ROTC and college sports

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by M1Bob, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. M1Bob

    M1Bob New Member

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    My experience w/the military was as enlisted soldier. The older of my 2 sons is also currently an enlisted soldier. The younger son is college bound(currently a junior in high school). He also excells in baseball and is looking towards some $$ from a college. He has considered ROTC....but has heard that combining school, a college sport, and ROTC...just won't work. Opinions?.....suggestions?...advice?
     
  2. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Don't know why someone would tell him that. VMI - where everyone is involved in one of the ROTC programs (and they are commissioning >50% and shooting for 75% of the class every year)- actively encourages cadets to play a sport . About 40% of the Cadets are on a roster of one D1 NCAA sport or another and that many more are on a club sport roster. They manage to combine both sports and ROTC quite well- It's all about time management, but it is not an unrealistic time challenge. If your son really wants to be in ROTC and has the athletic skills to be a college baseball player then go for it. (BTW VMI has an excellent D1 Baseball program and spent much of last season in the Baseball America top 25 rankings before suffering a disappointing end of year collapse. ).
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  3. cooper1234

    cooper1234 Member

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    In addition to the above, a PMS told me that as long as you keep your PT score up, you can be exempt from PT sessions if you are involved in a varsity sport.

    They told me that they had a wrestler who had morning practices which conflicted with his PT, but his APFT score was a 300, so they would exempt him from the PT.
     
  4. 5rad

    5rad Member

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    I think it depends on a lot of factors: the school, the sport, the additional requirements for the ROTC detachment and the sport, the coaches/PMS involved, the academics...

    My oldest son is a Div I athlete and could not do all of the above, keep everyone happy and keep himself sane. He tried to do both for a year, but all of the factors I listed were too demanding at his school. He felt like he was either letting the PMS down or the coach down and didn't want to continue that for 3 more years (especially because ROTC definitely gets more demanding your sophomore/junior/senior years).

    On the other hand my daughter is also a Div I athlete (same sport as son) at a different school and a sophomore now on an Army ROTC scholarship. She definitely finds it challenging but doable. That being said, the sport schedule, ROTC schedule and academic schedule are less demanding and time consuming than my son's school. She would say it is very difficult (every weekday morning for her is a 5:30 am wake up and almost all her weekends are taken up by the sport or ROTC) but both her coach and PMS allow her some flexibility to enable her to continue.
     
  5. M1Bob

    M1Bob New Member

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    Compared to other forums I have used, the response time was quick here. My plan is to print off a bunch of the responses and present them to my younger son...so feel free to add more input. Thanks!
     
  6. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Have many one and two sport DIII athletes in the Golden Knight Battalion. Football players, lacrosse players, swimmers. I can't seem to keep Bball players, but I don't think that has alot to do with demands. Still hoping to score a D1 hockey player, but no luck yet.

    There needs to be a good understanding between the cadet and the PMS on what is expected. Some schools are more willing to be flexible than others. Most coaches are also happy to have our influence on their athletes, once they know what we are about. With a coach that is unfamiliar with our program I usually try to visit with them when I have one of their athlete enroll to let them know what our policies are. Once they realize that we stress academic success, and expect a high level of physical fitness, they are more than happy to have us keep their athlete on the straight and narrow. They are also usually happy to have the free scholarship.

    Watch the video on www.armyrotc.com and you will see an interview with a UCLA football player.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The only problem that I would worry about is injury. For example, he breaks his arm in a baseball game and it requires a pin, that injury may cause DQ issues for the military, and thus, the scholarship goes buh-bye.

    You need to understand that there are risks for playing sports, and these risks must be weighed into the equation.

    Next, I am old school, he needs to remember that the scholarship comes at a big price and that price is time owed back. If he does it only for the $$$ and not to serve, he is probably better taking a student loan.

    It will be quick to see if he really wants ROTC because come spring/summer he will be proactive in applying for the scholarship, if you have to sit on him, that should be a warning sign that he might not be that into it.

    Good luck.
     
