NAIA schools have $500 million in athletic scholarships available, and they’re offering tryouts.
Showcases for football, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball and lacrosse are scheduled for June and July, with most occurring in Overland Park. Coaches from NAIA programs will be on hand to scout future talent from the high school and junior college ranks.
“It’s a way for us to partner with member institutions to help them attract quality students to campus,” NAIA president Jim Carr said .
The NAIA includes the schools in the Heart of America Conference such as MidAmerica Nazarene, Baker, Benedictine and Avila, and in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, with Ottawa and St. Mary.
As of this week, more than 100 coaches have signed up to conduct and scout the showcase. NAIA rules allow more contact and engagement with prospective student athletes than the NCAA.
This marks the second year of the event. The first occurred last summer in East Peoria, Ill., and 53 NAIA schools were represented. Some 330 athletes, including high school seniors and juniors from 14 states, attended.
“A few student-athletes were offered scholarships on the spot,” Carr said.
The registration fee for athletes: $150 for football and $125 for other sports.
Football showcases will be held on June 11 at Blue Valley Southwest High School, which also will be the site for men’s and women’s basketball (July 13 and 14), softball (July 20) and baseball (July 21). Men’s and women’s soccer showcases will take place at the Overland Park Soccer Complex on July 8.
Men’s and women’s lacrosse showcases are scheduled for July 27 and 28 in the St. Louis County suburb of Maryland Heights.
For more information: www.naiashowcase.com.