Sam Webb talked a little bit about Demar Dorsey this morning (nothing has changed). During that conversation he talked about past U of M players going to prep schools to improve their academic standing. If you go to prep school, of course, you don't lose any NCAA eligibility and your chances of getting into Michigan are much better than they would be if you went to a junior college. Does anyone know why a player would go a junior college (and lose eligiblity and greatly decrease their chance of making it into a number of schools) instead of going to prep school? I'm imagining that players sometimes don't have a choice, but I'm not sure why.
Does anyone know? Prep school v. JC.
I would imagine that part of it relates to gaining acceptance to an accredited prep school. There are fewer of those than there are junior colleges, and it's probably considerably harder to get into one, whether to play football or not.
This is based on many second and third -hand observations, but there were many at a private school where I worked who found admittance proceedings at a few military prep schools in VA lacking in luster. The general belief went something like this:
Since Institution A is known as a football powerhouse, and since enrollment from other sources (family tradition, the need to instill discipline in a recalcitrant child, etc.) is on the decline, Institution A has some serious incentives to enroll any and all applicants who are good at sports. By maintaining a reputation as a place that can get you into a top-notch D-1 school, Institution A stays at the head of the list for folks who need that extra year. Additionally, the more successful kids they can pump out, the more successful alums they'll have to hit up for cash. I'm guessing capital donations from wealthy alums (especially NFL players) may soon outpace tuition dollars.
one would be money. There's probably more scholarship money available to JUCO's than prep schools.
The second would be the academics. Kids that go to prep school are generally close to qualifying out of high school but maybe need a class or two or a point or two on the ACT. They go to prep school for the year and work out those issues because the NCAA eligibility is the same for out of prep school as it is high school. For the kids that are no where near eligible out of high school, a year of prep school would be pointless. They're better off going to JUCO for two years and obtaining eligibility as a transfer.
it's good enough for me.
JUCOs also an opportunity to play - some players need experience, bulk, height, strength, as well as better grades to compete at a D1 level.
Prep Schools like Fork Union or Hargrave cost about $30,000 a year and scholarships are only available for about half of your tuition. The rest has to be paid through loans or work-study.
JUCO is significantly cheaper and there are full-rides available.
Prep schools are also...hard. Hargrave and Fork Union and Maine Central Institute and Avon are extremely good academic institutions. The first two are also military schools, so that means 5 a.m. reverie and drill sergeants and no girls. The latter two are full of kids bound for the Ivy League.
JUCOs range from competent to complete joke diploma mills that will (and have) given degrees to a housecat. Some colleges (like Michigan) won't even touch a JUCO transcript from certain schools. Ever notice that the JUCOs that you hear about are always in Kansas? For some reason the JUCOs there are really good places to get an associates degree in playing football. The JUCOs in North Carolina, on the other hand, work in conjunction with the four-year state schools. So your class load is going to be filled with academic credits that will actually transfer to UNC or NCSU or ECU.
If you attend a prep school, your high school GPA is frozen and you still have to up your SAT score.
If you attend a JUCO, you just have to get an associate's. I don't think you have to do anything with your SAT for the NCAA. Certain four-year schools may require it though.
That all makes a lot of sense. I do have one point of semi-disagreement, though: I can't speak for every JUCO in Kansas, but at least some of them are just fine academically. At least one of the reasons that you see a lot of JUCO kids in Kansas is that the state puts a lot of money into its junior college system. Kansas junior colleges, or so I understand, are much better funded than are junior colleges in many states.
and coached at FUMA. They lead me to believe that "extremely good academic institution" is a stretch. It is, in fact, where our struggling kids occasionally went in order to get themselves together.
Reveille at 5 in the morning, though, does not sound like fun.
I can't speak for every JUCO in Kansas, but at least some of them are just fine academically.
The ones in Kansas with less-than-great reputations include: Garden City, Fort Scott, Dodge City, Butler County, and Hutchinson Community College.
This all changes year-to-year. Mt. Zion Prep was notorious as a diploma mill. That was where Tracy McGrady went when he was involved with Joel Hopkins. They were so bad that even though they were located in Durham, none of the ACC schools would recruit their kids. Finally, the guy who was in charge of the school decided that enough was enough and fired all of the folks involved with athletics. He de-emphasized sports and returned the school to its academic roots. Now those same shady folks are hanging out at Word of God Academy (John Wall) in SE Raleigh.
So, it's entirely possible that Butler County is a fine CC these days. I was referring to its past reputation.
It is, in fact, where our struggling kids occasionally went in order to get themselves together.
Academically, they are exceptionally good at preparing kids that have f***ed off for 12 years for whatever comes next. They have very good SAT prep tutors and they don't mess around when it comes to grades or study hall.
It's not a good school the way that Harvard is a good school. Really smart, highly accomplished students usually don't go to Hargrave or Fork Union. People who need a kick in the ass go there. It's a good school because you can get caught up in a hurry there. It accomplishes its academic goal.
Avon Old Farms is the Harvard-esque "really good school." Avon, Exeter, Phillips Andover, The Hun School...
The flip-side to those schools would be Killian High School in Miami. I don't even think they are accredited anymore. Trinity Junior College was the one that issued a diploma for a reporter's cat.
At most schools, the admissions folks and the athletic department folks have an understanding. Most schools don't want you walking in the door on NSD with 25 kids who are still trying to get 850 on their SATs. (Most of these schools are not located in the SEC) They have a number of academic exceptions. After the coach passes that number, he has to fight for the rest of the class.
So, when a coach starts organizing his recruiting board, he has to decide which category a player fits in. Is he "doable?" That means he's probably going to have the grades and his SAT scores are close enough to stick with him. There's "has work to do." That means that his SAT score might be in the right place, but his core GPA might be a problem. And getting the number of necessary credits might take some effort. There's "on track," for the kids who has the SAT and just needs to maintain his current GPA. And then there's the guys that you just know aren't going to make it.
It probably doesn't happen at Michigan, but most schools will sit down a kid like that and lay out some options. One option, believe it or not, is to flunk out of school. If you graduate from high school, your GPA is frozen. That means that the only thing you can improve is your SAT score. But, if you flunk out, you can re-take your senior year (at a prep school maybe) and then both GPA and SAT score can improve.
Another option is JUCO. Most schools have JUCOs that are friendly to the cause. They will outline exactly what classes have to be taken and passed (and usually, you have to take the EXACT course number in order to get credit). The coaches at these schools will look out for the kid and keep rivals away. If you wander out on your own, good luck with your transfer credits.
Well stated; I apologize for my earlier snobbishness.
I've always thought the big difference that distingiushed the two was the amount of money you had to spend.