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Old 08-26-2013, 05:34 PM
 
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A close family friend was a high school football standout. He also has learning disabilities, and barely earned a diploma. Despite having multiple D1 offers, he did not meet the SAT/GPA requirements for admission.

His HS coach recommended that he attend an academy that focuses on raising SAT scores, while he continues to play football against college "b" teams. The program is for 3 months, and it sounds like it's a make or break opportunity.

The cost is high, in the range of $25,000. He left this past week to attend, and his parents have now found out that he cannot use either a computer or cell phone while enrolled. They left him, and are having second thoughts.

Does anybody have any knowledge of these programs?
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:07 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA... where the nest is now empty!
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Is this a prep school?

$25,000 for 3 months is steep!
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:16 PM
 
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My understanding of prep schools was that they included remedial courses for high school grads that needed to raise their GPAs. This school does nothing but SAT prep, along with football drills, so he won't be taking any college courses at all.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
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I hope the parents won't miss that $25k if he manages to get into a college and then can't keep up his GPA. In any case, there is trade school and plenty of semi-pro teams around if the D1 thing falls through.
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Old 08-28-2013, 07:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
My understanding of prep schools was that they included remedial courses for high school grads that needed to raise their GPAs. This school does nothing but SAT prep, along with football drills, so he won't be taking any college courses at all.

i've had some experience with these types of places. the high school i teach at has recently created a bit of a supply line to grey military college in columbia, sc that almost specializes in this type of activity. the kids attend for an entire year or two and then go somewhere else. so its not what you're describing specifically but close. a second example is a guy i use to teach with started a club college team with a loose association with a local technical college and while the college supplies nothing for the program his essential role in all this is to get kids who couldn't accept a scholarship for academic reasons to come play for him and its basically a 3-6 month long football combine with loosely put together games. the games do not have officials and having attended one was thoroughly disgusted with the style of play and behavior by players and coaches. while some of the kids do make it on to mostly ncaa d2 rosters (rarely and i do mean RARELY do they make it on to BCS rosters) whether they stay around academically is hit or miss.

i would be very wary of these programs to be honest.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:39 AM
 
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Thanks for the insight Greenville.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
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If a student truly has a learning disability, that should have been addressed in elementary school. I thought that IEPs for learning disabled students was federal not just state law, but maybe some states/schools don't do a very good job of following the law, letter and spirit. Students with documented learning disabilities may get special consideration for admission to some colleges.

If the young man has a documented learning disability, he may be able to be admitted to a community or four-year college under special programs or with accommodations for students with disabilities. OTOH, if he doesn't have a learning disability but thinks he might be able to do the academics, he might consider a Div III school with a football program (they don't offer athletic scholarships but he might be able to get in because of his sports ability) or an academic course at a community college where he could then transfer to a four year school after he got his grades up. He wouldn't be able to play football until he proved he could do college level work but it would be a more sensible tact than the "football academy" rip-off.

IMO, this "academy" basically sounds like it's simply selling your HS football standout and his family a pipe-dream. He should look into attending the local community college whether it has a football program or not. As he has a hard time academically, he should look into learning a trade that he likes such as HVAC or welding or auto technician. Those careers aren't glamorous, but there's nothing glamorous about having spent four or five years at a college, not having a degree, not having a job, and having a permanently bad knee at age 27.

In general, too many times boys who are good athletes are given too many passes early on in their school careers -- sometimes as early as fifth and sixth grade -- by teachers, by coaches, and especially by parents who are mesmerized by the idea of their son becoming a pro football or basketball star. These kids aren't necessarily "learning disabled" (although some may be) but frequently they come from poor environments where so much else is going on that they have a hard time with academics. Too often the adults in their lives mean well but their "assistance" can almost be poisonous at times in that they allow academics to become a poor second or third to sports and social life.

The fact is that only about 1% or so of college D1 football players get drafted by NFL teams, and the number who actually "stick" and become NFL players is miniscule. For every Marshawn Lynch or CJ Spiller, there are a hundred kids who don't even get a call. The average NFL career, BTW, is only about 3 years, so even if a player gets drafted or invited to a pro training camp, it means very little.


PS: I attended grad school at the U of Nebraska Lincoln in the mid 1970s at the beginning of the Tom Osborne era. As a starving grad student who loved football, I took a job tutoring football players for 1 semester, and saw first hand how the systems at Div 1 schools takes these young kids, uses them up, and spits them out. It's the definition of exploitation. The situation has improved somewhat since then, but not enough that I would ever want any son of mine playing Div 1 football.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:07 PM
 
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The boy does have an IEP in place. Still, he is a far better football player than student. He could have attended a Div III school, but his dream is Div I. I have no doubt he'll flunk out academically, but his parents want to give him a shot.

I was curious as to the reputation of this type of school, because I couldn't find anything by Googling SAT/Football academies. I had the name of his current "school", but the website had no info, just pictures.

His father owns his own business, so the boy can easily go into that when school doesn't pan out, I was really looking for success stories. It doesn't seem they exist.

ETA: Linda I completely agree with what you wrote. My own boys played football, and I watched several of their friends accept scholarships based on their athletic ability, only to find out that they were still expected to not only take, but pass classes.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:14 PM
 
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You know a few years ago we attended a seminar on hs students and playing college sports. If I recall, it was noted that around 7% of all hs sport athletes eventually go on to play a college sport and that rate varies by sport as well. That rate sure surprised me. It just sort of made me think students certainly need to have that backup, a plan B if you will ...just in case they don't get the chance to play.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:50 PM
 
10,154 posts, read 11,601,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
A close family friend was a high school football standout. He also has learning disabilities, and barely earned a diploma. Despite having multiple D1 offers, he did not meet the SAT/GPA requirements for admission.

His HS coach recommended that he attend an academy that focuses on raising SAT scores, while he continues to play football against college "b" teams. The program is for 3 months, and it sounds like it's a make or break opportunity.

The cost is high, in the range of $25,000. He left this past week to attend, and his parents have now found out that he cannot use either a computer or cell phone while enrolled. They left him, and are having second thoughts.

Does anybody have any knowledge of these programs?
I do not know about these SAT academies but the parents should find out as much as they can before enrolling their son. The cost seems very high but if the player is an NFL prospect it may be worth it.

Is the year he is considering called a "post grad" year? A post grad year is an additional year of HS, usually completed at a boarding school. Post grad years can be good for players who fail to qualify for the NCAA clearinghouse. They also DO NOT affect your NCAA eligibility (unlike JUCO) at all as they are considered high school programs. However, the boy will not be playing against college "b" teams. He will be playing against other high schools. Not all states allow post grad years but they are common in some areas.
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