Anatomy Of A Scholarship

Posted: August 5, 2013 in Recruiting USA Scholarships
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Many of you may know what a scholarship is already, but we thought we would break down into detail the parts that actually make up a full athletic scholarship. After this blog you will understand what you get, what you don’t get, and the difference between a full and partial scholarship.

What Makes Up An Athletic Scholarship:

The athletic scholarship is broken up into 3 main parts:

  1. Tuition & Fees – The cost of education (instruction) (also referred to as cost per credit-hour). Fees are any mandatory fees related to attending the university such as library or technology fees.
  2. Room & Board –  Refers to the cost of your room (shared dorm room) and your meal plan.
  3. Books – Cost of all required textbooks for the classes you are enrolled in each semester.

These three things make up what the governing bodies such as the NCAA refer to as the total cost of attendance. Anything else including eating out, entertainment, computers or clothing is not considered part of the athletic scholarship and must be paid for by the student-athlete.

Partial Scholarships:

As we explained before in “Big 3”: The College Football Landscape…most athletes do not receive full scholarships. Instead, they will receive what is known as a partial scholarship. Partial scholarships are usually 1 or more of the three parts of a full scholarship, but not all three of them. For example; an athlete might be on a room & board scholarship, but still have to pay his tuition and books. Any combination you can think of has been awarded at some point in the past.

More Information…

For more information about scholarships, visit the NCAA website for a great article called Behind The Blue Disk.

College Football: More Than Just A Game – Part 1

Posted: July 24, 2013 in Hawaii
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Part 1: The Tailgate Party




In a locker room in the US, young men are getting taped up, putting their pads on and getting mentally prepared to take the field. They will compete against talented opponents, many of whom have been playing or following the game of American Football their whole lives. This is the culmination of a lifetime of hard work and dedication, and it’s known in the states as Gameday. In the states, it’s called that because college football is more than just the competition. It is an entire day of fanfare and excitement, of honor and tradition and incredible entertainment. For most players around the globe, the college football gameday is something that you may not have experienced first hand. In conjunction with the Southern Cross All-Stars trip to Hawaii in 2013, we wanted to give you a sneak peak into the gameday experience, from tailgating to pre-game, the game itself and everything in between…from the perspective of the fan.

we begin at 8:00 AM on gameday….

The Tailgate Party:

In the US, it is commonly known that a tailgate party is a party held in the carpark of college football games. The fans gather hours before the game to BBQ and socialize before the game starts.

The tailgate party is more than just a few sausages and hamburgers washed down by a couple of refreshments; it is a tradition. Part ritual, part social gathering and part preparation for the day ahead. The origins of the tailgate party was a few fans camped out on the back of their trucks and cars, sharing food and drinks before entering the stadium.


These days it has grown into an all day event, with many people going to elaborate measures to tailgate in style. It is not uncommon for people to bring couches or other furniture and set up big screen TVs and satellite cable to watch other games in progress. Some people even build custom tailgating vehicles decorated from top to bottom in school colors and equipped with gigantic BBQ’s.

In fact, many people who tailgate at a college football game today don’t even have a vehicle at all, but instead roam around to various set-ups throughout the parking lots and outside the stadium to enjoy food and drinks and catch up with friends and fellow fans.

While there are no rules per-say…there are a few standard items included in a tailgate experience:[list type=”check”]

  • The BBQ: Most likely it is a gas grill brought in the back of the truck from your backyard. Standard food includes hot dogs, hamburgers and sometimes wings. More elaborate setups will include a huge BBQ smoker where large amounts of meat are slow-cooked throughout the morning and then shared between large groups of tailgaters.
  • The Tent: Almost all tailgating events are concentrated underneath tents (or marquees) that are set up to shade the sun or protect from the weather. Many of these tents are in the team colors, and some even have logos of the team on them.
  • The Beer: We’re not sure how much beer is consumed at a typical Division I college football tailgate party, but you can be sure that there will be plenty of cold cans readily available. There are a minority of fans who provide cocktails such as frozen margaritas or something similar, but you can be assured that the drink of the day is cold beer.
  • The Entertainment: some people prefer to play games such as Beer Pong, Cornhole or Ladder Golf, while many others play music or watch the other games of the day on big screen TV’s. Some of the bigger parties might even have live music performing on stages set up specifically for the tailgaters.[/list]


Many people will spend the entire morning and afternoon in the parking lot. Some fans who don’t have tickets will stay at the tailgate party and watch the game from a TV. What started out as an underground ritual has grown into a major spectacle at college football games. In fact, ESPN, the US sports network that covers major college games, has a crew that visits one marquee match up each week. They set up an elaborate stage and broadcast center in the parking lot and broadcast a pregame show from the stadium. Many people know this show simply as College Gameday.


