Thursday, February 04, 2010
Outstanding article in Sunday's Houston Chronicle on the false promise of college scholarships. The Chronicle's Jenny Dial does two interesting things.
First, she computes the percentage of high school athletes who are playing in college AND receiving money. She reports that in men's and women's basketball, men's and women's track and field, men's golf and men's soccer, it's less than one percent.
Second, she speaks with parents in the Houston area about what they spend on their kids' sports educations.
She writes: "A survey of several parents of boys and girls golfers in the area shows that on average, they spent nearly $11,000 a year on the sport. Basketball parents spent an average of $4,900 over six years, and parents of junior and senior soccer boys and girls spent an average of $8,000 for two years."
There's nothing wrong with that, unless parents are counting on a scholarship to balance the ledgers. Many aren't. Some are.
This is from Until It Hurts. I was spoke with UConn men's soccer coach Ray Reid:
"UConn has room to add only six to seven high school players each recruiting cycle, some years just four or five. Reid’s sense is that teenagers often have an easier time accepting the bad news than their moms and dads, for whom a child’s sports career has involved long years of driving carpool, pacing sidelines and writing checks. They’ve done their part. In so many words, they’re taking the position that it’s time to collect on the investment.
"Reid bristles as he recalls many conversations with parents that have followed this tortured path. It goes this way, he says. “Coach Reid, we invested a lot of money in my son’s career - $30,000 in ten years. We’d like a soccer scholarship to get some of it back.
“It angers me. I’m appalled by the attitude. My reaction is: “That’s interesting. Your son is a mutual fund!”