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Sutton High News

The Reality of College Sports and the Admissions

What do High school athletes have to prepare for their futures?
Divison one colleges/universities

I have seen first hand the college recruitment process with track, football, and women’s basketball. It is a high school student reaching for greatness, applying to different colleges and universities in hopes to become the next Hall of Famer. These are the brightest stars from the high schools, and have clear potential to make it to the next level.

Often, the search starts as young as freshman year of high school. They go to multiple combines, visits, and talking to the coaching staff, to create the applied interest between junior year and senior year of high school.

Some media apps that are used for recruitment. (Resources For Employers)

Yet, despite the effort of posting the camps on social media with the visits, coaches still have the opportunity to drop the student athlete. Social media has become a large part of the recruitment process throughout the past years, which could impact the package that one may receive from the school.

Packages are the amount of financial aid, scholarship, and the room and board money. This is one of the biggest factors in going to college for sports as it determines the financial burden on the student, and their family. There is such a thing called free rides that take all of the financial burden off the student, but they are hard to come by. Most colleges and universities offer the student, at most, an athletics scholarship.

The athletic scholarships create a larger issue as the athlete has a much higher standard to preform at, causing the student to become potentially depressed, anxious, and to have performance anxiety.

The scholarship is only active when the student is, which basically means that if the student becomes injured, their spot will be taken. This makes the student play the sport injured due to the fact that they could be kick out of the program and risk being dropped from the college/university entirely.

Brains playing sports, showing the mental health aspect of sports. (Design by Madelyn Foulger | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

When applying to schools, many have to think about applying for merit scholarships as this will prevent what an athletic scholarship will not. This is the best for the athlete because the pressure will be less to play injured.

Once into college, the student takes on the reality of not being the best of the best as many other athletes that were once the best at their school show up. Dealing with that mentally, students can often drive themselves to injury or toward transferring to a different school.

It all really depends on the school, and the team environment. Most of the time, a college athlete faces the media for the first time truly being in the spotlight, and that can give immense pressure to the athlete. This can cause the athlete to preform when injured due to stress and anxiety to losing everything as the media is large in college sports.

How do we change this process to better the mental health of college athletes? There are no easy answers, but colleges should be clear about expectations and have support systems in place for their athletes. Without a proper system in place, the recruitment process will simply get athletes in to play and not be there for them when they truly need help. 

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About the Contributor
Gwyneth Johnson
Gwyneth Johnson, Staff Reporter
I'm a junior student-athlete at Sutton Highschool. I participate in many clubs at school that help me pursue my interests in marketing and leadership. Though I would not describe myself as a highly social person, I do enjoy hanging out with my friends, team dinners, and getting to know new people. My favorite color has been red for a long time, and I love binge watching movies and TV shows.

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