Coach's Corner: Tim Crone 6/25

Tim Crone

By Tim Crone
Posted: June 25, 2010 - 2:15 PM

The Coach’s Corner is a place where several area coaches will give their views on the state of coaching at the high school level.

A common mistake by many high school football players is to wait until the spring of their senior year to begin the college recruiting process. The process for choosing a college to continue play should really begin in a player’s freshman year.

The initial step should be to obtain information from the NCAA or NAIA to understand academic eligibility for a college scholarship. For example, if a student does not understand the importance of taking the right core classes or the sliding core grade point average/test score sliding average for a Division I school, continuing to play in college could possibly become difficult or impossible.

The 16 core class rule for Division I NCAA requires an athlete to have four years of English, three years of mathematics (Algebra I or higher); two years of natural/physical science (one year of lab if offered by high school); one year of additional English, mathematics or natural/physical science; two years of social science; four years of additional course from any of the previously listed areas or foreign language or non-doctrinal religion/philosophy.

 Requirements for Division II and III levels and NAIA vary from Division I. That is why it is crucial for a counselor, high school athlete and parent to sit down prior to the freshman year to draw out a curriculum plan.

In addition to being aware of the academic do’s and don’ts it is also important for the athlete and parents to be realistic about the athlete’s level of ability to play post high school. It is a proven fact that only 2 percent of high school football players continue to play football at the college level. The number of Division I NCAA football scholarships is extremely small compared to the number of high school football players. I have watched years of football games at the Division II, Division III and NAIA level and a player needs to be at least an above average player to be able to play there.

The moral of the story is to be prepared early both on and off the field and to have realistic expectations for play beyond high school. Michael Burke, former NBC president, once stated, “If you enjoy your sport, do not be discouraged because you are on the third or fourth string. Keep at it. Be persistent. Your skills will improve. Upper classmen graduate and opportunities will present themselves.”

Tim Crone is the former Head Football Coach and Activities Director at Blue Springs High School.