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Why should you buy The Handbook?

It could help you to be recruited.
It could save you thousands of dollars on the cost of college.
It could help you find an ideal college sports situation.
It could help you to avoid bad college sports situations.

The Sports Scholarship Handbook can help you to be recruited. The movies, newspaper stories and the NCAA would have you believe that every talented athlete has their choice of scholarship offers. The reality is less glamorous. Coach need a way to identify talent. Importantly, the coach needs to identify athletes that are interested in his program and his school. The Sports Scholarship Handbook details specific actions you can take to contact coaches, establish your credentials as an athlete and indicate your interest in the coach's program and school. Sitting back and hoping for a call is easy, but it might not get you an offer at a school you want to attend. Do not wait until it is too late.

College Costs are skyrocking. Few parents and teachers know just how high costs of attending college have risen. If your sports participation gets you a 20% scholarship for one year, that could pay 200 times more than the cost of The Sports Scholarship Handbook! A full ride for 4 years could be worth 8,000 times the cost of The Handbook. If the handbook helps you to get athletic aid it will be well worth the price.

Some things are worth more than money. A great college experience playing your sport may be worth far more than a scholarship that comes with a bad experience. The Sports Scholarship Handbook has detailed steps that you can take to find a great college sports opportunity. The Handbook explains in detail how to analyze your own talents, how to pick a program that fits your talents and how to jumpstart your recruitment in that program.

A surprisingly large number of college scholarship athletes are unhappy with their college experience. Not all opportunities will fit the needs of all student athletes. A bad fit of schools, coach, team or geographical environment can cause great disappointment. Such disappointments are costly in money, time and in personal stress. The Sports Scholarship Handbook can help you to identify potential problems and avoid them before the time and costs add up.

What can you learn from The Handbook?

What are the three most important things to know about recruiting?
What won't coaches tell you?
What won't the NCAA tell you?
What does Title IX have to do with it?
Why is football special?

You only go through the college sports recruiting process once. Things happen faster and faster during your recruiting year. There is little time to adjust and no time to start over. You will have an advantage over other recruits if you can plan your steps in advance. The Sports Scholarship Handbook will guide you through the recruiting process. If you want to compete in college, start now! Don't wait for a coach to call you before you learn what you can about being recruited. Don't wait until the fall of your senior year. Learn as much as you can as early as you can.

The three most important things you need to know about college sports recruiting are: start early, start early and start early. But wait, isn't it the college coach's job to do the recruiting? Yes and no. Official recruiting generally starts after your junior year in high school, but there are important steps that you can take as early as your freshman year to increase your chances of success. The more you know about recruiting, eligibility and sports scholarships before your senior year the better prepared you will be for getting the offer you want from a school you want to attend.

What won't college coaches tell you? College coaches are typically enthusiastic, charismatic people who like working with young adults. Coaches recruit student athletes who will contribute to their team. For obvious reasons they will put things in the most positive, most enthusiastic light. They have plans for you. When they meet you in your home, you are the one they're paying close attention to.

Coaches won't explain that being recruited may be the most personal attention you will get for a while. Coaches won't point out that soon after you arrive at college they will be busily engaged in the next recruiting season, working hard to impress next year's recruits. They are unlikely to tell you about any rough spots in their own relationship with the athletic department administration. So, be flattered and have fun with the attention while you are being recruited but also use your recruiting visit to learn as much as possible. The Sports Scholarship Handbook contains 172 pages of advice about how to learn what you need to know to evaluate a college sports opportunity.

What won't the NCAA tell you? The NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete is full of useful information and you should get a copy and study it. However, when you read the NCAA guide you should also recognize that the NCAA is presenting an idealized version of how recruiting works and what a student athlete can expect. The NCAA guide is filled with pictures of smiling students having fun and learning. Recruiting surprises do not happen in the NCAA Guide but they are likely to happen during your recruiting experience. The Sports Scholarship Handbook discusses some of the more common aspects of recruiting that are not covered in the NCAA Guide and which may take you by surprise. More importantly the handbook gives you useful advice about dealing with unanticipated situations.

