Be Ready for Your Signing Day

Today is the NCAA National Letter of Intent Signing Day.  Thousands of young student-athletes today officially signed their contract for scholarship aid to their NCAA institution of choice.  And yet, along with those thousands, there will be possibly thousands more very good players that did not have that opportunity today because they did not meet NCAA initial eligibility standards; they did not take care of business.

There are two things that will determine your initial NCAA eligibility coming out of high school.  The first, as was discussed in my previous post on College Entrance Exams, is your score on your ACT or SAT test.  The second factor that I will detail today is your GPA in what are classified as your Core Courses.

ncaa_eligibility_center_logoNeither your high school, nor the college you are entering determines your eligibility; an independent body called the NCAA Eligibility Center determines it. The NCAA Eligibility Center certifies the academic and amateur credentials of all college-bound student-athletes who wish to compete in NCAA Division I or II athletics.  The NCAA Eligibility Center also determines what courses from your high school are classified as Core Courses.  The Core Courses are very specific, essentially college prep courses, in Math, English, Science, and Social Studies.

As discussed in a previous post, NCAA Division I schools use a sliding scale to determine eligibility.  The minimum in either a NCAA DI or DII school is a 2.0 GPA in 16 Core units.  In the NCAA requirements for both the college entrance exam and the GPA in 16 Core units must be met.  The NCAA initial eligibility guideline brochure can be downloaded here: NCAA Eligibility Requirements

In the NAIA, the initial eligibility requirements are slightly different.  There are three factors.

  1. As mentioned previously, a minimum test score of 18 on the ACT or 860 SAT
  2. Overall high school GPA of 2.0 and
  3. Graduate in the top ½ of your high school class.

If an incoming student-athlete meets 2 out of the 3 requirements, they are eligible their freshman year at an NAIA institution.

The NAIA also has an NAIA Eligibility Center that you will need to register with prior to being certified for competition your freshman year.

In order to put yourself in a situation insuring you will meet either (or both) the NCAA or NAIA initial eligibility requirements, it is important that you make good progress through your high school career.  Typically, student-athletes who find they have not met these requirements have not done the necessary work through the entirety of their high school years.  Typically, they wait until it is too late to start planning.   Here are some suggested steps from the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Freshmen and Sophomores

  • Start planning now!
  • Work hard to get the best grades possible.
  • Take classes that match your high school’s List of NCAA Courses.
  • The NCAA Eligibility Center will use only approved core courses to certify your initial eligibility.
  • You can access and print your high school’s List of NCAA Courses at www.eligibilitycenter.org. Click the NCAA College- Bound Student-Athlete link to enter and then navigate to the “Resources” tab and select “U.S. Students” where you will find the link for the List of NCAA Courses.
  • At the beginning of your sophomore year, complete your online registration at www.eligibilitycenter.org.
  • If you fall behind, do not take short cuts. Classes you take must be four-year college preparatory and must meet NCAA requirements.

Juniors

  • Register to take the ACT, SAT or both and use the NCAA Eligibility Center code“9999”as a score recipient. Doing this sends your official score directly to the NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Continue to take college prepratory courses. Double check to make sure the courses you have taken match your school’s List of NCAA Courses.
  • Ask your high school counselor to send an official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center after completing your junior year.
  • If you have attended more than one high school, the NCAA Eligibility Center will need official transcripts from all high schools attended. (The NCAA Eligibility Center does NOT accept faxed or emailed transcripts/test scores.) The NCAA Eligibility Center does accept transcripts electronically through Docufide/Parchment, e-Scrip Safe, ConnectEdu, National Transcript Center and Xap.
  • Before registering for classes for your senior year, check with your high school counselor to determine the number of core courses that you need to complete your senior year.

Seniors

  • Take the ACT and/or SAT again, if necessary. The NCAA Eligibility Center will use the best scores from each section of the ACT or SAT to determine your best cumulative score.
  • Continue to take college-preparatory courses.
  • Check the courses you have taken to match your school’s List of NCAA Courses.
  • Review your amateurism responses and request final amateurism certification on or after April 1 (for fall enrollees) or October 1 (for spring enrollees).
  • Continue to work hard to get the best grades possible.
  • Graduate on time (in eight academic semesters).
  • After graduation, ask your high school counselor to send your final transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center with proof of graduation. The NCAA Eligibility Center accepts transcripts electronically through Docufide/Parchment, e-Scrip Safe, ConnectEdu, National Transcript Center and Xap 6 COLLEGE-BOUND STUDENT-ATHLETE

A very helpful document with all of this stuff can be downloaded here:  Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete

Another source of information, especially to athletes in grades 8-11 is my recently launched YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

Questions or Comments are always welcomed… I will  answer!  Just shoot me an email or leave a comment.

Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

 

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Signing Day and Recruiting

I originally published this post a couple of years ago… it is, of course, still very relevant this year. Each year I am amazed with the flurry of recruiting activity (mainly from those student-athletes wanting to get recruited) during the month of January. This really is something that student-athletes (and their families) should be taking care of beginning with their 9th and 10th grade years. Hopefully this information will find its way into some of those young student athletes hands … and heads!

