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Proposal - military to fund athletic scholarships

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https://www.sportico.com/leagues/college-sports/2022/military-college-sports-1234673750/

The idea is that the military could fund athletic scholarships in exchange for future service in sports other than basketball and football. Quoted in the article is Rice Senior Associate AD and 3x Stanford wrestling All-American Tanner Gardner. It is part of a rethinking of how the military recruits.

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Doesn't the military already do this by paying the tuition for ROTC students? The only difference is that any student can benefit, not just athletes. Is the benefit here that more students can claim to be on an athletic scholarship as opposed to ROTC? Or is is that those with athletic scholarships from the military will not have to participate in ROTC drills?

Edited by NJDan

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I had heard talk about this and here is my understanding…

It would be the same as ROTC but would not require the training that ROTC requires.  

Athletic participation would take the place of the ROTC training commitments. 
 

DOD would pitch this to schools and tell them that the DOD will cover the scholarship for any athlete that agrees to the terms of the program and military commitment.  Scholarship limits for sports are assumed to remain in place.  

As a result, top programs are not expected to be a significant participant in the program since they will want to recruit the most elite athletes and limiting athletes to those that are required to agree to military service would limit the pool of athletes.  

The benefit would be seen at lower tier programs.  For instance a program like CSU- Fullerton (RIP) could have had the budget to keep wrestling due to this program.  The school would have likely done something such as telling wrestling “we will fund 4.9 scholarships but you can have the full 9.9 scholarships if you find five athletes willing to agree to the military service scholarship.”

This would make the wrestling program more of a revenue generating program as the DOD would pay full tuition for some athletes.

There would be a lot of wrestlers who would agree to this coming out of high school.  Getting to call yourself a scholarship athlete and compete in D1 is a big selling point.

Schools like VMI, The Citadel, etc would likely pass their whole scholarship funding onto the DOD which would give them even more money to fund coaches and operations. 

Edited by Pinnum

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Any college grad can apply with an OSO (officer selection officer) and receive a commission after successfully completing a basic offficer training course. This would appear no different, except they would get automatic approval for their mandatory application. ROTC students have an abbreviated training course as a result of their training while in the program. All commissioned officers begin with Reserve commissions, with the exception of the academies and apply after 4 years to convert to an Regular commission which they are then free to resign at any time. I think it’s a great idea. 

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What are the current service requirements for the service academies, VMI, Citadel, etc?

Interesting thought and maybe it could help resurrect a program or two, but I can’t imagine there will be all that many D1 level kids that would want to agree to this.

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I think the idea is that this would fund additional scholarships on top of those already given. It wouldn't necessarily be for the top guys who are already getting money. It would be for the next tier down who are on teams but paying their own way.

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6 hours ago, 1032004 said:

What are the current service requirements for the service academies, VMI, Citadel, etc?

Interesting thought and maybe it could help resurrect a program or two, but I can’t imagine there will be all that many D1 level kids that would want to agree to this.

40 kids a year accepting it would be between 160-200 new wrestling scholarships each year.  
 

Thats the equivalent of 17 to 20 new D1 programs being created and fully funded. 

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2 hours ago, Pinnum said:

40 kids a year accepting it would be between 160-200 new wrestling scholarships each year.  
 

Thats the equivalent of 17 to 20 new D1 programs being created and fully funded. 

You mean if all 40 of those are going to a school adding a new program?

They wouldn't be fully funded though if they still need to pay salaries, etc.

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25 minutes ago, 1032004 said:

You mean if all 40 of those are going to a school adding a new program?

They wouldn't be fully funded though if they still need to pay salaries, etc.

I mean in number of scholarship opportunities.  
 

It would likely be a significant help to new D1 programs like Long Island U, Lindenwood, Cal Baptist, etc who can reduce their burden on the school and can still bring in scholarship level athletes.  
 

One of the historic problems with D2 teams moving up has been increasing the scholarship commitment. 

