http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/313839

Business gives high school athletes recruitment advantage Special

Posted Nov 3, 2011 by Kay Mathews
Interested in getting a college athletic scholarship? There's a business for that. College Athletic Scholarship is an online athletic recruiting help center designed to give high school students an edge in the recruiting game.
A college game
A college game
A recent press release from College Athletic Scholarship discusses the organization and a new program it is rolling out called the Official Recruiting System. CAS, online since 1999, is a resource for student athletes and their parents that helps them to navigate the competitive recruitment process. According to CAS, they "know that getting to first base in the recruiting game typically requires not just talent, but a multifaceted component approach, involving not only a knowledge of the NCAA’s recruiting guidelines, but also a thorough knowledge of the recruiting game as it relates to academics, financial aid, and mental toughness."
College Athletic Scholarship founder and CEO, Lynn West, discussed the history of the organization and the new program with DigitalJournal.com.
In terms of the history of the organization, West states:
Since I had greatly benefited from my days of being a D1 recruit, I began sharing my recruiting experience and know how with the high school kids and their parents in my immediate group of neighbors and friends. Soon, I was spending a lot of time doing this type of one-on-one counseling, so I thought it would be a great idea to just put it online so they could all get the same information, and it would free up my time too. That's when the idea for the site materialized into the College Athletic Scholarship mother site.
West notes that College Athletic Scholarship started several years before 1999, but the online site was transferred to a different host that year so 1999 is "as far back as we can verify our online presence." The organization's motto is: Why PAY for your education when you can PLAY for it?
Asked about how the online CAS receives income, particularly any costs to parents or students, West said, "While College Athletic Scholarship does receive income from different vendors and Google adsense, we have never before charged student/athletes and their parents for the information they could get on our website, which included a 90+ page free e-book on how to get recruited."
However, after receiving feedback from users, West indicated that the information was useful but more was called for in order to "give some the kids all they needed to get recruited." Thus, in addition to the free e-book, College Athletic Scholarship now offers the Official Recruiting System, which is a more detailed step-by-step program for college football recruiting.
College Athletic Scholarship.
College Athletic Scholarship.
Courtesy of Lynn West/CAS
"The price to get started with the new recruiting system is $1.00 and thereafter it is $9.97 a month until canceled," West said. "Each month each grade level gets entirely different information. Juniors do not get the same as Seniors and so forth."
The Official Recruiting System addresses a number of themes including the recruiting process, financial aid, academics and "mental toughness." West said, "While there are a few top athletes that will be recruited mostly on talent, the bulk of them will need to know what to do in all these other different areas if they hope to be recruited."
Due to new NCAA rulings, West notes that academics are being emphasized in the recruitment process. "Because of recent NCAA rulings, today's college coaches would much rather recruit a kid that has a good GPA than one that is on the borderline," West said. "While they will still take one or two academically challenged kids, they no longer fill their rosters with academically risky kids."
West acknowledges that "many books exist on how to get athletic scholarships" but she says that "the information is overwhelming to parents" and often the books get "tossed back on the book shelf. Our system falls in the middle between the expensive recruiting services and the big thick books. It delivers the information they need in monthly increments that can easily be put to use for a nominal monthly fee."
The next program offered by CAS will focus on basketball and, according to West, College Athletic Scholarship plans to roll out "a membership plan for volleyball, baseball and softball in the near future."
The competition for athletic scholarships is intense and West notes that "We do not guarantee that kids using our system will be recruited." However, "We do say that we give them the best chance of being recruited," said West. "We feel confident in saying this because our system prepares student athletes to excel in several additional areas besides recruiting, which are also important to college coaches."
The opportunities are there, according to the NCAA, which states, "In the last decade, the number of student-athletes has more than doubled (from 209,890 to 444,077), and the number of teams (men and women) in championship sports has grown from 16,829 to 18,314."
Moreover, in terms of undergraduate scholarships, the NCAA states, "About $1 billion in athletically related financial aid is awarded each year at Divisions I and II institutions to more than 126,000 student-athletes."
For high school students desiring college recruitment via athletic scholarships, College Athletic Scholarship says it will "put you right in the big bright recruiting lights and keep you there."