Monday, August 31, 2009

"Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision."
-Muhammad Ali, American Boxer

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Playing a Division I sport has taught me a lot of things that will carry over into the rest of my life, but I think one of the most important things is that its taught me how to work with a team. When I arrived on campus, I didn't know a single one of my teammates, and within a week we were practicing and working together like we had played with each other our whole lives.

My Division I team is like my family, you learn to respect everyone for their differences and work out all of the differences you may have. A team is built of a bunch of different personalities, and each of these individuals have to learn how to work together and mesh to accomplish a common goal.

Being able to work as a team requires a lot of give and take. You have to give up your individuality and begin to work towards something as a group. This is a skill that will be very valuable later in life. When at work, in a family, or in any group really, it is crucial that you know how to work with others.

On a successful team, there will be leaders and there will be the individuals that need to be led. It is important that the leader is established early on and that this leader does what is necessary to be successful. Being the leader is not always an easy task. The leader, typically named the captain, has to put their foot down, and do a lot of things that others may not want to do. They have to be the one to speak up when there is a problem, and they might have to be the bearer of bad news. It is a huge responsibility and not everyone is cut out for it.

Working as a team is a skill that I have learned over the years. I have been on my share of unsuccessful teams, and I have learned what not to do. I think it is a very valuable skill to have.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


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Recruiting Rules

There are some key terms in recruiting and with recruiting rules that are important for student-athletes and their parents and coaches to know.
  • Official Visit- any visit to the college campus paid for by the college. These visits are typically overnight stays, and the college pays for all food, lodging, and other expenses incurred.
  • Dead Period- this is a length of time where the college coach can not have any in-person contact with the people they are recruiting. This includes watching games and having athletes come visit campus. The coaches are allowed to write/call athletes during this time.
  • Prospective Student Athlete- students become "prospective" student athletes when they enter the 9th grade. This is the time that all the rules begin.
  • Verbal Commitment- this describes the student-athletes commitment to a college before he/she signs a national letter of intent. A verbal commitment can be made at any time in the high-school athletes career, and this commitment is not a binding contract for either the athlete or the coach.
  • National Letter of Intent- is a binding contract between the student athlete and the college that they have chosen. This is typically the last step in the recruiting process. After the student-athlete has signed the National Letter of Intent, they should no longer receive recruiting calls, and is ensured an academic scholarship for one academic year.
  • Signing Period- there are typically two signing periods for most college sports. The first is called the "early signing period," and this is usually in the fall. This includes most sports minus football. The second period is called the "regular signing period" and it occurs in the spring. For football, there is only a regular signing period, and it occurs in late January/early February.
There are a lot of rules that have to be followed when recruiting, and it is important that coaches and prospective student athletes follow these rules carefully.

All facts and information were taken from

Friday, August 28, 2009

Typical Day

A typical day for a college athlete is not anything like a typical day for a regular college student. There is a lot of extra things that have to be accomplished within the course of a day that a lot of people wouldn't even think about. This is what a typical day looks like in the offseason:

  • wake up before the sun, strength and conditioning times for offseason sports are in the mornings before class.
  • mornings and early afternoons are usually spent in class.
  • after class, time is put in at the athletic study building, 8 hours a week is required.
  • if you are injured, after study tables you will spend some quality time in the athletics training room doing rehab and therapy.
  • then its time for practice.
  • after practice, you head back to the training room to ice any part of your body that might be sore, this includes everyone on the team not just injured athletes.
  • later at night is when you have a chance to do homework, and finish your hours at the athletic study center.
  • along with all of this, there are days where you volunteer and do community service. A lot of universities like to be actively involved in their communities, and student athletes spend a lot of time interacting with their fans and supporters.
  • AND, you have to find time in this busy schedule to fit in 3 meals!
When in-season, the schedule actually calms down a little. You have more days off to rest your body for competition, you spend less time in the weight room, and you spend a lot of time on a bus.

Student-athletes put in some long days, and most of the time this doesn't even include out of class activities, group meetings, meetings with teachers, and when in-season a lot of makeup work. A lot of people don't understand what all goes into being a Division I athlete, and there is a lot more to the sport than showing up on the field or court and competing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Personally, I think that recruiting is based on about 25% skill and 75% luck. Division I coaches put so much time and effort into the recruiting process. They spend so much time analyzing prospective student athletes, when really they have no idea what they are really getting.

