Most high school students don’t understand the importance of academics in college recruiting and the emphasis that college athletic programs place on grades. Quite frankly, this is somewhat surprising. On almost every television broadcast of a college sporting event the announcers talk about “scholar athletes”, team GPA’s and team graduation rates. College coaches want athletes in their program that will represent themselves and their university in a positive light and good grades are a good start.
A good athlete with good grades and high standardized test scores is much more attractive to a college coach than a good athlete with marginal grades and a below average test score. When trying to decide between two players of similar abilities, coaches will go with the better student every time. College coaches review transcripts when evaluating a student-athlete and a good academic record is an indication of an athlete’s ability to succeed on campus in every facet.
There are many reasons why college coaches want good students on their roster other than being able to brag that the team GPA is 3.4 or the graduation rate is 92%:
- Good students often qualify for academic scholarships and in-state tuition, potentially saving athletic scholarship money. This is very important in the equivalency sports. It allows the coach to spread the athletic scholarship money out over more players.
- A good GPA and SAT/ACT score indicates to coaches that a student will most likely achieve the minimum college GPA needed to maintain athletic eligibility. It is also an indication that a student will be able to adjust to college life. If an athlete is stressed about grades he/she may not perform to the best of their abilities.
- Grades and test scores are an indication of a student’s work ethic and achievement standards for all areas of their lives.Athletes that put forth the effort in the classroom generally put forth the same kind of effort in practice and in games.