NCAA Baseball Coaches Weigh In On Idea Of MLB-Funded Scholarships
Several NCAA baseball coaches said this week that additional scholarships "provided by MLB money would increase the likelihood of high school players going to college," according to Jeff Lockridge of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. There has "never been an official alliance between the NCAA and a professional sports league, making the current discussions potentially groundbreaking." Vanderbilt Univ. baseball coach Tom Corbin said, "I think that when you bring in the powerful, strong minds of Major League Baseball in the college environment, I think it can be good for both parties. ... Helping the game means growing college baseball, getting more people to play it and getting more minorities to play it.” Lockridge noted College coaches and MLB have been "more accustomed to butting heads than cooperating in the past," but recent discussions have "centered on MLB funding scholarships, increasing diversity, MLB involvement in summer leagues and wooden bats." Earlier this month, Univ. of Hartford President Walter Harrison, who is representing the NCAA in talks with MLB, said that it "could take a year or longer for an agreement because new NCAA legislation may be required." Univ. of South Carolina baseball coach Ray Tanner said that he is "optimistic about the cooperation, starting with MLB moving up its signing deadline for draft picks from Aug. 15 last year to July 13 this year" as part of the new CBA. Univ. of Kentucky baseball coach Gary Henderson hinted that the NCAA "should proceed with caution, but he liked the idea of more scholarships to spread amongst the players" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 5/24).