home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 14, 2013

Dennis Farrell

Dave Keilitz

Damani Leech

Dennis Poppe


BILL COUSINS:テつ Welcome, to our annual State of College Baseball news conference.テつ Let me introduce the folks that are on the podium:テつ Dennis Poppe, from the NCAA, Dave Keilitz, Second Director of the Baseball Coaches Association, heir apparent, Damani Leech, he's going to feel like Gene Bartow in 1976.テつ Dennis Farrell, Big West Conference, and the chairman of the Division I Baseball Committee.テつ I guess, for the last time, Dennis, I'll turn it over to you, and you can lead the organization here.
DENNIS FARRELL:テつ For the first time, I get the last word.テつ I don't get the last word with my family, as you can see, taking care of grandchildren and children, is what it's all about and it's kind of what the College World Series is all about anyway.テつ But, yes, we started this kind of ominous sounding State of College Baseball press conference as an opportunity for some key people in the sport, particularly Dave Keilitz and the Coaches Association, and Dennis as the chair of the Baseball Committee, and Damani and me working for the NCAA, to give you and opportunity to ask some questions.
We've talked to you all enough that I don't know if we've provided any new insight.テつ But this is an opportunity to provide information on other topics, not just championship, but other issues facing us, and look forward to discussing that with you, and more importantly, we look forward to playing in a great 2013 College World Series.テつ Keeping it dry, 17 games, no tornados, and we'll have a great week‑and‑a‑half here.
Anyway, do you want to just go right into questions or anybody want an opening statement?
DAVE KEILITZ:テつ I would like to do so.テつ I've had an opportunity to work with Dennis for over 20 years now when I was chair of the Baseball Committee, and then the last 20 years as executive director of the ABCA.テつ Just like to congratulate him and thank him for what he's done for the game, the college game, and the game of baseball.テつ On behalf of our over 6800 coaching members, we can't thank him enough.
I know of no one in college baseball that's done more for our game in the last 20 years than what Denny has.テつ We're going to really miss him, but have also worked closely with Damani the last several years, and if there's anybody close to replacing Denny, it would be Damani.
So congratulations Denny, and congratulations Damani, and thanks again for everything.
DENNIS POPPE:テつ I'd like to echo that as well.テつ I'd like to work with Denny and Damani on three different baseball committees at this point:テつ Baseball Issues Committee, Baseball APR Committee, and now had the privilege of being on the Championship Committee, and I can't imagine what this great event would be, particularly, without Denny.テつ Over the last 26 years who has put his heart and soul into this sport, and has left it in really good hands for Damani.テつ Damani, it's a big challenge for you not to drive the car over of the cliff.テつ But I think, yeah, no pressure at all.
But I do truly think that the sport of baseball, as we'll discuss today is just at an all‑time high in terms of popularity.テつ This great event is, in my mind, the greatest event that the NCAA puts together.テつ Not to diminish from any of the other great events, but this truly represents what's right about collegiate sports, and that's largely due to Denny and Damani.テつ As I say, I've worked with both of them quite closely over the last ten years and cannot imagine what this sport would be without both of their leaderships.テつ So, congratulations, Denny, and good luck, Damani.
DAMANI LEECH:テつ I think it was almost to this day, Denny, ten years ago you called me and said do you want to come work for me, and it took me 3 seconds to tell me where do I sign?テつ And I flew out to the College World Series, caught the end of the Rice‑Stanford Championship, and that was my first College World Series about ten years ago.テつ It's been a tremendous experience.テつ I'm really excited to be in a leadership position to guide this event.テつ I'm humbled by it.テつ Obviously, it's a tremendous, tremendous event and understand the challenge of that being in that role and that responsibility and also look forward to it.テつ And you're right, hopefully I don't drive it off the cliff.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions from the audience, please.

