D1 Roster Sizes

Yup, this can be the toughest time of year... cuts.  Even as we discuss this at the D1 level.  Imagine these very talented players, all the years of work, dreams, accomplishments, expectations, the recruiting process, with the hope of reaching D1 baseball, finally doing so only to have it abruptly and harshly end before it really gets started.

Very helpful - thanks, everyone.  My son is hearing from a few D1's (Ivy and high academic types) that they are "no-cut", 4-year commitments that do not over-recruit, etc.  Rosters recruited to never exceed 35 to begin with.  That is believable with the Ivy League schools, because I understand that their roster slots are pre-determined each year.  I am more skeptical about non-Ivey League teams making this type of commitment.  Anyone have experiences to share regarding vetting these types of claims by schools in the recruiting process?

cabbagedad posted:

Yup, this can be the toughest time of year... cuts.  Even as we discuss this at the D1 level.  Imagine these very talented players, all the years of work, dreams, accomplishments, expectations, the recruiting process, with the hope of reaching D1 baseball, finally doing so only to have it abruptly and harshly end before it really gets started.

Hi Cabbage could you explain who can be "cut" in more detail in the context of DI only?  Presumably, players that attend a school as a "walk on" or "preferred walk on" can be cut, any regular student attending an open "tryout" can be cut, and (except for Power 5 where there is a 4 year deal), any scholarship player after his first year can be cut (because it is a year by year deal)? 

If that is accurate, how common is it that a scholarship player gets "cut" after his first year?  Off the field trouble (bad grades, criminal offense for example) is one thing.  But if a coach cuts former scholarship recruits because he feels he made a mistake or he can now do do better with new recruits - that would seem to be bad business in that recruits would learn that this coach cuts scholarship players and may avoid the program for fear they would be "cut" after the first year.  How prevalent is that?

My experience is with DI volleyball where there is not much "cutting" of scholarship players - there are situations where a coach makes the player uncomfortable and does not play her in the hope that she voluntarily quits or transfers -- but no "cuts" per se.  I always assumed the primary reason for that is that the coach/AD does not want the reputation of cutting scholarship players.

 

I'm looking forward to hearing from others on D1 cut mechanics, but will pass along some items I understand to be the case.  Limit is 35 (but can be fewer) starting in spring,  Any individual that has a scholarship has to be counted against that 35 (presumably could be cut, but still a counter).  The approach a coach takes in cutting scholarship players probably depends on that coach.  In order to free up the counter, one would need to the kid to relinquish his scholarship (assuming it is 4 yr) or you simply do not renew it at the end of spring for the following year.  Not sure how often this occurs for rising sophomores or juniors, but many programs historically have conditioned seniors' participation on giving up scholarship dollars (4 year guarantee would do away with that approach).  

I am writing because I am more curious as to what options might be available for those players at D1 schools that are cut in late fall.  Assuming they wish to continue their baseball journey, might they be able to transfer to a JUCO and play in the spring?

Scholarship players can be cut the fall of their freshman year, but they still count against the scholarship limit and their scholly is good for the entire school year (even at non-Power 5)  so cutting a scholly freshman doesn't happen often.  From what I've seen, most times the scholly players aren't "cut" but at the year end meeting following the spring season, they are basically "informed" that they won't be seeing the field the following season....basically encouragiing them to walk away without actually saying it.   It's happened to a couple kids at my son's school.  In his time there, any scholly players that were actually "cut" were due to discipline or academic issues.

Qhead posted:
cabbagedad posted:

Yup, this can be the toughest time of year... cuts.  Even as we discuss this at the D1 level.  Imagine these very talented players, all the years of work, dreams, accomplishments, expectations, the recruiting process, with the hope of reaching D1 baseball, finally doing so only to have it abruptly and harshly end before it really gets started.

