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A Full Scholarship Student-Athlete Solution

Published: 2022-05-03
A Full Scholarship Student-Athlete Solution
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A few blogs ago we assembled pointers for parents, athletes, and coaches seeking scholarships for talented high school athletes.

Literally, days later, we ran into a former athlete and data crunching superstar who has an idea that could rock the scholarship world in a perfect storm of cooperation between government, colleges, athletes, and private industry.

In effect, the concept he promotes is fully paid collegiate sports scholarships for talented athletes, repaid by the athletes upon graduation to federal agencies like Health and Human Services, or Department of Labor, or even the military.

Dave Maloney, founder of Orchestra Macro, already a supplier of training management software to the U.S. Air Force puts flesh on his proposal here.

As an example Maloney offers:

"Go to UCLA. Get a degree. Participate on the gymnastics team. Graduate debt-free. Then help America. For you, that might mean working at Tesla full-time, and spending one weekend a month and two weeks each summer as a next-generation cybersecurity analyst supporting the Navy Reserve.”

For perspective, a thumbnail from our earlier scholarship blog:

Full scholarships exist, but are only included in the revenue sports that make money for the schools, namely: Men’s Division 1 basketball and Division 1-A football; Women's Division 1 basketball, tennis, volleyball, and gymnastics.

Partial scholarships are awarded in what are termed Equivalency Sports where it is up to the coach to share their appropriated scholarship money between their athletes.  Rarely do full scholarships happen in Equivalency Sports. All D2 and NAIA sports are equivalency sports

NCAA tells us there are 8 million high school athletes and 495,000 of them will go on to play collegiately, not all on scholarships.

A more sobering reveal comes from information that over 350 collegiate sports programs have been canceled for a variety of reasons, most stemming from budgetary issues.

Dave Maloney believes the federal government is the only organization on earth with the personnel demand and funding necessary to establish a “21st Century pathway of national service” by backstopping the perpetuation of every Olympic sport played at the collegiate level. 

“For example,”  he says, “rather than Stanford University fielding a 37-member wrestling team with 9.9 partial athletic scholarships, or San Diego State University fielding a 50-member women’s rowing team with 20 partial athletic scholarships, federal agencies like Health & Human Services, or the Department of Labor, instead could fund the full educational costs of every student-athlete on every team other than football and men’s basketball – at every school. 

That means upon graduating,  over 40,000 Division 1 student-athletes annually would flood the federal government's mission-critical agencies, dramatically improving an agency's technological savvy, physical readiness, and cognitive and characterological makeup.

There's a systemic thirst among U.S. high school students to extend their playing careers beyond high school.  Often, it's the clearest pathway to higher education and a better life.”

Has David Maloney's concept come at a time when a perfect storm of new NCAA leadership, rising recruitment issues in sports, education, business, and government while pressures to relieve the burden of student loans merge for a paradigm shift?

It feels like a win-win-win, but the proof as always is in the just deserts.