As expected, the 35-man roster cap and 25 percent minimum scholarship requirement were upheld at this weekend’s NCAA convention in Nashville. Enough override requests were submitted by university presidents to force a vote on the issues at the convention, but five-eighths of the delegates needed to vote against the changes for them to be discarded. The minimum scholarship threshold override received just 30.3 percent of the vote, while the roster cap override garnered just 24.5 percent of the vote, meaning both rules will go into effect this summer.
The NCAA’s ban on text messaging during the recruiting process also survived the override process, as just 21.3 percent of the delegates supported that override.
Wake Forest athletics director Ron Wellman, the chair of baseball’s Academic Enhancement Working Group that crafted the baseball legislation, reminded the delegates that the minimum scholarship requirement was intended to work hand in hand with the elimination of the one-time transfer exemption. Preventing players from freely transferring from one Division I school to another without sitting out for a year was the single most significant goal of the working group, because the transfer epidemic was cited as the biggest reason for baseball’s low Academic Progress Rate.
"We proposed the transfer rule be eliminated for baseball players so they would be required to have a year of residency," Wellman said. "To have that expectation of baseball players when they are on a minimal amount of aid–and we can cite example after example of baseball players on a books scholarship–to ask them to make that type of commitment to the institution without the institution making a reciprocal commitment to the baseball player seems very unfair to our committee. We believe it is a student-athlete well-being issue."
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