A few football (soccer) coaches from the USA were in Jamaica over the last week looking at talent and making offers. Our Jamaican students from all accounts do not lack talent and in most cases, have the requisite academic qualifications to matriculate for colleges from Division III right up and even Community Colleges where applicable. What is happening through, is the young people and their parents are not familiarising themselves enough with the rules of the NCAA and this could prove to be problematic.
Here are some tips
1.There is an NCAA Guide to enter college website you can look at and study
2.Most times you need SATs (scores vary); unless you are a college student in Jamaica
3.It is illegal to accept money from ANY Coach
4.You should not prepare to attend the school without the requisite visa (I-20)
5.If you plan to visit beforehand, parents should accompany their children (which parent sends off a teenager to a strange place without doing basic investigation)
6.The NCAA is there to help balance education, sport and social life - use them
7.Get offers in writing on official letter heads and confirm with college, that the coaches do in fact work there
While we may seem desperate for opportunities, it should not make us make silly decisions which may affect children's future and make them inelligible for lots of other opportunities. Also, go to www.ncaa.org there is lots of information there.
Let's not ruin our young people's lives any further....and guess what, if you do not know, ask questions.