College Baseball Eligibility Rules

By Kurt Johnson

The NCAA has strict guidelines that determine the eligibility of student athletes to participate in its various sports. The relationship between college athletics and professional leagues in different sports brings about different guidelines regarding eligibility. College baseball eligibility rules deal with academic performance, transferring between schools, the recruiting process and the status of a player as it relates Major League Baseball.

Grades

An athlete who desires to play college baseball at an NCAA school must have a combination of test scores and high school grades that make him eligible under NCAA rules. The lower the score on the SAT tests used for college admissions, the higher the requirement for a high school GPA. A high school student with a GPA of 2.5 will need to score 820 on the SAT to be eligible for college baseball at the NCAA level. If that GPA is 3.0, the SAT requirement drops to 620. Once on campus, players must maintain a college GPA above 2.0 to remain eligible for the baseball team. Players with lesser academic achievement are able to work their way back to a major college program after attending a junior college.

Transfers

Players who participate in baseball at an NCAA Division I school are not eligible to participate in baseball at a different Division I school immediately if they transfer. A move to a team in the same conference requires an athlete to sit out two seasons, while a move to another Division I program leaves him ineligible for one season. Players may transfer from junior college programs to Division I schools and gain immediate eligibility. A baseball player may also transfer from a Division I to a Division II school and play right away.

Recruiting

Baseball players who receive unauthorized benefits during the recruiting process or who make illegal contact with a college during the process jeopardize their own eligibility and put the program at risk. College may not make contact with high school freshman or sophomores other than to invite them to camps and clinics. Athletes are allowed to call the coach, but it must be at the athlete's expense. Limited contact begins during the junior year in high school. The rules regarding contact must be adhered to or the athlete will not be eligible to play anywhere. The NCAA rules are also quite strict when it comes to the benefits that can be received by an athlete once he is on campus. Additional financial inducements or help with school work that goes beyond the guidelines are also grounds to have eligibility taken away.

Professional Baseball

A player who signs a contract to play professional baseball or who takes money for a team or a sports agent is ineligible for college baseball. Players can be selected in the Major League Baseball draft after their senior year in high school. If they decline the opportunity to sign then, they cannot be selected again until after their third year of college ball. The athlete loses eligibility if he signs a professional contract, but not for simply being drafted..

References

About the Author

Kurt Johnson began writing in 1995. He has a passion for sports and has spent more than 15 years as a coach. He is a sportswriter who has been published at Front Page Sports and in the "Sacramento Union." Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Brigham Young University.

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