Walt Murphy’s News and Results Service
(c) Copyright 2003-all rights reserved. May not be reprinted or retransmitted without permission.
With the NCAA Divison One Championships drawing to a close, I figured it was now or never if I wanted to share the results of an informal survey I did about the number of international athletes who competed for U.S. schools this past year (X-Country, Indoors, Outdoors).
The total came to more than 1,100 athletes, with 96 countries represented.
I’ll leave it to others to draw any conclusions, but it should be noted that not all athletes received a scholarship and not all were heavily recruited “stars”. Some were born or reside in the U.S., but maintain citizenship from another country.
I hope to post the complete breakdown shortly.
International Athletes Competing for U.S. Colleges-2003
Athletes 1127 (Men-610, Women-517)
Schools with most int’l athletes:
25 Southern Methodist
25 Texas-El Paso
22 Central Arizona (Junior College)
17 Eastern Michigan
17 McNeese State
17 New Orleans
14 Kennesaw State (Div.II)
14 Northern Arizona
12 Arkansas State
12 Boston U.
12 South Plains (Junior College)
11 Arkansas-Little Rock
11 Central Methodist (NAIA)
11 NY Tech (Div.II)
10 Oklahoma State
10 Barton County (Junior College)
10 Seton Hall
10 Texas Christian
10 Southern Cal
Best Represented Countries
28 New Zealand
I'm glad you brought that up, because it really chaps my butt that foreigners get ANY scholarships. I am NOT a xenophobe, and I think there SHOULD be foreigners on every team, for the diversity. But why do coaches choose the lazy route and get overage, 'already up there' overseas talent that clearly prevents an American-grown athlete from getting financial aid? These same coaches ALWAYS claim they are doing it for some international good will BS, but if we banned them from scoring at conference or nationals they would drop them like a hot potato. Genuine hypocrisy. There are PLENTY of talented American boys and girls who, with some good (aye, there's the rub) coaching, could do very well. I like the foreigners on the teams and giving them a scholarship is great if you are doing it out of the kindness of your heart, but take away the scoring potential and these numbers that we see here would dwindle to a handful.
it is more often the case that coaches have to work hard to get what they do out of their foreign athletes than otherwise.
i could not speak for other situations (smu/dallas, etc.) - or even to the ted banks era - but until you try to recruit athletes to el paso, then you just have no idea. i would not even imply that the utep coaches would cop to anything of the sort, but even the college-bound el paso locals (esp. the best and brightest) tend to get out of that town if they can get into and can come up with tuition and fees for schools in other locales. despite that fact, the coaches at utep do a solid job of recruiting and coaching locals. despite the above number, not even half of those qualified for nationals and over half the utep roster is filled with americans.
The thing that burns me is all of this is when a coach spends the majority of their recruiting money to get the foreign kids. That money, especially in state schools, comes directly from tax dollars of the kid's parents in the area that the coach ignores. State schools, at least in NY, have to fundraise their scholarship $, so they should spend that pretty much however they want, but the recruiting should be putting money back into the economy of the state that gave it to them to begin with.
the same would apply to recruiting out-of-state americans, no?
the coach has a salary and a budget to do a job - any restrictions on how s/he does that job are up to the athletic department, school administration, and the ncaa.
You have a point, except state universities also receive federal funds (Pell Grants, etc.).
I don't mind foreign athletes in the NCAAs. It increases competition, which helps everyone get better. However, I do believe national federations should be paying at least half (if not all) the costs of the U.S. training their athletes. No other country would fork over costs to train OTHER countries' athletes, & rightfully so.
I also thought there were NCAA limits on the number of foreign athletic scholarships? Yet it seems as though UTEP's team is at least 50% foreign?
by and large, the foreigners who come to u.s. universities are neither world beaters or olympians nor will they ever be so. expecting foreign federations to pay for any of the educational costs for their b- and c-rate juniors would be like expecting foreign governments to pay for their high school exchange students or for foreigners who get academic scholarships at u.s. universities because u.s. tax dollars end up training their doctors. i can certainly think of many much greater wastes of tax money than educating some foreigners.
Hey! I am European and I don't like that American track athletes are being paid so much to run in Europe! That money should be given to European athletes so they can have a better chance at making a living in track and field! Waaaaah!
I'm not actually European, but that's the same way people sound when they complain about foreign NCAA athletes.
Track is not a zero-sum game. It is not as if every scholarship given to a foreign athlete takes away one from an American. Remove the foreign scholarship athletes, most of whom are top notch (otherwise the school would not have gone to the trouble of recruiting them from abroad and giving them a scholarship), and many schools would reduce their scholarship budgets because the smaller number of good athletes would reduce their ability to attract media attention and sponsorship dollars.
Similarly, banning Americans, Jamaicans or Kenyans from the European circuit would reduce the money that the meet promoters can make (and afford to pay to athletes), and probably would DECREASE the opportunities for European athletes.
