WSJ: The Do-It-Yourself Athletic Scholarship Guide

I welcome all stories from bloggers who happen to run into good reads, even if it’s not from our site ;-) This read comes from The Wall Street Journal, the link sent via e-mail from a fellow blogger New York. It’s a good read for parents and students struggling to get the attention of recruiters.


Above: Alisha Eckberg’s family followed a Web guidebook to attract recruiters. (Michael Justice for The Wall Street Journal)

From The Wall Street Journal

Kirsten Bladek had a problem.

Three weeks into her senior season on the Monarch High School volleyball team in Colorado, the 5-feet, 10-inch setter found herself warming the bench. Her dream of an athletic scholarship seemed dead — especially since her family couldn’t afford the $1,000 or so that many parents pay these days to hire a private athletic-recruiting counselor.

But then in September, Ms. Bladek spent $39.99 to post her athletic rsum and pictures of her playing on the Web site beRecruited.com. The shots, combined with videos posted later, highlighted her ability to set the ball from in front of her forehead, with arms thrust out like Superman in flight. That display, combined with some telephone campaigning by Kirsten and her mother, got college coaches to start paying attention.

“I’ve been getting so many calls from random numbers, half of them I’m scared to pick up,” says Kirsten, who recently took an all-expenses-paid visit to New Mexico Highlands University, where she was offered a scholarship.

Ms. Bladek’s experience highlights the changing landscape of athletic scholarships. Coaches and recruiters easily notice top-tier talent in big-name sports. But mid-level high-school athletes or those in lesser-known sports often pay high-priced private consultants to connect them with coaches. With fees ranging from $700 to $5,000, the system has been expensive for students and inefficient for coaches — who get scouting recommendations only on kids who can afford to pay the consultants.

Now, do-it-yourself services have emerged that allow student athletes to showcase their abilities for a fraction of the price. Aside from beRecruited.com, other sites include Prepchamps.com, TRUpreps.com (owned by CBS Corp.’s MaxPreps unit), ActiveRecruting.com, Collegecoaches.net and SportsWorx.com. There are also numerous sport-specific sites.

Click here to read the rest of the story on The Wall Street Journal’s Website.

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