Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Foul Play...Part 2
Baseball takes a lot of time from a student’s time in the classroom, yet no relief is usually given in terms of making sure the stress of a 6 hour day of baseball and an 8 hour day of school is manageable.
Baseball players must still take 15-17 credit hours in a semester based system…yet in reality, based on the time available, they should be taking only 12-13…The problem is that if a baseball player takes 12-13 credits a semester, he will be ineligible at many institutions before the start of his junior year because of the 40-60-80% progress towards degree rule.
Therefore, players are forced to pay for summer classes out of their own pocket to make up the difference, because there are no more mid-year certifications. In addition, baseball players have to be eligible at the start of the academic year to play in the spring...which is fine except the NCAA does not require this in basketball or football.
Now, there are huge problems with all of this…The problem with summer school is that many of the players get assigned to summer leagues which start a week or two after school is out and continues through the first of August. If a coach thinks a player has a chance to start the next year or has pro aspirations, he will assign him to the Cape Cod, Northwoods, Alaskan, California Collegiate or many of the other summer leagues to get more innings in. There’s no time for summer school!!!
This is yet another point that illustrates the demands on the collegiate baseball player. They are expected to play year round...56 games in the spring and around 40-50 in the summer depending on the league. They have another 45 days of practice and scrimmages in the fall.
Do basketball players play over 100 games in a year? Do football players have a taxing schedule like this? The gridiron and court players get over 100 scholarships between them, yet are required to play half the games combined in a given year.
As America's Past Time...it's way "Past Time" that the collegiate sport get it's due. While 20 scholarships that I mentioned yesterday may seem unrealistic, it's really the only fair solution...besides...a mentor once told me, "If you don't aim high, you will never hit your target." By aiming at 14 scholarships, the NCAA will always end up back at 11.7 if that rule is followed.
Aiming at 20 scholarships will hopefully give us...the parents who foot all the bills, and the players who give up their lives to play the game they love, a bigger incentive and reward for all of the "way above the average" work load they put into the sport each and every year.