Left Feeling Empty by a “Full” Athletic Scholarship . . .

29 03 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts

The National College Players Association (NCPA) late last week released the results of a study it conducted recently which suggests that there continues to grow, as FoxBusiness.com writes, an “estimated shortfall between college athletes’ full scholarships and the actual cost of attendance at each Division I university.”

National College Players Association

In revealing such a shortfall, the NCPA maintains that universities at the Division I level have, for the most part, acted to deceive recruits into “being responsible for paying thousands of dollars” despite awarding such students what is more commonly referred to as a “full” athletic scholarships to attend college.

United Steelworkers International President, Leo W. Gerard, agrees, commenting on the subject, “The fact is, coaches fill high school recruits’ heads with promises of free rides and full scholarships, when in fact no such things exist. The NCAA designs full scholarships to fall short of the advertised price tag of a school, leaving recruits scrambling to make ends meet.” Gerard maintains these supposed full scholarship offers are made despite the fact that the NCAA actually prohibits any university from providing athletic scholarships that equal the cost of attendance.

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2009 NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional – Oklahoma City – Photo Journal

29 03 2009

A freelantz submission; all photographs property of PRISM/freelantz

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Laurie Richter and the Art of College Recruitment

29 03 2009

A PRISM contribution; written by Jason Roberts

Speaking to Laurie Richter, you find out almost immediately that she didn’t intend on coming into her role as an expert on the recruiting process for student-athletes coming out of high school and hoping to play sports at the collegiate level; instead, it, more than anything, came onto her.

Richter, after all, spent much of her life pursuing one of two things: first, advancing her education, where she finished a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland in 1978 and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin; and second, following a career-path, which almost incidentally landed her a job in market research with the Quaker Oats Company, and ultimately ended up with her opening her own agency, Consumer Voice.

But then there was her son, Dylan, a bright-eyed, enthusiastic kid that performed well in the classroom, but was equally as productive on the basketball court — good enough, in fact to make the Adlai E. Stevenson High School (Lincolnshire, Illinois) varsity basketball team as a 6’3″ small forward, where, by the time he was a junior and senior, he’d proven himself a highly sought-after Division III recruit.

The one thing that Dylan was not fully prepared for, however, was the intensity of the recruiting process. He had more than enough to focus on, being both a successful student and athlete.

So Richter, being the supportive mother she’s always been — rarely did a game go by when she couldn’t be found somewhere dotting the stands of her son’s basketball games — did what most parents in a similar position could or would not do — stepped away from her own business and set out determined to understand just how to successfully navigate the muddy waters of college recruitment.

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2009 NCAA Basketball Tournament – South Region – Elite 8 Preview

28 03 2009

Written by Jessica Lantz and Jason Roberts

Site: Memphis
Tip-off: Sunday

This is the matchup that the South Region has been yearning for since bracket pairings were released. All four classes are represented well, with each team boasting stars in their own right; freshman of the year Willie Warren can dazzle, sophomore Blake Griffin can beat you up, junior Ty Lawson can run right by you and senior Tyler Hansbrough can score from anywhere he desires. A contest that has the potential to show the world a glimpse of next year’s NBA rookies going up against their toughest collegiate challenge yet, this game should be entertaining and perhaps the best of all those comprising the Elite 8.

No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 North Carolina

Key Matchup: The key matchup in a clash of the best the ACC and Big 12 have to offer? Easy — a tale of two forwards, with the Tar Heels putting Tyler Hansbrough up against what will likely be the toughest player he’s faced defensively all year — the Sooners’ Blake Griffin. Hansbrough was solid Friday night vs. a completely outpaced Gonzaga squad, with the senior putting up a 24 points and 10 rebounds. The outing was the best Hansbrough’s shown to this point in the NCAA Tournament, and leaves us believing he’ll only become more dominant the closer UNC gets to playing for a national championship. Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s big man and player of the year, Griffin, dominated a usually vivacious Syracuse unit Friday, putting up 30 points and 14 rebounds. Said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, “He’s as good in around the basket as anybody. … He’s as good around the basket as anybody that I’ve seen.” Still, Griffin is but one player on the Oklahoma roster; in that sense, Hansbrough has the advantage, knowing that as he goes, so too does not the Tar Heels. Griffin, on the other hand, is central for the Sooners, and if stopped by Hansbrough, injured or placed in foul trouble early, the Oklahoma Sooners very well could find their run in the 2009 NCAA Tournament cut just short of the Final Four. Read the rest of this entry »

Big 12 North Football Recruiting Report

27 03 2009

A freelantz submission; written by Jessica Lantz, edited by Jason Roberts

Big 12 North

As of late, the Big 12 North football programs haven’t gotten near the same influx of publicity, love in the media and polls or top-name recruits as their conference counterparts in the South.  The North looks to change that this year, aiming to improve the level of competition in the conference as a whole by recruiting the nation’s top talent to the Plains.  Here’s a closer look at some of the young men you will see on the gridiron this fall.


