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The 33 Percent Solution

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The 33 Percent Solution

Postby bigh0rt » Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:00 am

John Manuel, in a premium article at Baseball America’s Web site, writes about NCAA rule changes scheduled to take effect following the 2008 season that were also discussed at some length in the News and Observer last week. The rule changes came about in response to an NCAA study that showed poor performance by college baseball players on the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) scale, in large part because baseball’s transfer rule allows players to transfer once without being required to sit out a year, leading to a high transfer rate. Manuel writes:

In the wake of the NCAA’s emergency legislation to improve baseball’s APR performance, (Mississippi State baseball coach Ron) Polk used some characteristic and heated rhetoric, calling it a death blow for college baseball.

Now, we haven’t found a coach who likes the legislation--rules that force players to sit out a year when they transfer, become certified academically in the fall to play in the spring and, most significantly mandates a minimum of 33 percent scholarship money for every player who receives athletic aid. But Polk, who once went so far as to quit his coaching gig at Mississippi State to fight the NCAA on scholarship reductions (only to change his mind soon thereafter), overstated his case to make a point.


College baseball teams have the equivalent of 11.7 scholarships. Most teams split those scholarships among 25-30 players, with as many as half of the players who are on scholarship typically getting less than the 33 percent that the NCAA will now mandate. By requiring teams to concentrate their financial aid among a smaller group of players, and by having transfers sit out a year as is done in other marquee sports, the NCAA hopes to force coaches to place a premium on keeping their own athletes eligible rather than dangling larger aid packages in front of potential transfers who are on minimal aid elsewhere. The rule changes also limit rosters to 35 players by 2009-2010, with no more than 27 on any form of aid. Manuel notes, and the N&O article confirms, that the coaches wanted to include an increase in the total number of scholarships for baseball as part of the rule change, which would likely have made it palatable to the coaches, but it was pretty clear according to study committee member and UNC-Greensboro coach Mike Gaski (in the N&O) that an increase wouldn’t fly:

Gaski was one of three coaches on the NCAA’s baseball academic committee, along with LSU coach Paul Manieri and Florida coach Pat McMahon; pushing for more scholarships was a non-starter, he said.

“It was made very, very clear to us as a group that if we went in to the university presidents and said the answer to this problem is more scholarships, it would be totally disregarded,” Gaski said.


The changes aren’t cast in concrete yet; the NCAA has a process that would allow for the changes to be overridden by the membership.

It’s really, really hard to figure out what might happen if this change goes through. It may encourage more HS players to opt for signing professional colleges rather than going to college; it may make it difficult for lesser-known college teams to attract enough talent to compete with the traditional powers; or it may result in more sharing of the wealth. The one thing that I’m not convinced it will do is help the APR of college baseball players. It will cut down on transfers, but I don’t see how it will help them stay in school, especially if coaches have less freedom to give aid to players on the edges of the roster.
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Re: The 33 Percent Solution

Postby The Loveable Losers » Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:56 am

Honestly I'm not a big fan of college being used as an alternate to the minors anyways. Student athletes should be students first and athletes second. It's harder to reach that ideal in football and basketball due to the lack of a minor league system - there's no reason that college baseball players should be looking at college as nothing more than a way to get drafted. College baseball should be the ticket to college for intelligent and talented student athletes. It shouldn't be a showcase for the major leagues - that's why we have the minor leagues.

Now whether the 33 percent solution helps to reach that ideal or not...I just don't know. What I'd rather see is higher required scores to maintain scholarships. Force teams to focus their scholarship money on young men that are scholars first and athletes second, not the other way around.
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Re: The 33 Percent Solution

Postby StlSluggers » Fri Jun 08, 2007 1:10 pm

The Loveable Losers wrote:What I'd rather see is higher required scores to maintain scholarships. Force teams to focus their scholarship money on young men that are scholars first and athletes second, not the other way around.

Exactly. The whole time I'm reading this, I'm thinking, "If grades are a problem, why not just implement tougher academic standards?"

:S
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Re: The 33 Percent Solution

Postby bigh0rt » Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:14 pm

Man, this musn't be as interesting as the 'Buy Low on Daniel Cabrera' thread. :,(
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Re: The 33 Percent Solution

Postby The Loveable Losers » Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:42 pm

bigh0rt wrote:Man, this musn't be as interesting as the 'Buy Low on Daniel Cabrera' thread. :,(


I think the bigger problem is that it's a serious yet intractable issue. You certainly can't address the issue with the following reply

d00d pick him up he's gunna be a stud...

Help with mine:
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=297709
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Re: The 33 Percent Solution

Postby bigh0rt » Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:10 pm

The Loveable Losers wrote:
bigh0rt wrote:Man, this musn't be as interesting as the 'Buy Low on Daniel Cabrera' thread. :,(


I think the bigger problem is that it's a serious yet intractable issue. You certainly can't address the issue with the following reply

d00d pick him up he's gunna be a stud...

Help with mine:
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=297709

Well said.

halp >>>>> diskushon
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Re: The 33 Percent Solution

Postby dclark0699 » Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:21 pm

I'm all for tougher academic standards for college athletes...in every sport. They are in school to learn, Especially baseball players. Most college baseball players will not sniff pro ball...they need their education.
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