Student-Athletes: The 740 Club
Association of Michigan School
Counselors Fall 2007 Newsletter Enlist your
Athletes in "The 740 Club" Michigan Association of School
Administrators October 2007 Newsletter 

9ed0c882038eec6efc44b11d3b6d5313Every year there are countless number of high school senior athletes wishing for another chance to play. These are the players I remember looking back as a college football recruiter. These student-athletes didn’t truly understand becoming a college recruit was a four-year process approximately 740 days. Most remember hearing about a “Clearinghouse thing” and hearing their coaches and counselors talking about grades but that’s as far as it went. They just felt recruiting was all about their abilities to play the game. We all know the often short-sightedness, invincible attitude of adolescents. The student-athletes are part of what I call the “restart generation.” These student-athletes, like their peers, have grown up in the video game era where they can create and control all aspects of the game. If the game is not going like he or she wishes, simply hit the reset and start over again. This “restart” attitude has carried over into every aspect of students lives and for a large number of them this attitude is hurting their future. I believe it is critical we educate the student-athletes and the parents in the beginning of their freshmen year. They need to understand becoming a college recruit is a four year process and every 740 days of school will count. The high school transcript is the one piece of paper that will tabulate every one of these days. A transcript is the student-athletes resume to college athletics. This “resume” can determine if an athlete will be a college recruit. The first question asked by every recruiter is “What is the player’s GPA and class rank?” The higher ones GPA and class rank, the greater the number of athletic opportunities will be made available to you. The lower the GPA and class rank, the fewer opportunities will be available. Use the dream of college athletics along with the NCAA Division I academic standards for all young student-athletes. College recruiting is not just for the DI, blue-chip athlete. These athletes are the elites and the minority of college recruiting. Academic progress starts the first day of every athlete’s freshman year. A player’s abilities for the different levels of college will not be determined until their junior and senior years. The majority of DIII athletes cannot afford the tuition unless they have the opportunity to earn academic scholarships to help defray the cost of private education. (Remember, most DIII schools are private and all are non-athletic scholarship). The NCAA academic standards can be a motivational tool for all young athletes. Instill these young athletes with the importance of their GPA, explain how the sliding scale works, emphasis how poor school attendance may have a negative impact on any possible recruitment, etc. I believe it is critical to start with freshman and even 8th graders. Waiting until their junior year may be too late for most. Our job as educators is to ensure the student-athlete understands how to qualify for college recruitment every step of the way. I believe implementing this approach can be a powerful motivational tool for high school student-athletes. High school is a time and place for our students to dream and dream big. For student-athletes, the dream of college athletics can be the force that pushes 8th, 9th and 10th grades to academic success. College recruiters would hear less about the problems the athletes had in the 9th grade and these athletes wouldn’t have to learn there isn’t a “reset” button for your high school transcripts. In the end, this approach will simply produce senior student-athletes with a “resume” to become a college student. Recruiting for college athletics is time consuming and at times very confusing. There are a number of resources available. One that I believe will benefit all high school student-athletes, parents, coaches and counselors is my guide and workbook, “Win All Four,” for athletes seeking college. This book can be carried and used throughout a student-athlete’s 740 days of high school. The book is a simple read with 25 pages as an overview of the recruiting process and 24 pages with checklists, guidelines, and worksheets the student-athlete can use through their four years in high school. Mike Kostoff, Total Student Athlete  
 
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