Parents – do not just look at the “sticker price” of the college and automatically exclude it because they do not offer baseball scholarships. Yes, NCAA rules prohibit athletic scholarships at Division 3 colleges but dollar for dollar NCAA Division 3 colleges give more financial assistance than NCAA D1 & D2 schools combined. Do your homework, be honest with your son or daughter about their ability and make the right decision.
Obviously money will come into play and the family that doesn’t do their homework, start early enough and pay attention to good information as opposed to what “they want to hear” will really miss the boat on some unbelievable opportunities for the prospective student. Unfortunately because they only get one time through this process – by the time they realize this – the student is no longer playing baseball or at a college fighting for his baseball life.
Here is a question for you – of the 2013 high school graduates from Arizona who committed to D1 colleges – how many of those are actually on the rosters that they initially committed to in the fall of 2014? Think about that – I will answer that later.
Below is a list of students who came through the Fallon Consulting program and chose an NCAA Division 3 college out of high school – what do they all have in common? They all played, they did well (some were All – Americans, made it to the College World Series, some even had the chance to play professionally), they all graduated in four years and all are working in productive careers.
Zack Wilhelmi (Cactus Shadows - Blackburn College)
Ryan Schwenn (Horizon – Whittier College)
Stosh Hoover (Brophy Prep – Trinity University)
Steven Tressler (Trevor Browne – Salve Regina University)
Zack Fregosi (Salpointe Catholic – Trinity University)
Nick Stein (Horizon – Coe College),
John R Botelho (Marcos de Niza - Babson College)
Maxx Buchanan (Arcadia – California Lutheran University),
Collin Gray (Prescott – California Lutheran University)
Alec Lewis (Red Mountain – Coe College)
Nate Arnold (Catalina Foothills – Chapman University)
KC Hazleton (Brophy Prep – University of Redlands),
Matt Blumenreich (Notre Dame Prep – Grinnell College)
Aaron Borenstein (Saguaro – Johns Hopkins University)
Schaefer Whitaker (Notre Dame Prep – Johns Hopkins University)
Mike Giardina (Desert Mountain – Lewis and Clark College)
Geoff Wertz (Flagstaff – Lewis and Clark College)
Eric Knight (Notre Dame Prep – Oberlin College)
Chris Walden (Brophy Prep – Trinity University)
Adam Byrd (Mohave – University of Redlands)
Artie Strauss (Mohave – Whittier College)
Ryan Penaflor (Salpointe Catholic – Grinnell College)
Fernando Careaga (Salpointe Catholic – Pacific University)
Wil Schommer (Perry – Austin College)
Jeremy Wolf (Chaparral – Trinity University)
Connor Moore (Brophy Prep – Trinity University)
RJ Lyrenmann (Ironwood – Elms College)
Jacob Effron (North Pointe Prep – Central College)
Nick Jewett (Brophy Prep – Trinity University)
... and too many more to list -
All of those players were very good varsity starters, most all region selections and several had Division 1 talent. Did they have opportunities to play professional baseball? Of course they did because they all “played” in college – they had scouts at their games – all you can ask for is the opportunity – every single one of them received that – made the most of it. Four of these players won a college world series, some who Baseball All-Americans while others helped their teams to conference titles. Find the best opportunity for YOU and make the most of it.
Are you considering Junior College baseball or softball here in Arizona? Are you dominating right now? You will be entering arguably the most competitive JC conferences in the nation filled with coaches who want to win a national championship – why do you think you can play there? You better be good and keep reading because you will see what happens when D1 and D2 players get cut or don't fit at their original college they chose.
My point is simple – find the best fit – don’t chase an athletic scholarship when it is only going to be 25% of the total cost at a four year college - when you could have doubled that amount at the “Right Fit College” in grants, merit aid and institution financial assistance (endowment money) ... Notice I never said loans! If you are choosing (or forcing yourself upon) an NCAA Division 1 or 2 school that isn’t probably the right fit for you – do you really think that $4,000 is really worth it? Most students who are not at the “Right Fit University” tend to transfer and never graduate from the institution they started at – guess what parents ... that will cost you more than the $4,000 you thought you were saving.
The answer to the question presented earlier – of the 58 players that we tracked from Arizona who committed to an NCAA Division 1 or 2 in the 2013 class, 42 of them were on Arizona Junior College rosters – what does that mean – only 16 actually stuck on a D1 or D2 roster as a freshman and the other 42 knocked off someone who thought he had a roster spot at an Arizona JC? Can they do this? of course they can and they do ... remember their goal is to win and many coaches believe you can only win with more talent than the other guy. So you better be good, you better be ready to compete every single day and you better have thick skin if you want to play JC baseball in Arizona.
Let’s be honest – either you can play or you can’t … either it’s a good fit or it’s not … there is no need trying force your way onto a baseball program because YOU think you can play there or because you think you are better than the guys they have. Guess what – you are probably not – but either way, your opinion on this matter means NOTHING! Go and find a coach who likes you for who you are and what you can bring to his team. Then go play and get an education.