November 6, 2010

College Volleyball Scholarship Full Ride

Hi Coach,
Our daughter is a junior in H.S. and is being recruited by various D1 colleges for volleyball....just getting letter correspondence right now. We have heard from various folks that athletic scholarships are not offered for the full 4 years. They are only for 1 year and you may not receive the scholarship money any further than the 1st year! Is this true? We always were under the impression that athletic scholarships were "full rides"! Can you clear this up for us?
Thank you so much!

You are partially referencing NCAA terms and partially referencing recruiting lingo - Then to make it an even tastier treat, you are mixing the two terms together (kinda like the Ben and Jerry's Half Baked selections!).

Per NCAA rules, scholarships (full or partial) are one year agreements which may be renewed for up to 5 years (if a player redshirts). If an athlete is not renewed or has their scholarship amount reduced, they have the right to appeal this non-renewal or reduction in front of a non-athletic department committee. Generally, it is uncommon for a program to not renew a player, provided they followed team rules, were academically eligible, worked hard in the gym and had a good attitude.
Yet, it is important to note that we are seeing more and more programs not renew players based on abilities. I don't know if this is an effort to minimize recruiting mistakes (coaches overrating a player) by freeing up a scholarship earlier than the 4 year window, or coaches just believing they can recruit a better freshman than what they have on board as a sophomore or junior to be.

A Full Ride, usually referenced in coaching circles as a Full Scholarship, is a scholarship which covers room, board, tuition, fees and books. Partial Scholarships cover specifically named amounts, but will not go up to the Full Scholarship amount. Some folks will confuse the "ride" part of the Full Ride lingo for riding the scholarship for 4 years automatically.

NCAA DI Women's Volleyball teams are considered a Head Count Sport. Per NCAA rules, only 12 "heads" may be on any amount of an athletic scholarship, and since the majority of NCAA DI programs are fully funded (the NCAA allows for the funding of 12 Full Scholarships, if the school wishes to fully fund the sport), these DI Volleyball players tend to be on Full Scholarships aka Full Ride.

NCAA DII Women's Volleyball is an Equivalency Sport and the NCAA says that DII Volleyball can be funded up to an equivalent of 8 Full Scholarships. Per the NCAA rules, DII Volleyball teams may scholarship any number of athletes, but the total of all these athletes (9 or 12 or 16 or 24 players) on scholarship can only equal up to 8 Full Scholarships.

NCAA DII Volleyball programs vary greatly in their school's decision to fund volleyball scholarships. There are a number of DII's which fund at 8 and there are a number that fund at 4 and there are number that fund a 2. This funding decision is determined by the school.

In DII Volleyball you will find a mix of scholarship amounts - Some players are on fulls, some are on half scholarships, while others may just get books paid for. You will also find a number of scholarship support sources in DII - Academic, Athletic, Merit, Need Based, etc. Some of these sources count against the NCAA DII maximum of 8 and other sources do not. This leads to the possibility of more than 8 players being on Full Scholarships and/or the gross financial totals of scholarships being provided to volleyball players exceeding 8 Full Scholarships.

I hope that helps!

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