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Omaha Area Losing Too Many Potential Scholarship Athletes To Poor Academics
By Will Cummings
It has has come to myHitNews.com’s attention from reliable sources that Omaha Northwest running back Antaries Daniels, an Omaha World-Herald Class of 2010 Super Six football player and currently the No. 3 rated prospect in the state by Rivals, most likely will fail to meet the minimum NCAA Clearinghouse requirements to attend college on a student/athletic scholarship.
Daniels is reportedly seeking out junior colleges to continue his football career and to improve his academics in hopes of being picked up by a D-1 school down the road. If Daniels’ predicament is true, it will mark the second year in a row that an OWH Super Six player has been declared ineligible by the Clearinghouse. Millard South’s Vondrae Tostenson, a highly talented Rivals 3 Star wide receiver, met the same fate last year.
Something Amiss In Education System
Daniels and Tostenson are the most visible examples in the state of something being amiss in a educational system that allows athletes to continue to play sports throughout their high school careers only to end up unprepared to meet NCAA Clearinghouse eligibility. Unfortunately, these two stellar athletes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this sort tragedy. There are countless others like them that have competed in Nebraska high school sports programs–most of whom come from poor single parent homes in Omaha. How many more student athletic/scholarships could be had by these underprivileged youths if only there was a dedicated structure in place to help mentor, tutor and guide them though their adolescence and academics from–at least–the very moment they completed their middle school education?
Help From Strong Mentor Program Could Improve Academics
Imagine a philanthropic program fueled by donations and/or federal grant monies that would begin to provide assistance to any student/athlete upon middle school graduation: Seminars would be held before the start of their freshman high school year where each child’s academic records would be reviewed and a individual four-year plan would be established for the express purpose of exceeding the minimum NCAA Clearinghouse standards. Each student would have a life-coach mentor who would be responsible for monitoring the students academic performance throughout his or her high school career. More importantly, the program would give participants access to a year-round learning center/study hall with tutors.
How many more student/athletic scholarships could be had if such an organization existed? Would Daniels and Tostenson have been casualties if they had access to such a program—before they started high school? The establishment of such a program—if it did nothing else—would prepare more underprivileged youths for a college education, whether or not they would be granted a student/athletic scholarship. That in itself would certainly be a worthwhile achievement!
It is something worth considering and hopefully some brave souls and few good hearted philanthropist may consider making it a reality.