LHSAA Executive Director
High school allows a student-athlete’s skill, passion and intensity for his or her individual sport to mature and develop. The years seem to fly by, and in an instant, the timid athlete we met as a freshman is ready for the more competitive collegiate athletic arena.
However, the college recruitment process can be overwhelming and daunting; therefore, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) provides guidance for young athletes to ease the stress of preparing for the next level of athletic competition.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) oversees collegiate student-athletes at more than 1,300 colleges, universities, conferences and organizations. Within the NCAA, there are three divisions that have different requirements and procedures for high school students who are hoping to continue their athletic careers in college. It is important to note that only Division I and Division II schools are permitted to give athletic scholarships.
The most important part of preparing for a collegiate athletic career starts in the classroom. To qualify to play as a Division I athlete, a student must graduate from high school completing 16 specific core courses. Students must also maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 and achieve correlated SAT or ACT scores. For example, a student with a low GPA will need a strong standardized test score. GPAs and their required standardized test scores can be found online at www.ncaa.org. Students wishing to attend and play sports at a Division II college or university must also graduate from high school, but they are required to complete only 14 specified core courses and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. A minimum combined SAT score of 820 or an ACT sum score of 68 is also required. Division III schools do not have mandated academic requirements under the NCAA.
At the start of the junior year, high school student-athletes should register online with the NCAA at www.eligibiltycenter.org. Here, students will develop online profiles that contain information about their academic and athletic history that will be made available to recruiting coaches. After the profile is created, students and college coaches may begin corresponding.
The NCAA enforces strict recruiting policies. Some recruitment regulations explain when it is acceptable for coaches and recruits to have contact either in person or by telephone or e-mail, when an athlete may come to campus for an official visit and when there is to be no contact between any collegiate representative and a recruit or his or her family members.
The LHSAA is proud of all high school athletes and everything that they have accomplished. We know that we cannot keep you as a high school athlete forever and that the time will come for you to graduate on to even greater things including collegiate athletics.
The association wants to make sure that every student-athlete and his or her family is educated regarding the recruitment process, and we will continue to work to make the transition into collegiate sports as smooth as possible.
For more information about the recruitment process, visit www.LHSAA.org or www.NCAA.org.