When you look at some Division I teams, you can pick out the athletes that ended up there by luck. Most likely, they played a phenomenal game when the coach was there watching, and with that one good game earned that college scholarship. I think college coaches stress too much on recruiting, because really, they have no idea what they are truly getting.

There is a lot you can do to help yourself get recruited. You can make highlight videos and send them to coaches, you can write letters, emails, and make some phone calls. The more the coach hears your name the more they will recognize if you have accomplished something great. There are Division I showcases for a lot of sports, particularly baseball, softball, and track. Camps are also a great place to show your skills while getting a chance to work with your possible future coach.

My experience with recruiting was kind of a whirlwind. My coaches saw me in action 1 time before I arrived on campus. The rest was by word of mouth. I did not play for the highest ranked travel team, and I never went to any recruiting camps, etc. This has just proved to me, that you don't have to pour money into doing everything possible to get recruited.

Athletes today are so focused on getting that scholarship that I think they are losing sight of why they are really playing the game. I can tell you, that if you do not love what you are doing, college will be a very long 4 years. The amount of time that you will have to put into your sport is not going to be worth it if you are miserable the entire time.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pre-Season Polls

USA Today publishes the pre-season football polls. The Florida Gators were selected as the number 1 team in the nation, as they have proven themselves in becoming a football powerhouse. Behind the arm of Tim Tebow, the Gators will try to defend their national title. Also in the top ten were Texas, Oklahoma, USC, Alabama, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Penn State, LSU, and Mississippi.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association has also released their pre-season polls. The Penn State Nittany Lions will look to defend their undefeated 2008 season as national champions. They have been selected as the number 1 team in the country followed by Texas, Nebraska, Washington, and Stanford.

Athletic conferences also vote on pre-season rankings and pre-season all conference teams. Though the initial recognition can improve team morale, it also will place a target on the backs of the teams who were picked to finish first.

The fall sports season is about to begin, and time will only tell where these top ranked teams will be at the end of their respected seasons.
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Sunday, August 23, 2009


As I started to touch on in my previous post, academics are emphasized at the Division I level. At my Division I institution there are strict rules regarding academics.
  • An athletes entire first year on campus, they are required to clock in 8 hours per week in the athletic study building.
  • That first year, they are also required to meet with an academic advisor once a week.
  • If after the first year the student-athlete has above a 3.0 gpa, they are no longer required to get hours.
  • If a student-athlete is caught cheating, their scholarship is revoked.
It is a stereotype that Division I athletes get into their institutions and get a free ride to a diploma. I know most universities are similar to mine, where academics is actually a priority and the student-athletes have to work just as hard, if not harder, to earn their respected degrees.

Friday, August 21, 2009


  • The NCAA holds 88 championships in 23 different sports.
  • UCLA has the most team titles of any Division I school, with 104. Stanford leads all institutions with individual titles.
  • 95% of the NCAA's revenue come from television and marketing rights.
The NCAA emphasizes the term "student athlete," and states that "when the athlete can no longer play, the student can still succeed." As a Division I athlete, I can speak from experience that academics are emphasized almost as much as athletic abilities. There are GPA requirements, and most schools have academic study centers where the student-athletes are required to put in time outside of class.

There is a lot more to Division I athletics than meets the outsiders eye. All of the behind the scenes work goes unnoticed to many, and that is what truly makes a team successful.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I am writing this blog as a semester long class project for Accounting 255. Throughout the next few months I will be discussing NCAA Division I athletics.

I am going to start with a brief history of the NCAA:
  • First called the IAAUS, the organization was officially constituted on March 31, 1906.
  • The organization changed their name to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association) in 1910.
  • The first national championship was held in track and field.
  • The national headquarters is located in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • World War II brought about the "sanity code," which established rules for recruiting and financial aid.
  • The NCAA was divided into 3 divisions (I, II, III) in 1973.
  • Women's athletics became a part of the NCAA in 1980.
All of this information and more can be found at