Al’s View: Baseball Scholarships

Al’s View-Baseball Scholarships

By: Al Hudson-December 4, 2007


I would like to comment on college athletic scholarships and baseball in particular. Ron Polk, Head Baseball Coach at Mississippi State University, and one of the most revered coaches at the college level, has been adamant in his attempt to rectify a problem he sees in college baseball. “A college baseball player ought to get a full scholarship. It’s a ridiculous situation, and it punishes a lot of good kids, especially those without solid financial means.”

Colleges can offer up to 85 scholarships in football, but 11.7 is the maximum for baseball. College teams now have 35 man rosters. Scholarships are split to accommodate a large number of players. Some players get only enough money to pay for books. For those with parents able to bear the cost, it may not be a problem. But some talented kids simply cannot afford to attend college and play baseball.


Polk continues, “Recruiting ought to be about identifying top talent and selling them on your school and program. Instead, we have to negotiate with the kids and their parents like a used car salesman to get their expectations low enough to sign them cheaply.” Some changes have been made to the system as Division I schools now cannot give less than a 25 percent scholarship to a player. Now some kids won’t even get the book money, and 25 percent probably will still leave some kids out for financial reasons.


Baseball is a character building sport, but what are we teaching these kids about character. The almighty dollar rules the sport and will until college presidents realize what they are doing to the sport.

Thumbs Up: On a more positive note, the Colorado Rockies have voted the widow of Mike Coolbaugh, a full World Series share. Most will remember that Mike, a minor league coach in the Rockies system was killed by a line drive while coaching first base in a game. Mandy Coolbaugh will receive the share worth over $230,000 to help raise their family. A classy and commendable move from the Rockies.

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