The Process of College Recruiting

Hailey Schlotthauer, Staff Writer

The ODA community has a few of their own student-athletes who will be going to college for their sport. But the whole process of recruitment has lately been having some cracks. 

Student athletes get an advantage when it comes to getting into school, they can get in without having the perfect test scores the school might require. However, the trend is now schools are too often are making exceptions in cases where athletes with the bare minimum GPA and test scores are getting into schools. Potentially taking spots over an eligible non-athlete.


The Atlanta Journal did an investigation on four Georgia Universities (University of Georgia at Athens, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State) on the disturbing data showing how much of a difference there is from the academic scores:


  • “Since 2009, the four schools have enrolled more than 230 players who failed to meet the bare-bones academic requirements laid out by the University System of Georgia. These special admits often require intensive academic assistance when they arrive on campus. At Tech, for instance, six full-time academic coordinators are on staff to shepherd football players through their studies”


  • “SAT scores and high school grade point averages for football players trail well behind those of regular students. That’s especially true at Tech and UGA, where data shows football players entering the schools have recorded SAT scores that are hundreds of points lower than regular freshmen”


  • “Depending on the year, as many as 100 percent of football players have SAT scores in the bottom quarter of their freshman class at Tech. At the University of Georgia, roughly eight of 10 football players are in the bottom quarter”


  • “There were a handful of extremely low scores. Georgia Tech admitted one player with a Math-Verbal combined SAT of 590, and UGA, 570. A score of 400 is the lowest possible on the SAT. Among college-bound seniors in 2014, just 2 percent of all SAT test takers nationally scored 600 or below, according to the College Board”


From The Atlanta Journal


Is it fair for the student who has worked their whole high school career to be the best academically spot be taken by the athlete who will help the basketball team bring back some more wins?


Paul Krohn, vice provost of enrollment at Georgia Tech, said they don’t just look at a student’s test score, and that lots of factors come into play. “We want a diverse student body,” Krohn said. “If we were only taking students with the best scores then the entire freshmen class would be Chinese nationals. I don’t want a campus of clones.”


Supporting that idea, Carla Williams, executive associate athletics director at UGA said the school looks at the whole student. “Test scores aren’t necessarily a direct reflection of intelligence,” she said.


What are they looking at then if it’s not just test scores? If you are not a student athlete, you can’t understand the time commitment they devote to their sport. Both in high school and college. Seeing a student’s commitment to a sport year after year is something college admissions workers are looking for to create a diverse student body. Being an athlete at that level is a job. The NCAA D1-A said that football players spend 44.8 hours of training per week (USA Today)


The philosophy is that the environment a college athlete is in is primarily driven by how motivated they are, both on the field and in the classroom. Having the confidence of being a college athlete also shows up in the classroom. If you’re a D1 football player at any school, people are going to know your name.


If a college is recruiting a student athlete, and they feel that student would not only benefit the team they would play on but also be a good fit for the school, then the student should be able to get in without having the perfect test score. Given the fact they most likely spend every single day of the week practicing while trying to balance school.


Kimmy Comitto recently visited ODA and said how her whole day revolves around two things, her classes and her lacrosse. “I don’t know what people do if they don’t play a sport, they would have so much free time. I don’t know what I would do with that free time. While I am busy, playing a sport gives me structure.”


While a student athlete is clearly busy, learning to participate on a college sports team and balance school teachers discipline in a student. A great tool to help a students time management skills which will be carried out through their lives.


Besides the positive effects playing a sport has specifically on the student, athletics help the school overall. Whether the team is bringing back a national championship or not, the stronger the sports the better it is for the school.


So while the NCAA might have to make some tighter regulations what should be the fair GPA and test score for a college athlete, keep in mind these students not only have their job of keeping up with school, but their job of playing their heart out on the field.