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On 4/28/2022 at 8:45 PM, TheHeel said:

perhaps someone should tell the DOD that 75% of college wrestlers are too injured to be ready for the battlefield. 

LOL, Most who complete 4-5 years of College Wrestling could easily be special forces, at least the Physical Standards would be easy to achieve

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2 hours ago, dougb said:

LOL, Most who complete 4-5 years of College Wrestling could easily be special forces, at least the Physical Standards would be easy to achieve

Careful there. Ever see some wrestlers try to swim? That said, the physical stress pales in comparison to the mental stress, which I believe D1 wrestlers would be more likely than the general population to excel at, but by no means would guarantee success. 

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13 hours ago, dougb said:

LOL, Most who complete 4-5 years of College Wrestling could easily be special forces, at least the Physical Standards would be easy to achieve

Yes, they can pass the pt tests easily, but special forces in particular will disqualify someone for previous injuries. 

 

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/military-medical-standards-for-enlistment-3354031

 

here is a list of injures/conditions that disqualify you from serving in the military:

 

  • Abdominal Organs and Gastrointestinal System
  • Blood and BloodForming Tissue Diseases
  • Body Build Deficiency
  • Advanced Dental Diseases
  • Ears and Hearing Loss
  • Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders
  • Loss of Function in Upper Extremities
  • Loss of Function in Lower Extremities
  • Miscellaneous Conditions of the Extremities
  • Mental Health Issues
  • Eyes and Vision Loss
  • General and Miscellaneous Conditions and Defects
  • Genitalia and Reproductive Organs Diseases and Defects
  • Head Trauma or Defects
  • Heart and Vascular System Defects
  • Height and Weight Deficiencies
  • Lungs, Chest Wall, Pleura, and Mediastinum Defects
  • Mouth Disease
  • Chronic Neck Pain or Immobility
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Nose, Sinuses, and Larynx Defects
  • Skin and Cellular Tissue Defects
  • Spine and Sacroiliac Joint Defects
  • Systemic Diseases
  • Tumors and Malignant Diseases
  • Urinary System Disorders

 

clearly not all apply to former college wrestlers, but in particular head injures and joint injuries are a huge deal. How many college wrestlers make it out without a joint injury? 10%?

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Well, one way to look at it...We ought to get more than we get for our $750 Billion per year.  Somehow with that number, we still can't care for our veterans without begging for private contributions.
"Proposed by the CEO of a defense contractor"?   No thanks.  If you need money pissed away with little to show for it, get a defense contractor and the DoD involved.  Maybe, I should say get 5 cents value for each dollar spent.
This harkens back to the Russian systems of years gone by (and somewhat today).

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2 hours ago, Casper said:

The first priority is fighting soldiers, not athletic competition.

Funding for the finest in training for combat and support and equipment way before sports.

 

This is simply a recruiting effort.  The DOD already spends a ton of money on recruiting.   The question would be if this would be more efficient use of funds to land bodies and/or if the recruitment would yield superior soldiers.  

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This is simply a recruiting effort.  The DOD already spends a ton of money on recruiting.   The question would be if this would be more efficient use of funds to land bodies and/or if the recruitment would yield superior soldiers.  

Better yet:

Cut the force by a quarter and increase the pay of most particularly the junior enlisted and junior NCOs.

Why? We spend most of our time dealing with the issues of the bottom 10%. Behavior, fitness, financial problems. Pay a better wage out of the gate, attract a higher quality soldier. Require higher test scores and basic standards of fitness.


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Whether this would be worthwhile for somebody who doesn't plan to make a career out of the military would all depend on the number of years of required military service that follows college. If it's five years like the service academies or 4 years like ROTC, I wouldn't expect many people to sign up for this who weren't otherwise planning to join the military.  If it's 2-3 years, you would probably see a nice influx, but then it might not be so great of a deal for the taxpayer/U.S. government.  

