Cornhusker “walk on program“

71GopherFan

New member
Been reading a bit about the state of the Cornhusker program (trying to gauge at what year they might be a major concern for the Gophers), and I keep seeing references to a “walk on program”. Curious if anyone here knows much about it? Sounds to me like something that may have been a big deal in the past, so it will be in the future with Frost. Doesn’t everyone have walk on programs of some kind. Seems they think kids will forego scholarships to other schools to “live the dream“ at N. They see it as a key to Frosts success, apparently.
 

UpAndUnder43

Well-known member
I could be wrong but I think their hallowed “walk on” program was a scam the NCAA shut down. They were being given other scholarships in lieu of football scholarships, but then playing football. Not sure f they were academic, need based, other sports, etc but that is no longer allowed.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
First of all, we should clarify that there are two kinds of “walk-ons”.

So called Preferred walk-ons are recruited but the coaching staff and invited to fall camp. They don’t receive a scholarship for the fall, and must pay their own way. But otherwise, they’re treated the same as recruited scholarship freshmen, other than perhaps they get less look and priority for playing right away. I’m not sure if they’d be allowed to join the team for winter workouts and spring ball, if they paid their own way. Or summer workouts if they enrolled for the summer, for that matter.

And these are usually the players who get upgraded to scholarship, when those opportunities happen.


Traditional walk-ons are unrecruited. They show up completely on their own and hope to be on the team for scout team, maybe somehow hope to make it as a backup. This your Rudy type story. Very little chance to earn a scholarship or play.
 

WinLoseOrTy

Member
From what I understand Frost is trying to revive their walk-on program that UpAndUnder43 references, and they have something like 80 kids right now on the team who are walk-ons.

I think its one way to spend your time and resources. You still have to train, feed and develop all these kids. That takes time and money. Are you better off spending those other places? That's the question.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
From what I understand Frost is trying to revive their walk-on program that UpAndUnder43 references, and they have something like 80 kids right now on the team who are walk-ons.

I think its one way to spend your time and resources. You still have to train, feed and develop all these kids. That takes time and money. Are you better off spending those other places? That's the question.
Agreed.

Thing was, back in the day, Nebraska would give them full rides anyway. So it was a way to cheat scholarship limits. Can’t do that today. So no one with significant talent is going to be a traditional walk-on at Nebraska, like they used to get. They are glorified scout teamers.
 

BeerFueledFF

Active member
Agreed.

Thing was, back in the day, Nebraska would give them full rides anyway. So it was a way to cheat scholarship limits. Can’t do that today. So no one with significant talent is going to be a traditional walk-on at Nebraska, like they used to get. They are glorified scout teamers.
It's a way for them to pan for gold, but the hit rate on it won't be very good.

How many truly good players are gonna pay to walk on at Nebraska when they could get a scholarship at a G5 or FCS school?
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

Well-known member
I always assumed their walk on program was a bit of marketing... that worked.

They sold folks on being a walk on and that being a walk on at Nebraska was special / different with the understanding that if it didn't work out they had some extra training and they could then go elsewhere and maybe have sort of leveled up and play better at another level.

In that way they were able to horde alright players and "project" players who maybe would have gone elsewhere... adding depth and a fair chance some starts would come out of that.

Not sure how that sells these days.
 

UpAndUnder43

Well-known member
I think Fleck has done a good job of rewarding walk ons with scholarships which I think will lead to more talented walk ons.
 

GopherBuddy

New member
One of the rationals for a large walk on program is that these players can set a positive tone for the team in terms of sacrifice, hard work, perseverance.
 

Veritas

Active member
It was an organized, state wide systemic system used to avoid football scholarship limits. Each county in Nebraska offered a worthy student a scholarship to Nebraska U because that student was judged to such a wonderful person, student and all around swell guy or gal. The fact that almost every one of the receipiants was a promissing football player was said to be pure chance. Thus, today, the rule is simple, if you are on the practice team and you get any aid from anyone for any reason you count as one of the 85 legally allowed football scholarship. If you accept a partial scholarship from the Women For Good Music Club and you practice with the football team you now count as one of the 85 allowed.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
I think Fleck has done a good job of rewarding walk ons with scholarships which I think will lead to more talented walk ons.
But again, those are PWO. Your point still stands. A kid may be more likely to come here as a PWO if he’s more likely to earn a scholarship down the road.

