BY OLIVIA LEWIS
Throughout the state of Florida, there are many diverse schools that students can attend. From public schools to private schools, children and teenagers can thrive in several types of environments. However, the way public schools are viewed versus private schools is extremely conflicting, especially for athletes.
Many athletes dream of playing in college one day, which may eventually lead them to being professionals. In order to do this, they need college scouts to come and watch them play their desired sport.
An athlete at a public school could work just as hard as an athlete at a private school; however, the athlete at the private school will receive a greater deal of attention than the public school athlete. The Miami Herald hosted the All Broward-Banquet, which invited the top athletes from each district. There were four players of the year, picked out of 22 athletes. However, 18 out of the 22 athletes were all athletes from private schools, and out of the four most recognized winners were also from private schools. The scholar athlete award was also given to a student from a private school.
These awards are well deserved, but schools have less credibility at these events than the private schools. Private schools are also able to attract big names college coaches or scouts. They have the ability to pay people to come and watch, and they also have the ability to live stream every game they play. By doing this, it allows each athlete on the team to be seen by coaches.
Athletes that attend private schools, such as American Heritage or St. Thomas, have a bigger advantage than public school players. According to the Sun Sentinel, St. Thomas Aquinas football has had the most players go to the NFL in the nation.
With 17 players playing professional football, it gives this private school the attention it needs. Not only do private schools attract the attention of scouts, but they also attract the attention of professional athletes with children.
As found on the Miami Herald, there are six children of former NFL players on the St. Thomas Aquinas football team. This gives the private school an advantage by receiving help from the former NFL players, which could lead to more scouts at their games. They also receive more awareness in the district.
Every year, the Sun Sentinel newspaper picks the best athletes and names them “Player of the Year.”. This year, 12 out of the 16 players picked for the spring sports are athletes from private schools.
“I believe that private school athletes have a higher advantage of getting attention,” Pines Charter High school athlete Gabrielle Lindo said. “It’s the reason they pay– they pay to have an advantage and to be seen more by college coaches. They also get to play for some of the best teams in the state.”
In addition, 51 athletes committed to play in college, compared to Cooper City High School which only had eight athletes commit in 2017. Overall, the private schools have advantages that allow them to plan games when they need, have great resources and attract college coaches. Public schools have to rely on what they have and hope their seasons go well.
Technically, no school is allowed to “recruit” an athlete; however, some schools will find loopholes around it. According to FHSAA, recruiting is considered an act of gross unsportsmanlike conduct, and if violated, the school will be reprimanded.
For example, Archbishop McCarthy is a private school in Southwest Ranches that is known for its outstanding baseball team. Earlier this year, the school was fined $16,000 and had 22 wins taken away due to an improper act of recruiting. Some private schools may not be allowed to give athletic scholarships, but they are still able to give academic scholarships. These academic scholarships can be given to athletes who pass the tests in order to get into the school.
However, public schools are not allowed to give scholarships, because they need to put money into other areas, which pushes talented athletes elsewhere. Additionally students who attend private schools must pay a certain amount of money, which helps contribute to the resources that the sports teams obtain. By using these resources, they are able to attract college scouts to almost every single one of their games. To further even more success, professional players that once attended those schools return and are able to glorify the school and give the current high school athletes the attention they attend the school for.
In a drast comparison, public school players do not receive the same amount of resources that the private schools do. Students that attend public schools simply don’t have to pay money to attend school, so it is difficult for the high school’s to put their money towards the athletics.
“Private schools have an advantage because of money for the program and can get players from anywhere, meaning no boundaries,” Coach Diego Estremadoyro from University School said.
If a student cannot afford to attend a private school, they have to attend the school in their school zone. Many students have to transfer and leave their home school to attend a different one which can give them the awareness they need.
Diego Guzman, a former student from Cooper City High School, made the decision to transfer to University School.
“While I was in public school, I didn’t see the opportunities to go to a big college and play high level soccer with a scholarship to get me through it,” Guzman said. “Since I’ve been at a private school, it’s a lot easier for me to get into contact with colleges because the counselors put a lot of effort into helping me where I want to be with soccer. Private school surround you with better players which make you feel like a better player.
Overall, private schools have an advantage over public school in athletics. Both schools will benefit a student; however, a private school may benefit an athlete more. Why is so much hype when a public school football team like Cooper City beats a private school football team like St. Thomas?
Photo by Thomas Emoff