Q.テつ Talk about what you saw from college baseball when you took over in this role and what you're seeing now?
DENNIS POPPE:テつ Well, I guess if you look at the numbers and it's not what it's all about, but the attendance of the College World Series, we were averaging about 8000 a night, and now we're at 23,000 plus.テつ But the one constant, and sometimes we always ask about what's changed, and sometimes I'd like to refer to what's been there all the time and that's been the passion of the community of Omaha, and the support for the College World Series.テつ Maybe there were fewer back then, but that's never changed.テつ It's always been the home of the College World Series, and it's always been a continuing thing.
I think our challenge through the years has been to enhance the championship to do what we could to make it contemporary, but don't lose what made it, and I think we've been successful.テつ It has changed.テつ We're in a much different stadium than we were a few years ago, but as my good friend, Mr.Leech, I'll steal his term ‑ it's not the bricks and mortar that make the College World Series; it's the people and young men who play in the game.
Rosenblatt was unique, and this stadium was not going to replace Rosenblatt; it had to earn its own spurs.テつ So I think as far as Omaha, that's it.
As far as college baseball, the other night we were talking, and if you had told me 26 years ago that every game would be televised, we couldn't even get the College World Series televised live on every game.テつ If you remember, not every game was live, some were taped.テつ Now the conference, and a tribute to what ESPN has done, to televise over 100 games, and to me that's going to produce benefits for Damani and those who are going to be leading us into the future because we're developing that audience.
We're developing an identity with baseball, and we start watching them in the regionals, and we follow them through the Super Regionals and all the way through.テつ I think that's what builds the interest level.
Again, without getting too wordy here, institutions realize this is a sport that has a good alumni following.テつ I look at the number of facilities and the improvements to the program since 1988 and it's significant.テつ It's all good.テつ It's with the little self of accomplishment, and all of us, and Dave has been crucial to this.テつ Larry Templeton, I know is out there, and a few of the other guys that have been involved with all of, this I think we all take a little pride with where we're at.
Bottom line is if it weren't for the coaches and the players, it wouldn't have happened, so we've got to look at that as well.

Q.テつ Dave, I know this is something you addressed in the convention back in January, but it seems that it's picked up steam since then.テつ The ball issue.テつ Lot of coaches have been wanting to switch to the same ball that minor leagues use.テつ Curious for all you guys what you think about that notion, and has that picked up any steam in your eyes?
DAVE KEILITZ:テつ There may not be time for anybody else when I get through.テつ First of all, let me mention this:テつ At the end of the first year, the BBCOR bat, we're now in the third year, but at the end of the first season of the BBCOR bat, I surveyed all the Division I coaches and then the Division II and III after that on their feeling on the bat:テつ Did they like it?テつ Was it acceptable?テつ Or did they not like it?テつ And only 16% of the coaches said they did not like the new BBCOR bat standards.テつ That also tells me, at least in my way of thinking that most of them are very satisfied with where the game was at with the new BBCOR bat.
Since that time, it had been brought up concerning well, the bat's not going to change, why don't we look at the ball?テつ And the suggestion was let's just change from the NCAA ball to the pro ball.
There is a fairly significant difference between the two.テつ The C.O.R., coefficient of restitution, of the pro ball is higher.テつ The maximum C.O.R. on a college ball is a .555, on a pro ball, it's a .578.テつ And it also has a wider range than a ball can fall in there than what the NCAA does.
Now that's fairly significant as far as the distance a ball is going to travel.テつ And a ball that would be hit say 300 feet with the college ball under the exact same conditions, that ball would travel about 325 feet.テつ The other thing that you have with the ball that is different between the college ball and the pro ball is the height of the seam.テつ There are a couple of factors with that.テつ First of all, the NCAA and the rule book does not require you to use a flat‑seam or a raised‑seam ball.テつ But it does say for tournament play, it will be a raised‑seam ball.
So the colleges, basically, that's what they use all year because they know that's what they're going to have to use in the tournament.
With the raised‑seam ball, you have what is called the drag effect.テつ That is because the seam is going through the air and it knocks the ball down to a certain extent.テつ Now to change the C.O.R. would be much more complicated than to change the seam on the ball.
The C.O.R. ball, the pro ball is only made by one company, that is Rawlings.テつ The Diamond and Wilson, who are the other two big suppliers of college balls do not make a ball that exceeds a .555.テつ Then you've got colleges that have con tracts with other ball companies, some long‑range contracts.テつ So there are several factors involved in changing the C.O.R.
First of all, most importantly, how would it affect our game?テつ We don't want to change the ball and take it back to where we were when nobody liked it a few years ago, so that is a big factor.テつ The factor is present contracts that conferences have, the legal actions of that, maybe even liability issues and then there are also financial impacts.テつ The pro ball costs more than the college ball.テつ So all of those things have to be taken into consideration.
The easiest thing to do is if you wanted to change it, and the coaches decide to do so and the NCAA Rules Committee accepts it, is to have a flat‑seam ball which all the ball companies can do at no additional cost.テつ They make that ball right now, so that would be an easy change.
What we've got to find out is, okay.テつ What does that mean if we were to do that in terms of the ball off the bat distance‑wise?テつ And that we're studying this summer.テつ The NCAA rules are on a two‑year cycle, so they can't even act on it.テつ The Baseball Rules Committee until July of 2014, so we're a little more than a year away before they can even make that decision.
But this summer we'll do the research on the raised‑seam versus flat‑seam.テつ I'll send out another survey to the coaches, 1, 2, and 3, to determine this is what the effect would be if we did this.テつ Do you want this or not?テつ The majority of the coaches do.テつ I'll take that to the Rules Committee, to their meeting, it will be discussed and then they'll make that decision.
But that's a fairly easy thing to do with the flat‑seam.テつ The question is how much it's going to affect our game and what it means.テつ That's a long answer to a long problem?

