Former College Athlete, Coach Advises NCAA Hopefulls


Mariel Rossi-deVries, Lifestyle Editor

Jennifer Thomas, college counselor for Maybeck High school in Berkeley, delivered a presentation on college athletics in the Campolindo library on February 13. Students from Miramonte and Campolindo attended the presentation, which was hosted by college counselors Samantha Stuber from Miramonte and Joan Batchelor from Campolindo.

Thomas is a UC Berkeley graduate who played for and then coached the Cal soccer team before retiring to work as a college adviser. Thomas spoke about college sports from the perspective of both an athlete and a coach.

“We are introducing students to athletics in college and what that means, introducing them to different divisions and giving them a realistic outlook,” said Stuber. The room had a range of athletes, from golfers to soccer players to swimmers. “Our area concentrates a lot on sports. A vast majority our students do sports and we’re a highly athletic area, so I think it’s important to have a realistic look on recruiting and what it’s like,” said Stuber.

Thomas began with a dose of reality about sports scholarships. While many student athletes hope that their sport will land them a full ride in college or at least a place on a Division I team, information from NCAA 2013 indicates that the likelihood of receiving a scholarship to compete on a college team is around 2%. In addition, the average scholarship for Division I athletes is $13,821 for men and $14,660 for women. Thomas said that scholarship competition has increased since Title 9, which mandates equitable aid for school sports.

Thomas also explained the divisional format of college programs. “If you’re in Division I, you may not be able to have that engineering major. Double majoring is very hard to do. Your coach may decide that you can’t take a class because it conflicts with a team meeting or practice. If you want to go abroad, forget about it,” Thomas told the group.

Thomas, Batchelor and Stuber maintained that sports are a commitment that students take on in addition to their course load, so athletes should like the school whether they play a sport or not.

College recruiting was also covered. Batcheller and Stuber explained how students could gain recognition by registering with the National Collegiate Athletics Association and writing sports resumes.

“It was good to learn more about swimming and NCAA, since I want to do either swimming or sailing in college,” said sophomore athlete Daniela Moroz. “Also learning how to get involved and about coaches and write resumes. Learning to advertise yourself is not just important in college, but also in a career or becoming a professional athlete.”