It would also be absurd to suggest that non-scholarship foreign athletes should be ineligible to compete, after paying tens of thousands of dollars to attend their school.
And for the poster talking about tax dollars and state schools, I guess this means the private schools on that list can do what they please by your comment?
What is the international athlete breakdown for other sports- let's just use swimming, basketball,
and soccer for examples. (Just a thought- the number of internationals in American football is probably nil as no one else plays it- how does that fit into the Football vs. Title IX vs. Men's teams being eliminated?)
Saying that foreign athletes aren't appreciably diminishing home-grown talents' chances of a scholarship is just flat wrong. Coach are still going to use their alloted money to get the best athletes available and then they're going to coach their butts off to get them as good as they can. The Euro meet point is specious as well. The meet promoters are trying to make money and whatever puts butts in seats is what they're after. We're talking about American Universities committing tax-payer funds (at state schools) to help forign nations' athletes improve.
Hmmm... European promoters benefit from European tax dollars contributed towards building the stadiums, so they should ban all non-Europeans from competing there!
US tax dollars are not the primary source of funding for foreign scholarship athletes (or for American athletes for that matter). College track funding is a combination of several different sources including alumni donations, corporate sponsorship, television revenues, student athletic fees, and surplus revenue from big-money sports like basketball and football.
If you attempt to create more scholarships for American athletes taking away scholarships from foreigners, you'll be replacing many stars with marginal athletes who weren't currently able to get a scholarship. The above suppliers of funds aren't going to be very happy with giving up their money if their 4x1 team starts running 40.6 instead of the usual 39.5 because they couldn't recruit foreign athletes. They give less money, and that's fewer scholarships for EVERYBODY. Just like the European promoters, the coaches do their best to get the athletes that fill the most seats and attract the most publicity and dollars, regardless of nationality.
Then if you break down that 1127 number quoted above, taking out those who are not on scholarship, those who are taxpaying legal immigrants with foreign citizenship, and those at private schools which do not use federal dollars for athletics, it is definitely not a case of tons of tax dollars being "wasted" to develop foreign athletes and robbing US athletes of opportunities.
any other day this might be an interesting discussion. however when results like McWilliam's 4:06 and the men's 400 are rolling in I've got to think the time to pick the sport apart is not now. let's save that for that fall or winter.
>you break down that 1127 number quoted above,
>taking out those who are not on scholarship,
>those who are taxpaying legal immigrants with
>foreign citizenship, and those at private
>schools which do not use federal dollars for
>athletics, it is definitely not a case of tons
>of tax dollars being "wasted" to develop
>foreign athletes and robbing US athletes of
especially considering that a huge majority of the foreign athletes who develop into world class/olympians do so without the 'benefit' of the u.s. collegiate system or its scholarships.
tafnut your dead on and this debate is over a decade old. i must add that as a tax payer (and i pay almost 100 k in taxes) i am offended that scholarships are given to foreign athetes while homegrown talent whose parents pay taxes too are passed up. it is true that some of the international athletes improve the level of competition in some events that are really not that strong in the us high school level, but it is a matter of priciple.
In that same vein, maybe we should also quit running a welfare/quota system for US distance runners and recruit more foreign talent. Obviously most US distance runners aren't talented enough for to be contenders at the Olympics but there's plenty of foreign talent left at home every four years.
If you are offended that scholarships go to international athletes, with the amount you pay in taxes, donate some bucks somewhere that are restricted to American athletes who did not recieve any athletic scholarship money.
If a kid has talent, and really wants to be good, they can do that anywhere- and probably won't be national or world class until after graduating anyway. How many americans are denied going to school somewhere due to lack of funds? If they are really poor, money is available- but if they just want to tell everyone they "got a scholarship" even if it means not going to the school they really wanted to go to, too bad for them. Walk ons and Division III are opportunities open to everyone!
The article says
>Stanford doesn't recruit outside the U.S.? Ahem,
>Canadian sprinter Ashley Purnell is among its
>rising sprint squad. I think they have or have
>had other foreign athletes too.
Maybe a Canadian wanted to go to Stanford for the academics? Not an unknown concept for most people, except US athletes (especially all of those 85 full scholarship football players that could care less about their books) looking for the holy grail of a pro contract. Do you know for a fact that Ms. Purnell has a shcolarship for track?
>I understand your feelings. Personally, I like
>seeing top foreign athletes in the NCAA. But I
>don't think recruiting them should be a
>substitute for coaching.
You say that as if recruiting and coaching are opposite, even mutually exclusive pursuits. Part of good coaching IS good recruiting. I'd love to see a team of Americans win it all, but if I were a college coach, I'd be on the phone to Kenyans, Canadians, ect., too. Remember, for every 10 minute 2 miler that becomes a conference champ, there are dozens of others that become, well, 2 minute 2 milers.