Q.テつ Dennis, good job, again, with your committee.テつ But it really has to do with the committee.テつ The challenge of reaching finally those ultimate decisions at the end, can you just speak to that a little bit in terms of what that room gets to be like more than anything else, the subjective aspect?テつ Because you don't have a 65th and 67th and 68th team.
DENNIS FARRELL:テつ Yeah, I think that the difficult challenges that the committee wrestles with over the weekend in Indianapolis is somewhat three‑fold.テつ One is the selection of the 34 at‑large teams when it gets down to those precious few left spots that you have.テつ I think this year we had as many as 11 teams that were still up on the board for the final four or five spots, then maybe six teams left for the final two spots.テつ So we have that challenge.
We have the challenge of selecting the top 16, No. 1 seeds, and then also the challenge of seeding the top eight, the national seeds.テつ So those are the three areas that we really do spend the bulk of our time over the weekend wrestling with.
I've used this comment many times that from my view it really is a marriage of art and science.テつ We get a lot of scientific data, the RPI, things of that nature, but then we also get the objective viewpoints of regional advisory committees, people on the committee who have seen teams, and we try to balance all of that information to make the final selections.
As I've been on the committee, I've tried to get the committee, and certainly this last year in my role as the chair, to really look just beyond the RPI numbers, and look at what were driving those numbers for teams.テつ So if there were teams that were from power conferences, and we all know who those conferences are, but that they finished down in their standings, how do they compare to teams that maybe at the top of non‑power conferences?テつ And that's where we spend the time really trying to dissect what drove those numbers for the RPI.
I will tell you, probably each of those discussions for those three areas took hours for each of them to really come to fruition.
Now in some areas, it's simple.テつ I would say of the top eight seeds since last year, the top six were probably pretty simple to deal with.テつ But the other two national seed spots, we had as many as four teams that were up on the board that we spent a lot of time dissecting how they got their numbers and who they played and who they beat and when they did it.テつ The thing that makes it very difficult in this sport, maybe more so than any other NCAA sport that uses an RPI, is that the proliferation of regional scheduling, and then the fact that in the sport of baseball you're essentially putting a different team out on the field every single night.テつ So you have to really look hard and, what I term, pull the onion away to see who is the most deserving?

