Recruited Athlete - Nomination Help?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by ProudSwimDad, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. ProudSwimDad

    ProudSwimDad Member

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    I can see how being a recruited athlete can help in the admissions process, but am wonder what if any assistance recruited athletes are giving as they apply for nominations with their MOCs. Do they all get LOAs that then are also sent to the MOCs? Since I doubt they all get LOCs, does the recruiting coach or athletic dept ever do anything else to give the candidate a leg up in the nomination application?
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    You have to understand, the term "Recruited Athlete" doesn't mean exactly what it means when you hear about a recruited athlete at a traditional university. For instance, when an athlete is recruited to play a sport like football at Ohio State, they are being offered basically a contract. They're guaranteed to be accepted, they're on the team, they're getting a scholarship, etc. At the academies, it's different. At the air force academy, they might have 50-60 athletes that they are interested in say for football, and they call them all "Recruited Athletes". But the truth is, accept for a small amount of them, the majority aren't getting any special consideration, attention, or assistance. The overwhelming majority are applying to the academy just like everyone else. They have to get a nomination just like everyone else. They are competing the same as if they weren't a "Recruited Athlete". There's a small number that the coach/academy think are really standout, and if they can't get into the academy as a direct entry because of academics or such, they may assist them in getting into the prep school. If one of these small numbers don't get a nomination, the team/academy may see if they can get them a superintendent nomination. But this is not the majority.

    And with all academy athletes, the #1 priority is that you'll be able to make it militarily and academically, and be able to graduate the academy and become a military officer. This is one area many critics overlook. The academy is not recruiting athletes that they don't think can make it through the academy and graduate. That's a waste of their time, money, and resources. And for what it's worth, I've seen a lot of "Recruited Athletes" who didn't get a nomination and didn't get in. I've seen many who received a nomination but still didn't get into the academy or prep school. The first question the coaches and the academy ask about any athlete is; can they make it through and graduate? Unlike a traditional school, you can't major in basket weaving. Even the most liberal art major, is still required to take engineering classes, advanced math and science classes, etc. If the academy doesn't think you'll make it through and graduate and become a commissioned officer, you're not getting in.

    So basically, you have to look at "Recruited Athletes" at the academy in 2 groups. The one group, "The minority", are some very high end athletes that also meet the standards for getting into the academy directly or via the prep school. The coaches may provide some assistance; just like I and others provide assistance on this forum. They answer questions for you, point you in the right direction, SOME of these few MIGHT get an LOA, etc. The 2nd group, "The MAJORITY", are "RECRUITED ATHLETES" only in NAME. Just like words like "BLUE CHIP". Most of that's just in name only. It helps the applicant identify with what OTHER SCHOOLS are calling it so the academy can compete for you applying and accepting the academy. But it's in name only. This majority group all apply, compete, etc. for nominations, appointments, etc. just like everyone else does. So does the first group, but if the athlete is really high on the athlete list, the team could see about getting a superintendent nominee if they don't get a traditional MOC nomination.

    On a side note. On average, the 50-60 "Recruited Athletes" in football, is only that high, because there is no binding contract and the applicant can change their mind, quit, not show up, etc. and go to another school. Plus, the team will cut about 1/3 of them after the first season and spring practice. By the fourth year at the academy, there's usually only about 18-22 seniors on the team. Sometimes less. In the civilian university, if they recruit and scholarship 20 players, those 20 are on the team for all 5 years unless they fail out of their basket weaving course or break rules/laws/etc. This is why the academy is very concerned that any applicant that has the WORD ATHLETE associated with them at all, is going to be able to make it through 4 years of military and academic training. Because in the end, they are going to be commissioned officers and leaders. They don't want to waste $400,000 +/- on someone that won't make it.
     
