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The Do-It-Yourself Athletic Scholarship

The Do-It-Yourself Athletic Scholarship

By Matthew Futterman

 

The Wall Street Journal, 18 December 2008

 

In September, Kirsten Bladek a senior in high school and a volleyball player spent $39.99 to post her athletic resume and pictures of her playing on the Web site http://www.berecruited.com/. The shots, combined with videos posted later, highlighted her ability to set the ball from in front of her forehead, with arms thrust out like Superman in flight. That display, combined with some telephone campaigning by Kirsten and her mother, got college coaches to start paying attention.

 

The Do-It-Yourself Athletic Scholarship

By Matthew Futterman

 

The Wall Street Journal, 18 December 2008

 

In September, Kirsten Bladek a senior in high school and a volleyball player spent $39.99 to post her athletic resume and pictures of her playing on the Web site http://www.berecruited.com/. The shots, combined with videos posted later, highlighted her ability to set the ball from in front of her forehead, with arms thrust out like Superman in flight. That display, combined with some telephone campaigning by Kirsten and her mother, got college coaches to start paying attention.

 

"I've been getting so many calls from random numbers, half of them I'm scared to pick up," says Kirsten, who recently took an all-expenses-paid visit to New Mexico Highlands University, where she was offered a scholarship.

 

Do-it-yourself services have emerged that allow student athletes to showcase their abilities for a fraction of the price. Aside from beRecruited.com, other sites include http://www.prepchamps.com/, http://www.trupreps.com/ (owned by CBS Corp.'s MaxPreps unit), ActiveRecruting.com, Collegecoaches.net and SportsWorx.com. There are also numerous sport-specific sites.

 

These sites are particularly active now, the peak of the college-application season. College coaches have grown more willing to scout talent on the Internet, especially since the sites don't charge them to view the profiles. So far, beRecruited.com is the largest new recruiting network, with 300,000 students and 12,000 coaches registered as users, according to the company's Jeff Cravens. Becca Kohli, the head field hockey coach at Qunnipiac University in Connecticut, called recommendations from other high-priced agents as "unnecessary money." "If kids are good enough, they don't need to spend more," Ms. Kohli says.

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