Author Topic: in dire need of helpful advice, Three good years  (Read 7590 times)

Offline GratefulDel

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in dire need of helpful advice, Three good years
« on: April 27, 2014, 11:29:38 pm »
D3 board members, I am a 20 yo kid and just need some insight from seasoned lifers and people who have been in similar positions sorry for the length if it is an issue.

  I am writing to you looking for advice regarding my circumstance as a Division 3 athlete. I played one year of football for an NCAC football squad and one of the last two in the bottom of the ranks in the division. I was a top recruit for the program, and was sent up there with everything one could ask for while going to college, a great financial package, a really nice car, a hefty monthly allowance, all the latest football equipment and accessories, a great attitude, and all the athletic tangibles any coach could dream of.

I of course ran into adversity the moment I arrived as a member of the team and not a recruit. I played HS ball in the cape coast of Florida and ran right up to Northeastern Ohio of  the next fall in 2012 , while having family and hometown ties in VA. My deciding factor in going here was the engineering program I would be able to attend after my time there, to go through Case Western Reserve which is a top engineering program after my time at the NCAC school. if I am not mistaken CWRU is now in the OAC. Because of a very loose education through a bottom of the list state for HS academics Florida I was in no way prepared for the academic rigor of an intensive private college on top of athletic commitments. At the same time the moment I walked into the door for camp I heard of low team morale, "were just gonna go 0-10 again" things like this, however I ignored it and focused on doing my best as a football player and being a contributing member to the squad which I achieved, I was doing extremely well developing and transitioning to the next level and was a very liked member of the team and established an immediate presence on the field. All the while I was doing my best in the classroom and trying to balance the academic side of things which I struggled with greatly.

Before camp ended a friend of mine who was recruited with me from the same HS team left in the middle of the night and I was faced with the realization that I was solo which was something I was not exposed to while he was there he stayed for 5 days didn't even make first day of full contact. As the semester wore on and season we were losing every game, I was hanging on academically by a thread and the weather was something that I was incredibly unused to I grew up in Va and had seen winter but not to this degree it had a big effect on my mindset especially the lack of sunlight being from FL. I had a stereotypical idea of what a football school should be like and was given the opposite at this program which disconcerted me, general school populous had little to no respect for the squad. I was still doing well on the field though and making good friends from the team and classroom.

eventually I started getting fed up with it being in a very remote area on a losing squad and struggles in the classroom and started to wonder what in the hell am I doing here I had never stepped foot in Ohio other than my recruiting visit and felt like I was a come here in the wrong scene for an aimless cause. the season ended and we went 0-10 the off-season started in the spring and I was on academic probation not being able to work out with the team until coach pulled some strings. I had some very good performances in the games I played in and enjoyed the football aspect I'm not a football player who has to have a winning season every year although it is nice I focus on just making plays, doing my job better than it has to be done, and having fun with my teammates on the field during games the score will take care of itself and hopefully be influenced by some big plays at my hand haha but everything else really had an effect on my commitment and I eventually left the team halfway through the spring semester planning to go back home and hang it up.

the summer began and I withdrew from the school. I wandered around the country aimlessly the whole summer traveling and being slack and during that I realized I still have three good years of football in me and I love it too much to just walk away when I still have time to play it although the external influences of the school discouraged me I still enjoyed getting down and dirty at practice and in games regardless that we lost and I had to witness blowouts id only seen playing madden with friends. I also knew that I had an excellent academic opportunity there with the dual degree and music programs I play bluegrass mandolin as a side hobby and love it I was born in rural VA, so at the last minute and I mean the week of class starting I decided to return.

my first day was the Monday of the third week of the semester just in time to catch the home opener a day later, and was back in the same academic hole and watched the squad win 2 games which was an improvement I decided not to return too football because of school work and was to return in the 2013 season. however for some strange reason I had very little motivation to academics I still cant put my finger on it and was barely making the 2.0 mark. at the same time my benefactor was growing angry with the school due to some financial twists they were throwing around all of a sudden. I turned it on and did very well in school the last 4 weeks of school but was too late and was academically suspended for spring. I was devastated and beside myself, humiliated, upset, angry, every word you could think of regarding that situation literally every word, it haunts me the whole ordeal I don't stop thinking about it every day and literally dream of it, I know its slightly normal to fail out but I knew that there was no one to blame but myself it was all me that got me suspended.

