Thursday, January 22, 2009

Foul Play...Part 4

All week, we have been talking about the incredibly awful decision that the NCAA made last week to deny an increase in scholarships for baseball players. There's so much more to complain about...we just think the scholarship issue is the most important. But in the past year or so, the NCAA and it's member institutions made some additional changes that are also head scratchers. One such move was to condense the season...squeezing the same 56 game schedule into 20 fewer playable days.

This has caused all sorts of problems for student athletes and scheduling. Many schools are forced to play up to 5 games a week to fit their games in. That produces all sorts of problems in the class room for athletes. Here's our list of changes in the collegiate game that need to happen now.

1. Expand the season two weeks...One week earlier and one week later.

2. Eliminate conference tournaments so that the season can end to accommodate the NCAA tourney and have it end on time.

3. Either de-regulate the scholarship limit or give the schools 20 scholarships.

4. Penalize any team that doesn't fully fund by deducting RPI points or making them ineligible for post-season play. Those that consistently under fund will have to give up their Division I status.

5. Spread out the top rated teams around the country like NCAA basketball does...thereby eliminating insane match-ups like the Long Beach (totally tortuous regional), Stanford and Miami regional had last season.

Remember this is supposed to be a tournament that ends up matching up the best against the best when they get to Omaha. Each team in the Long Beach Regional could have been a #1 or #2 seed anywhere else. As it stood, there were three top ten teams and the eventual National Champ in that region.

Going forward, I and others that really love collegiate sports would like to see north/south match-ups. What a great ratings booster that would be. I love bragging rights match-ups. Given a choice I think that a Miami, Texas, Georgia, Stanford or Fullerton would travel rather than be stuck in a regional full of top rated teams.

Thoughts? What do you want changed?


Anonymous said...

Very nice, I agree completely.

Bulldogdad said...

A friend told me about your site and this weeklong rant you had against the NCAA. As a father of a NCAA D-I baseball player, your proposal is the most sensible I have heard to date.

My son will more than likely get drafted, but it is unlikely that he will graduate with a meaningful degree due to the time constraints of baseball. Summer school was not an option due to his assignments in the Cal Ripken Sr. League and Cape Cod after his freshman and sophomore year. He felt he had to do it to secure a spot on the team, increase his draft status and improve his game.

In the meantime, my wife and I have struggled to keep up with the $9,000 tuition that was left over from what the scholarship did not cover. Other parents that are in our financial situation have their non-athlete students do work study and have college jobs to help make ends meet. Our son is unable to do that due to his 24/7 schedule.

It would really help if colleges would help baseball players a bit more. My son says that football players don't have nearly the time demands that the baseball players have, yet 100% of the teams players are all on 100% scholarships, even the kickers!!!

As much time as my son spends with baseball, he IS getting the equivalent of a low third world minimum wage. The system is really messed up and NCAA baseball really needs to get its act together and reward these players for all of their hard work.