Attorneys for Kentucky lefthander James Paxton have filed a motion in the Kentucky Court of Appeals, which has the authority to issue the temporary injunction denied by the Circuit Court on Jan. 15.
Paxton attorney Rick Johnson, who represented former Oklahoma State lefthander Andy Oliver in last year's "no agent" rule case, is trying to assert Paxton's due process rights—specifically, that he should not have to testify against himself in an interview with an NCAA investigator regarding potential violations of the "no agent" rule. [...] Continue Reading »
Baseball players from 60 schools in 27 different states and Washington D.C. have donated a total of $12,004 to the Red Cross disaster relief efforts through the "Pinch Hit For Haiti" program, spearheaded by Elon senior catcher Mike Melillo. A map tracking the donations is available here.
Donations in the name of Elon total $3,659, while Charlotte checks in with $1,076 toward the total. Sacramento State added $1,200 to the total after donating the proceeds from their first-ever Martin Luther King Jr. Day Fundamentals Camp toward the project.
Here's how to contribute: [...] Continue Reading »
Duquesne has become the latest cold-weather school to drop baseball. The school announced Monday afternoon that it is cutting four athletic programs after the 2010 season—baseball, men's swimming, men's golf, and wrestling. Vermont and Northern Iowa dropped baseball last year.
In a bit of disingenuous management-speak that seems straight out of the film "Office Space," the university framed the cuts as "a strategic restructuring of its varsity sports program in an effort to maximize financial resources and ensure sustained athletic success." [...] Continue Reading »
Baseball America has confirmed an ESPN report that Oregon State lefthander Josh Osich will miss all of 2010 after having Tommy John surgery on Jan. 12. The Beavers say the injury apparently occurred when Osich slipped trying to do a distance throw, but doctors said it was a clean rupture as opposed to a tendon that's frayed from overuse.
Due to inconsistent command and an unrefined feel for pitching, Osich has thrown just 51 innings—mostly in relief—in two years for OSU, but he was considered a candidate to be drafted in the first round because of his mid-to-upper-90s fastball, above-average changeup and physical 6-foot-3 build. He had a minor elbow procedure last summer, but the Beavers said this fall that he was progressing well in his rehab and they expected him to be ready by Opening Day in February.
A team could still take a flier on Osich in the first five rounds even after the surgery, but it's more likely that he will return to Corvallis for his junior year in 2011. In the meantime, Oregon State has more than enough power arms to withstand his loss this year.
I've received a lot of e-mails lately asking when we'll be releasing our College Preview content, so I thought it would be useful to post the schedule here. We'll be rolling out loads of college content starting with the preseason Top 25 (and Top 25 capsules) one week from today—that's Wednesday, Jan. 27. We'll also have our Small College preview next week. The following week, we'll have several features, and the week of Feb. 8-12 we will unveil our conference previews, with one region released each day. All of that leads up to the week of Opening Day (Feb. 15-19), when we will release our preseason All-America team, our awards predictions and the first Weekend Preview of the year.
Division I survived a challenge to its new 14-week schedule at the NCAA convention in Atlanta this weekend, but Division II saw its season reduced.
Representatives from more than 280 D-II schools voted to slash D-II workloads across several sports, but baseball may have been the hardest hit. D-II schools voted by more than a three-quarters majority vote to reduce the baseball schedule from 56 to 50 games, starting in 2011. The measures also reduce practice time for many sports, and inaugurate a seven-day mandatory break around Christmas that bars D-II athletes from setting foot on a practice field or gym.
Meanwhile, Division I's decision to add a 14th week to its schedule survived an override vote by a margin of 63-37.
A Kentucky judge ruled Friday night that the University of Kentucky can withhold lefthander James Paxton from games until he meets with an NCAA investigator to clear up questions about his eligibility.
The Associated Press reported that Fayette County Circuit Judge James Ishmael denied Paxton's request to stop the school from benching him for his refusal to answer undisclosed questions from the NCAA. Paxton, an unsigned first-round pick who likely violated the NCAA's "no agent" rule during contract negotiations with the Blue Jays last summer, was banking on the court protecting his due process rights by applying UK's student code to student-athletes.
