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  • Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Granite Bay High School soccer standout Chris Gaschen signs a blank piece of paper as Spencer Hamby, signs his NCAA National Letter of Intent to play water polo at Pepperdine during a signing day party for Granite Bay's fall athletes on Wednesday, February 4, 2009.

  • Hector Amezcua / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Bailey O'Mara, of Cameron Park, shows off her gear from the University of the Pacific where she will play softball after signing a letter of intent on national signing day at St. Francis with other classmates on Wednesday, Nov, 14, 2012 in Sacramento, CA.

Poll

Should scholarship signings be celebrated?

Leading Off: For select group of athletes, it’s a day of opportunity

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 - 11:10 pm
Last Modified: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 - 8:24 pm

National Signing Day is one of the biggest moments in a teenage athlete’s life, a signature on a binding scholarship contract that marks the first step in his or her college journey.

Today also will bring pride for parents of these athletes and relief for recruiters who exhaust themselves to land prospects in sports ranging from football to soccer and track.

And these scholarships truly are special. Studies show about 1 percent of high school athletes receive a scholarship – either full ride, partial or academic – making it a real triumph against long odds. It’s a dream fulfilled, with family bank accounts largely intact.

But some myths about how students land scholarships – or even get on the recruiting radar – need to be squashed.

From talking to recruiters and college coaches over the years, we’ve learned that statistics, wins and losses, the name of the high school and the strength of schedule has little or no bearing on who receives a scholarship. What matters more are grades, body size, potential and competitive drive. Recruiters also prefer prospects who play multiple sports to avoid burnout, and they like to witness first-hand athletes’ attitudes and leadership skills.

Red flags for recruiters are athletes who bounce from school to school, those who complain on social media about playing time or their stats or insult rivals, and even meddling parents.

And, remember, scholarships do not come with a four-year guarantee. They offer opportunity that needs to be fulfilled.

– Joe Davidson

jdavidson@sacbee.com


What to watch

NBA, Kings vs. Toronto, 7 p.m., CSNCA : Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Greivis Vasquez return to Sleep Train with the Raptors.


Today’s poll

Should scholarship signings be celebrated?

• Yes, it’s a major achievement.

• No, it’s become too much of a circus.

• It doesn’t matter.

Vote above, or go to www.sacbee.com/sports


Tuesday’s results

Which is true about Seattle’s Super Bowl blowout victory?

• Seahawks were that good: 58%

• Broncos were that bad: 42%

Total votes: 179


Signing day coverage

ONLINE:

• Get the latest news throughout the day.

www.sacbee.com/preps

• Sign up for breaking sports alerts.

www.sacbee.com/email

• Share photos of your school’s signing events. Please include athlete’s name, sport, high school and college.

www.sacbeephotos@gmail.com

PRINT:

• In-depth coverage of the biggest signings, plus players signed by Sacramento State and UC Davis.

Thursday Sports

Read more articles by Joe Davidson



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