What does Title IX have to do with it? Title IX is a provision of Federal law that states that educational institutions cannot discriminate on the basis of sex. Over the past 30 years the increasing level of college compliance with Title IX has meant that opportunities for sports participation and sports scholarships for women have increased from almost nothing to near equality with men. However Title IX has had a significant negative impact on men's sports at colleges and universities that compete in football.

Why is football special? Football has large numbers of male athletes participating and football tends to be an expensive sport. For instance in Division I of the NCAA football teams may have 85 players--all of whom may be receiving scholarships. To balance those participation and scholarship opportunities with similar opportunities for women has meant that there are generally more scholarships given to women than to men in sports other than football. It has also led to many mens' sports being dropped by some schools. Regardless of how one thinks about this as a fairness issue, it means that in many sports there are more positions for women and more scholarships for women than there are for men. That's tough for men who compete in these other sports and it's a great opportunity for women athletes. It means that both men and women need to know as much as possible if they are to maximize their opportunities.

What should you look for in a book on college recruiting?
  • Do not rely on out of date advice. Any book dated before 2004 is out of date regarding newer NCAA rules on eligibility and recruiting.
  • Do not buy a book filled up with lists. Some books are 90% filler made up of lists of athletic programs and company-sponsored scholarships. These lists quickly out of date. There are far more useful ways to find the information you need by using the Internet. Remember, you're looking for advice and insight, not out of date phone numbers.
  • Do not buy into an "idealized" version of recruiting. Coaches know a lot about the recruiting process but books written by coaches idealize recruiting. They aren't going to tell you things that give you an upper hand.
  • Beware of "recruiting services." Many books are mainly promotional material for the author's "sports recruiting service." These services are expensive and their results are typically disappointing. You can do better by taking charge and recruiting yourself as described in the Handbook.
  • Books filled with recruiting stories of athletes may be entertaining but they are unlikely to help you to get recruited. Examples are useful if they illustrate specific issues and how you can overcome them. Be wary of books that read like one long pep-talk after another.
  • Some books are obviously specific to one sport. If that is your sport you might check them out but also be sure to get up to date general advice also.
  • Do get a book that tells you how you can help yourself. Coaches like team players but they also like leaders. The things you can do to help yourself are not complicated. Learn how to get involved in your own recruitment.
How is The Sports Scholarship Handbook different?

The Sports Scholarship Handbook shows you how to use the links from this site to find the latest, up to date information about schools and their sports programs.The Sports Scholarship Handbook is about optimizing your recruiting experience and making the choices that are best for you. Sometimes your best interests are the same as the coach's but many times they are not. The handbook shows you how to plan your high school academic program to make sure that you meet the NCAA or NAIA requirements for initial eligibility.

The Sports Scholarship Handbook will help you to take steps that will raise your visibility to college recruiters. The handbook will show you how to use the Internet to find the college sports programs that best match your needs and talents. You will learn when and how to recruit yourself. You will learn what kinds of questions to ask when recruiters call and learn what questions to ask when visiting colleges. You will learn when should you make unofficial visits to colleges on your own initiative. The Sports Scholarship Handbook is also about being realistic in your goals and taking a businesslike approach to making good decisions.

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The Sports Scholarship Handbook is all new and up to date for 2004-2005. It has facts, insights and advice for students who want to compete in college sports. Over $1 billion in sports scholarships will be awarded this year to over 125,000 athletes. The Handbook is your guide to college sports recruiting, answering questions like: How do you get the attention of college recruiters? How can you ensure that you are eligible? Do you need an agent? How can you jump start the recruiting process? Should you call or write coaches? When should you make a campus visit? What is a good offer? How does home schooling change the eligibility process? What questions should you ask the coach? What questions should you ask other athletes?

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The Sports Scholarship Handbook:
The Athlete's Guide to Beating the High Cost of College

172 pages, Perfect-bound
20-pound, white interior paper
black & white text

8.5 x 11 inches
11 Tables  
4 Figures (examples)

ISBN 1-4116-0953-0

HOW TO BUY:   The suggested retail price of The Sports Scholarship Handbook is $24.95. Readers of this website can special priceobtain the handbook at the special price of $19.98 by ordering directly from the publisher, Lulu is a secure site with safe credit card and PayPal ordering. Click on the button to the right for information about ordering directly from

Libraries: The Handbook is distributed by Ingram and is available through Ingram Library Services.


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