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What to Ask

Reprinted From NCAA "Online"
NCAA Online



The following questions were developed by the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The committee urges prospective student-athletes to ask these types of questions during their recruitment.



Question: What positions will I play on your team?

Answer: It's not always obvious. Most coaches want to be flexible so that you are not disappointed.

Question: Describe the other players competing at the same position

Answer: If there is a former high-school all-American at that position, you may want to take that into consideration. This will give you clues as to what year you might be a starter.

Question: Can I "redshirt" my first year?

Answer: Find out how common it is to redshirt and how that will affect graduation. Does the school redshirt you if you are injured?

Question: What are the physical requirements each year?

Answer: Philosophies of strength and conditioning vary by institution. You may be required to maintain a certain weight

Question: How would you best describe your coaching style?

Answer: Every coach has a particular style that involves different motivational techniques and discipline. You need to know if a coach's teaching style does not match your learning style

Question: What is the game plan?

Answer: For team sports, find out what kind of offense and defense is employed. For individual sports, find out how you are seeded and how to qualify for conference and national championships

Question: When does the head coach's contract end?

Answer: Don't make any assumptions about how long a coach will be at a school. If the coach is losing and the contract ends in two years, you may have a new coach

Question: Describe the preferred, invited and uninvited walk-on situation

Answer: How many make it, compete and earn a scholarship? Different teams treat walk-ons differently

Question: How good is the department in my major?

Answer: Smaller colleges can have very highly rated departments. A team's reputation is only one variable to consider

Question: What percentage of players on scholarship graduate in four years?

Answer: This will tell you about the quality of their commitment to academics. The team's grade-point average also is a good indicator of the coach's commitment to academics

Question: Describe the typical class size

Answer: At larger schools, classes are likely to be larger and taught by teaching assistants. Average class size is important to the amount of attention you receive

Question: Describe in detail your academic support program. For example: Study-hall requirements, tutor availability, staff, class load, faculty cooperation

Answer: This is imperative for marginal students. Find a college that will take the 3.000 students and help them get a 3.500 GPA

Question: Describe the typical day for a student-athlete

Answer: This will give you a good indication of how much time is spent in class, practice, studying and traveling. It also will give you a good indication of what coaches expect

Question: What are the residence halls like?

Answer: Make sure you would feel comfortable in study areas, community bathrooms and laundry facilities. Number of students in a room and coed dorms are other variables to consider

Question: Will I be required to live on campus throughout my athletics participation?

Answer: If the answer is yes, ask whether there are exceptions. Apartment living may be better than dorm living

Financial Aid

Question: How much financial aid is available for summer school?

Answer: There is no guarantee. Get a firm commitment. You may need to lighten your normal load and go to summer school in order to graduate in four years. You can take graduate courses and maintain your eligibility

Question: What are the details of financial aid at your institution?

Answer: What does my scholarship cover? What can I receive in addition to the scholarship and how do I get more aid?

Question: How long does my scholarship last?

Answer: Most people think a "full ride" is good for four years. Financial aid is available on a one-year renewable basis.

Question: If I'm injured, what happens to my financial aid?

Answer: A grant-in-aid is not guaranteed past a one-year period even for injuries. It is important to know if a school has a commitment to assist student-athletes for more than a year after they have been injured

Question: What are my opportunities for employment while I'm a student?

Answer: Find out if you can be employed in-season, out-of-season or during vacation periods. NCAA rules prohibit you from earning more than the cost of attendance during the academic year



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