To truly understand this experience, you have to go and get a taste for yourself. This is why, as part of the Southern Cross All-Stars tour, we attend the Hawaii tailgating party and the UH alumni tailgate party prior to the game. There’s nothing quite like this experience, which has been referred to by many as the “last american neighborhood”, and the “new American community”.


Up next in our “More Than Just A Game” series…Part 2: The Pregame.


The Hawaii Connection

Posted: July 23, 2013 in Hawaii
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Australian & New Zealand Gridiron players who have played at the University of Hawaii

Paul Manera #76 -


The Hawaii Connection:


It’s no secret that our nearest US neighbor, Hawaii, shares a lot of similarities with Australia & New Zealand. One of those similarities (for a lucky few of us) is a love of American Football. In conjunction with our 2013 Southern Cross All-Stars trip to Hawaii, The staff at Bring It On Sports thought it was only fitting that we should look back at the people who came before us. Perhaps more Aussies have competed in Division I American Football at the University of Hawaii than any other place on earth!

  • Colin Scotts 1982 (Sydney Australia) – First Aussie to receive a scholarship for American Football in the US.
  • Paul Sironen 1984 (Sydney Australia) – Prominent rugby league player that played for 1 season at UH.
  • Mark Nua 1984 (Auckland New Zealand ) – played for Hawaii and eventually got picked up by the San Diego Chargers.
  • John Freeman 1986 (Auckand New Zealand)
  • Paul Manera 1989 (Sydney Australia) – Pictured Above – Played in Mississippi and also Hawaii and the director of the Southern Cross All-Stars & Bring It On Sports.
  • Matt Mcbriar 1999 approx (Victoria) – after playing for UH, was signed by the Denver Broncos…also played for the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles as well as other NFL teams. He is currently a Free Agent.
  • Adrian Thomas Sydney Australia (2006) – Now playing Semi-Pro American Football in Germany.
  • Alex Dunnechie (2009) – Punter for UH and has also had workouts with NFL teams including the New York Jets.
  • Scott Harding (2011) (Brisbane Australia) – current UH player.
  • Blake Muir (2011 Sydney Australia) – current UH player.


Moving Forward


One of the reasons we put on this trip to Hawaii with the Southern Cross All-Stars is to expose a whole new generation to the bond we share with our Rainbow Warrior counterparts. It will be interesting to see how this connection strengthens as we continue to expand and grow the game in Australia & New Zealand.

Now that women are playing football across the globe, The Southern Corss All-Stars will be fielding a women’s tackle football team to compete in 2013 along side our men’s team. Bring It On Sports hopes to use this opportunity to grow and expand the women’s game along side the mens.

We hope that those of you who get to take part in this year’s Southern Cross All-Stars trip can experience first hand the fanfare and awe of American College Football. Who knows…maybe you will be the next name we add to this list.

“Big 3”:The American College Football Landscape

Posted: July 17, 2013 in Recruiting
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College football in the US can be a bit confusing if you haven’t grown up there…and even if you had, you might not know the details of how recruiting and scholarships work. We wanted to help out by giving you a breakdown of each college athletic association, the number of schools (and scholarships) available, and also the types of scholarships they can offer.

The Big 3:

All colleges that play football in the states are members of 1 of the 3 following associations.

  1. NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association
  2. NAIA – National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
  3. NJCAA – National Junior College Athletics Association.

Each association has different rules governing the amount of scholarships each school may offer, and also how the school distributes those scholarships.. For a quick breakdown of these rules and regulations, check out the video presentation below (or just keep reading).



The NCAA is the top level of American College Football. It is broken up into 4 different divisions.

