Midd Coach Andrew
Gardner motivates the
troops at last year’s EISA
Coach Andy LeRoy, second from right, and squad celebrating DU’s third straight NCAA crown in 2010.
NCAA eligibility and ski teams:
Except for a handful of NCAA nordic programs — Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan
University, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and University of Wisconsin at Green Bay — you
can find information about and links to NCAA ski teams at by visiting the Rocky Mountain
Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) and Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA)
websites, rmisaskiing.com and eisaskiing.org.
For the official website of the NCAA Eligibility Center, visit ncaaeligibilty.org.
MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE; DU
The scholarship myth
The great Will Rogers once quipped: “Does college pay? They do if you’re a
good open-field runner.” Rogers, of course, was making a joke about the legitimate and illegitimate money available for NCAA football players (incidentally,
more appropriate now than ever). Despite the fact that a few programs are very
well funded, there’s a reason Rogers didn’t make the joke about ski racers: In
general, there are far fewer scholarships offered to NCAA skiers each year than
most parents and athletes understand.
“Women have slightly better skiing scholarship opportunities than men because of how Title IX impacts things,” LeRoy says. “Any given school can only award the NCAA maximum of 6. 3 skiing scholarships for men and seven skiing scholarships for women each year — and that includes both nordic
and alpine teams combined, which can add up to 25 or 30 total athletes, depending on where you
Note that LeRoy cites the NCAA maximum can only support a few athletes per
gender in each sport; then note that only a few schools in the country support
their ski teams at that level.
At New Hampshire, for example, Blank says the team supports all seven women’s scholarships, but only one or two male scholarships each year. Small liberal
arts colleges like Williams, Bates, Colby and Middlebury — which collectively
make up about 20 percent of the nation’s NCAA skiing teams — do not offer
scholarships at all.
In the event that you find yourself in a position to make a given ski team, but
you’re not in line for one of its coveted athletic scholarships, also know that
there’s more than one way to skin the proverbial cat.
“Remember [that we’re coaching student-athletes],” Blank says, “and a school
like UNH also offers exceptional academic scholarships. If you’re a strong student, there may be more support on that end, too.”
Along those lines, if you’ve got your heart set on a place like the aforementioned, non-scholarship liberal arts colleges and can’t afford the roughly $50,000
per year price tag, don’t let that dissuade you from reaching out to ski teams and
applying: While they’re all among the most expensive school’s in the country,
each is also among the most aggressive and generous when it comes to financial aid for those who need it.