Planning for college in the year 2014 is a daunting task for families and understandably a financial hardship on many. Many parents and student-athletes look to athletics as the possible answer to their predicament, when in fact the greater percentages for scholarships remain within academics and financial aid packages (over $13 Billion according to this report). Many parents are willing to spend money on private secondary schools and post-graduate years with the hope of an athlete getting a leg up on the race for athletic scholarships, spending money now to get money later which in the long run has families paying far more than the average pubilc school athlete.
This latest research from the NCAA is a sobering reality about how difficult it is to play beyond high school athletics never mind have the promise of a scholarship at the Division I or II level:
For example there were 1,086,627 high school football players last year with only 20,000 freshmen roster positions available: NCAA Research September 2013. This 2008 chart from the NY Times breaks down the odds even further by gender and includes a variety of sports.
Nothing in life is for free, not a rollercoaster ride or a bus ride, never mind a "full ride". Teaching our young athletes to work hard and study hard now without the pressure of athletic scholarships is the best possible message we can send them.