School’s Out…..Now what? Ask Barney.

It’s that special time of year when the school year is coming to an end and young hockey players everywhere are thinking, “Great! Time to sit back for a while and do nothing…..”
Well that’s not the advice we give those who are anxious to achieve scholarships or financial aid packages in the future. In fact it’s just the opposite. It’s time to plan, get organized and be ready to seek more information. Yes, that’s right, learning even when not in school.
Last week this flog focused on some recruiting advice and we got some great feedback. People had some great questions so I thought we would build on that and get into the academic issues even deeper.
When I wrote “ask Barney” in the title, I did not mean the purple Dinosaur. I wanted to get some expert feedback from someone so I asked Craig Barnett, (Barney)who is the Director of Player Placement for our company to help out. Craig’s vast experience and knowledge pertaining to the process allows him to give valuable advice.

1985-1989 – Student-athlete at Plattsburgh State (NCAA III) – NCAA Champions

1989-1991 – Player in NY Ranger system (Flint IHL, Binghamton AHL, and Erie ECHL)
1991-1993 – Assistant Coach, Mercyhurst College (NCAA II)
1993-1994 – Assistant Coach, Kent State University(NCAA I)
1995-2002 – Head Hockey Coach, University of Findlay (NCAA I and III)
2002-2004 – Hockey Director / Assistant Athletic Director, Lake Forest Academy(Prep)
2004-2006 – Director of Athletics / Head Hockey Coach, Becker College(NCAA III)
2006-2009 – Director of Athletics, Mercyhurst College (NCAA II, NCAA I hockey)

I asked Craig for 7 bullet points relating to the academic process and issues potential college bound players and families should be thinking about and addressing. Here is his advice. Hope you can use some of it.

“Academically speaking, some questions families should be thinking of and asking colleges/coaches especially during visits:”
1. What type of academic support services are offered? For example, tutoring, extended time for test, academic advisors for student-athletes, resource rooms availability, extra assistance for students with diagnosed learning challenges, etc, etc. 

 2. Does the athletic department offer any of these services (mentioned above) specifically for student-athletes or is it all provided through the general student body?

 3. Does the college offer priority registration for classes for student-athletes – thus, give them more flexibility to take tougher classes in “off-season” and also allows to build their academic calendar around team practice and meeting times.


4. What is the colleges retention rate? What is the colleges APR score (NCAA Academic Progress Report)?  Are there any teams falling under the NCAA minimum standard?


5. What about summer classes – are those costs included in my athletic scholarship/financial aid package?

 6. Are there any other expenses above and beyond tuition, fees, room and board that are not covered by scholarships? For example, books, health insurance, travel home at breaks, etc.

7. Do High School AP classes transfer into this particular schools curriculum for college credit?

You can contact Barney at:
 (814) 449.9868

Or If you see him at the rink over the summer at the many showcase events, make sure you say hello or ask him any questions you might have. You’ll recognize him. He will be the one in purple. 🙂

Thanks Craig! Great job.

Everyone have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend and remember who our real heroes are. The men and women of our armed forces that give us the freedom to enjoy our great game. Try to say thank you to one of them if you can.
Kerry Huffman Platinum Hockey Group/Cardinal Sports 609-339-5156
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