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Would she be considered a walk-on?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sweetbreads bailey, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. I'm doing a story highlighting area high school seniors who have signed with college programs. There is a volleyball player who verbally committed to play for an ACC school, but I just got an email from her mom saying it's not really a "signing" since she's not receiving financial aid as a freshman. She was told she wouldn't start receiving financial aid until her sophomore year.

    Is this player considered a walk-on as a freshman? I realize the non-rev sports don't get lots of scholarships but a red flag came up for me when she told me she wasn't getting any $$ her first year. I'd hate to see the rug pulled out from underneath her after a year.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Presumably, not that it makes a whole lot of difference, except I guess she can't technically "sign" since she is not receiving any scholarship this year at least.

    If it makes you feel better, she could be getting scholarship money her first year and still get the rug pulled out from under her the next.
  3. BBJones

    BBJones Guest

    This is fairly common in volleyball. Kids get scholarships after proving they can play at the college level. Not sure if it happens that way much in other sports.
  4. Mira

    Mira Member

    If she is not on scholarship but practicing, traveling and suiting up with the team, I would think she is a walk-on.

    From what the mom told you, it sounds like she'll be on scholarship as a sophomore.
  5. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    in football it's knwon as gray shirting
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    I've also seen the term "invited walk-on," as in, prove yourself as a freshman and we'll give you money after that.
  7. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    No it isn't.

    Gray shirting happens when you don't enroll in school until the second semester, thereby putting off the calendar year in which the academic/eligibility clock begins ticking.

    this is done to allow kids to show up for spring practice before their official freshman seasons begin. When fall camp opens, they are still freshmen. It's not quite the same, but essentially the same as graduating from high school a half year early or late and getting in a free spring training.
  8. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    Soccer player in my area is doing something like that, except he's graduating early. Seems like a great plan if you can pull it off. Jump into spring practices, get your feet wet, learn the ropes of college classes/assignments before you're in season, get a jump on the freshmen arriving over the summer.
  9. chester

    chester Member

    That's how Todd Boeckman can only be a junior yet have been out of high school for five years now.
  10. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I thought the standard term was "preferred walk-on." But I could be wrong.
  11. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    If the player does not sign a National Letter of Intent to play for a school, he/she is considered a walk-on or non-scholarship player. The school owes nothing to these kids, and they can be cut/dismissed by the coach at any time for any reason. Don't take mom's word on the kid being assured of a scholarship for the following year; that's a common line used to get the parents to pony up for the first year. Sure, the coach often finds a little textbook money after the first year, but it will likely never become a full-scholarship situation.

    You also have to be very careful about how you word this in your stories. With no NLI on the table, the school can't confirm or deny a kid will be on their team. They can't talk about a walk-on until he/she matriculates at the school and is announced on a team's roster. You can write "Suzy Creamcheese is planning to walk on to the State U. volleyball team in the fall" but not "Suzy Creamcheese will play for Coach Snot at State U. in the fall" or "Suzy has been offered a spot with State U." Neither is true, yet.

    You also have to be careful about kids intending to play for the service academies, none of whom sign an NLI because they don't receive athletic scholarships. I'm not sure if the Ivys sign NLIs or not. Anyone have experience with an Ivy League recruit?

    Even if a kid is getting $500 a year in book money as their "scholarship", that counts. They have to sign the NLI, entering into a contract with the school for the scholarship. You can then say "Suzy will be on scholarship to play volleyball at State U." and after the school has received the NLI, the coach is free to comment about the athlete.
  12. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    We've had some soccer players from the area do this, one at UNC.

    I think it's a lot more popular thing for football players to do so they can attend spring practices.
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