It would not be an exaggeration to describe the life course of Beauzellois François Basty, son of Alain Basty, president of the association La Foulée beauzelloise, as extraordinary and inspiring for young people. Currently project manager in a large company, François Basty completed his university career in the United States by combining studies and the practice of high-level football.
How did you come to study and perform in the United States?
After college in Blagnac, I joined a training center in Niort to practice football, while continuing my studies at Saint-Sernin high school in Toulouse. Then I did a year in Staps. During this year, a sports agency, although more focused on tennis, made me discover this opportunity to go to the United States.
Why the United States and not another country?
I had a good level of football but I was not ready to stop my studies to devote myself to it completely. And the American courses are perfect in that they offer a very high university sports level and a secondary diploma, thanks to arranged schedules.
How did you apply?
I sent a video of my football practice, and I also had to take English language tests (Toefl and SAT). I went to England for a year as an au pair to improve my English and pass the tests. The better the scores, the bigger the scholarship.
What was next for you?
Several universities have been interested in my profile. My choice fell on the one in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I was enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, while playing on the college football team.
Was it difficult to reconcile the two?
As a “Student athlete”, everything is done to ensure that you succeed with tutors, work groups, flexible schedules. If the student abandons his studies or does not have good grades, he is not eligible to play or may lose his scholarship. But more than 90% of students graduate.
How did you find the American football approach?
A university season is short: it begins in August and ends in mid-November, or December in the event of the final stages. Their approach is more athletic than technical, even if for several years they have been trying to bring in European technicians to improve.
What path did you take after 4 years of the course?
I had a lot of physical glitches. After graduating, I moved to Chicago to do a Masters in Business Administration for 2 years. I also obtained a coaching diploma, which allowed me to coach a division 3 football team. I returned to France to have surgery several times and decided to stay there.
What do you take away from this American experience and what message would you like to convey to young people?
It was an extremely enriching experience that I wanted to pursue differently. With a friend David Znati, we created a structure, Horizon Life Sport, to help young European athletes to obtain scholarships and go to the United States like me. To young people who would be attracted by this football/studies course, I tell them that English is essential and that they should not be afraid to get started.