A former scholastic (Darby Township/Academy Park HS) and collegiate (Lincoln University) student-athlete, I have spent the past 20 years advising and mentoring student-athletes in the Greater Philadelphia Region. As a result, I have established some strong relationships with players, HS coaches, AAU coaches and college coaches. One thing that has always bothered me is the lack of accurate information regarding the college admission and eligibility process. Time after time, extremely talented and hard working student-athletes find themselves unable to accept NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 scholarships because they were misinformed about the academic requirements. In most cases, we have been able to help families take the necessary steps to become eligible. However, over time, the rules become more and more restrictive. The options available to young people ten years ago are no longer available to kids today. Beginning in 2016, many of the strategies available today will no longer be available.
Parents, coaches, advisors and other interested parties need to understand that athletic talent, simply stated, is NOT sufficient. Success is dependent upon navigation of the murky shark infested waters in which HS, AAU and collegiate athletics is played.
What is the NCAA Clearinghouse? What are the NCAA eligibility requirements? Does my high school have a strong track record of producing eligible student-athletes? Which colleges graduate their African-American student-athletes? Which agents actually ensure their clients are successful off the court and after the ball stops bouncing? Which athletes are committed to helping youngsters achieve their goals? These are some of the topics we will address.
I look forward to spirited, serious discussion of these topics. At all times, the focus will be on helping student-athletes and their families make well informed and rational decisions that are in their best interest.
Delgreco K. Wilson