CHSAA numbers show very low odds of CO high school athletes receiving scholarships

The latest CHSAA numbers prove once again just how hard it is for high school players to receive athletic scholarships for college.

KUSA - Every kid growing up wants to be the next Dylan McCaffrey, Michaela Onyenwere or Brie Oakley. 

Many families invest a great deal of resources in the hope their son or daughter can be the next star high school athlete, the one that receives a full-ride athletic scholarship at a top-tier university. Those stories are real, and they can be life-changing. 

Unfortunately, the odds of that happening are slim. And, according to the latest numbers from the Colorado High School Activities Association, or CHSAA, we're talking about decimals in some sports. 

CHSAA keeps track of not just the total number of students participating in high school athletics. It also posts records of college commitments, in every sport each year. 

So, when comparing the total number of kids in one high school class--freshmen to seniors--with four years worth of college commitments, the results are shocking. 

"No matter what someone tells you, the percentages don't lie," CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green told 9NEWS in an interview earlier this year. "Only three percent of high school athletes go on to compete at the collegiate level."

That's right. In the state of Colorado, roughly only 3.4 percent of all the state's high school athletes will end up receiving some form of athletic scholarship to play their sport in college. That's it, at any level. 

And, when breaking down those statistics to reflect just NCAA Division I competitors, that number drops to 1.15 percent in-state. That's even lower than the national average of 2.29 percent. 

Those aren't exactly the most promising figures for families banking on their child's athletic future. 

"Invest your money wisely, that's all I'll say," Blanford-Green said. 

The percentages also differ from sport to sport. For instance, if you want your child to have the best chance of getting money to play sports in college, softball might be the way to go. 

That sport has the highest reported rate of high school athletes to college scholarships in Colorado at 9.75 percent. 

Girls' lacrosse and girls' soccer aren't too far behind, at 8.46 percent and 6.68 percent, respectively. 

Well, surely a sport like football--with several players on a team no less--must have a higher percentage, right? Wrong. Just about 5.83 percent of Friday Night Lights stars in the state will get scholarships to play on Saturdays. 

A sport like basketball might be the hardest. With just about 15 roster spots per team, only 1.67 percent of high school boys' basketball players will go on to have even part of their college paid for because of athletics.

Now, these numbers aren't an exact science. It's impossible for CHSAA to keep track of every single college commitment. No state-by-state breakdowns of total college athletes are kept in any NCAA database.

And, the statistics don't reflect outliers like people who transfer to a higher collegiate level well after high-school, or sports such as hockey where many of the top athletes choose to play for a club rather than their school growing up. 

But, the estimates are accurate enough to make one thing crystal clear: getting to play a college sport on an athletic scholarship is rare. Getting a full-ride is even harder. 

So, what does CHSAA say about all this? It's important for kids to play high school sports for the right reasons. 

"The result of high school participation is unrivaled by anything else," Blanford-Green said. "It's part of belonging to something bigger than yourself, and being part of a community that can't be duplicated."

And, that should motivate young athletes to sign up more than anything else, even if they can't be the next Dylan McCaffrey. 

 

Below, you can find a full list of the statistics reported by CHSAA that 9NEWS used for this story. 

 

 

2016-17 Colorado High School Participation Statistics

Sport

Male athletes

Female Athletes

Total Athletes

Baseball

 

 

  8,523

Basketball

  9,179

  7,082

  16,261

Spirit Squad

 

 

  4,896

Cross Country

  4,434

  4,078

  8,512

Field Hockey

 

 

  602

Football (All players)

 

 

  16,686

Golf

  2,229

  1,737

  3,966

Gymnastics

 

  576

  576

Ice Hockey

 

  896

  896

Lacrosse

  3,840

  1,762

  5,602

Alpine Skiing

  288

  289

  577

Soccer

  8,321

  8,000

  16,321

Softball

 

 

  3,824

Swimming & Diving

  1,972

  4,503

  6,475

Tennis

  2,936

  6,181

  9,117

Track and Field

  10,275

  7,574

  17,849

Volleyball

 

 

  9,446

Wrestling

 

 

  4,944

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

  

  135,073

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Players from different sports that earned D1 Scholarships

Baseball:

2017: 26

2016: 31

2015: 31

2014: 46

4 year total: 134 (out of 8,523) = 1.6 percent 

Boys’ Basketball

2017: 8

2016: 15

2015: 9

2014: 12

4 year total: 44 (out of 9,179) = 0.48 percent

Girls’ Basketball

2017: 10

2016: 13

2015: 11

2014: 18

4 year total: 52 (out of 7,082) = 0.74 percent

Boys Track/Cross Country

2017: 15

2016: 17

2015: 16

2014: 13

4 year total: 61 (out of 14,709)= 0.41 percent

Girls Track/Cross Country

2017: 19

2016: 31

2015: 43

2014: 29

4 year total: 122 (out of 11,652)= 1.05 percent

Field Hockey

2017: 2

2016: 1

2015: 0

2014: 2

4 year total: 5 (out of 602)= 0.83 percent

Football (Both FBS and FCS schools)

