How to get a D1 scholarship without really trying Part 2

Stony Hooker, Features Editor

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As Hart excelled on the field and in the weight room he had an abysmal academic work ethic, posting an astonishingly low 1.8 GPA. Hart’s high school allowed him to play because they were using an outdated rule book that said athletes “must be passing all classes or have at least a 2.0 GPA.” Hart was making consistent straight Ds on his report card and was technically passing all his classes. All other high schools in the area followed the updated rules that state athletes “must be passing all classes and have at least a 2.0 GPA.”

While he skimmed by with eligibility, Hart began to receive recruitment letters in his junior year. He began to refer to himself as “Mr. D1.” While the name was obnoxious, friends and coaches knew that Hart used this as a crutch to boost his self-confidence. What they didn’t know was that the “recruitment letters” he had claimed to be receiving were just bulk mail sent out to junior year students. Hart was not being recruited by a single school.

To make his lie more believable, he told his parents that the University of Washington had invited him for an unofficial visit and that he wanted to go alone. Hart’s family, who were financially struggling, scraped together the money to send Hart to Washington. While in Washington, Hart met with nobody from any university and instead went and watched a Seattle Mariners game. After he got home he told his coaches and parents that he watched the team practice and talked with the head coach. Hart was beginning to get in too deep.

A few weeks later, Hart did attend a camp at the University of Oregon with his coach. While at the camp, Hart was embarrassed by the other athletes who were D1 quality and being recruited. However, Oregon’s coach felt that Hart may have potential and gave him a questionnaire. Hart threw the questionnaire away because he knew his grades weren’t good enough to make it. Even so, the word around town was that Oregon was interested in Hart and he played into it well.

Hart continued to double down on his lie and claimed that D1 colleges were very interested in him. He got interviewed by newspapers and local news TV where his lie became more public. The people of his small town outside of Reno really believed that they were going to produce a D1 athlete.

It is at this point that I am astonished that the story continued because many crucial parts of the college recruiting process did not take place and should have been marked as major red flags and holes in his story.

As Hart entered his senior year, he began to try to look the part of a D1 recruit. Spending multiple hours, a day in the weight room and at practice, he did begin to develop into a quite formidable offensive lineman. He was named the top lineman in the state. After receiving the title of best lineman, Hart did begin to have scouts from the University of Nevada come to his practices, but the school never gave him an offer. It is reasonable to believe that if Hart had at least half decent grades he may have received actual D1 offers.



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How to get a D1 scholarship without really trying Part 2