During my time away I have been bussing tables for a living and paying rent and developing my musical skill for fun all the while thinking it was over, I have realized this kind of life is not for me and its exactly where I'm headed if i keep up these habits of letting adversity sway my commitments. I had such a bright future at the program academically and athletically and I let bad weather, academic struggles along with demographics and my stereotypical idea of a football school deter me away from the cause and from my time away it has dawned on me what the cause is and its universal at almost every D3 football school and any D3 sport for that matter that isn't a top 25 squad, but at the same time it is what makes the realm of D3 athletics so wonderful.

D3 is not D1 you don't walk in the door with the glory and the fame and media and the women and historical success and the rings. at D3 you walk in with a mostly private school whose funding's main and sometimes only interest is academics these may not be some of the top tier athletic programs but they are all very prestigious schools regarding quality of education, Wooster, Kenyon, Hiram, Denison, Oberlin you guys know the NCAC division. This being the case you have to earn the aforementioned accolades a few sentences ago.

You have to be able to face the adversity of bad weather almost year round a very tough academic course load and losing games and 6am conditioning and bad days on the practice field and work tirelessly to get there by saying you know what F you adversity I don't care what you throw at me i know where i wanna go and no matter what you throw at me I'm going to get there no matter how cold it is or how strict the professor is or how bad a coach seems or if your 4th on the depth chart of an 0-10 or 10-0 squad. wake up at 5am hit the weight room until 630 study till class get out of class study till the next one get out study till the next one lunch coaches office/film/position meeting locker room get dressed team meeting before practice, bust your ass every single last rep 100%, practice is over stay 45-to an hour late working on the little things based on your respective position or meet with the coach, dinner study/hw/film lights out repeat day after day after day 365 it changes a little in the off-season with more lifting and film and less practice but more studying because of loose football requirements in spring till April and in the summer all strength and running conditioning and film and positional skill work that is what it takes to be a highly successful D3 football player and its hard work and its tough for young guys to see  through all the adversity they may face.

but that is what it takes in D3 and that's why its so great because once you do it once you get there it will be all the more sweet and feeling of accomplishment because those extra things weren't with the team requirements that's what you were doing on your own merit because that's the level of drive you have toward your goal no matter what it is football or basket weaving I left out visiting with profs and advisers but you catch the drift, but from my time away that is what Ive realized and I know I can do just that and be the contributing player I was set up to be maybe even a leader on the whole squad and I cant stop thinking about doing it everyday its what I think about when I hit the bed, wake up, bussing a table, walking to the corner store it dominates my mind and I want it so bad so so so bad. When I think about how hard I F ed up it makes me want to go finish the job and be what I know I can be.

So my question to you D3 board members do you think its is practical for me to return for a 3rd campaign back to the NCAC this time having a good financial package but no benefactor for the other percentage all loans no monthly allowance my family will blow a gasket when they hear about it but I am choosing a field of study that will put me in a position to pay off the tremendous debt I will incur while finding some kind of outside scholarships? anyone know of any? and go up there and tough it out and fight like a crazed spartan warrior through all the adversity to get on the other side of work, success. and be a stud not only on the field but even more so in the classroom I'm certain I can do it but I'm looking for advice on the situation and what you think about it being practical enough to go out of state and pay that high tuition of a D3 private school to play football and get a phenomenal education.

I could always go to in state (resident of VA) Christopher Newport who is a powerhouse but they don't have an engineering program of any kind and I know that's what I want to be in the long run I can contribute so much to the school and the football team on the field and to the other players and being so isolated in a small campus is exactly where someone like me needs to be from an academic standpoint  due to my Sub par education in high school I didn't even have the required ACT and academics to go there anyway but the coach pulled some string to get me there. I know I can do it but I just want some insight from you all and any advice or suggestions your willing to offer.