2017: 57

2016: 56

2015: 63

2014: 47

4 year total: 223 (out of 16,686)= 1.34 percent

Boys’ Golf

2017: 7

2016: 3

2015: 5

2014: 10

4 year total: 25 (out of 2,229)= 1.12 percent

Girls’ Golf

2017: 4

2016: 3

2015: 4

2014: 9

4 year total: 20 (out of 1,737)= 1.15 percent

Gymnastics

2017: 2

2016: 4

2015: 1

2014: 5

4 year total: 12 (out of 576)= 2.08 percent

Boys’ Lacrosse

2017: 31

2016: 21

2015: 25

2014: 14

4 year total: 91 (out of 3,840)= 2.37 percent

Girls’ Lacrosse

2017: 10

2016: 20

2015: 16

2014: 17

4 year total: 63 (out of 1,762)= 3.58 percent

Boys’ Soccer

2017: 20

2016: 10

2015: 11

2014: 7

4 year total: 48 (out of 8,321)= 0.58 percent

Girls’ Soccer

2017: 70

2016: 69

2015: 66

2014: 37

4 year total: 242 (out of 8,000)= 3.025 percent

Softball

2017: 17

2016: 12

2015: 14

2014: 9

4 year total: 52 (out of 3,824)= 1.36 percent

Boys’ Swimming and Diving

2017: 16

2016: 10

2015: 13

2014: 15

4 year total: 54 (out of 1,972)= 2.74 percent

Girls’ Swimming and Diving

2017: 26

2016: 28

2015: 40

2014: 18

4 year total: 112 (out of 4,503)= 2.49 percent

Volleyball

2017: 27

2016: 23

2015: 43

2014: 25

4 year total: 118 (out of 9,446)= 1.25 percent

Wrestling

2017: 12

2016: 8

2015: 4

2014: 5

4 year total: 29 (out of 4,944)= 0.59 percent

===============================================================

Players from different sports that received any form of athletic scholarship

Baseball

2017: 158

2016: 140

2015: 122

2014: 129

4 year total: 549 (out of 8,523) =6.44 percent

Boys’ Basketball

2017: 32

2016: 52

2015: 43

2014: 26

4 year total: 153 (out of 9,179)=1.67 percent

Girls’ Basketball

2017: 49

2016: 48

2015: 45

2014: 49

4 year total: 191 (out of 7,082) = 2.70 percent

Boys’ Track and Cross Country

2017: 31

2016: 46

2015: 40

2014: 18

4 year total: 135 (out of 14,709) = 0.92 percent

Girls’ Track and Cross Country

2017: 49

2016: 73

2015: 61

2014: 41

4 year total: 224 (out of 11,652) = 1.92 percent

Field Hockey

2017: 3

2016: 5

2015: 5

2014: 2

4 year total: 15 (out of 602) = 2.49 percent

Football

2017: 277

2016: 267

2015: 244

2014: 184

4 year total: 972 (out of 16,686) = 5.83 percent

Boys’ Golf

2017: 15

2016: 9

2015: 16

2014: 14

4 year total: 54 (out of 2,229) = 2.42 percent

Girls’ Golf

2017: 16

2016: 9

2015: 12

2014: 14

4 year total: 51 (out of 1,737) = 2.94 percent

Gymnastics

2017: 3

2016: 4

2015: 1

2014: 6

4 year total: 14 (out of 576) = 2.43 percent

Boys’ Lacrosse

2017: 60

2016: 55

2015: 50

2014: 42

4 year total: 207 (out of 3,840) = 5.39 percent

Girls’ Lacrosse

2017: 32

2016: 41

2015: 38

2014: 38

4 year total: 149 (out of 1,762) = 8.46 percent

Boys’ Soccer

2017: 52

2016: 39

2015: 49

2014: 32

4 year total: 172 (out of 8,321) = 2.07 percent

Girls’ Soccer

2017: 150

2016: 142

2015: 151

2014: 91

4 year total: 534 (out of 8,000) = 6.68 percent

Softball

2017: 105

2016: 93

2015: 98

2014: 77

4 year total: 373 (out of 3,824)= 9.75 percent

Boys’ Swimming and Diving

2017: 25

2016: 16

2015: 25

2014: 20

4 year total: 86 (out of 1,972) = 4.36 percent

Girls’ Swimming and Diving

2017: 36

2016: 41

2015: 46

2014: 24

4 year total: 147 (out of 4,503) = 3.26 percent

Volleyball

2017: 93

2016: 86

2015: 112

2014: 86

4 year total: 377 (out of 9,446) = 3.99 percent

Wrestling

2017: 35

2016: 19

2015: 10

2014: 13

4 year total: 77 (out of 4,944) = 1.56 percent

==========================================

Chances of Playing a College Sport at All

College Commitments in 2017: 1,238

College Commitments in 2016: 1,213

College Commitments in 2015: 1,199

College Commitments in 2014: 918

4 year total: 4,568 (out of 135,073) =3.38 percent

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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