Life Of A Brave: Covid Strikes Again, College Scholarships Harder to Come By

by Aydn Morris

High school student athletes are now panicking as college scholarships won’t be any easy to come by this year thanks to the ongoing pandemic. 

St. John Bosco High School Athletic Director Monty McDermott, like many student-athletes and parents, is concerned about the matter. Around 500,000 students end up becoming a student athlete in college and from those 500,000 only 150,000 are under an athletic scholarship, according to Mr. McDermott. 

“Now it is even tougher to get a scholarship because the number of high school students are rising but the number of scholarships are decreasing,” said Mr. McDermott. 

Prior to the outbreak only 2% of student athletes were given a scholarship which resorted to only 15,000 students receiving one. It is no secret that it was already tremendously hard to get an athletic scholarship in general, and now it is going to reach a level of toughness we have never seen before.  

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has been trying to figure out a way to let as many high school students as possible play their respective sports. They came up with the idea of reducing the sports seasons by only having Winter and Spring seasons, which allowed the fall sports to practice and try out due to not being able to during the summer. 

Of course, as the virus has proven time and time again, it is unpredictable. If no change is made regarding positive cases, it won’t be surprising if there isn’t a season in general for many states around the nation this school year. 

Unfortunately, players who have played baseball and basketball during the same year will only be able to play one now due to both sports taking place during the same season. The “two season only rule” is hitting hard for multi-sport athletes, as their chance of getting an athletic option is greatly diminished because they won’t have a secondary sport option this year to solidify their case. 

CIF has also been trying to figure out how to get teams to practice in a safe way, and they came up with “day camp” protocols. The camp protocols for practicing include social distancing, not being allowed to practice indoors and only being allowed to share a ball with a few people. In addition, schools cannot do full practices, or do scrimmages against other schools, which is important to a team’s practice success. 

The state of California won’t be allowing fans, scouts or family members to watch games, which will only add burden to athletes wanting to get recruited. This can negatively affect the way a team plays and make some dreams a longshot for kids around the nation. 

They may start giving out less scholarships because senior students in college may be getting held back for their sport because of the redshirt rule. The redshirt rule is where senior students are allowed to stay another year in school to play their sport because their season may have been cut short. 

This is like a butterfly effect because seniors who are redshirted are taking up playing time and scholarship money from freshman and sophomore players and potential incoming recruits, respectively. This can also lead them into not wanting to give a lot of scholarships or not giving any full-ride scholarships because they can’t afford to pay for a freshman to play for minimal or no playing time. This is mostly involved with schools that don’t get a lot of players that go into the professional drafts. 

Truly the impossible is possible if the desire and commitment is there and high school seniors should not see this as an excuse to not give it their all for the remainder of the school year. 

“Stay positive to our circumstances, and especially keep their grades up,” Mr. McDermott said, as he hopes parents will be supportive for their kids during a year that has not gone anyone’s way. 

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