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  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Christcorp is spot on. As with all schools, SA and others, they always recruit more than they can bring in. College athletics are cut throat, especially at the D1 level. Its win or get fired, even at a SA. So with that being said, a coach may show interest, but where you fall on the list of recruits will really determine who the coaches "give help" to. You could be #1 on their list or last. To be honest, most coaches keep this close hold and a player may never know where they really fall. Colleges recruit more than they can bring in/offer scholarships to. If you happen to be middle of the list the coaches may turn up or turn down the recruiting piece based upon what those in front of you decide to do. This is very common at regular universities. I have seen kids and experienced it myself going through the process that coaches will roll out the red carpet one week for a recruiting trip and then hold off on an offer because recruit #1 signed for that school a day after you left. This happens all the time and is honestly a huge ego check. The SAs sort of do this too. There are no scholarship offers, but a coach could show interest, but you might not fall in that blue chip category. Yes it may give a few extra points as far as admissions, but that would be it. As far as the MOC process, coaches or the athletic depts do not get involved. Also, the numbers christcorp is writing about as far as athletic attrition rates is very true. There are probably more former athletes at most SA than those who play four years of the sport they were recruited for. Also of sports only see maybe 1/3 of those who start, finish playing 4 years. Most either realize its a ton of work to ride pine, they don't like the amount of work it requires or decide they want to focus on other things. The good news is most stay at the SA they chose and graduate. The great part, from an athlete's perspective, is there is no scholarship to worry about.
     
  4. ProudSwimDad

    ProudSwimDad Member

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    This may be better placed on the ROTC scholarship, but do you think these same ratios exist for those who choose ROTC but also participate in a varsity sport? DS has the opportunity to participate in a at the varsity level for an Ivy, and has a ROTC scholarship to that same school.
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    No clue. You would have to ask the det what the rate is. My guess is the rate is probably lower than a SA but higher than a regular college. I have nothing to back that up statistically. Reason why I say that... They aren't tied to paying for their education through the sport at an Ivy (and also with ROTC), they realize the amount of work it takes and some just don't want to and/or they realize they just aren't going to see much playing time. Like I said no idea what the stats say. I imagine the det might have a few who do or did, probably best when on a visit to speak with those Cadets and ask how they balance it all and if they did walk away why. I am sure there are plenty of Cadets who balance it all! An Ivy, sport and ROTC is a huge challenge, good luck!
     
  6. Dad

    Dad Member

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    SwimDad, the answer to your question about help with noms is yes. Since many sports, especially fall sports, don't have their 'wish' list of desired athletes done prior to congressional nomination deadlines, the admissions department works with congressional staffers to secure opportunities for athletes in their constituency. Your point of contact should be one of the coaches. The will guide your candidate through the process. The candidate might also consider contacting their USAFA counselor for further information. The number is on the AcademyAddmissions.com site.
     
  7. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    ".....the admissions department works with congressional staffers to secure opportunities for athletes in their constituency."

    I am not saying that is incorrect because I am surprised at a lot of things in the admissions process but where did you get this information? In my experience with Navy admissions we are told NEVER, NEVER to try to influence the nomination process for an individual with the MOC's staffs. This seems to fly in the face of a very hard rule, athlete or not. Is USAFA different?
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Spud, you are "more" correct. Generally speaking, admissions doesn't contact MOC's staff about nominations. Even for athletic nominees/applicants. The caveat to this, is that if an individual receives an LOA; not just athletes but any applicant, MOC/Staff do know about LOA's, and thus, if the individual receives a nomination, then they basically are assured of an appointment. But generally speaking, admissions doesn't "Work" with congressional staffers to secure any nominations for any applicant. Athlete or not. It's pretty clear that the MOC's have their responsibilities, by federal law, to provide nominees. And the academies have, by federal law, their ability to provide nominees. E.g. presidential, superintendent, etc.

    MOC's and their staff usually know if an individual is a "Recruited Athlete", because the "INDIVIDUAL" usually makes it pretty well known to the MOC and his/her staff. Also, many ALO's and MOC's staff communicate. Especially if there are way more applicants than nominations. But the vast majority of the time, MOC's and their staff, do not engage in any type of communications or procedures with the admissions office that deal "DIRECTLY" with any applicant.
     
  9. crusadermom

    crusadermom New Member

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    Relating to this thread. If a candidate is recruited for an Academy sport (girls swimming for example)....and has a MOC nomination and receives a LOA...is that candidate counted as one of the MOC five allowed to be enrolled at the Academy ?
     
  10. goforspaatz

    goforspaatz USAFA c/o 2020

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    It depends on a lot of things. Like how the Academy will "charge" the appointment (to the MOC or Supe or other source). Most likely it will be charged to the MOC, but it depends.
     

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