Athletic scholarship

An athletic scholarship is a form of scholarship to attend a college or university or a private high school awarded to an individual based predominantly on his or her ability to play in a sport. Athletic scholarships are common in the United States, but in many countries they are rare or non-existent.

United States


Regulation and Organization

In the United States, athletic scholarships are largely regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). There are also National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and NAIA, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

In 1973, the NCAA split its membership into three divisions: Division I, Division II, and Division III. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III. Most schools give offers to eligible students in most circumstances.

Division I football is further divided into the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS, formerly I-A) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS, formerly I-AA). The two differ in several ways:

  • Postseason system: FBS does not have a national championship officially sponsored by the NCAA. The four-team College Football Playoff, which began with the 2014 season, is operated by the commissioners of the FBS conferences. Most of the college football postseason involves bowl games, both inside and outside the CFP structure. FCS uses an NCAA-operated single elimination playoff, which has involved 24 teams since 2013.
  • Number of football scholarships: FBS schools are allowed 85 players receiving athletic aid, while FCS schools are allowed 63 scholarships. The wording is a very important distinction for another reason.
  • Awarding of partial scholarships: Because each player receiving athletic aid for football counts fully against an FBS team's scholarship limit, this effectively means that all players awarded football scholarships at FBS schools receive full scholarships. On the other hand, FCS schools are allowed to divide their 63 scholarships among no more than 85 individual players.

Some schools or leagues permitted by the NCAA to award athletic scholarships nevertheless prohibit them among their students. An example is the Ivy League, which is part of Division I FCS. The three service academies that participate in Division I FBS football (Army, Navy, and Air Force) are effectively exempt from NCAA scholarship limits because all students at those schools, whether or not they are varsity athletes, receive full scholarships from the service branch that operates the academy.

Institutions that engage in misconduct may be stripped of the ability to award a certain number of athletic scholarships. The ultimate penalty, the suspension of an entire athletic program from participation for a set period of time, is popularly known as "The Death Penalty"; it has only been levied three times against schools now in Division I: against Kentucky basketball in 1952, Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana) basketball in 1973, and SMU football in 1986.

In addition to the regulations imposed by the NCAA on the educational institution, the rules governing the provision of athletic scholarship and financial aid are also exhaustive. As noted above, NCAA bylaws place a cap on the number of student-athletes that participate in a given sport at a particular school, who are eligible to receive institutional aid.[1] Institutional aid is defined as the financial aid granted to a student-athlete by the institution in which they are enrolled[1] Financial aid that has not been provided by the school will render the athlete ineligible, unless the aid is received from a guardian or dependent, it has been awarded for reasons separate from the individual's athletic ability, or it has been provided by a recognized and continuing program that may or may not recognize athletic ability as a major criterion (i.e. National Merit Scholarship or as an honorary high school award).[1] There is also a limit to the amount of money that may be awarded through an athletic scholarship. Specifically, it must not exceed the cost of the individual's education otherwise it is considered "pay", which violates an athlete's amateur status.[1]

Academic eligibility, in addition to the other requirements mentioned, has been a longstanding issue in the history of college athletics. In order to respond to the lack of national academic standards, the NCAA passed the 1.600 GPA rule in 1962 in order for freshmen to receive athletic scholarships.[2] However, this decision received widespread criticism and was eventually abolished in 1973.[2] In its wake, the American Council on Education (ACE) presented Proposition 48 to the NCAA conference in 1983.[2] Instead of a minimum 1.600 freshmen GPA, it recommended that for a student to be eligible they must obtain a 2.0 high school GPA, take 11 core high school courses, and score either a 700 on the SAT or a 15 on the ACT.[2] However, just as the 1.600 rule generated controversy, so to did Proposition 48. Joseph B. Johnson, the president of Grambling State University and a representative of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education argued that it "[discriminated] against student-athletes from low-income and minority-group families by introducing arbitrary SAT and ACT cut off scores as academic criteria for eligibility."[2] To address this, the NCAA added a partial qualifier to the suggested guidelines. Thus, under the revision, an athlete who met either the 2.0 high school GPA or 700 SAT/15 ACT score would be eligible to receive a scholarship, but would be unable to practice with or play for the team for one academic year.[2] This partial qualifier was subsequently overturned in 1989 following the passage of Prop 42.[2] However, amendments to Prop 42 restored it after much protest.[2] The newest amendment to Proposition 48, Prop 16, was passed in 1992 and later revised in 2008. As of 2008, under Prop 16, a sliding scale for standardized test scores was expanded to allow for a zero score to be allowed in a test, as long as the high school GPA was sufficient to balance it out. Moreover, the number of core high school courses required was increased to 14.[2]

