As we approach the final stage of college commitment for the 2020 season it’s extremely important to consider all your options before making a decision that will ultimately impact the next half decade of your life. When I signed to play for the University of Memphis I had little idea of the level of contribution I would bring to the team my freshman year. I was fortunate I started 16 games my first season in college but I took a massive financial gamble in the process.
I paid $28,000 my first 2 semesters which is way too much money for anyone to pay to play at this level. I’m a massive advocator for continuing your equation and building a business outside of the game, but college tuition is a joke and tuition is grossly inflated. When considering what school you should commit to you need to evaluate these 3 things: money, playing time and competition.
I had opportunities to play NCAA D2 and NAIA on a full ride coming out of high school but I chose a “title” over arguably the better opportunity to grow and develop on the pitch. Saying you’re a D1 footballer to your friends and family may sound great and will probably temporally boost your self confidence. But at the end of the day results always trump titles.
You may have an offer from a D1 school which is a great league and have a chance to play your first season, but you have to pay $30k. Another offer you have is from a D2 school which is still good competition and a quality league but you only have to pay $7k. Your last options are from the best NJCAA program (full ride) and a top 5 NAIA program ($2k) which both offer inconsistent competition, but guarantee playing time and a large scholarship. The program you choose to play for will obviously heavily depend on what you’re trying to achieve in college, but understand this, unless you’re financially well off, paying $30k for 1 year of college should not even be a consideration.
Ask anybody who knows college soccer and they will tell you it’s possible to sign a professional contract in any league. Look at your situation from a holistic point of view in terms of money, playing time and competition and I guarantee you’ll make the right choice when it’s time to sign for your first college.