  8. The OC Josh

    The OC Josh Member

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    It's definitely doable. There are cadets that are on D3 Football, Track/XC, and Swim. Some still do alot with ROTC, others just attend the actual classes. It really just depends on the PMS and coach.
    Goaliedad will be able to give you some advice because he just did it last year and was able to find a school where his daughter could play hockey and do ROTC.
     
  9. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    I'll chime in with agreement that yes, sports and ROTC are very compatible, although it does require a bit of understanding and coordination between coach and PMS.

    Goaliegirl is playing DIII hockey, which pretty much starts when she stepped on campus and will end in late February or potentially early March. With hockey practices overlapping ROTC PT (hockey practice actually starts earlier), she is excused from PT until season is completed, but she actually gets more PT (although not necessarily the best preparation for the APFT) through her 3 days of ice time and 2 lifts a week for the team.

    She also misses 1 practice per week (team practices 4, plays 2) due to Leadership Lab time conflict. Coach has been very accommodating in that regard.

    Fortunately, FTX occurs before hockey games start, but if there is an overlap for a sport this should be arranged well in advance.

    One piece of advice when talking to coaches during the recruiting cycle - Know the ROTC requirements (PT, FTX, potential class conflicts) and tell the coach up front what they are. More importantly, stress that while you have 4 more years of competition, college and college athletics are there to prepare you for your life goals, which are to serve your country. We have yet to find a coach who doesn't respect that - even the Canadians who tend to dominate hockey coaching.

    @Clarkson - Best of luck in recruiting a D1 hockey player. In this biased parent's opinion, they are the best athletes out there. Speed, strength, cardio, hand-eye coordination, and lacking fear for physical punishment. The complete set of requirements to be successfull in the military.
     
  10. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Almost had one a couple years ago...Maxie Weiss, the starting goalie at SLU. I almost sent her to LTC two summers ago. She decided to focus on sports and academics, and she red shirted her Junior year. She still participates in some of our training (shows up for the rapelling lab every year), and she plans to enlist and go to OCS after this year.
     
  11. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Well if she is going OCS, you can take a little credit for helping her along.

    I do remember her name and forgot she is at SLU. Women's hockey goaltending (even 4 years age difference) is a small world in the SE District and you become acquainted with the names and where people have played. I'm sure that she and my daughter probably know more than a few people in common.

    Glad to hear that you help even those who don't join your unit into other options like OCS.
     
  12. Marist College ROTC

    Marist College ROTC Member

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    ROTC and Varsity Sports

    Different Schools handle this differently. At Marist College the varsity athletes are exempt from PT for their Freshman and Sophomore years so long as they score 250 or above on the APFT with at least 70 points on each event. As Juniors and Seniors they are required to come to PT once a week. Whenever there are conflicts between sports and ROTC, the conflict is resolved in favor of the sport except during Junior year.
     
  13. Rockcat

    Rockcat New Member

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    My oldest was a D-I scholarship football player. Although he took some ROTC classes his freshman year, he did not contract until his junior year after going to a summer program. He then received a 2 yr scholarship. Although the coaching staff and ROTC worked together, there was a little tension especially travelling to away games. Although he played four years, he was able to go to LDC after he had traded in his cleats for boots.

    As most folks know college athletics in itself is a full time job...despite the "free" college tag (mandatory lifting, conditioning, study tables, staying on campus for summer workouts) but it can be done. What a lot of folks may not realize is the vast amount of injuries requiring surgery...more common than advertised.

    He is now a Lieutenant serving proudly in the US Army.
     
  14. paradoxer

    paradoxer Member

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    "Still hoping to score a D1 hockey player, but no luck yet." Clarksonarmy


    My son would love to play D1 hockey and do ROTC. The problem is most D1 programs for boys bring in their athletes after playing juniors which means they are about 21 when they show up as freshman in college. So the real costs added with the opportunity costs just don't make it financially prudent unless you have an extra $200,000 you don't need. So you can see why you wouldn't find too many applicants that you can recruit to fit this scenario.

