Yesterday, the NCAA essentially declared that 2020 season did not happen, restoring eligibility for all spring sport athlete-students in Division I. Given last week’s news about the 2020 and 2021 drafts being shortened, this seems like a good thing for the players, right?
Well, maybe not.
I’ve never professed to like the Draft, never mind be an expert in its vagaries, but even Stevie Wonder can see there are going to be problems. For starters, they’ve just increased the size of the 2021 talent pool. It might not be 20% or 15% or even 10% but it’ll definitely be larger.
Even if by some miracle there’s a 40-round draft in 2021 (spoiler alert: there won’t be), a larger pool means less leverage for the draftees, who have already been screwed by the MLBPA agreeing to deferred bonuses.
USA Today also points out an ugly scenario:
Certainly, there are going to be a number of spring athletes who are simply done with college and ready to move on, into the work force or a graduate school and don’t want to devote another year of their lives to athletics.
But what happens if an athlete who has already been around four years wants to come back, but the school simply can’t afford it or the coach would rather use the playing time to develop someone else?
This is your semi-annual reminder that the NCAA caps the number of scholarships at 11.7 for Division I baseball teams. And in their ruling yesterday, they did not require schools to renew the scholarships for seniors (or anyone else). So you can pretty much bank on some players who want to play next year being
nudged pushed aside… which theoretically increases the talent pool as well.
I wish I could cap off this post with something uplifting or pithy, but I can’t help but think that all of this will only feed into “The Plan” to destroy the minor leagues as we know them.