Please refrain from any negativity not that I am expecting any at all but in previous experience on other subjects and forums I have had attackers rather than contributors not all the time but some no one likes an attacker behind a keyboard. Let me know what you think.

-Thank You

[edited to break up paragraphs for readability/pc]
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 11:29:55 am by Pat Coleman »

Offline ExTartanPlayer

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Re: in dire need of helpful advice, Three good years
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2014, 04:07:39 pm »
You're in a bit of a mess, but not such a mess that it's an un-salvageable situation.  Honestly, I think you really have to figure out your educational and financial hurdles before you worry too much about football.  You mentioned possibly playing for Christopher Newport, but ruling that out because they don't have an engineering program, so the field of study is a consideration.  Plus, it sounds like tuition/money will be a concern, and you have also alluded to a poor prior academic record, so we have a couple of hurdles.  A football coach can be your ally in admissions, but that alone won't get you in, and you're in no position to choose a school based on football alone; getting admitted will be a challenge given your academic record. 

Take a list of Division III football programs that you could feasibly attend and ask yourself the following questions:

Can I get into this school? (sadly, with your academic record, this will narrow your choices a bit)
Does this school offer an acceptable field of study?
Can I afford this school, or can I get a loan that will help?

Nobody's going to hand you these answers because there is no single answer.  Take the list of schools with D3 football programs and start researching.  You admit that you were in a great position once and blew it; there's precedent for people to do very well with a "second chance" but you're going to have to convince a coach and likely a college admissions office that you'll be one of the success stories rather than washing out as you did in your first go-round.  Just saying that you'll work hard won't be enough, nor will "pleading" - you'll have to be composed, articulate, and forthright about what's happened before.  Don't be a "crazed spartan warrior" - a lot of "intense" personalities are the first to wash out - but be a kid who's gone through a maturation process and has come out the other side better for it.  Contact the coaches and admissions offices at any school you think might fit the above criteria and figure out which places might offer you that second chance.  When you speak to coaches and admissions personnel, explain what you did wrong, how you've learned from it, and why you are better prepared this go-round. 

Offline SpartanMom_2016

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Re: in dire need of helpful advice, Three good years
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2014, 02:01:25 pm »
I think you have two tasks ahead of you.

Firstly, you should enroll in a community college and take the classes that you need to take in order to improve your academic record.  Once you establish a better academic record then you should follow the advice the previous person posted regarding evaluating programs, finances and your personal goals (including football).

You are not the first 20 year old to slip up.  Your situation is fixable. Good luck to you and keep us posted.

Offline GratefulDel

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Re: in dire need of helpful advice, Three good years
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2014, 02:06:32 am »
I greatly thank the both of you for your very thoughtful and considerate posts i will keep you updated as they arise. again thank you

Offline desertraider

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Re: in dire need of helpful advice, Three good years
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2014, 08:38:17 pm »
I know this thread is almost dead but I have 2 cents to add. You need to ask yourself one question: "Why am I going to college?". If you are going to college to be an engineer then you should have no trouble with academics as it will be your focus. If you are going to play football then maybe you are going for the wrong reason. You are right - it is not D1. Your chances of moving on to the next level are incredibly slim. And your chances are even slimmer if you can't stay eligible and on the field.

Look - I played HS ball. Loved it. Graduated and went in the Army. I spent 4 years there and decided college was my next step. I went to Hiram. I thought about playing ball at Hiram - I mean I really thought about it. I was not a world beater or anything but I feel comfortable saying I would have played alot. But I thought about all that goes with playing: practice, conditioning, lifting, meetings, travel, film...and then I thought 'when would I study'? Basically, I asked myself if I wanted to play football or graduate. The answer was easy.

My advice is to go to college and get your education. If you can play ball while doing it then great. But you sound like you are struggling academically (2.0 and engineering is not a good combination). The reality is that if you can't stay eligible then you can't play anyway. Focus on your academics. 
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