Q.テつ A very related direct question to the NCAA.テつ The comparison of the basketball seeding versus the baseball, which is the most, do you think, subjective and most difficult?テつ I didn't mean seeding.テつ I meant the selection end of the finals into the post‑season play, I guess.
DAMANI LEECH:テつ I think the processes are very similar, and you'll find that across the Division I Championships.テつ You have a committee who is given a set of qualitative and quantitative information and they have to make decisions about who are the best teams in the country.テつ Who gets in and who doesn't?テつ Who deserves to be seeded and who doesn't?テつ When you get into the seeds a little bit, the way the teams get seeded and placed into the bracket and regionalization, a lot of that stuff is different, but the fundamentals are very much the same.
To add to what Dennis was saying, I think one thing that's important to note is that what the committee doesn't do, it doesn't get together, talk about a team, and decide this is the reason why we are picking this team, and this is the reason why we are not picking this team.テつ What they do is they talk about kind of a large set of information about teams, pros and cons about a group of teams and then they all vote.
So those ten committee members all have different things going on in their head about why they're picking one team over the other.テつ We don't necessarily arrive at here's why this team was picked and here's why this team wasn't.
We have a set of facts and information about all of those teams that were involved in the discussion, but that's about as far as it goes.

Q.テつ Dennis, picking the outlying teams must be incredibly difficult to do.テつ But I wonder why doesn't Division I selection committee allow conferences to determine who the Conference Automatic Champion will be?テつ Everyone always has a tournament winner, and I think to make your job easier, it would probably be easier to make that regular season champion the automatic bid.テつ How come you've never made that a mandatory rule?
DENNIS FARRELL:テつ I'm not sure if that's a good question, for me.テつ Don't forget, I'm a Conference Commissioner of one of the only conferences that doesn't have a post‑season tournament also.テつ So we're, you know, my conference has always elected to stay away from having a tournament select our AQ for the tournament.
It's not unlike any other sport in the NCAA.テつ We allow conferences to decide whether they want to have a season‑ending tournament, decide their AQ or allow it to be done by regular season.テつ There are arguments on both sides.テつ Because there are some sports and my conference does have tournaments, and obviously in basketball we do, baseball, we don't.テつ Tournaments are good for selecting that team that might be the hottest team at the end of the year, that maybe had injuries early in the season, that got healthy, but were already out of the regular season race.
So there are really two sides to that argument, and I respect that argument.テつ I'm not sure if it is the Baseball Committee's decision because it does go to a higher level within the NCAA, the Championship's Cabinet to pass those types of policies.
DENNIS POPPE:テつ Dennis has covered a good portion of what the issue is, but to add maybe to his last comment there.テつ We have a standardized automatic qualification policy for all of sports, so what applies in basketball applies in baseball or hockey or whatever.テつ Right now, the conferences are given the opportunity, and that is the policy the association has, and they can either determine regular season or by postseason play.テつ You could argue it both ways.
I know there are a lot of he coaches that would just rather have a regular season.テつ But I think there is an interest level, and there is that team that's hot toward the end of the year, and then there is the fact of we've still got a chance.テつ There is a little bit of a Cinderella story for that team, maybe finish the middle of the pack and then all of a sudden wins the National Championship, ie, Fresno State a couple years ago as I recall.テつ They came out of nowhere, won the conference championship, ended up fourth seed and then won the National Championship.テつ Those are great stories and those kids have been given that opportunity.

Q.テつ Damani, what is the biggest thing you've learned over this last decade that's going to help keep the car on the road and not headed off the cliff?
DAMANI LEECH:テつ You learn pretty quickly particularly about the College World Series and the nature of this event and how special it is to the Omaha community and the baseball community at large.テつ As I mentioned, earlier, it's pretty humbling and it's a challenge.テつ The challenge for this event is not unlike what I consider for other events, the Masters, Indianapolis 500, US Open tennis.テつ Those are events that have been in the same place for many, many years, and they've got a challenge of trying to grow and enhance the event while at the same time preserve what is unique and special about it, and that's not easy to do.テつ It's a bit of a daunting task.テつ But we've got a local organizing committee here with Jack Diesing's leadership and staff and a committee that all understands that.テつ And they're all committed to meeting that challenge.
You just understand the challenge is what you learn pretty quickly.テつ I think something that Denny has taught me over the years is how important people are and relationships are.テつ It's easy to get caught up, and regardless of what the issue is, it's easy to get caught up in numbers and policies, but at the end of the day, a lot of this resolves around people and relationships and having relationships with people is going to solve problems and accomplish a lot of great things.

