Sandoval’s Sports Series 6

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Sandoval’s Sports Series 6

Kayli Sandoval, Editor-in-Chief

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Last month, headlines and news hit every platform, exposing how nearly 50 people were involved in a college admissions bribery scandal. Some of these wealthy parents had help to have their kids’ test scores changed. Others had help to make fake, photoshopped athletic profiles and bribed coaches/athletic directors in order to have a fake spot on an NCAA team to guarantee admission into elite schools — a spot that a real, dedicated athlete deserved.

  The entire scam was masterminded by William Singer who used a fake charity and college counseling service to launder up to 25 million dollars from various parents, according to ABC News (abcnews.go.com).

  As a high school senior, it is very disheartening to hear about a scandal like this, involving desirable schools such as University of Southern California [USC]; University of California, Los Angeles [UCLA]; Yale, and more. Although, it is more disturbing to know that some of the kids took spots from athletes that have dedicated years to get a chance at being a part of a top-notch Division One (DI) team.

  According to The Los Angeles Times, cases of the aforementioned included a prospective student from a high school with no football team who was brought forward as a football recruit for USC, a student who was admitted as a women’s basketball player who faked having “plantar fasciitis” to avoid walking on the team, and “the daughter of ‘Full House’ Actress Lori Loughlin and Fashion Designer Mossimo Giannulli, was allegedly admitted as a recruit of the USC Women’s Crew Team, even though she did not compete in crew. Her fabricated profile included a picture of her working out on an ergometer [a rowing machine]” (latimes.com). The hard work of real athletes trying to continue their sports careers at the collegiate level should have never been overlooked.

  Being recruited to play after high school — especially at the DI level — is very competitive, timely, and pricey. The lives of these athletes revolve around getting good grades and playing at their highest level at all times. Student-athletes at the high school level spend years and sometimes thousands of dollars to join the best club teams during the offseason, attend showcase tournaments, and pay all the fees that come with them.

  UC High Senior Donovan Todorov, who has committed to play Division One Men’s Volleyball at the University of California, Santa Barbara, stated, “[Being recruited to play at the DI level] took a lot of work. I had to miss a lot of time with friends and family in order to get to the level I wanted to be at.”

  According to a statistic website focused on the odds of high school athletes playing in college, “…less than 2 percent of high school athletes (1 in 54) went on to play at  NCAA Division I schools” (scholarshipstats.com).

  Once a student is actually on an NCAA team — Division I, II, or III — their life completely revolves around playing that sport for that school. UC High Alumna Kelsie Law, and current Division Two Field Hockey Player explained: “During season, we have about four to five practices a week, three lift workouts in the morning, and two to three games — some being away and/or overnight games.” She explained that every player on her team wakes up early enough to eat breakfast before morning practice, gets to the locker rooms 30 minutes early, and sets up the field.

  Additionally, at Law’s school, and at many others, student-athletes are required to complete four hours of studying in a specific area where they must sign in and out of each week, just to assure that they are putting time in to both academics and sports.

  Student-athletes who are honored enough to be able to play at the collegiate level dedicate so much of their lives in order to be recruited into college. Law added, “We use sports as an outlet and as a way to pay for college.” It’s a shame that wealthy families across the nation were able to take that away for some, especially given that they could have easily paid for tutors to have actually been admitted appropriately, athletic personal trainers to actually be recruited, and tuition.

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