Once a high school senior is deemed eligible to receive an athletic scholarship for their participation on a sports team, they must then follow a number of explicit steps in order to participate at the collegiate level. In particular, the NCAA mandates that they sign a National College Letter of Intent (NLI), which is effectively an agreement that binds the student-athlete to institution in which they have chosen to enroll.[1]

Some applicants choose commercial third parties to act as intermediaries which seek out scholarships and facilitate the application process.

Division I

Origin of athletic scholarships in the U.S.

Prior to the late 19th century, college athletics consisted largely of informal gatherings orchestrated by students.[1]The first college game ever played took place on November 6, 1869, when Rutgers defeated Princeton 6-4 in football.[3] Following this monumental game, a movement swept across American colleges that increased the number of schools participating in athletics. As the popularity of sports grew, colleges also began to actively recruit individuals, as well as to offer scholarships.[1] As early as the 1870s, both colleges and universities were providing financial support and incentives to athletes.[1] It was not an uncommon practice at this time for non-students to participate in order to increase the success of a team.[1] In fact, one story tells of a farm boy recruited to play football at the University of Kansas in 1895.[1] As a result of these practices, numerous concerns were raised, including the desire to regulate college athletics. In 1905, the NCAA was created with the intention of "the regulation and supervision of college athletics throughout the United States, in order that the athletic activities in colleges and universities of the United States may be maintained on an ethical plan in keeping with the dignity and high purpose of education."[1] Right from the start, the NCAA expressed a commitment to preserving both education and amateurism within college athletics. Toward this goal, the NCAA was forced to address student funding, specifically alumni sponsorship. Thus, in 1939 the NCAA delivered a statement which emphasized the amateur status of student-athletes and stated that financial awards would be needs based and independent of the individual's continued athletic participation.[1] Then, in 1950, under the governance of the NCAA, colleges developed the athletic scholarship, as a way to pay prospective student-athletes. As a consequence, prospective students would be awarded financially on the basis of athletic ability.[1] For the next twenty years, there were no limits, as set by the NCAA, on the number of scholarships that an educational institution could award players, as well as no limit on the length of the scholarship term.[1] Moreover, if an athlete withdrew participation from his sport, his scholarship could not be revoked.[1] However, this all changed at the NCAA's annual convention in 1973.

NCAA bylaws governing Division I athletic scholarships

On January 13, 1973 the NCAA revised the scholarship system, and voted to institute a one-year scholarship as opposed to the four-year scholarship already in place.[1][2] Today, Article 15 of the NCAA Manual Bylaws governs the regulations regarding financial aid grants and athletic scholarships for student athletes.[1] As of 2010, Bylaw for Division I athletic programs differs little from the one-year rule invoked in 1973, as it reads, "If a student's athletics ability is considered in any degree in awarding financial aid, such aid shall neither be awarded for a period in excess of one academic year nor for a period less than one academic year."[4] In addition to the "One-Year Period", the Bylaws also address recommendations made to extend the one-year term, as well as the policies surrounding injury or illness. Specifically, Bylaw states that "It is not permissible for an institution to assure the prospective student-athlete that it automatically will continue a grant-in-aid past the one-year period if the recipient sustains an injury that prevents him or her from competing in intercollegiate athletics, but an institutional representative may inform the prospective student-athlete of the regular institutional policy related to renewal or continuation of aid past the one-year period for recipients who become ill or injured during their participation."[4] Moreover, Bylaw 15.3.4 addresses the instances in which an award may be reduced or canceled during the period of the award. According to the NCAA, this applies if a student-athlete becomes ineligible to compete, engages in fraudulent behavior (i.e. provides false information on their application, letter of intent, or financial aid agreement), engages in misconduct that results in disciplinary action, or voluntarily ends participation in the sport.[4] However, the NCAA asserts that the student-athlete must be awarded a hearing before the reduction or cancellation occurs.[4] In addition to the circumstances in which reduction or cancellation of an award is permissible, there are circumstances in which such action cannot be taken during the term period. Specifically, financial aid cannot be withdrawn or reduced during the award period based on athletic ability, performance, or contribution to success. This is true also in the event of injury, illness, or the result of a physical or mental condition.[4]