Q.テつ Got a question regarding the popularity of the sport and it's growing.テつ Will we ever see a day where we'd have play in games, expansion of the tournament beyond 64, playing games, or even, it's a national sport.テつ But to break it down into 32 regions with 2 out of 3, does any of that ever a potential, or are we just really happy right now with the 16‑4, and then that way to get to the Elite Eight?
DAMANI LEECH:テつ Interestingly, I think the Baseball Committee who is primarily charged with that and had talks about that with a pretty good amount of frequency.テつ We did talk about that last summer, in fact, the idea of whether or not to play essentially 32 first‑round games.テつ And then there are pros and cons to it.テつ The pros are you're able to play a head‑to‑head, two‑out‑of‑three series, that is beneficial.テつ You're able to spread the game.テつ We talk about the regional nature of the game, and you're able to spread it into many different areas of the country which is a benefit.テつ But that's an extra week of competition.
So where do you fit it?テつ Do you push it later into the summer and then we're here over July 4th weekend, and we're all divorced at that point, probably?テつ Or do you start it earlier, which gets you into those northern team issues with the start of the season or, heaven forbid, start reducing regular season games?テつ So there is really no easy answer to it.テつ But I think the staff and committee are certainly always looking at different ways to try to improve the championship.

Q.テつ To piggyback off that comment about the potential different post‑season formats.テつ I know one of the big stories this last week, and this is for Dave, has been about pitch count and things like that.テつ What is your thought on instituting a potential kind of pitch count limit on guys?テつ Because what happened in college baseball is coaches are making bigger salaries and things like that, there is a lot more pressure to win.テつ So they feel they have to bring back their ace in a Monday game.テつ I guess your thoughts on this post‑season format, and also the idea of a pitch count limit?
DAVE KEILITZ:テつ I think the majority of the coaches use very good judgment.テつ I think that's where it has to be left.テつ Where one pitcher gets to a hundred pitches, that's enough.テつ Another could get to 120 or 125.テつ If you talk to one of the greatest pitchers of all times, Nolan Ryan, he thinks a pitch count is ridiculous.テつ For him, a quality start is when you finish the game and win.
So, I think you have to be very careful, but I also think the majority of the coaches use very good judgment in that, and it varies greatly from pitcher to pitcher, so I'll leave it at that.
As far as the format goes, as Damani said, we, meaning I do sit in on some of their meetings in the off‑season, not in any selection committees, but when we have presentations to make, that has been discussed, the format, almost every year that I can remember the time I served on the committee all the way through the time I've been in this position, and there are some advantages and disadvantages.
Personally, being a northern guy, I kind of like the 32, two‑team format, because you can spread it around, and 16 more programs get an opportunity to host.テつ But there are some challenges with that also.
The committee is constantly looking at how we can make this better.テつ I will say in my 50 years of being involved in college baseball as a coach and athletic administrator and in this position, college baseball has never been better, better coaches, better players, greater exposure and fan support.テつ We're at the top of the game.テつ I don't see us getting anything but better.テつ It's pretty hard to argue with where we're at right now, and how it's been done in the past?

