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Back End Load Scholarships?

TyberiusTyberius Registered User Posts: 176 Junior Member
I read a statement on a local sports forum that a lot of schools back end load their athletic scholarships. What does this mean? Is it that they award scholarships to reward performance rather than awarding them n advance to entice the players to play?

Replies to: Back End Load Scholarships?

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,532 Senior Member
    I think it means that seniors get more money than freshmen, which is what I found coaches were saying when we did visits. One school outright said no money for freshmen, and my DD could go there without money. Others divide their money by class, so if there are 10 freshmen, they split the money 10 ways, but if there are only 6 juniors, they get more money each.

    Now some of the big athletic conferences are going to give 4-5 year scholarships, so the money will be laid out before signing.
  • TyberiusTyberius Registered User Posts: 176 Junior Member
    I have since been told on the other forum that it means that coaches get a free look at players before they give out the scholarship money. That jives with what the coach told my son. He was told that the coach will award scholarships in the fall after he sees how the players perform. That did not make sense to me but I guess it happens.
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,430 Senior Member
    'Back-end loading' isn't a term I've heard with respect to scholarships, But I think you're right that it means bringing on freshmen (in equivalency sports) with very little or no money with the idea that they'll earn their way to larger scholarships.

    But, as in all things recruiting, there are ways for the less-than-scrupulous coach to work the system. The son of a very good friend of mine ran track for an ACC school. He was brought on at 0, with the promise that money would follow if he scored points. He did very well his sophomore year and the coach congratulated him but told him it would be best for the team if he were to use his scholarships to bring in new talent - you're a team player, right?

  • SwimkidsdadSwimkidsdad Registered User Posts: 616 Member
    The National Letter of Intent can play a role here. If a high school athlete has not been offered athletic scholarship money then that athlete can switch to another school without penalty. Many coaches will offer at least a small scholarship and have the athlete sign a national letter of intent to make it more difficult for an athlete to go to another school. It is best to negotiate scholarship amounts before one starts college.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,532 Senior Member
    If the student signs a NLI, the offer has to be, at a minimum, books. No offer, no commitment from either side. Some teams do have a maximum number of students among whom the equivalent money can be shared, so it's not like the coaches can offer everyone the minimum and just give out the rest when school starts.

    I wouldn't go for this deal at all. If my child is taking a risk on the school, the coach should take a risk with the money too and award it. As I said above, one coach said no money for freshmen (too risky). Well, I thought waiting for sophomore year was too risky for us (and impossible).
  • nhparent9nhparent9 Registered User Posts: 191 Junior Member
    edited February 2015
    I can't speak for other sports, but in baseball D1, the minimum scholarship is 25%. There are no "books" deals. If a kid is on scholly, he is getting at least 25%. FWIW, for baseball there is a max roster of 35, but the maximum number of kids on scholarship is 27. There is a total of 11.7 scholarships available for those 27 players. In addition, many D1 baseball schools are not fully funded, so they have less than the 11.7 allotted by the NCAA. They still have a 25% minimum.
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