    Yes indeed, they are some of the finest athletes out there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  15. M1Bob

    M1Bob New Member

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    ...followup...to replies

    Okay...so my my latest reply kind of vaporized here..so I'll repeat myself.. Just to answer one question in one of the posts...no, my younger son doesn't look at ROTC strictly for the $$. He is a self-driven, structered, motivated individual. He does definitely wants to play college level baseball and as a junior, has already received some interest from schools who are aware of his level of play. His current (subject to change) plans...2yr school(liberal arts w/poss law enf. electives)....then on to a 4yr school. He'll enter college as a 17yr old. The 2yr school will most likely be here in NY state...I'm trying to get smarter on this ROTC stuff to talk to him realistically on the subject( He'd be the 1st in my family to go beyond the enlisted ranks..in any branch..inc the USCG).
     
  16. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    If your son wants to play baseball AND be in ROTC AND attend a 2 yr school........
    you should look at Marion Military Institute.

    MMI is a two year military junior college in Alabama. They offer great personal attention, a terrific ROTC program and a fairly new and expanded intercollegiate athletic program. They will offer him a two year education with readily transferable credits and total support for ROTC and baseball.
    Check it out.
     
  17. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    I would be careful about ROTC at a junior military college. There are some serious drawbacks to that plan. One being that if you plan to do ROTC and commission your summers will be spent at LTC and LDAC. For a serious baseball player to give up his summers may be problematic. You will also still be required to complete your 4 year degree after you are commissioned and will serve in the Guard or Reserves while doing that.

    If you are from NY, and interested in Law Enforcement, and Army ROTC I would suggest looking at SUNY Canton and Potsdam. I would also suggest looking into the SMP program.

    One last option is to get baseball out of your systems during the two years at a CC, and contact an ROTC program before transferring for your Junior year. You would be a candidate for LTC (4 week summer camp before your Junior year gives you credit for first two years of ROTC).

    Hope that helps. If you need more explanation of those options let me know.
     
  18. M1Bob

    M1Bob New Member

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    ..continuing...

    ...Clarksonarmy...I, my son, and my wife are still looking into ROTC...I'll be back w/questions after I get smarter on the program. Thanks..M1Bob
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    As a parent who has boys that play sports competitively, I am sure you know that they have a higher chance of serious injury that could medically DQ them than the avg kid.

    I understand the desire to play sports, but he needs to question his long term goals. We don't joke about saying congrats on the scholarship or SA apptmt, now wrap them in bubble wrap just for the heck of it.

    Injure himself and he could lose his ability to serve. You'd be amazed at how easy they can get a dq.

    There are many who do play sports, you just need to ask what if I do get injured on the field, was it worth it when I lose the slot?

    I am curious why he is opting to go the 2 yr CC route? Why isn't he going to go for the straight 4 yr route if he wants to go ROTC?

    As clarkson stated ther are some serious drawbacks, training for ROTC does occur in the summer.

    I can't speak for AROTC, but for AFROTC during their GMC yrs (1st 2 yrs), they do get ROTC positions and work up the ladder in leadership. When they get to POV (jr/sr) yrs they are in higher jobs. Those job positions will play a part in selection for their military career when they meet their boards.

    It is important to understand that it doesn't end when you get the scholarship. It never will end as long as you are in the system. You will always be competing for the better job, the higher rank, etc. That for the most part will always be determined by your resume. In ROTC it will be gpa, det/bn rank, positions, etc.

    It is just IMPO he is actually hurting himself by taking the 2 yr CC route just to play ball.
     
  20. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    From the parent of a college athlete, I'll say as long as they know what they are risking, let it be their choice and their consequence.

    Goaliegirl has been injured where she has been on the shelf for 3 months at a time. She knows that it can put her scholarship and her commssion at risk.

    She also knows that she is a person who seeks a competetive physical challenge with a certain amount of physical risk involved. Part of what makes a military career desirable. To be other than herself between now and then would not prepare her for the goal at the end.

    She also knows what she would do if her hockey career (and Military Career by extension) would prematurely come to an end by injury. That is what she is working on at school. Yes, it would be financially more strapping to lose the scholarship to what would appear to be a gratuitous a sports injury (although the varsity athlete status has some importance to her WPS coming out the end of ROTC), but I think the longer term project of a broad experience in life and its lessons are more important than the narrow objective (get through ROTC unscathed) of the moment as long as she accepts the risks and consequences she faces.
     

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