Q.テつ I'll leave it to the panel who to answer the question.テつ I'm not sure who it should be directed to.テつ In regards to the Major League draft, are more student‑athletes staying in college to finish out their studies and so on and then go into the majors?テつ If so, why, and has been the evolution of that?
DAVE KEILITZ:テつ I can start with that.テつ I really feel in our recent meetings with Major League Baseball, and Denny and Damani and I will be talking to some of them in this series, some of their operations people are coming in.テつ But in our meetings with Major League Baseball over the years, I think their thinking has changed in that it is, for many players, it is better to go from high school to college as opposed to into the pros.
Now those two, three, four, five tool players out of high school are still going to get drafted high and they want them.テつ Those first‑second round high school kids.テつ But now I believe more and more clubs are looking towards it's going to be better off as pro clubs, they're going to be better off having gone to a college program, ma tour for another three years, sign them after their junior or senior year.
A good example of that, Dave Dombrowski, the president and general manager of the Tigers has sat in on some of those meetings, and I think he really believes that way.テつ Last year, not this past June, but the year before, 19 of their first 21 picks were college players.テつ This year, and Aaron can correct me if I'm wrong on this with the Tigers, their first 22 picks were college players of the 40 rounds.テつ More and more clubs were going in that direction.
I think Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Players Association, and Rob Manfred of Major League Baseball and Executive Vice President, both feel that way, and I think more and more clubs are thinking that way.
It's hard to shell out a million dollars or $2 million dollar for a 17‑year‑old kid, not only physically, but to be able to handle that type of situation going out into the minor leagues and get three years of college under their belt, they're much more ready physically and mentally.テつ So that is my belief?

Q.テつ Dennis and Damani, the new RPI formula, I'm curious, and Dave, if you have an opinion too, or Denny, any of the four Ds up are there, I'm just curious how do you guys feel that the change in the RPI formula impacted the way you evaluated teams?テつ Did you treat the RPI any differently because of the way the formula was calculated this year?テつ Also, have you already measured yet how much it affected teams versus the old formula?
DENNIS FARRELL:テつ I guess I'll start with that answer.テつ I was somewhat surprised that I didn't think it had as great an impact as I thought it would have.テつ In terms of how it was utilized as a tool by the selection committee, I don't think that anything really changed from that standpoint.テつ We looked at team's RPIs, but then as we got down to the real nitty‑gritty of comparisons, we looked at how teams got their RPIs.テつ So I was a proponent of the change a couple years ago.テつ Thought that it would be a greater impact than it was.
DAMANI LEECH:テつ And before we adopted the new RPI, we ran a report of the previous four years of what it would look like, and after this year's selections, immediately after, we ran another report of this year's RPI using the old and current model.テつ We'll share that with the committee when we have our July meeting to talk about it.
The initial reaction was the top teams are the top teams regardless of how you skin the cat.テつ As you get deeper and deeper into the numbers, that's when you start to see some of the larger fluctuations.テつ But I wasn't overly concerned with what we saw when we ran the report of the older method.
We'll talk about it again in July, and if we want to tweak it, tweak it.テつ If not, we'll leave it alone.

Q.テつ Having a chance to talk to a number of coaches at all the levels, the whole notion of recruiting with technology, I know that gets looked at.テつ What is coming down the pipe with that in terms of less control?テつ I guess, what can the NCAA control as much as with all of the ability for people to text and Facebook and email?テつ You get the general sense of my question?テつ I'm not framing it as well as I'd like to, but there have to be some challenges in just being able to‑‑ maybe the question would be how can the NCAA begin to monitor or police all of that any more?
DENNIS POPPE:テつ One of the things I learned early in my career is delegate.テつ And we have Kevin Lennon from the office right there (laughing).テつ The reason why, Kevin has the daunting task with his staff to implement a lot of the reform measures, which is exactly what you talked about there.テつ But not to put him on the spot, but go ahead, Kevin.
KEVIN LENNON:テつ Okay, just very quickly, you may recall there was a proposal put to the board of directors in January, that tried to get the NCAA and regulations out of the modes of communication to totally deregulate it.テつ That was pulled there is a study going on right now, and we'll probably bring something back to the board of directors in October that may lead us down that path that would impact baseball in that way.テつ But we've yet to see.
Football has some particular concerns with it, and we're still working that out with the committees and others, but you're likely to get some recommendations coming out maybe in October, that would all be effective probably August of '14.テつ So we're still getting feed back.

