Walk-On Players Receive Scholarships To Reinforce Core Values
All across college football, walk-on players are being rewarded with scholarships. Walk-on players are players who are not “good enough” to receive an athletic scholarship right out of high school. They typically report to camp and try out to make the team as a “walk-on.” They receive no money to do this and typically serve on the “scout” teams for their entire college career. A few of these players are able to prove themselves through their commitment or their play, thus earning a scholarship.
Usually when a “walk-on” player receives a scholarship, no one outside the program hears about it. Historically, this scholarship is awarded quietly in the office of the head coach with little publicity. However, recently coaches have openly awarded these scholarships in open forums to reinforce the positive values of the team.
In this specific case, P.J. Fleck awards a backup kicker a scholarship. Justin Juenemann has never played a down in his career and he might never do so. However, he frequently volunteers his time and showcases the commitment that Coach Fleck wants all of his players to emulate. Check out the following video to see the unique way Juenemann finds out he is receiving his scholarship.
Joe’s Perspective: I love these feel-good stories. It reinforces the notion that sport is about more than just X’s and O’s. Character matters… Service matters… Commitment matters. Athletes can be leaders and positive role models. They can have enormous impact on others in their community. I love the reaction from his teammates. I love the excitement from Juenemann. I love how emotional his mother gets. I hope this story inspires all who watch/read this post to give more and do more for others.
Your Turn: What do you think of this recent phenomenon of walk-ons receiving scholarships in this public way, particularly the story of Justin Juenemann receiving this scholarship for his off-the-field actions?