On Thursday of last week the NCAA voted to allow the power five conferences to have autonomy in some areas like full cost of attendance and recruiting rules. One thing I was hoping for was the ability to have increased baseball scholarships.
Right now college baseball is limited to 11.7 scholarships per team. With 27 players on conference rosters, 35 on non-conference rosters and up to 40 or so each year on the full roster that’s not much, especially when you’re a SEC school who would gladly spend more on baseball if allowed.
If college baseball teams were able to offer full scholarships to more players there is little doubt in my mind there would be more decisions to attend college than accept a professional contract out of high school. I think it would improve the game and enhance its popularity.
Unfortunately it looks like scholarships won’t fall under the “autonomy umbrella”.
Areas that will not fall under the autonomy umbrella include postseason tournaments, transfer policies, scholarship limits, signing day and rules governing on-field play.
While baseball isn’t the chief concern in all of these decisions, this is just one more reason the power five should break off from the NCAA in my opinion. It’s possible that every SEC program’s budget be over $80-90 million in the next year or two. Other power five leagues may not be able to boast those kind of figures but they aren’t far off, and could easily afford to add baseball scholarships if they would like to.
For a baseball conference like the SEC, this would be a no-brainer. I’m sure the Pac 12, ACC, and Big 12 would also join in – maybe with a 25 or 27 limit.
It’s too bad more scholarships won’t be offered to baseball players. It’s a great sport and hopefully one day the rest of the country will realize it.