Future directions

As a consequence of the complaints voiced and involvement by the Justice Department, in August 2011 the Division I Board of Directors adopted multiyear scholarship legislation to allow Division I schools to provide scholarships for a period greater than one year[5] This legislation was one of many steps the Board of Directors took after the NCAA President Mark Emmert organized a meeting to discuss issues with the operation of Division I athletics.[6] Voting to override Proposal No 2011-97 (as it was named) was open until Friday, February 17, 2012.[6] By a very narrow margin, the multiyear scholarship legislation was upheld. Of the 330 Division I schools, 62.1% voted in favor of the override, which was just .4% short of the 62.5% majority required to overturn the proposal.[7] Following the outcome, President Mark Emmert was quoted saying, "I am pleased that student-athletes will continue to benefit from the ability of institutions to offer athletics aid for more than one year, but it's clear that there are significant portions of the membership with legitimate concerns. As we continue to examine implementation of the rule, we want to work with the membership to address those concerns."[7] Some opponents worry that multiyear scholarships award wealthy schools an advantage in the recruiting process.[7] Others contend that coaches will be forced to keep players that are not a good fit for their program.[7] It is important to note, however, that member institutions opposed to the decision will not be forced to offer student-athletes multiyear scholarships. Rather, the decision, provides coaches and universities with the option to extend the scholarship term if they so choose.[7] By spring 2012, a number of sports programs had declared their intent to offer multiyear scholarships including Ohio State, Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida, and Nebraska.[7]

In June 2014, the Big Ten Conference school presidents endorsed a proposal for four-year guaranteed scholarships that covered the full cost of attendance, although it had not yet moved to implement this proposal. This followed a policy statement by the school presidents of the Pac-12 Conference that stopped just short of endorsing the same.[8]

The first school known to have actually implemented a four-year guarantee was the University of South Carolina, which announced on September 25, 2014 that athletes in football, men's and women's basketball, and women's tennis and volleyball would receive guaranteed scholarships effective immediately. The sports are those classified by the NCAA as "headcount" sports, in which teams can provide financial aid to a specified number of players. The school also said it was working on a way to provide a similar guarantee to those in "equivalency" sports—those in which the NCAA limits teams to providing aid equivalent to a set number of scholarships, with that number being lower than the size of a full playing squad.[9] The following month, the Pac-12 presidents passed a change to conference rules that instituted four-year guaranteed scholarships (full or partial) in all conference sports.[10]

In February 2012 John Kavanagh, then a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, introduced bill HB 2675, which would have required students attending a public university in the state of Arizona (Arizona State University, University of Arizona, or Northern Arizona University) to pay an additional $2,000 fee in order to attend one of the three universities. The bill also stated that students should pay this fee from their own means, meaning that no federal or state grants would cover this fee. Only students on full-ride academic or athletic scholarships would have been exempt from this fee.[11] The bill had been scheduled for a vote by the full House, but was then withdrawn by the legislator who had originally introduced it.[12]

Other countries

In other countries athletic scholarships are far more restricted.