Q.テつ It's probably the same answer you gave us in Chicago.テつ But is there any kind of new developments at all on the discussions about scholarships and things like that?
DAVE KEILITZ:テつ We've had, and everybody up here has been involved in this, along with many others.テつ We've had discussions with Major League Baseball over the last three years in New York and in Indianapolis with Major League Baseball on their support.テつ We've really‑‑ well, every time we seem to make good progress, we have a serious issue.
Myles Brand who was one of the real leaders in this passed away.テつ Bob DuPuy of Major League Baseball retired, Donald Fehr, Executive Director of the Players Association left them.テつ Those were three major players.テつ Then we got it going again last summer with Rob Manfred from Major League Baseball, and Michael Weiner, new Executive Director of the Players Association and then Michael developed cancer.テつ So we've really, many of the major players in this have had health problems or left, and it puts it back on the back burner.
But it is an issue that I think they're interested in in the NCAA and the Coaches Association is certainly interested in.テつ So right now we hope to get the discussions going again soon, and hopefully we can have something happen here down the road.テつ It would be a great thing for college baseball.テつ I think many Major League personnel feel it would be good for them too.

Q.テつ The timing of the draft, to follow up on Major League Baseball relations question, to have it during Super Regionals games, have you had any discussions with them about even moving it back to the middle of the week so kids aren't trying to play while the draft is going on?
DAVE KEILITZ:テつ One thing we felt was a great accomplishment in the last Major League Baseball Players Association Collective Bargaining Agreement, there are a couple things‑‑ one was as they moved the signing date up another month to mid‑July, and we felt that helped us immensely.テつ The other thing that they added to that, which isn't directly related to what you're saying, but it was of great help, was when the kind of the slide slotting, where if a kid is drafted in the 11th round on he can't sign for more than 100,000 or that money will come against the pool money they have from the first ten rounds.
I've had many coaches mention that they've gotten kids this past year that they never would have gotten in the past because the big money isn't out there for the 15th, 18th, and 25th rounders anymore, so that was a great help.
The thing I'm a little bit leery on is first of all, I really feel bad for those 16 clubs that are left when the draft takes place.テつ But, keep in mind by moving the draft up a month, or the deadline up a month, that's helping all clubs.テつ So you've got 298 clubs that it may help as far as them getting set‑up of what they can do or getting a player that they might lose or so forth after that.テつ So it is inconvenient for the 16.
One possibility, instead of having it where the games are actually being played, is if it were on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, at least the kid isn't sitting in the dugout waiting for a phone call while he's pitching that day in a Super Regional.テつ So that's one thing that might help.テつ But I don't see them‑‑ if they change that and make it any later, then I'm afraid they'll push back the signing deadline later, and then that affects us that way also.
DENNIS POPPE:テつ There are just a lot of moving parts in a short timeframe to be honest with you.テつ Unlike a lot of other sports where the prospect season ends in January in football and you don't have the draft until April and they don't start playing until that summer, and it's an orderly process if you will.
In baseball, high school, college season ends and right away you have the draft and some of them go right to the minors and some of them go to the bigs.テつ It's a timing element of maybe four to six weeks that you've got a lot to get done in that time.
One of the advantages or pluses that's come out of the discussion was the earlier signing date.テつ As you all know, they used to wait in their dorm room and sign, and now they have to have that July 15th.テつ It's a continuing discussion, but some progress has been made.
DAVE KEILITZ:テつ And Major League Baseball has a little bit of a concern with it too because you've got 16 teams left.テつ There are often a lot of quality players on those 16 teams that are left, and you make your first pick, and pitcher that is still pitching, and that is a very valuable position that first round pick.テつ And then that kid blows out his arm the last weekend of the year, so that is a concern somewhat for them too.テつ But I don't know what the solution is.
DAMANI LEECH:テつ To recap on the question about scholarships.テつ One thing to keep an eye on, even though it doesn't address the entire scope of the issue, MLB does have their task force on African‑Americans in baseball.テつ And we've got two representatives, the head coach from Southern and Bernard Muir the AD at Stanford are on there.テつ And one of the issues that the group quickly identified was the lack of scholarships in the sport of baseball as a contributing factor.テつ So the issue of scholarships in baseball is still being discussed on multiple fronts.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297