Signing Day and Recruiting

National Signing Day is exciting.

  • Exciting for the student-athletes (and their parents) that are beginning the next step of their athletic and academic career…
  • Exciting for high school coaches that are proud to see the young men that they have helped mold, shape and develop get rewarded for their work….
  • Exciting for the college coaches that have worked so hard over the last year (and longer) to put together their 2014 recruiting class… (and can now get off the road for a few weeks!)

national_signing_day

For the seniors signing the NLI , today is the culmination of the recruiting process.  For everyone else (athletes in grades 9-11) the process is either still ongoing, or just getting going.

When I checked my blog stats over the last couple of weeks, I noticed a huge spike with search terms regarding recruiting and that National Letter of Intent.  People with questions like “Does signing the NLI mean I get a full scholarship?” and “How will the NLI be delivered?”.  This tells me what I already know… the recruiting process can be a scary and confusing time for student-athletes and their parents.

For student-athletes and parents with questions, I have compiled some links and posts that might help understand the recruiting process.  For high school coaches, steering your athletes and parents to these posts might help relieve some of the burden of explaining this complicated process.  I also make the point… often and strongly… that a high school coach will not “get you (or anyone) a scholarship”… that it is ultimately up to them as a student-athlete.

You can click on the following links to navigate to these pages:

The Flipbard Magazines have links my recruiting posts.   There is a little overlap, as some of the “Pyramid” posts are also included in the Wanted and Rewarded ebook. They are optimized for viewing on an iPad, but can also be read on your computer.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

Questions or Comments are always welcomed… I will  answer!  Just shoot me an email or leave a comment.

Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

College Entrance Exams – ACT/ SAT

When college recruiters come through the door of your high school, either physically, or virtually, they will have with them a checklist.  It may be an actual document they are using to check off your attributes, or it may just be a “checklist” they have in their brain.  It will include many of the qualities that we have already talked about (links provided):

If any of these “checkmarks” are missing, you are making yourself LESS marketable – that includes your initial eligibility status.  If a college recruiter has several athletes on their list that are all equally good players physically, then the player that has already taken, and has scored a qualifying score on the standardized test has a jump on the competition.  The recruiter knows, without question, they can proceed recruiting this student-athlete without fear of a bad surprise down the road.

One of the very first stops the college coach will make after visiting with your high school coach and evaluating film will be either checking your status with the NCAA Clearinghouse or NAIA Clearinghouse, or actually making a trip to your guidance counselors office to check on your initial eligibility.  One piece that determines your initial eligibility is your test score on either the ACT or SAT college placement test.

ACT_logoIn order to determine your eligibility your freshman year in a NCAA Division I school, the NCAA uses “sliding scale” that takes into account both your Core GPA (minimum 16 units) and your test score.  Basically, the higher Core GPA you have, the lower a test score you could have (and visa versa) and still be eligible.  The entire sliding scale can be found here: Divisions I and II Initial-Eligibility Requirements which is at the NCAA Clearinghouse site.

For example, if your Core GPA is 3.55 or above, you could have an ACT Sum (adding your Reading, English, Math and Science sub scores) of 37 or a SAT score of 400 and still be eligible.  If your Core GPA was a 2.5, your ACT Sum would have to be a 68 or SAT score of 820 in order to be eligible your Freshman year.  Beginning in August 2016, a different sliding scale will be used in Division I schools that will have two scales – one to determine aid and practice eligibility, and one to determine initial eligibility for competition.

For NCAA Division II schools, there is no sliding scale. In order to be eligible, you must have a minimum ACT Sum score of 68, or an SAT score of 820.  This is in addition to having a minimum GPA of 2.0 in at least 16 Core courses.

For initial eligibility in a NAIA school, you must have a minimum  composite score of 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT.

In addition to eligibility, for many student-athletes, a good test score can have additional positive results.  Many, if not most, FCS, NCAA Division II, and NAIA schools will have academic scholarship levels that will be based on, among other things, your ACT or SAT test scores.  These academic scholarships often range from $500 up to a full tuition award.  Also, remember athletic scholarships below the FBS level are often divided up into partial awards (see my previous post on Expanding the Pool).  So it is quite conceivable that if you score well on your college entrance exam, that this academic aid could be added to a partial athletic award, thereby increasing your total aid package!

I recommend that athletes take the college entrance exam early, and often.  There is no penalty for taking it more than one time – your best score will be used.  From my experience, most students score better after their initial test, for a number of reasons.  Students often get more comfortable with the test and testing environment, and often you will have taken additional course work that will help you in sections of the exam.  The only drawback is the cost of taking the test more than once.  Also, If you take the test early and see you need additional help, such as an ACT/ SAT prep course (many high schools and communities offer these) then you have time to do that before your clock starts counting down.

What is “early”? – I would say after your sophomore year if possible, and at the latest after your junior year.  I also recommend that you do not take the test on a Saturday that falls in your competitive season. Here is a schedule of the 2013 testing dates and deadlines:

Next up… what is the Clearinghouse (NCAA and NAIA) and Core courses.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

Any questions?  Email or Comment!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com