The New "Rage" In College Baseball
by: Bob Howdeshell
High School Baseball Web
Over Recruiting 2002
Inside the recruiting numbers of some of the nation's top college baseball programs.
One thing that really drives me crazy is when I am told "You just don't understand." This was the common thread when
I attempted to discuss the "Over Recruiting" or Stockpiling issue with several of the nation's Top 40 college baseball head coaches.
Last year we ran a series of articles on the issue of "Stockpiling" among college baseball programs.
In some cases the High School Baseball Web became public enemy #1 !
First let me say that very few NCAA Division I college baseball programs are guilty of over recruiting. The problem (as we see it) is primarily
with a handful of schools. These programs seem to recruit the same way each year.
Obviously the programs doing the over recruiting or stockpiling are among the nation's elite programs. A mid-level DI program would probably not be able to
do this .... Why? Probably because the players and/or parents would not be as
"starry eyed" about playing at those schools.
Players and Parents are also guilty in this problem. Many are aware of the annual over recruiting by these programs and choose to sign
with these schools anyway.
Last year our series of articles did not mention schools by name. This year it is time to "take the gloves off!" I don't have
a vendetta or "axe to grind" with any of these programs listed. Most of them I do not even know the coaching staffs. I simply am alarmed at the methods and continual recruiting of large numbers
Here are a few of the "Prize Winners" for the 2002 recruiting class.
Not all large signing classes are an indication of over recruiting. For example the University of South Carolina signed sixteen (16) players from
the class of 2002. While that sounds like a problem, it may not be. USC will lose eleven (11) seniors and probably four juniors from the current roster.
Last year Western Carolina signed eighteen (18) players, this year only four (4). Sometimes new head coaches need to sign larger than normal numbers to get the program headed in the direction
that they see fit. I understand this. Just don't let it happen two years in a row.
Some schools do not post articles that list the numbers of signees, on their web sites. This makes it difficult to determine if they are over recruiting.
My favorite here is the University of Miami which lists 32 players on the 2002 roster!
Who do I blame for this practice? Mostly I blame the coaches. The common excuse used is "We lose a lot of kids to the Professional Draft." Well other schools compete for the National Championship each year
and they do not seem to have a problem.
I also blame parents and then players. As I said earlier some people seem to get "starry
eyed" over playing
for one of these traditional powers. What about all those kids that never play? Those that sit on the bench, or are asked to transfer to a junior college, or those that
are simply asked to leave? It happens every year, it could be your son.
There are programs that compete among the best each year without over recruiting. A few that come to mind immediately are Tennessee,
East Carolina, Stanford, Auburn, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Southern California.
It pays to look at current college baseball program rosters. Large numbers usually indicate over recruiting or stockpiling. Ask the coaches "point blank" questions ... like "how many players
do you expect to sign in this class? How many players at my position? Any hesitation on
answering these questions may not be a good sign.
To read last years series of articles on "Stockpiling" follow the