Balling on a Tight Budget with Limited DI Basketball Scholarships


April 29, 2016
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
117 underclassmen recently took advantage of the new NCAA rule which allows them to test the NBA waters without losing NCAA eligibility as long as they don't hire an agent. However, talented athletes are stuck between choosing to play on scholarships or play professionally. Division I schools are balling on a tight budget, with only 13 scholarships available per team. With the constant transferring and drafts, there's no telling what will happen to vacant spots for scholarships or if they will deplete far too quickly, leaving some highly-talented players uncompensated.

117 underclassmen recently took advantage of the new NCAA rule which allows them to test the NBA waters without losing NCAA eligibility as long as they don't hire an agent. However, talented athletes are stuck between choosing to play on scholarships or play professionally. Division I schools are balling on a tight budget, with only 13 scholarships available per team. With the constant transferring and drafts, there's no telling what will happen to vacant spots for scholarships or if they will deplete far too quickly, leaving some highly-talented players uncompensated.

In Division I basketball, scholarships are based on head count, which means they cannot be dispersed among student-athletes (unlike equivalency sports such as baseball or water polo). In total, there are 15 scholarships for women and 13 for men on a team. If collegiate players join the NBA, the NBA's D-League, or a foreign pro team, "there's a summer-long scramble to replace them," according to Randy Peterson. Last season, a reported 700 college basketball players were lost to various professional leagues. With the new early NBA entry rule, players have a chance to see if they are suitable for the NBA climate but risk losing their scholarship at their college, especially when the scholarship limit is so small.

The NCAA reports that on average, women playing at the Division I level receive more than male athletes – in 2014, women athletes received $15,162 on average in comparison to their male counterparts, who received an average of $14,270. But only 2 percent of high school student-athletes receive athletic scholarship when playing at the Division I and II level, according to the NCAA. Sure, many athletes want to play at the highest division level but recruiting experts urge athletes to consider playing in Division II, III, or at the FCS level. "Even if you're not a full-ride-caliber athlete," states CEO of Go Big Recruiting, "there's a lot of potential to get money."

We offer a wide variety of athletic scholarships - ones for highly-talented athletes looking to compete at a high level and others for students who simply participated in a sport. Regardless of your athletic ability, there are scholarships in place to help fund your higher education goals and athletic dreams.

In your opinion, should the NCAA start offering more basketball, and athletic scholarships in general?

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Carmel K.  on  5/14/2016 12:40:46 PM commented:

Wonderful to hear scholarships! BUT who can access them... People who can already afford to gamble $2,000.00 to pay co. that can " give exposure, match you with coaches/recruiters/ Colleges"! Our twin boys with 4.2 GPA, basketball & tennis players (with records to prove) may or may not be D1 athletes BUT to sign up with these Co. would be $4,000.00! A Racket! ALERT: small College offered one with below 3.00 GPA getting "Academic award" double the amount offered to one with 4.2 GPA. It's who you know! It's who has the $ or unless you are already the STAR abilility?? or already marketed by someone for someone!

zcasavant  on  5/3/2016 8:00:23 PM commented:

Usual sexist scholarship rant aside, this is sad overall for everybody :( I hope the talented players of both genders get the help they need. it woul be a shame to see talent go unnoticed due to financial hardship.

zacasavant  on  5/3/2016 7:46:02 PM commented:

Why are there more scholarships for women than men, and why do they get more per scholarship?

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