Baseball Discussion Group

Playing College Baseball - 3 Areas To Stay On Top

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by JCbaseball » Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:13 pm

Academics for a college baseball player can vary depending on their school and major. All students’ schedules will be different but there are rules that every student must follow. It’s important to be proactive with your academics and understand all the guidelines to maintaining your eligibility while playing college baseball.

Credit Hours
To be a collegiate athlete in the US you have to be considered a full-time student. In order to be a full-time student you must take 12 credit hours per semester (some exceptions). A credit hour is generally measured as the amount of hours a student will be in the class room. For example if you take a class that is 3 hours per week, you will receive 3 credit hours at the end of the semester. In order to graduate college, a typical degree will take a minimum of 120 credit hours. Students will be assigned an academic adviser that will likely set up a graduation plan to determine how long it will take to finish their degree.

For example… graduate in 5 years (10 semesters) you can take 12 credit hours each semester (12x10=120)
To graduate in 4 years (8 semesters) you will need to average 15 credits hours each semester (15x8=120)
To graduate in 3 ½ years (7 semesters) you will need to average just over 17 credit hours each semester

While meeting with your academic adviser it’s important to let them know that you’re on the baseball team. The reason for this is so they can adjust your workload to limit the chances of missing class. Although the plan should be to miss class as little as possible, the fact is a college baseball player is going to have to miss class sooner or later. Scheduling a class on a Friday during the baseball season is not a good idea unless you can make an arrangement with the professor before the semester. Division I players should also consider limiting their classes on Thursdays to the morning because of the likelihood that your flight will leave on the Thursday before a Friday game.

Staying Eligible

There are many rules that each student athlete must follow in order to stay eligible for the duration of their college experience. It’s important while meeting with your adviser that they’re aware of the eligibility rules for an athlete. Your adviser will most likely not be athlete specific so it would be smart to always check with the academic coordinator from the athletic department. The majority of schools will have a minimum GPA requirement around 2.0 in order for athletes to remain& eligible to compete. There are also required academic check points that an athlete must complete in order to stay eligible every season. For division I athletes a student must have completed 40% of their degree after 2 years, 60% after 3 years and 80% after 4 years. Other divisions have their own sets of rules so it’s important to check with the academic coordinator every semester to make sure everything is on track.

The NCAA and NAIA are filled with rules that have not been explained to their athletes. It’s important to gather as much information as possible so that lack of communication is not a reason you become ineligible. Playing college baseball is difficult enough, so it’s in your best interest to take care of all your academic issues to ensure a successful collegiate career.

By Kevin Hussey @ The Baseball Zone. Kevin played baseball at both the NCAA and NJCAA Div I levels, coached at both NCAA Div I and NAIA, and was a recruiting coordinator at an NAIA school. These experiences have all combined to make Kevin a great resource for aspiring student-athletes and their families.
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by earhole » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:25 pm

I agree with JCBaseball and would like to add something else.

To get the most out of your college experience, major in something worthwhile. I like to say "Don't major in something minor". Many coaches encourage players to major in something like "General Studies" or "PE" and these are the students left holding the bag upon graduation when the MLB doesn't come calling. These degrees are not very valuable and are only pursued by athletes. If someone took you to the GM car lot and said you could have any car on the lot - would you choose the cheapest? Heck no - you would consider the most valuable. Think of your college education that way - you get a discounted education in whatever you want. Make it worthwhile.

To make it harder, coaches will convince players that they are the next Buster Posey and it's easy for players to fall for it. Then they graduate and can't find a job after the University has used them for what they wanted.

I'm saying to Use the University for a real education. When considering schools, ask the coach their thoughts on majoring in something of your choice and mention Engineering, Computer Science, etc. If they try to convince you not to do that for WHATEVER reason, then you should consider another college.

There were multiple players on my son's summer team in the Valley League that were studying all the time. They played for Rice and one was pre-Law and another pre-Med. THAT is how you do it. They are maximizing their baseball skills to get an education that will sustain them and their family forever.
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