A common misconception is that Canadian schools do not offer athletic scholarship money for their athletes.[13]

  • Tuition and compulsory fees is the maximum amount an athlete can receive for athletic-related awards in an academic year, including athletic-related bursaries.
  • The value and quantity of athletic-related awards and bursaries available varies from institution to institution.
  • Specific awards and bursaries may have additional conditions, such as academic success and citizenship
  • Many awards, such as academic awards or awards provided by Sport Governing Bodies or the Federal and Provincial Governments, are not included within the tuition and compulsory fees maximum
  • The athlete is eligible to receive an award or bursary at the beginning of their first year (September) at a university if they have a minimum entering average of 80% or equivalent. Alternatively, the athlete is eligible to receive an award at the end of their first year at a university (spring or summer) if they satisfy U Sports academic requirements with at least a 65% average or equivalent. Thereafter, the athlete is eligible to receive an award at the beginning of any year if they satisfy U Sports academic requirements with at least a 65% average or equivalent in the preceding year.

Many Canadian student/athletes decide to go to NCAA Division 1 programs based on the illusion that they are receiving a better deal from these schools with regards to finances and athletics. A typical Canadian university program could cost between $5,000-$6,000 Canadian per year, where as an NCAA school charges between $25,000 to $40,000 US to attend their programs. Compounding this is the cost of travel to and from the university for both student and family and the associated costs of living away from home. Based on the information above, Canadian schools have less tuition to cover and also do not have to include substantial federal/provincial scholarships and academic scholarships in their scholarship declarations.

While the competitive standard for some sports may be higher in some Division I (and sometimes Division II) schools, this does vary. In general, this difference would not materialize until the play-off portion of the season, where the standard is much higher overall than the general standard of NCAA competition.

The academic standard for athletes is lower in United States and leaves many Canadian students returning to Canada having to take extra courses and in some cases, extra years of study in order to have their academic qualifications recognized.

U Sports schools are also not bound by the tight NCAA rules surrounding contacts with athletes and in reality, means that U Sports coaches have the potential to develop their athletes to a higher standard, while also maintaining higher academics due to the above-mentioned differences in academic standards.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom entrance scholarships based on sporting ability are not traditional, though contrary to popular belief they are not actually banned. Sporting ability may be taken into account in admission for places on degrees in subjects such as sports science, and at the discretion of admissions staff sporting achievements may be taken into account on choosing candidates based on their ability to make an all round contribution to the institution in the same way as achievements in any other non-academic area. Students who are elite standard sports competitors are eligible for financial support from bodies such as UK Sport on the same basis as anyone else. Certain universities have a strong emphasis on sport, including Loughborough University, University of Bath and Richmond, The American International University in London each of which hosts a number of nationally funded training facilities. Some universities may make bursaries available to top student athletes, though these are generally not large. Some British students take athletic scholarships at American universities, a trend which is particularly noticeable in golf. Many top British golfers are graduates of American universities including Colin Montgomerie, Luke Donald and Paul Casey. Many young individuals use sports scholarships agencies such Athletes USA to help them gain a sports scholarship.

New Zealand

Some secondary schools in New Zealand, mainly private ones, offer entrance scholarships based on sporting ability. However, these have been restricted in recent years by the New Zealand Secondary School Sports Council's (NZSSSC) anti-poaching rules.

The NZSSSC introduced a quota system in 2007 on the number of new-to-school and international students a school can field at national championships.[14] Some regional secondary school sporting bodies have also enacted the NZSSSC's rules to first teams in local competitions.[15] A new-to-school student is a student who has enrolled at the school in the 24 months prior to the event, excluding students who enrolled at the school in Year 9 (the first year/grade of secondary school) or below. An international student is a student who is not a New Zealand citizen, Australian citizen, or the holder of a New Zealand residence class visa or domestic-endorsed student visa. The quota depends on the sport, for example, rugby union teams (15-a-side) are only allowed six new-to-school and international students, and only two of those six students may be international students.

In addition to the quota system, schools are not permitted to induce a student to change schools for sporting purposes, other than by way of a publicly advertised sporting scholarship. The penalties for breaking either rule is loss of competition points and/or disqualification of the athletes, teams, coaches and/or managers involved.[14][15]

Arguments for and against sports scholarships

Critics have labeled the term to be an oxymoron, stating that physically talented persons selected for their ability to run, jump, throw, kick or hit a ball are retained to staff a school's teams, and paid for their services while being classified as "scholars". Some critics of the athletic scholarship system have coined the term "jockship" to describe the awards. The term is based on the word jock, a mildly derisive American slang term that plays on the stereotype of the "dumb athlete".

