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Countdown: Dividing Men's Scholarships
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For purposes of limiting scholarships, the NCAA classifies its sports into head-count and equivalency sports. For head-count sports, the limits are on number of individuals receiving scholarships - each player can receive up to a full scholarship. For equivalency sports, the total amount of aid is limited, but it can be divided among a much larger number of players.

NCAA D-I and D-II Men's Tennis - as well as D-II Women's Tennis - are equivalency sports. D-I and D-II men's tennis allows for 4.5 scholarships, while D-II women's tennis allows for 6 scholarships. With the need to play six singles and three doubles, coaches can rarely award full scholarships to recruits.

Allocating scholarships presents interesting challenges for college coaches. How do coaches solve their puzzles?

Earlier this month, we looked at the D-I women's coaches' challenges when allocating their scholarships. Tonight, we put a similar question to our panel of men's coaches...

 

Q) As an NCAA D-I men's coach, what is your strategy when dividing scholarship money? How does that impact recruiting?

 

David Roditi, head coach, TCU Men

Scholarships vary a lot, and how critical they are vary from player to player. For some, it's all about the scholarship money - whether they need it or not. For others, it's more about where the player thinks is his best fit.

How you distribute scholarship is tough, and it is very critical. There are many aspects to consider. My strategy is to be very up-front about it and find a percentage we are both happy with. It's one of the biggest differences between being a men's coach versus a women's coach.

 

John Whitlinger, head coach, Stanford Men

The scholarship issue is very tough. The expense of going to college is very difficult for some families. You need to work with the families and come up with a situation that is beneficial to them - and one that is good for your team as well.

It is very difficult to give out full scholarships because of the NCAA limitations. You need to be creative in some situations, but hopefully it can work out.

Once in a while a player can qualify for financial need which can cover a lot of their college costs. This isn't something that happens too often for me, but it has, and it can be a big help. The one thing you can't do is add on an athletic scholarship to the financial need. If you do, that all has to be included in your 4.5.

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