THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS: Should Sports Be Considered?

by | Aug 14, 2023 | College Athletics Recruiting, Integrity in College Athletics

Dear Coach Bryant,

With the recent Supreme Court decision invalidating affirmative action in college admissions, I’ve been hearing chatter about whether or not other criteria in the college admissions process will change. Do you think that student athletes should continue to have special consideration?

Curious in Cleveland

Close up of admissions office sign near public university campus

Dear Curious,

The college admissions process being in the news cycle recently brought several issues to the forefront. Here’s how I see the particular issue of athletic talent being considered as a component of a student’s college application:


Strong athletes add value to a school right away – in spirit, strength of engagement, and creating a sense of community. Sporting events create incomparable opportunities for students, community members and alumni to come together with a shared enthusiasm. To understand the uniqueness of this system, you only have to look at the majority of universities outside of the U.S., which don’t have comparable sports programs. Many of those schools struggle with a lack of alumni engagement compared to universities in the U.S.


While many universities seek out talented athletes, other pursuits and creative endeavors can also make up the whole picture of a prospective student. If we insist on admissions departments ignoring athletic endeavors, would we also expect them to ignore a student’s lifelong dedication to playing a musical instrument or creating art? All kinds of talents can make up the complete student profile, which in turn may add something special to a school’s various programs.


When admitting athletes, universities are committing to students who will develop leadership skills and become team players, while learning to manage their time, set goals and work under pressure. These skills transfer to success in many fields of study. Many college athletes end up crediting their sports experience as a significant contributor to their professional success, no matter what career path they pursue.


When college admissions committees reflect on the strengths of a potential student, the athletic achievements and potential of a student should be considered along with other criteria such as academics and extracurriculars. Driven, passionate athletes can add value to the university not only in the sense of strengthening a particular athletic program but also by becoming leaders and standouts in whatever career they decide to pursue. The hard work put in by student athletes leading up to their college admissions should surely be worthy of consideration.

All the best,

Coach Bryant


I am Coach Amy Bryant, a 19 – time NCAA National Championship player & coach who helps high school student-athletes navigate the college search and athletics recruiting process. I believe every student-athlete is unique and requires an individualized plan to find the best college match.


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