Such scholarships have been characterized as salaries paid to the persons selected in order to induce them to perform for the hiring school. (The characterization of the salary as a "scholarship" is deemed necessary because, generally, at most American colleges, participation as a member of the school's athletic teams is a privilege accorded exclusively to enrolled students, and team members are, in theory, amateurs.)

Supporters contend that many students would be unable to receive a higher education at all, but for the availability of athletic scholarships, due to the prohibitive costs associated with university education. The theory is that while most academic scholarships are predominantly awarded to students of middle and upper-class backgrounds (thought of as counter-intuitive, as they are typically considered more affluent), many feel the tendency does, in fact, lean toward athletic scholarships being awarded to less-privileged students, who are, in many cases, members of a minority.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Hakim, Louis (Spring 2000). "The Student-Athlete vs. The Athlete Student: Has The Time Arrived For An Extended-Term Scholarship Contract". Va. J. Sports & Law. 2:1. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Smith, Ronald A. (2011). Pay for Play: A History of Big-Time College Athletic Reform. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.
  3. ^ Branch, Taylor (October 2011). "The Shame of College Sports". The Atlantic. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e "NCAA Divisions I and II Period of Award Legislation". The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). September 1, 2010.
  5. ^ Hosick, Michelle. "Multiyear scholarship rule narrowly upheld". Archived from the original on 21 February 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Division I opens override voting on multiyear scholarships". Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Multiyear scholarships plan moves on". Associated Press. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  8. ^ Hinnen, Jerry (June 24, 2014). "Big Ten presidents endorse four-year, full-cost scholarships". Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  9. ^ "South Carolina breaks SEC ground". Associated Press. September 25, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  10. ^ "Pac-12 passes reforms for athletes". Associated Press. October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  11. ^ "Format Document". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  12. ^ Molk, Eliza (March 1, 2012). "Kavanagh withdraws tuition bill". Arizona Daily Wildcat. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  13. ^ "CIS: Athletes Guide". Archived from the original on 2012-06-21.
  14. ^ a b "Regulations and Eligibility". New Zealand Secondary School Sports Council. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  15. ^ a b "COLLEGE SPORT WELLINGTON INCORPORATED BY LAWS" (PDF). College Sport Wellington. November 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 February 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2014.

External links

1949 Kansas State Wildcats football team

The 1949 Kansas State Wildcats football team represented Kansas State University in the 1949 college football season. The team's head football coach was Ralph Graham in his second year. The Wildcats played their home games in Memorial Stadium. The Wildcats finished the season with a 2–8 record with a 1–5 record in conference play. They finished in last place in the Big Seven Conference. The Wildcats scored 191 points and gave up 257 points. The win against Colorado on 10/1/1949 snapped a 22-game conference losing streak.

Harold Robinson played football for Kansas State with an athletic scholarship in 1949, breaking the decades-long "color barrier" in Big Seven conference athletics, and also becoming the first ever African-American athlete on scholarship in the conference.

Anthuan Maybank

Anthuan Maybank (born December 30, 1969) is a retired 1996 Olympic Games gold medalist in the men's 4x400 meter relay for the United States. Maybank ran the last leg for the United States and surprisingly shrugged off an attack from Roger Black (UK) who had won a silver medal in the individual event. Maybank was not a well-known athlete at the time. But, a few weeks later, he confirmed his talent by winning the 400 m race at the prestigious meeting in Zurich.

Anthuan was born in Georgetown, South Carolina. He was coached by "Sweet" Freddie Young at Georgetown High where he set the current state record in the 400 m (46.67), He attend the University of Iowa on a full athletic scholarship. He currently resides in Delaware and is the sprint coach for the Tatnall School.