"That is clearly not part of the student code," Ishmael said in his ruling, issued shortly before 10 p.m. Friday. "I don't see how in the world a student code can address the NCAA eligibility of a student athlete." [...] Continue Reading »
Stanford running back/outfielder Toby Gerhart has followed Louisiana State two-sport standout Chad Jones' lead, forgoing his remaining collegiate eligibiliy to enter the NFL draft. Gerhart, the Heisman Trophy runner-up after rushing for 28 touchdowns this fall, has withdrawn from Stanford for the winter quarter to focus on the NFL combine in February. [...] Continue Reading »
Many college baseball teams engage in community service and charity, and I want to highlight the efforts of two teams today.
Led by senior catcher Mike Melillo, Elon has put together a "Pinch Hit for Haiti" campaign to provide relief for victims of Tuesday's devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Melillo started by e-mailing coaches at every NCAA school in North Carolina today with the goal of getting every player to donate at least $1 to the Red Cross to aid the earthquake victims. Then the Phoenix expanded the project to try to reach every NCAA Division I, D-II and D-III team in the country.
“The idea is to pay it forward because we’re not in a situation to physically help,” Melillo said. “We want to offer our help in any way we can. Although our donations may be small individually, we feel that collectively as student-athletes our support will be of great assistance.” [...] Continue Reading »
Coaches in California will get fans and media ready for the college baseball season in grand fashion. For the first time, teams from around the state will take part in the Easton California College Baseball Media Day on Jan. 22 at ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney and Jan. 26 at Stanford. Each day's program will begin at 9 a.m.
Coaches from the Southern California region, from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, will take part in the media event in Anaheim on Jan. 22, where coaches will be available for breakout sessions and the second annual Coaches Cookoff. [...] Continue Reading »
Chad Jones announced Monday that he will enter the NFL draft, ending his career as a lefthander/outfielder and a free safety for Louisiana State.
"My heart will always be at LSU, especially with my coaches and teammates who played an instrumental role in my college football and baseball experiences," Jones said in a statement e-mailed by his father to several news outlets. "I know another season at LSU would be fun and successful and that I could accomplish more on the field with the Tigers, but this opportunity with the NFL is impossible for me to pass."
An electric athlete with premium arm strength, speed and power potential, Jones was a key lefthander out of LSU's bullpen in the Tigers' run to the 2009 national title. But he was a second-team all-Southeastern Conference selection at safety this fall, and he has a chance to be picked in the top two rounds of the NFL draft this spring.
The Tigers have plenty of talent returning but not a lot of depth, and they were counting on Jones filling a valuable two-way role this spring. His decision is certainly a bit of a blow to their hopes of repeating as champions, and it puts added pressure on unproven players like sophomore outfielder Johnny Dishon and power-armed righthander Mitch Mormann to emerge as key players this spring.
Arizona State interim head coach Tim Esmay has filled out his staff, hiring former Washington coach Ken Knutson as pitching coach and former ASU and big league infielder Mike Benjamin as volunteer assistant.
Knutson was fired by Washington after the 2009 season and was hired by former Sun Devils coach Pat Murphy as a volunteer assistant last summer. He was officially named full-time pitching coach on Friday, though the Arizona Republic reported three weeks ago that Knutson and Benjamin would join Travis Jewett on Esmay's staff. In 17 seasons as Washington's head coach, Knutson became the school's all-time leader in victories.
Benjamin and Esmay made up Arizona State's middle infield in 1986, and Esmay joined Jim Brock's staff as an assistant coach during Benjamin's final season at ASU in 1987. Benjamin went on to play 13 years in the majors with the Giants, Phillies, Red Sox and Pirates.
“We are very excited for Mike Benjamin to come back and once again be a part of the ASU baseball program,” Esmay said. “Mike was a student-athlete at Arizona State, went on to have a successful pro career, and now he is looking forward to returning to ASU and help continue the winning tradition.”
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