Colleges in other states will have to use general scholarship (academic) dollars to "blend" with athletic scholarship monies. Georgia and Louisiana will have the state funded Hope and Tops monies to blend with their athletic funds.
These benefits will be available to every Georgia and Louisiana college, public or private. Every sanctioning classification from NCAA Division I, DII, DIII, NAIA, and NJCAA.
Potentially instead of having 11.7 scholarships to work with at an NCAA Division I school in Georgia or Louisiana, programs with the use of Hope or Tops scholarships could have 25 or even 30 full scholarships!
This would make for an uneven playing field when it comes to college baseball recruiting. Especially if you consider that schools in these states will then be able to use more of the allotted (11.7, 9, etc.) scholarship monies for "out of state" players.
Some schools are limited as to the number of male student-athletes that each program is allowed to have on their rosters (including walk-on players) in an effort to comply with Title IX rules.
The interpretation of this part of the Title IX criteria is different from school to school and athletic conference to athletic conference.
Schools with roster number restrictions, in Georgia and Louisiana would benefit from the scholarship programs but potentially not as much as schools without roster restrictions.
What's the bottom line to this discussion? That's difficult to say at this time.
It would seem that there may be the possibility of state funded "stockpiling" of college baseball programs.
If the college baseball coaches in Georgia and Louisiana choose to use this method to increase the size of their team rosters many more "in state" student-athletes will be afforded the opportunity to stay at home and try to get playing time at the Georgia and Louisiana colleges.
What happens to the player that does not have a "B" average in high school? I'm sure that if he is a stud player athletic monies will be awarded just as they always have been.
The players that may feel the effects most of these programs are the "projectable" players that do not have a "B" average. It would seem that they may have to look farther away for college baseball opportunities, or settle for lower round monies available in the professional draft.
I am in favor of rewarding ALL high school students that maintain good grades with the opportunity to get a college education if the so choose.
Hopefully the college coaches and school athletic directors (along with the various conferences) will make the appropriate adjustments to eliminate any unfair recruiting advantages.
However it may become necessary for the NCAA to implement roster size restrictions to the upper level divisions of college baseball in order to level the playing field.
"Hats Off" to the Georgia and Louisiana departments of education ... they are doing the right thing!
To the college baseball coaches of Georgia and Louisiana ... please do the same for our kids.
As I have stated in the previous three installments of this feature ... when roster sizes reach 40, 50 or more players, kids can get hurt. Dreams of playing college baseball can be crushed.
And it can happen to your child.