Barbara Hallquist

Barbara Hallquist DeGroot (born May 1, 1957) is a retired professional tennis player from the U.S. She was the first female student to receive an athletic scholarship from the University of Southern California (USC) as a result of Title IX legislation. She played tennis for USC from 1976 to 1979.

Bob Roggy

Bob Roggy (August 6, 1956 in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, United States – August 4, 1986) was a javelin thrower from the United States. He set the world best year performance in 1982, throwing 95.80 metres in Stuttgart, West Germany on August 29. Earlier in 1982, Roggy set the American record in the Javelin at the Bruce Jenner Invitational, beating Mark Murro's 12-year-old record. Previously, while a senior at Southern Illinois University he won the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 1978.Roggy was killed in an accident where he fell out of the back of a pick-up truck in 1986 in Houston, Texas at the first Olympic Sports Festival.Roggy attended Holmdel High School. Following his death, a scholarship was set up in memory. Every year the two best athletes at Holmdel High get the opportunity to follow in his footsteps with an athletic scholarship.

College recruiting

In college athletics in the United States, recruiting is the process in which college coaches add prospective student athletes to their roster each off-season. This process typically culminates in a coach extending an athletic scholarship offer to a player who is about to be a junior in high school or higher. There are instances, mostly at lower division universities, where no athletic scholarship can be awarded and where the player pays for tuition, housing, and textbook costs out of pocket or from financial aid. During this recruiting process, schools must comply with rules that define who may be involved in the recruiting process, when recruiting may occur and the conditions under which recruiting may be conducted. Recruiting rules seek, as much as possible, to control intrusions into the lives of prospective student-athletes. The NCAA defines recruiting as “any solicitation of prospective student-athletes or their parents by an institutional staff member or by a representative of the institution’s athletics interests for the purpose of securing a prospective student-athlete’s enrollment and ultimate participation in the institution’s intercollegiate athletics program."

Dalton Truax

Dalton Lloyd Truax Jr. (born January 17, 1935) is a former professional American football player. After growing up in New Orleans and lettering in multiple sports for Holy Cross School (New Orleans) including becoming Louisiana State Wrestling Heavyweight Champ, he went on an athletic scholarship to Tulane University. He played for the Oakland Raiders during the 1960 AFL season.

Ford Konno

Ford Hiroshi Konno (born January 1, 1933) is an American former competition swimmer, two-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in three events.

Konno was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He attended McKinley High School in Honolulu, and swam for the McKinley Tigers high school swim team. He later received an athletic scholarship to attend Ohio State University, where he swam for the Ohio State Buckeyes swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition. Konno set world records of 2:03.9 in the 200-meter and 4:26.7 in the 400-meter freestyle during 1954 college meets.Konno won four medals at the 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics. At the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, Konno won gold medals in the men's 1,500-meter freestyle and the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. His time of 18:30:3 in the 1,500 freestyle was a new Olympic record. He also won a silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle. Four years later at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, he won a silver in the men's 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

After graduating from Ohio State University, Konno worked as a high school teacher and swimming coach on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, and later became division manager for an equity life insurance company. In 1972 he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Earlier he married a fellow 1952 Olympic medalist Evelyn Kawamoto; they have two daughters.

Janel Jorgensen

Janel Simone Jorgensen (born May 18, 1971), later known by her married name Janel McArdle, is an American former competition swimmer and butterfly specialist. As a 17-year-old at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, she won a silver medal as a member of the second-place U.S. team in the women's 4×100-meter medley relay, together with her teammates Beth Barr (backstroke), Tracey McFarlane (breaststroke), and Mary Wayte (freestyle).Jorgensen received an athletic scholarship to attend Stanford University, where she swam for the Stanford Cardinal swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Pacific-10 Conference competition. In 1992–93, she was the recipient of the Honda Sports Award for Swimming and Diving, recognizing her as the outstanding college female swimmer of the year.Jorgensen is the current president of Swim Across America, a national non-profit organization that has raised over $30 million for cancer research, prevention and treatment through swimming events all over the United States.

