When colleges recruit athletes, everyone else loses

Know this little secret to get admitted to highly selective colleges. Roughly 20 percent of the newly admitted batches at the Ivy Leagues, the leading small liberal arts colleges are athletes. There is a great deal of competition within and beyond Ivy League for the best of athletes in order to produce winning sports teams. About 5 percent of the students at Athletic powerhouses like the University of Michigan, Notre Dame, and the Pac 10 schools recruited scholarship athletes.

So, how did the number of recruited athletes reach today’s proportions at these elite schools? Let’s have a look at certain points:

1. Ivy League’s immense support for athletes

The Ivy League supports more athletic teams than any other conference in the nation. Harvard has 39 intercollegiate teams; Cornell, Yale, and Columbia have over 30, the University of Michigan has 25; Notre Dame has 24, and UCLA, 22.

2. Title IX, encouraging girl participation

Title IX,  for all the bright athletic girls out there. This requires that schools attempt to reach gender parity in their athletic programs – in terms of proportional participation which meets the needs of women wanting to participate in organized team sports.

3. Greater Academic Edge

Recruited athletes, for the high-profile sports of football, basketball, and hockey receive a substantial edge or advantage in the admissions process, known as coach’s picks. Athletes have about 30 percent advantage in getting admitted compared to others.

4. Acknowledging Outcomes

Finally, on the brighter side, Ivy League athletes graduate at almost the same rate as other students in their class. They do very well after college graduation, both economically and in terms of their involvement and service to their communities.

Given the extraordinary number of exceptionally qualified and superior candidates with diverse interests and talents who apply to the Ivy League schools, why in the world are the schools using up to 20 percent of their slots on recruited athletes? To be very concrete, if the freshman class of Columbia has 1200, 240 slots allocated to recruited athletes. The Ivy League was formed as a football conference but the objective was never to win national championships. It was to provide opportunities for extremely bright youngsters to participate in athletic competition and I dare say, to live up to that old cliché of having a sound mind and a sound body.

There are various athletic institutions that govern colleges and set standards and rules for recruitment of students to top colleges. Such associations like the (National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). 

Well! To earn such sports scholarships you must meet the basic criteria norms of these colleges for admission recruitment. Retain such scholarship by getting good grades. Share your views on the how difficult or easy it is to avail a scholarship in the United States.