That is essentially what the “Maroon shirt” means. It’s a guarantee that you’ll earn a scholarship after your first year of being a PWO.



Again, both historically and now (in reference to the 80 walk ons comment), I believe we’re talking traditional (unrecruited) walkons. There are roster limits for fall camp and the season, I believe 105. But after school starts, I’m not sure if there’s a limit. All the kids who show up after school starts, above the 105 fall campers, are traditional, unrecruited walkons. A kid has to choose to enroll to Nebraska on his own, then show up with the attitude of “I’ll show em!”, and have enough talent to make it, all on his own.
 

UpAndUnder43

Well-known member
But again, those are PWO. Your point still stands. A kid may be more likely to come here as a PWO if he’s more likely to earn a scholarship down the road.

That is essentially what the “Maroon shirt” means. It’s a guarantee that you’ll earn a scholarship after your first year of being a PWO.



Again, both historically and now (in reference to the 80 walk ons comment), I believe we’re talking traditional (unrecruited) walkons. There are roster limits for fall camp and the season, I believe 105. But after school starts, I’m not sure if there’s a limit. All the kids who show up after school starts, above the 105 fall campers, are traditional, unrecruited walkons. A kid has to choose to enroll to Nebraska on his own, then show up with the attitude of “I’ll show em!”, and have enough talent to make it, all on his own.
I don't think there is a single unrecruited walk-on for the Gophers. You don't just show up to camp and start practicing.
 

hungan1

Well-known member
Somewhere here it was mentioned that the PWOs and scholarship players are treated the with the Gophers.

The only difference is they pay their way and they don't get stipends. But, do they get the training table benefits?
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
Somewhere here it was mentioned that the PWOs and scholarship players are treated the with the Gophers.

The only difference is they pay their way and they don't get stipends. But, do they get the training table benefits?
This is a wild guess that could be wrong:
- any time food is simply “provided” in some form (think about tables of food/snacks sitting out in a locker room, meeting room, etc., any kind of catered in food, like pregame meals or meals on the road, etc.) is simply written off as “food gifted to players”.
- any time a player is admitted to a controlled access dining area (like the athletes village nutrition/dining room), it counts as a “meal” against a meal plan. The school provides a free meal plan as part of the scholarship. But for mon-scholarship, my guess is they’re required to pay for a meal plan to be on the team. Because it’s not like they’re going to tell some PWO after practice “sorry Johnny, you can’t eat with the rest of the team since you don’t have a meal plan”.
 

MplsGopher

Well-known member
I don't think there is a single unrecruited walk-on for the Gophers. You don't just show up to camp and start practicing.
Well again, rosters don’t expanse until school starts. So yes, for fall camp, you can’t just show up. There is no such thing. But once school starts, they can add traditional walkons, if they want. I don’t know what Fleck’s policy is on that.
 

Plato

Member
NE in the old days touted their walk on program as evidence of democracy in action.
Hale and hardy young men with a burning desire to be Huskers were and were overlooked in the recruiting process were given a chance to fulfill their dreams.
As noted above it was a scam. What Frost is doing now I do not have a clue.
WI has always had a successful PWO program.
 

ICHawk24

Member
Most D1 teams have something like 120 total players. 85 scholarships. 35ish walkons. 105 can attend August camp.

All D1 walkons are recruited.

Preferred walkons are guaranteed a spot on the August camp roster of 105, but only for their first season on campus. Sometimes scholarship players don't make the camp roster. Usually those are guys expected to transfer.

There used to be a difference in training table/meals for scholarships vs. walkons, but those differences disappeared 4 or 5 years ago.
 



Top Bottom