Jenna Johnson

Jenna Leigh Johnson (born September 11, 1967) is an American former competition swimmer and Olympic gold medalist.

As a 16-year-old, Johnson represented the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. She won three medals: a gold medal in the women's 4×100-meter freestyle relay, a gold medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay, and a silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly.

She attended and swam for Ursuline High School in Santa Rosa her freshman and sophomore years. She swam for the Santa Rosa Neptunes Swim Club in Santa Rosa from age 12-15. She is an alumna of Whittier Christian High School, where in 1984 she set the national record of 53.95 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly and the D1 record of 23.07 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle. While living in Southern California, she trained at the Industry Hills Aquatic Club in the City of Industry, California. She received an athletic scholarship to attend Stanford University, where she swam for the Stanford Cardinal swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Pacific-10 Conference competition. As a 19-year-old, she received the Honda Sports Award for Swimming and Diving, recognizing her as the outstanding college female swimmer of the year in 1985–86, and was a runner-up for the award the following year.Johnson made's list for the "Top 100 Female Athletes In State History."

Joe Marconi

Joseph George Marconi (February 6, 1934 – August 23, 1992) was an American football fullback who played professionally for the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears in the National Football League (NFL).

Marconi was born in the Pittsburgh area city of Fredericktown, Pennsylvania. He played football in high school and was offered an athletic scholarship at the University of Maryland, but he didn't like the school and found himself at West Virginia University.

He was first used on defense, but was found to be too productive on offense in the running game and was part of the backfield. As a running back, he piled up 998 career yards on 181 carries for an impressive 5.5 average and 18 touchdowns.

Marconi helped West Virginia to a 31–7 record during his four-year tenure. He was selected to play in the College Football All-Star Game and the Blue–Gray Football Classic after his senior season and he ended up being the Los Angeles Rams first pick in the 1956 draft. He accumulated impressive yardage as a Ram with 1,769 yards and 21 touchdowns. He was traded to the Bears before the 1962 season.

He played five years with the Bears organization and was elected to the Pro Bowl in 1964. In 1966, he retired from football to become a sales representative in the steel business. He died in Downers Grove, Illinois, his home.

John Bosa

John Wilfred Bosa (born January 10, 1964) is a former professional American football defensive end who played three seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the Miami Dolphins. He played football for Keene High School in Keene, New Hampshire and received a full athletic scholarship to play football for the Boston College Eagles.

His eldest son, Joey Bosa, played college football at Ohio State University and was selected third overall in the 2016 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. His youngest son, Nick Bosa, also played college football at Ohio State and was selected second overall in the 2019 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Joey and Nick both wore #97 in college, the same number their father wore. The Bosas are the second family to hold the distinction of having three family members be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning are the first to achieve such feat.In 1987, John was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the first round (16th) of the NFL draft.

John's ex wife, Cheryl Kumerow, is the sister of former Dolphins teammate, and Ohio State standout, Eric Kumerow.

Justin Armour

Justin Armour (born January 1, 1973) is a former professional American football player who played wide receiver for three seasons for the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, and Baltimore Ravens. He is also the former head coach of the Manitou Springs High School football team in Manitou Springs, Colorado.Justin was a Consensus All-American with the Manitou Springs Mustangs. During high school, he helped the Mustangs to a AA state track and field championship in the spring of 1990 and a AAA state championship in the fall of 1990. The Mustangs football team primarily ran the Single-wing formation which fit Justin's extensive athletic abilities. Justin was coached by George Rykovich.

Justin received an athletic scholarship to play both Football and Basketball at Stanford University. While recruited as a quarterback, he played four years at wide receiver for the Cardinal coached by Bill Walsh and two years of basketball.

Justin's college football resume includes:

As a Sophomore, he received an honorable mention All-Pac-10

As a Junior, he was selected as All-Pac-10 second-team

As a senior, he ranked ninth in the nation and second in the Pac-10 in receptions

Set school career mark with 2,482 yards receivingJustin was drafted in the fourth round (113th overall) of the 1995 draft by the Buffalo Bills.