FBS – Football Bowl Subdivision (Division 1-A):

This is the highest division of college football. As of this post, there were 120 schools competing in the FBS division. Schools in the FBS include most of the schools you might have heard of or seen on TV, including Michigan, Oklahoma, USC, Miami and Oregon. Schools in this division compete in various conferences such as the Pac 12, Big 10 and SEC.

Scholarships: FBS schools have 85 scholarships available to award. These scholarships are all awarded as full scholarships. About 20-30 of these are given each year per school depending on the number of scholarships the school has available.

FCS – Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-AA):

This division is the 2nd tier of Division 1, and is home to 122 schools at the time of this post. Schools in this division include Appalachian State (which famously beat Michigan a few years ago), and also schools like Delaware (home to Joe Flacco), and Eastern Illinois (Tony Romo’s Alma Mater).

Scholarships: FCS schools are allowed a maximum of 63 scholarships which may be awarded as full scholarships, or broken up into partial awards. The catch is, no more than 85 players can be on an athletic scholarship at any given time.

Division II:

Division II, commonly referred to as “D2”, is home to 156 football member schools. This divides includes colleges such as Grand Valley State, Northwest Missouri State & Chadron State – college of Danny Woodhead of the New England Patriots.

Scholarships: Division II schools are allotted 36 scholarships, which they can divide amongst any number of athletes in any manner they choose. This can include full or partial scholarships, however it is rare for a DII school to give a full scholarship.

Division III:

Division III is the lowest division of NCAA athletics, however it is still very competitive and offers exciting football. Piere Garcon of the Indianapolis Colts was a member of DIII Mount Union, perhaps the most well-known and most successful of all Division III college football programs. Of course, many Americans know Jim Thorpe, perhaps his generation’s most decorated athlete in any sport.

Scholarships: Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships. Most athletes that compete in DIII have academic scholarships, or federal grants and loans to help pay their way. Division III schools typically cost much less to attend than the Division II or Division I Universities.


NAIA stands for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. At the time of this post, there are 92 schools in the NAIA participating in American Football.

Scholarships: Each NAIA school is allotted 24 scholarships which they can award in any manner they choose. Needless to say, most scholarships awarded to NAIA athletes are partial scholarships. Students who are strong in academics can receive scholarship awards that do not count towards the 24 athletic scholarship limit.


The NJCAA or National Junior College Athletic Association is home to 68 schools that participate in American Football. Junior Colleges in the United States are typically 2 year colleges, at the end of which, the athletes usually transfer to a 4 year university to complete their degree and playing career. Junior Colleges, or “Ju-Co’s” as they are more commonly referred to in the US, are a great way to play your way to a scholarship at a major university, by proving yourself on the field. Many athletes also attend Junior College if they do not immediately meet the academic requirements for attending a 4 year university straight out of high school.

Scholarships: NJCAA schools are permitted 85 scholarships, which they can award in any manner they please. Many states have rules in place that limit the number of spots on the active roster that can be held by students from out-of-state. For example, Butler College in Kansas must have 43 of its 55 active roster spots held by graduates of Kansas high schools.

Other Associations

In addition to the “Big 3”, there are a few smaller athletic associations. Two of these are located in California, and are home to over 100 more junior colleges.

CCCAA – California Community College Athletics Association:

The CCCAA has 34 football members, all of which are 2 year institutions. Many of these schools are “feeder” schools to larger universities. The CCCAA is separated into the SCFA (Southern California Football Association) and the NCFA ( Northern California Football Association).

Scholarships: CCCAA does not offer athletic scholarships, however the cost of attending these community colleges is a fraction of the cost of attending a major university, and many students play their way to a scholarship at a 4-year university.

In Conclusion…

Hopefully you have a much better understanding of the college football landscape in America. There are tons of great schools out there that play quality football, and Bring It On Sports is dedicated to finding you a home. Check out our Recruiting Section for more information about possibly getting a scholarship to play American Football in the USA.



Are Winners Born or Made?

Posted: June 28, 2013 in Recruiting USA Scholarships
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The above question has been posed countless times and explored in many ways since the advent of talent identification in professional sport (and other domains for that matter e.g. music). Many early theorists believed that talent was innate, you either have an inborn ‘gift’ or you don’t. This, on its own, is a dangerous viewpoint to take. It would suggest that a ‘gifted’ athlete needs only to show up to competitions with no training and be able to perform.  Click on the link to read more….