 

For somebody who wants to spend their career as part of the military and can't get into one of the service academies, this is a great option.  It's basically a way to do ROTC without having to do those commitments. My guess is this would partially be a way to decrease the cost of ROTC programs around the country and instead assume that anybody who can compete in college athletics is maintaining some type of physical standard.

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On 4/30/2022 at 11:23 AM, TheHeel said:

Yes, they can pass the pt tests easily, but special forces in particular will disqualify someone for previous injuries. 

 

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/military-medical-standards-for-enlistment-3354031

 

here is a list of injures/conditions that disqualify you from serving in the military:

 

  • Abdominal Organs and Gastrointestinal System
  • Blood and BloodForming Tissue Diseases
  • Body Build Deficiency
  • Advanced Dental Diseases
  • Ears and Hearing Loss
  • Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders
  • Loss of Function in Upper Extremities
  • Loss of Function in Lower Extremities
  • Miscellaneous Conditions of the Extremities
  • Mental Health Issues
  • Eyes and Vision Loss
  • General and Miscellaneous Conditions and Defects
  • Genitalia and Reproductive Organs Diseases and Defects
  • Head Trauma or Defects
  • Heart and Vascular System Defects
  • Height and Weight Deficiencies
  • Lungs, Chest Wall, Pleura, and Mediastinum Defects
  • Mouth Disease
  • Chronic Neck Pain or Immobility
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Nose, Sinuses, and Larynx Defects
  • Skin and Cellular Tissue Defects
  • Spine and Sacroiliac Joint Defects
  • Systemic Diseases
  • Tumors and Malignant Diseases
  • Urinary System Disorders

 

clearly not all apply to former college wrestlers, but in particular head injures and joint injuries are a huge deal. How many college wrestlers make it out without a joint injury? 10%?

Good Point, I did not think of that, I looked at the Physical Standards and even For Navy Seals, Green Beret etc And thought Wrestlers would be the best of the best of the military.   but yeah previous injuries, would  disqualify most of them

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21 minutes ago, dougb said:

Good Point, I did not think of that, I looked at the Physical Standards and even For Navy Seals, Green Beret etc And thought Wrestlers would be the best of the best of the military.   but yeah previous injuries, would  disqualify most of them

idk: wasn't Tom Cruise a wrestler and he became a JAG lawyer as well as the "best of the best" Top Gun naval aviator.  Sure its risky business and an impossible mission but there's gotta be a good percentage of other wrestlers that can do it.    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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8 hours ago, dougb said:

Good Point, I did not think of that, I looked at the Physical Standards and even For Navy Seals, Green Beret etc And thought Wrestlers would be the best of the best of the military.   but yeah previous injuries, would  disqualify most of them

It’s irrelevant for the sake of this topic though since most people in special ops aren’t officers, and this program is specifically for training officers. 
 

I doubt that many more people will sign up for it though given how similar it is to ROTC. 

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10 hours ago, ionel said:

idk: wasn't Tom Cruise a wrestler and he became a JAG lawyer as well as the "best of the best" Top Gun naval aviator.  Sure its risky business and an impossible mission but there's gotta be a good percentage of other wrestlers that can do it.    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well done!!

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3 hours ago, Billyhoyle said:

It’s irrelevant for the sake of this topic though since most people in special ops aren’t officers, and this program is specifically for training officers. 
 

I doubt that many more people will sign up for it though given how similar it is to ROTC. 

It doesn't strike me as that similar to ROTC. ROTC cadets have to take an ROTC class each semester as part of their studies and have other requirements as well, including some over the summer. They also have to be at a college that has an ROTC program or travel to one that does at least once a week for the ROTC class. They also have regular PT, though I have heard of athletes getting exemptions from this during their seasons. This proposal seems to dispense with the in-college requirements which makes it much easier for Division I athletes. I can certainly envision a group of athletes that would not want to do ROTC but might sign up for this.

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