Laura Walker

Laura Anne Walker (born July 1, 1970) is an American former competition swimmer and Olympic medalist.

Walker was a member of the third-place United States women's relay team that won the bronze medal in the women's 4×100-meter freestyle relay at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Her winning teammates included Mary Wayte, Dara Torres and Mitzi Kremer.Walker accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she swam for the Florida Gators swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition under coach Randy Reese and coach Skip Foster from 1988 to 1992. Walker was a member of the Gators' 1989 NCAA championship 4x200-yard freestyle relay team, and four Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship relay teams in 1989 and 1992. In four years as a Gator swimmer, she received seven All-American honors.Walker graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in health science education in 1994.

Mark Campbell (defensive tackle)

Mark Anthony Campbell (born September 12, 1972) is an American former college and professional football player who was a defensive tackle for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). Campbell attended Miami Sunset High School in Miami, Florida. He received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators football team from 1992 to 1995. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft, and played a single season for the Arizona Cardinals in 1997. Campbell was also a member of the Orlando Rage of the XFL.

Robin Leamy (swimmer)

Robin Leamy (born April 1, 1961) is an American former competition swimmer of Samoan descent who participated in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. He earned a gold medal by swimming for the winning U.S. team in the preliminary heats of the 4×100-meter freestyle relay.Leamy received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he swam for coach Ron Ballatore's UCLA Bruins swimming and diving team in NCAA competition in 1981 and 1982. He was the NCAA individual national championship in the 100-yard freestyle in 1981, and the 50-yard freestyle in 1982.

Scotty Bierce

Bruce Wallace Bierce was a professional football player who played for the Akron Pros, Buffalo All-Americans, Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Bulldogs of the National Football League. Bierce won a league title in 1920 with the Pros and he won a second title in 1924 with the Bulldogs. Scotty also served as a player-coach for the Pros in 1925.

After his playing career ended, Briece became a prominent Akron attorney and a community leader.

Shawnae Jebbia

Shawnae Jebbia (born September 13, 1971) is an entertainer and former beauty queen from Mansfield, Massachusetts who won the Miss USA title in 1998.

Jebbia won the Miss Massachusetts USA title in 1997, in her first attempt at a pageant title. She went on to represent Massachusetts in the Miss USA 1998 pageant, becoming that state's first Miss USA winner. Whilst Jebbia had little prior experience, her first runner-up Shauna Gambill had previously held the Miss Teen USA 1994 title. Jebbia's "sister" titleholder, Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 1998 Susie Castillo, went on to hold the Miss Massachusetts USA title and became Massachusetts' second Miss USA titleholder in 2003.

Jebbia then competed at the Miss Universe 1998 pageant later that year. High scores in evening gown and in the swimsuit competition advanced her to the final 5 but after the interview round she did not make the final 3 finalists. The winner was Wendy Fitzwilliam of Trinidad and Tobago, with whom Jebbia lived and made appearances during her reign.

Jebbia grew up in Sonoma County, California and lived in Sebastopol, California for six years. She received a degree in Communications from Jacksonville University and graduated cum laude on an athletic scholarship. She has appeared on television and film, including being a "Barker Beauty" on The Price Is Right from 2002 until 2003 and a stint on the ESPN2 exercise program Co-ed Training prior to winning Miss USA. After experiencing a hearing impairment caused by Ménière's disease, Jebbia moved out of the entertainment industry and is currently studying towards a master's degree in nursing. She has acted as the spokesperson for the Siemens Pure 700 hearing aid.

Tommylee Lewis

Tommylee Lewis (born October 24, 1992) is an American football wide receiver and return specialist for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Northern Illinois and signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2016. An undersized wide receiver, Northern Illinois was the only school to offer Lewis an athletic scholarship. After not being selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Saints signed Lewis on a recommendation from Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, who was a friend of Lewis' high school coach.

Walk-on (sports)

The term walk-on is used in sports, particularly American college athletics, to describe an athlete who becomes part of a team without being recruited beforehand or awarded an athletic scholarship. This results in the differentiation between "walk-on" players and "scholarship" players.

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