Varsity sports during admissions process?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Brad Stillabower, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. Brad Stillabower

    Brad Stillabower USNA89

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    How do the Varsity sports teams get involved in the admissions process? Is athletic recruitment coupled with admissions at any point in the process?
    Thanks
     
  2. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Of course the various athletic programs have some input. The Naval Academy is no different in that regard than most other colleges. There's no way you can run a halfway successful Division I sports program and base it all on SATs, class standing, ECAs and teacher recommendations.

    The bigger the sport, the more influence they wield in the admissions process. Some sports have more "blue chips" than others. Sounds like poker, doesn't it? :smile:

    Obviously, football has the most chips. Coach Niumatalolo (head football coach) is going to get who he wants, provided they are remotely qualified. And, if they're not qualified, they will send them to NAPS and try to get them ready for the rigors of USNA's academic program - even if it means they'll only be able to take Pre-Calc their Plebe Year.

    Yes - some candidates are recruited athletes.
     
  3. Brad Stillabower

    Brad Stillabower USNA89

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    Thanks,

    So is it strictly an "informal" part of the process? or is there some kind of paperwork ("letter of recommendation"?) from the coach that can be submitted with the application?

    (Baseball)
     
  4. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    You are free to contact the coach. Generally speaking - if you don't know whether you are being recruited or not ... you're not.

    There are very few walk-ons for baseball.
     
  5. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    During our BGO training week, we were told a representative from the athletic department sits in on the admissions board as a non-voting friend of the court, so to speak, and gives input when the names of desired athletes come up. The board uses the info or not as they desire.
     
  6. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I have a hard time believing that the only way the Admissions Board knows that a candidate is an athletic recruit is by "the representative" saying, "Hey guys! Coach Niumatalolo really needs this kid. He is a prospective quarterback for our triple option attack."

    "Oh! We're so glad you mentioned that because, otherwise, we would have never known. His application package is really not that impressive. We probably would've rejected him but, now that you've brought this to our attention, we should reconsider." :smile:

    It probably goes something more like this.

    Representative: "You guys may notice that giant blue marker in this candidate's file. He is a must have recruit for Coach Niumatalolo. Extend him an appointment or send him to NAPS - but we have to have him."

    Done!

    I have to believe that the blue chip recruits are on a completely different admissions track.
     
  7. suddensam

    suddensam USNA BGO

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    Believe what you will. We are told otherwise. They participate in the same process as every other candidate. That's directly from the Candidate Guidance Office Leadership.
     
  8. USNArules

    USNArules Member

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    So how much can being a recruit help?

    Let's say the candidate is triple qualified and is a 'nice to have' caliber recruit, not a blue chip. How much influence can a varsity coach really have?

    I'm guessing it can only help your case. Could it lead more towards an LOA? Any personal experiences out there to share?
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  9. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I don't think coaches take an ambivalent attitude toward any of the candidates.

    Coach (to the Admissions Board): "Please appoint this candidate. I could use him. But, if you don't appoint him - no big deal. It's a want - not a need."

    They either want him or not. The candidate is recruited or not. This is particularly true with the marque sports. I can't really say that is the situation with the lesser sports like crew, tennis, squash and water polo. Those coaches are not holding as many "chips" as the other coaches. So, there very well may be some candidates who are "wanted" by a certain coach but that coach doesn't have the clout to basically "demand" admission. Naturally, everybody has to be qualified /or/ at least, have enough academic acumen that a year at NAPS can help them get through the rigors of the Naval Academy academics.

    I know that the crew coach generally sends out letters to appointed candidates with certain body types - encouraging them to try out for crew. That is very telling. He just doesn't have as much clout as the other coaches and is forced to build his team from within for the most part. I can assure you, no such letters are going out to candidates imploring them to give football a try. (or lacrosse, or basketball, or baseball, or soccer ...)

    Since well over 90% of the Plebes in each incoming class was a 4-yr athlete in high school, there is generally enough talent within the brigade to build a respectable team even for those coaches who can not recruit their entire squad.

    So, I think what you say is true provided the candidate is not going to play on one of the higher profile teams. A candidate who played football in high school and is not being recruited for football is treated just like any other candidate. There will be no special effort to get him admission from the athletic department. That may not be true for somebody who excelled in water polo in high school, however.
     
  10. USNArules

    USNArules Member

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    Makes sense. Some more thoughts to consider...

    Obviously Football and Basketball rule the day in Division 1 athletics.

    Basing the priority of sport beyond Football and Basketball has to be based on the 'marketing factor' or the exposure a team or athlete wearing Blue and Gold with Navy across their chest receives.

    After the big 2 sports, I've give the priority (read degree of influence a coach has in the admissions process) to Baseball, Lacrosse, Soccer, then Cross Country/Track&Field, Swimming/Diving, Volleyball, Wrestling. Then I'd say Golf, Tennis, Crew/Rowing. Then sports like Squash, Waterpolo, Sprint Football.

    Thoughts?
     
  11. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I'd say that's probably fairly accurate. I know those who are participants in some of those "lesser" sports may not agree - but that's the reality - even at other universities.

    The higher the sport is on the food chain, the more clout that program has with the admissions decision makers. That's why I say that a candidate who played one of these marquee sports in high school; yet, is not being recruited for that sport, gets no more of a bump (maybe even less) than one who played a lesser sport but whom the coach of that sport has expressed he would really like to have that candidate on, for instance, the tennis team. Because, the non-recruited football player is not going to have an athletic advocate on his behalf. He will get the normal credit any candidate gets for being a varsity athlete.
     

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