Colorado exited from 2008 signing day expecting to make a splash in the Big 12 North, especially with the addition of Darrell Scott.  Unfortunately for the Buffaloes, it was more of a belly flop with an unimpressive 5-7 campaign, and top players like Scott only netting 343 yards on the season.  With an incoming class of 19, Coach Hawkins and the Colorado staff worked tirelessly to continue a strong recruiting trend, even luring a recruit away from 2008 National Champion, the Florida Gators.  Hawkins and his staff seem to have focused this recruiting season on the entire package, building a culture of success while getting student-athletes that can perform at optimum levels in the classroom as well as on the field.  Don’t be surprised then to find several playing an integral role on the Buffaloes roster in this, their freshman campaign.

Nick Kasa (6’7″, 250 lb.), a defensive end, will be joining the Buffs from nearby Broomfield, Colorado.  Kasa was recruited nationally, considering the likes of Cal, Notre Dame, Miami and was a de-commitment from the University of Florida, in part due to the Gators coaching staff suggesting he consider a move to offense.  Kasa racked up school records with 31 ½ sacks and 46 tackles for loss at Legacy High School, including 12 during his senior campaign.  He is very tall and lean, but should be able to bulk up and add to his already solid pass rush and pursuit skills.  His athleticism is obvious — Kasa not only played defense, but also contributed greatly as an offensive tackle and powerback in high school, while also participating on Legacy High’s track team.  Subsequently, expect for Hawkins to use Kasa in a variety of game-day situations, not only defensively, but also on offense and special teams. Read the rest of this entry »

NCAA Basketball Tournament-South Region-Sweet 16 Preview

23 03 2009

By Jessica Lantz and Jason Roberts
RotoWire College Basketball Writers

Site: Memphis Tip-off: Friday
The South region has played out just as the bracket setters seeded it, with the first two rounds uneventfully leaving the regional semifinals pitting No. 1 against No. 4 and No. 2 against No. 3. Sure, there was no shortage of exciting moments in the earlier rounds, instances that included wrestling flips, a toe being tested, a last-second shot and a barrage of threes to continue the winning ways of a supposedly tired team. But, then again, isn’t that what March is all about?

No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Syracuse

Key Matchup: Other than the general pairing of frontcourt vs. backcourt, the individual matchup to watch will be the Orangemen’s Jonny Flynn vs. OU’s Austin Johnson and Willie Warren. Flynn has hit his stride at just the right time of the year and looks to be a formidable foe for whomever Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel counters with. Flynn’s post-season averages, including the Big East tournament, weigh in at 17.6 points on 45.8-percent shooting and 8.5 rebounds per game. A senior, Johnson looks to be whom Capel is leaning toward to start for the Sooners, especially given Johnson’s experience in this kind of matchup. Still, Johnson has a tendency to get rattled and make mistakes despite his seniority; if this happens in Friday’s game, Capel might have to switch his plans and gamble a bit on the freshman Warren.

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A First Round Talent, But No One To See

22 03 2009

A PRISM contriNFL Draftbution; written by Jason Roberts

On March 20th, former Ball State University quarterback Nate Davis, along with passing skills mentor Steve DeBerg, arrived on at the Cardinals’ Scheumann Stadium (formerly known as Ball State Stadium), intent on showing off an arm which some NFL draft aficionados have suggested might catapult Davis into a mid-to-low first round selection in the upcoming 2009 NFL Draft in April.

Davis, by all accounts, looked solid in this, his pro day workout out at the Ball State campus. Throwing some 70 total passes to former teammates Darius Hill and former Indiana wide receiver Brandon Walker-Roby, the 2008 MAC Offensive Player of the Year completed 61 throws, all of which came on drills which included short-, medium-, and long-range tosses downfield, and not a single one out of the shotgun position which Davis ran in his three-years with BSU. In speaking with The Star Press, DeBerg said of the performance, “He threw the ball like he always does — outstanding. He made all the throws — short, deep, intermediate. I was very happy, and impressed as always. It’s fun to work with a quarterback who has as much talent as Nate does.” Davis too felt positive about the workout, noting, “I wanted to show I could go under center and make all the throws.”

With that being the case, it is hard to explain then why of all those in attendance to watch Davis that Friday, only one NFL team — the Indianapolis Colts — bothered to make the trip to Muncie (a mere 20 minutes away from team headquarters) in order to evaluate the potential the 21 year-old draft-prospect might bring to professional football.

“I was very disappointed [at the turnout of NFL team scouts],” commented Davis, attempting to remain positive by noting, regardless, “you only need one team to fall in love with you” in order to be drafted.

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