There are no limitations to the size of rosters at Division III institutions per the NCAA. It’s a reality that is faced every year here at Shenandoah.
Some of the reasons high school athletes choose to compete at the Division III level include the small class sizes, faculty to student ratio and the opportunity to actually step foot on a college playing field or court.
As we all know athletes competing at the Division III level cannot receive athletic scholarships and therefore are required to pay a large amount of the tuition fees.
This in-turn is how institutions generate a large proportion of their money, by over-recruiting athletes who have to pay tuition fees similar to those of non-athletes.
Ultimately student athletes are helping fund these schools, so is it fair to recruit students who realistically won’t ever see the court or field?
I was talking to a former SU Football player who claims that he was led to believe he was going to play on the Varsity team. Instead he found himself stuck on the JV team for his freshman and sophomore year before giving up the sport at the end of his sophomore year.
“I feel like they knew all along that I was going to be a practice player. If I knew this before I made my college decision, I would’ve just gone to like VCU or UVA some big D I school.”
“I’m now a Senior but when I quit at the end of my sophomore year I didn’t want to transfer and make new friends and leave what I already had behind so I decided to ride it out for my last two years.”
After talking with a close friend and college coach at another Division III institution he argued that over-recruiting is perfectly fine if you have a JV team.
He said it encouraged competition and gave players opportunities who weren’t heavily recruited out of high school to prove themselves against college competition.
The ninety-nine Football players here at Shenandoah do not all get the opportunity to play. Usually around fifty of those players suit up and yet that doesn’t guarantee stepping foot on a college Football field.
So, do we question whether the other fifty players are just there to pay tuition and generate income for the University?
Is it fair or in the best interest of the student athlete to “recruit” a player who you know will never step foot on a college playing field or court?
Do you want your kid to lose their college experience over being recruited simply to benefit an institution financially?