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Sport Florida Golf Coast University clarifies 'offers' given to high school football players

05:15  21 november  2019
05:15  21 november  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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FGCU is a top ranked public university in Southwest Florida that offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. FGCU students can graduate in four years with degrees including business, engineering, arts, sciences, health, nursing, education and more. FGCU is accredited by SACS and

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More than 100 football players from around the country took to social media over the past week saying they received "offers" to play college football at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Football on the field during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)© AP Football on the field during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

One problem: FGCU does not have an intercollegiate football program among its 15 NCAA-sanctioned sports.

The FGCU club football team just finished its second season with a 6-2 record. The team is coached by Kevin Van Duser, who said he sent emails to prospective players telling them if they chose to attend FGCU, they would be guaranteed a roster spot.

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Get information on the University of South Florida Men's Golf program and athletic scholarship Here you'll get information about the school and information on their Men's Golf program like who to Build a Free NCSA Profile to Begin Connecting with Coaches NCSA offers student athletes the tools

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"This past season's success brought us a lot of publicity and traffic to our website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with hundreds of kids across the country asking for us to look at their film," Van Duser said. "Last week, myself and three of my coaches began to watch film that was being sent to us. The kids we wanted to offer a spot we got to know."

University Vice President and Chief of Staff Susan Evans said the statement was issued to clear up the confusion caused by the numerous tweets sent out by athletes.

“There’s just been a large amount of social media chatter, young people congratulating each other on offers to play football at FGCU,” Evans said. “We just wanted to clear up a few things in case there was some confusion. First off, these offers aren’t being made by anyone in the athletic program as the football club isn’t affiliated with our athletic program. Second, any of these players getting so-called offers would have to apply for admission to the school just like anyone else. And third, there are no plans for football to be added as an NCAA sport.”

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The statement added that a "non-employee, volunteer with the football sport club has extended 'offers' to come to FGCU and play football to more than 100 individuals across the country. This has been done without FGCU’s knowledge or sanction, and has caused a great deal of confusion to not only the individuals receiving the 'offers' but to others reading accounts on social media."

Van Duser said he was meeting with FGCU officials Thursday to discuss the situation, saying no scholarships were ever offered.

What he did offer per a form email he sent to players was: "If you would like to post that you have been offered a spot on our roster you can certainly do that. However, please do not post anything false, such as you have been offered a full scholarship or any scholarship please. Or that you have a D1 offer, we are a club team, not D1. You are however, offered a spot on our roster.”

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Florida Gulf Coast University offers online education programs for students who are unable to attend regular college due to various reasons. Through its online undergraduate and graduate degrees, FGCU removes all barriers of time and geographic locations from providing quality education.

Van Duser described his team in the email as "FGCU club football" and states "We are not in the NCAA and we are not affiliated with the FGCU athletic department." It added that, "As a club team, we do not have any scholarships for players. You would have to pay for your schooling and housing, etc."

Palm Beach Village Academy coach Gad Jacobs said he was pretty unfamiliar with the FGCU club before seeing his player Dante Troutman tweeted out he had an offer this weekend.

“Your guess is as good as mine, I had to do my own research,” Jacobs said. “I know they don’t have (an NCAA) program and I don’t think they’re really offering anything besides a roster spot through a text message or email. But you know these kids these days. They’ll jump on anything and post they got an offer.”

Palmetto Ridge defensive end Ethan Pratt was one of the players receiving an offer, and he re-iterated what Van Duser said in the email.

“It was all explained to us really well,” Pratt said. “They’re offering roster spots, not a scholarship.”

Van Duser said local businesses have offered to donate $2,000 scholarships over the next four years, but the club has not received any of those or assigned them to players. He added the club received 728 emails "from players looking for an opportunity to play at the next level. Even though we are a club team, these players from all over the country are just looking for a chance to play and get more film, or continue to play the game they love."

“Our goal as a staff and organization is ultimately to help students and improve lives,” he said. “We also have a goal to help local players in town to get back in school and have another chance.”

This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Florida Golf Coast University clarifies 'offers' given to high school football players

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