March 20, 2010

College Volleyball Scholarship Question in Two Parts

If someone's DD gets a "full ride", is it "usually" the case that her tuition is paid, but the family needs to pay for room/board....

or some other combination thereof??

is it ever the case where absolutely EVERY single school-related expense is taken care of???

AND, the scholarship is just for the first year of college, being re-evaluated every subsequent year???

thnx - N

Since NCAA Division III athletics is non-athletic scholarship supported, I will limit my answers to Division I and Division II.

1. DI Women's Volleyball being a NCAA Head Count sport limits players (heads) to 12 on scholarship (which is the NCAA Division I limit for funding WVB) - So if a DI school fully funds their program, then each player would receive a Full Scholarship. Per DI, a Full ride consists of Tuition, Books, Fees, Room and Board (simplest catch all). Each DI school defines "Fees" differently and this can create some variations with what is covered - For instance, my current school does not cover the Application Fee (trying to make money off of athletics), but other DI's I have coached at waived the application fee; the same may go for certain Lab fees or Housing Renewal Fees, etc. Many times the decision to cover a Fee, comes down to how the university wishes to try and generate extra income or cut expenses via athletics.

1a. Division I has another commonly used term and this is Cost of Attendance. CoA is meant to capture all expenses related to going to college; pencils/pens, calculators, toiletries, etc. The Full Scholarship is always below the CoA. The CoA is used to determine how much an athlete can work during the year, if they have time. An athlete can work up to the CoA, without breaking NCAA rules.

1b. What I tell my recruits, and I have done this at my other DI schools, is that their scholarship covers everything other than shampoo and going to a movie! About the only major item schools don't cover is primary insurance - athletic departments act as secondary for any injury. This becomes an issue with international players and lower income families needing to purchase primary insurance. All training equipment, season travel expenses, food/hotel, pre-game/post game meals, etc. are all covered by the program. Hence why DI, full scholarship athletes can become spoiled!

1c. The NCAA manual says that the scholarships are one year renewable for up to 5 years (red-shirt year). But, the manual also says that if a scholarship is reduced or terminated (reduced for Equivalency sports) that the player has the right to appeal to a non-athletics committee. The majority of the time, the player loses this appeal. Each spring, I generate scholarship agreements for the next school year, to be signed by my returning players. The only time I don't renew an athlete is if there has been an academic failing, behavioral issue, or significant lack of effort; and, sometimes the athlete wishes to attend another school to find a better volleyball playing time fit. Most DI programs will renew players, even if they do not fill the ability projections the coach had for them as a recruit; unfortunately, there are too many DI programs who just 'push' players off who will not make them better. We are seeing this happen more and more in the DI ranks by some upper teams and mid-level teams whose coaches just want to get the next best player.

2. DII is an Equivalency Sport which means that no mater how many players are on scholarship, the total of these individual scholarships must equal or be less than the scholarship limit of the sport. For DII WVB, the scholarship limit is 8; so no matter how many players you put on scholarship the total amount awarded cannot exceed 8. It can get a little tricky in DII, because some scholarship support is not counted against the NCAA limit (for instance, the Pell Grant or certain academic awards) - It has been my experience that fully funded DII programs (and DII programs encompass a wide range of funding - unlike DI, in which the majority of programs are fully funded) will award a Full scholarship to a couple of their elite players and then everyone else is on a partial scholarship. One of the tough things about DII, is you get into bidding contests for players.

2a. How a partial scholarship is broken out, depends upon the protocol of the school. For instance, some schools may say the first $6,000 of a scholarship must be applied to tuition; so in these scenario, the parents would pay for room and board. DII coaches can be positive in the presentation of this award, by calling this a Full Tuition and Fees scholarship (if tuition and fees are 6K for their school).

2b. As I referenced above, the scholarship amount can be reduced (and the athlete has the right to appeal) or eliminated. It can also be increased. There seems to be three philosophies with DII scholarships - Start the player high and reduce if they don't play well - Start the player low and increase if they play well - Start the player at the scholarship amount that she will have throughout their career. When I was a DII coach, I tended to start the player at the level they were going to be at their career, but would increase a bit to reward someone who surprised me with great effort or attitude.

OK - Hope that helped answer your questions!

yes, thanks for the quick reply...

I thoroughly enjoy your blog...I learn something(s) every time I check it out...

glad you decided not to discontinue it....

and it's not just the D1 athletes who are being spoiled...
I have a running discussion every time I see our tennis coach about how kids these days feel they are entitled to every single thing they can be given without lifting a finger for it...

keep up the good work!!

btw, I didn't see my question on your blog for the athletes & their parents...that's why I emailed you directly...

(some just seem to think that a full ride is that easy to get)...

thanks again - N

Your previous question my have gone via the Comments section and those just post with no reply - I need to figure out a way to respond/rebut those few Comment posts I disagree with, but I am not smart with this whole computer thing! Thanks for e-mailing me direct, as I struggle with my technological failings.

It is a disconcerting situation with the entitlement mentality of athletes. Either they play a sport which requires money to get better at and tend to be used to having parents bring them bottled water courtside, or they play a sport which college/high school administrations cannot say the word "NO" to and they quickly develop attitude they are special because of their sport.

Under the now passed, President Miles Brandt, the NCAA did no favors to anyone by pushing the Student-Athlete Experience agenda. Being able to play intercollegiate athletics and either receiving a scholarship and/or substantial non monetary support was not deemed good enough by the NCAA administration - They decided to give the athletes way too much power by emphasizing that they have a great experience. For the last decade, this was the mantra of every newer AD who had not participated in athletics as student-athlete. This idea of making the Student Athlete Experience most important created such problems - Without being too dramatic, it was much like letting the inmates run the prison!

I think we are well into a back lash of this Student Athlete Experience now, as AD's are no longer tolerating athletes coming directly to them to complain about every little thing that was not perfect on the last road trip or not providing a fifth second chance to student-athletes just to keep them happy. Unfortunately, for 10 years the NCAA and AD's put coaches at a severe disadvantage by encouraging the athletes to back door the coach, which only multiplied the mentality of entitlement which the SA's were arriving on campus with.

My view is quite simple - NCAA athletes are older teenagers and young, young adults. They are not grown-ups, they are not adults. They need structure, support, leadership, discipline, accountability and consequences. Yes, they should be treated with common courtesy and respect, but they are not equals to coaches and should not be afforded the impression that they are. Much like a parent dealing with the consequences of spoiling a child and faced with a difficult teenager, the NCAA and too many Athletic Directors are now dealing with the spoiled student-athletes in which they created.

Don't interpret these statements as a blindness to coaches who are not very good leaders, on or off the court - Trust me, when you are in the profession, you know who talks the talk, but does not walk the walk.

Again, it is nice to see the small changes and momentum away from this entitlement attitude. Back in the day, when I played, I liked being a college volleyball player and no one was telling me they were concerned with my student-athlete experience. If you trained hard, played hard, took care of your academic responsibilities and behaved off the court, you enjoyed what it meant to be an athlete. So many of my fellow coaches, who were former athletes, all wondered when the experience became poor!

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