorly, even though their yearly academic marks were excellent, and the NCAA Clearinghouse said they were ineligible. You must find out this information from the NCAA.
2. By your e-mail, your son is playing for an established volleyball club with the under 21 age groups and on the Junior National Team. NCAA Amateurism currently has a very broad interpretation of Professionalism (what makes a player a professional), which includes playing matches on a professional team, even though the player does not get paid (there is a current NCAA Proposal to eliminate this specific example, but it has not yet been passed to my knowledge). I know that many times within the top flight European programs, younger players may be brought up for a match or two with the pro team, just for experience or as a reward for doing so well with the younger age groups. Your son would not become ineligible for having played a match or two with the professional team, but rather might have to sit out a few matches here in the USA - All this must be determined by the NCAA. If your son has not participated with a professional team, make sure he does not start playing matches with a pro team or sign a contract or hire an agent or accept money for participation (above expenses) on any team.
USA sports can be confusing for international families, because in Europe, many universities sponsor professional sports teams and students will play on the team with full time professional players. Here in the USA, there is complete separation between college and professional sporting teams.
3. Congratulations on your son's Region award. I will caution you that the level of USA Men's College Volleyball is very high and the competition for scholarships is intense (remember that the NCAA only allows 4 scholarships for men's teams, but the women's teams receive 12 in Division I). One of the reasons that the level of play is elite, is because there are significantly more players than there are college teams to play on (NCAA Division I Men's Volleyball has less than 30 teams!). So, for an international player to come to the United States, be selected to a team and also receive any significant amount in a scholarship, this international player must be very, very, very good!
4. Since your son is still a PSA, there are limited options for him to spend significant amounts of time on a USA college campus because of recruiting issues. He can come over and take summer school classes (paid for by the family), if a university/college offers dual credit (high school applicable) classes. Or he can attend a series of summer camps for men's players; but these can really cost alot of money. The best region of the USA to do this is southern California because there are a number of DI schools which sponser Men's Volleyball in close proximity.
Another option, depending on your son's class schedule in Italy, is to consider joining a USA Volleyball Men's Junior Club (visit the USA Volleyball web site). Men's Club Volleyball happens in the Spring and into the summer. Once again, this will cost money, but may be a good option for extended time in the USA.
Honestly, it is tough to spend an extended amount of time in the USA unless you have a lot of money or can arrange an exchange student situation.
OK - Since there are not too many Men's college volleyball programs, if you click here and select Men's Volleyball and Division I, and click on 'Run Report) you will see a page of schools. You can go directly to the NCAA listing of each school and I think this page will allow you to link to each school. With the exception of Penn State University, the better volleyball teams are located in California.