When a young British student chooses a university, he usually bases his decision on the course of study, the city where he wants to live, and college sports. However, for a U.S. teenager, one crucial factor weighs in his decision: scholarships, especially for athletes.
While on the other hand, U.S. students mainly evaluate universities that can help them achieve their sports dreams and the college team’s size.
Sports and college: differences between UK and U.S.
In the United Kingdom, the university system offers many opportunities to student-athletes, who nonetheless choose which university to attend primarily based on reputation and available courses; in the United States, on the other hand, the college sports that can be played at a given college are much more important than the school’s reputation. How so? American students need to finance their studies with athletic scholarships, as American colleges cost a lot!
Sports in American colleges: competitiveness and excellence
American college sports have a long tradition of heated competition and high levels of excellence to the point where students can bet on the matches (you can even follow the latest college football betting online, as with any other sport at the professional level).
The NCAA is the most important national association of college athletes in the United States and brings together the best athletes from a multitude of different sports. In turn, the NCAA is divided into three divisions.
Division II decides its champion in the NCAA Division II Football Championship Game, and Division III in the Stagg Bowl, but we won’t get into those.
In addition, NCAA Division I has had a subdivision since 1978, the Division I Football Championship Subdivision, known as the FCS, which also has a large following. It also has universities that supply players to the NFL Draft every year, such as the powerful North Dakota State, champion 8 times in the last decade. The main attraction of this FCS is its Playoff format, with up to 24 teams in contention.
Basketball, another popular sport in the United States, attracts the attention of millions of people worldwide, as U.S. college basketball games, as happens with the Connecticut Huskies or the Michigan State Spartans teams, can convey strong emotions not only to those who experience them live but also to spectators.
Baseball is considered one of the national sports of the United States, and American colleges offer numerous opportunities to play it. College teams participate in competitive tournaments, and many successful baseball players began their careers right at American colleges.
The United States is the undisputed realm of the swimming discipline, with college teams that have written pages of history through epic victories and broken records. U.S. college teams are renowned for providing high-level training and support to athletes in achieving their goals.
Sports in English colleges: a tradition steeped in history
England is famous for its rich sports tradition, and English colleges are no exception; in fact, the British college system offers a wide range of competitive and amateur sports, including soccer, rugby, cricket, and many others.
Soccer was born in a pub in England in 1863, when some gentlemen decided to put rules to a game that was already played regularly in that country, with the idea of differentiating it from another extremely popular game: rugby. Today, this sport is known as the “king of sports” in England, and it is widely played in colleges. In fact, soccer matches between universities are exciting events that attract large crowds of students from all over the country.
Tradition tells us that rugby was born in 1823 during a soccer match, at the exact moment when a young man named William Webb Ellis lifted the ball off the ground with his hands and started running.
Over time, rugby became popular throughout England, including, of course, in colleges, where today university teams participate in local and national tournaments in search of fame.
English colleges have well-organized cricket teams and participate in regular competitions. During your study vacation, you may be lucky enough to join a team and immerse yourself in the culture of this fascinating sport.
Students participate in competitive events that ignite the flame of competition and let their talents shine.
Comparison of the British and American sports experience
Regarding college sports, the United States brings out its secret weapons to provide student-athletes with a more worthwhile experience.
The recruiting process is like an epic adventure, with emails flying back and forth, exciting campus visits, and even formal interviews that evaluate candidates’ skills.
Every year, an army of student-athletes fights for athletic scholarships, college entrance, and a ticket to the American dream.
In the U.K., however, college sports are a hidden subplot, with fewer scholarships and less overall attention. But there is still hope for aspiring British athletes because some brave universities offer above-average standards, such as Loughborough and Bath.
These two universities offer generous scholarships that open the door to success for the most talented athletes.
But at the end of the argument, the United States can still boast of having an army of super sports universities in its league, such as the legendary NCAA, which fields as many as 360 colleges and universities.
There is not much more to say: universities in the United States are steppingstones for aspiring professional athletes.