Thursday, August 21, 2008
We have had numerous e-mails about our claim that women’s crew has 40% more scholarships than baseball.
Well, the truth about women's rowing is that it's a sport that requires fielding a large team, which in turn means it can command up to 20 athletic scholarships, the most the NCAA sanctions for any women's sport.
Title IX stipulated that schools had to offer to women what they offered to men. That is, just as many athletic scholarships. Sounds uncomplicated until you realize that 85 scholarships go to men to play football. And, there is no equivalent sport for women. So, Women's Rowing comes to the rescue. For the record, there are no scholarships for men's rowing.
Ok, we get it. More opportunities for women...and, living on the coast, even I admit there's a following for the sport...the kind that would make the Rockefellers proud. But, did you know that there are opportunities in the Midwest to earn such a scholarship? They exist in places like Creighton, Tulsa, Kansas and Kansas State.
Creighton is in Omaha, Nebraska…home of the NCAA College Baseball World Series. Funny, I have been to Omaha and I didn’t see any large body of waters to row in except the Missouri River…Hmmmm…Now that would be a sport…Rowing on the Missouri River. Ever seen the Big Muddy Mo? Chock full of debris from giant logs, to Uncle Zeke's 1968 Impala and the occasional bank hugging house on stilts that was engulfed by the latest flood. Could you imagine a crew team rowing down the river dodging all those obstacles? I’d watch that…on ESPN, The Ocho, right after the Dodge ball championships.
“There goes the Creighton team Larry, they are stroking at a quick pace overtaking the Jaystrokes from KU….oooooh! What a hit by that barge, split the Scull right in two”
“That’s Gotta Hurt Jim”
Yes America, Baseball and Women's Softball...two of the more established and high profile collegiate sports are awarded less scholarships than women’s crew in places like Omaha, Lawrence, Tulsa, Columbus, OH, and Iowa City. The cradle of women’s crew. No, we aren't deriding women's crew. They are temendous athletes. We ARE however a bit upset at the overall distribution of the scholarships.
Does women's crew really need 20? Could you throw 6 or so to women's softball and then give baseball 2-3 more to keep it on the plus side for the women? Could football stand to give up 3-5 of their 85 to baseball too? More on that later.
America’s Past Time…11.7 scholarships divided amongst 30 man rosters? In a sport so dependent on numbers like 56, 755 (*762), 2,632 and many more…those scholarship numbers are a slap in the face of our beloved sport.
How does this and the other confusing rules affect recruits? Case in point...UGA Coach Perno had to inform several players last month that he had no room for some of his incoming recruits and that they had to enroll in a JC. The reasoning was that not as many juniors and seniors were drafted or if they were, did not sign an MLB contract. That put Perno in a bind. New Rules...A coach has to give out at least a 25% scholarship and has 30 man roster limits...
While it's true that Coach Perno is in a pickle, and it is very easy to blast him for not honoring those players that signed their NLI last November...let's put things into perspective. Georgia is a Top Tier program that everyone in the Southeast would love to play for. There is also a lot of pressure to win and a program like that almost has to over-recruit a bit in anticipation of present players and some of their high profile High school recruits leaving for the draft. That didn't happen. So, Perno had to make some calls.
Imagine that player who announced in his school gymnasium, the local press, as well as friends and family that he signed his NLI to the University of Georgia. Imagine watching Georgia in the finals of the College World Series, feeling on top of the world with those same friends, wearing his Bulldog jersey and cap. Now, fast forward to July 1 when he gets a phone call from Coach Perno telling him that he has to go to a JC. Ughh!
As cold and awful as that scenario sounds...and folks, it really happened to more than a few players at UGA and other schools...we can't really blame the coach. We blame the fact that the NCAA tries to paint everything black and white in a 3-Dimensional, Technicolor world.
Why are there 30 player roster limits and could we approach this on a case by case basis??? What about a three year average of 100 players to accommodate for the unforeseen player overage, as in the case of UGA?
Why are there strict transfer rules that make a player sit out a year...could there also be a case where this could be amended? The ideal scenario would have Perno talking to all of his players, regardless of grade and asking them if they would want to be released and take advantage of a legal transfer without penalty...everyone is happy.
Again, it's not really UGA's fault that Perno recruited well and the present upperclassmen didn't sign an MLB contract. It's unfortunate, but there has to be case by case exceptions. It's the only right thing to do for the players...That's who gets hurt the most.
And of course, the scholarship limits of 11.7. Can someone at the NCAA trade in their Abacus for a shiny new calculator and run some numbers? Let's see...hmmmm...if you divide this number....into...that number...you get...39% per player. That is just plain embarassing.
And, I really love college football...But, why does football get 85 scholarships? Shiny calculator time again...With 11 per side, that's enough players to put together 4 full teams...all on FULL RIDES!!! You know it's a wacky system when a kicker, his holder and their back-ups get full rides.
Meanwhile, Yankee jilter and UCLA bound Gerrit Cole, who throws 97MPH with about as much effort as Usain Bolt runs the 100 meters, get's maybe a 50% scholarship.
Have you noticed? We are really concerned and are urging all of you to write the NCAA, college coaches, your local sports columnist, Bubba the garbage man…write anybody and express your concerns too…because of all of the rules that the NCAA has imposed on baseball athletes, 11.7 Scholarships, 30 Man Roster Limits and the Transfer Rule hurt the most.
It hurts struggling, middle class America, Inner City athletes, and just about everyone that was depending on the American Dream (your home value...Aargghh!) to help finance junior’s college education. Baseball student athletes have put a lot of blood, sweat, tears and parents money into their sport as much and maybe even more than the other fully funded sports at college universities. It’s time that baseball got it’s due too.
1. 20 Scholarships (1.3 from women's crew, 5 from football and two as a gift from the NCAA)
2. 100 Player Roster Limits Over Three Years
3. Case By Case Transfer Rules
And we won’t settle for anything less!!!
But mostly, we want more scholarships because...
11.7 is FOUL...20 IS FAIR!!!