Hi Cabbage could you explain who can be "cut" in more detail in the context of DI only?  Presumably, players that attend a school as a "walk on" or "preferred walk on" can be cut, any regular student attending an open "tryout" can be cut, and (except for Power 5 where there is a 4 year deal), any scholarship player after his first year can be cut (because it is a year by year deal)? 

If that is accurate, how common is it that a scholarship player gets "cut" after his first year?  Off the field trouble (bad grades, criminal offense for example) is one thing.  But if a coach cuts former scholarship recruits because he feels he made a mistake or he can now do do better with new recruits - that would seem to be bad business in that recruits would learn that this coach cuts scholarship players and may avoid the program for fear they would be "cut" after the first year.  How prevalent is that?

My experience is with DI volleyball where there is not much "cutting" of scholarship players - there are situations where a coach makes the player uncomfortable and does not play her in the hope that she voluntarily quits or transfers -- but no "cuts" per se.  I always assumed the primary reason for that is that the coach/AD does not want the reputation of cutting scholarship players.

 

It might help to clarify/differentiate between "Cut" and "Scholarship"

Cut:  Anyone can be cut, that is, removed as a player from the team.  They won't be part of the team or participate any further as a team member.  They will likely be removed from the dorm room they're in (sharing with other players) at the next semester change.  They won't receive tutoring, academic advising, etc., etc.

Scholarship:  If a player has an NLI, then they are guaranteed that scholarship money for the term specified on the NLI, so for example, a graduating HS senior signs a 4 year NLI at a P5 school, then unless they choose to leave, are removed for non-performance issues (i.e., grades, violation of rules, etc), they will receive that athletic aid for the duration of their NLI, regardless of whether the coach keeps them as an active member of the baseball team.  NOTE that these players will count as part of the 35 man roster and 11.7 as long as they remain at the school under the NLI.

Of the players cut so far in my one example, a couple of them are new, incoming freshmen on scholarship. (worth noting that there had been a coaching change, so these players weren't recruited/signed by the current staff).  A couple of cuts were first year JUCO xfers that didn't perform as expected, and at least one other was a senior.

So addressing a couple of your points above, some freshmen scholarship guys didn't make it through fall to their first spring, even though they'll count against 35 man roster & 11.7 for as long as they remain at the school.  That now becomes the driver.  Will they remain at the school as a regular student or will they transfer to find a place to play.  This is where getting cut now is actually an advantage as these guys can find a place to play this spring and not lose a full season.  If and when they do this, then their roster spot and money become available for the coach to bring in other JUCO guys this spring, or count on the roster/money for next year.

I also think that this is a great example of when the NCAA should definitely allow a one-time transfer from D1 to D1 without any restriction of sitting out.  Plain and simple, the kid was cut.  No fault of his (other than performance) and if the NCAA truly had the student athlete's best interest at heart, wouldn't "punish" these students by limiting their transfer/play options.  If another D1 who might have recruited them still wants them and has space, then there should be no issue for these guys to find a place and play in the spring and not have to worry about losing a year.

Qhead posted:
cabbagedad posted:

Yup, this can be the toughest time of year... cuts.  Even as we discuss this at the D1 level.  Imagine these very talented players, all the years of work, dreams, accomplishments, expectations, the recruiting process, with the hope of reaching D1 baseball, finally doing so only to have it abruptly and harshly end before it really gets started.

Hi Cabbage could you explain who can be "cut" in more detail in the context of DI only?  Presumably, players that attend a school as a "walk on" or "preferred walk on" can be cut, any regular student attending an open "tryout" can be cut, and (except for Power 5 where there is a 4 year deal), any scholarship player after his first year can be cut (because it is a year by year deal)? 

If that is accurate, how common is it that a scholarship player gets "cut" after his first year?  Off the field trouble (bad grades, criminal offense for example) is one thing.  But if a coach cuts former scholarship recruits because he feels he made a mistake or he can now do do better with new recruits - that would seem to be bad business in that recruits would learn that this coach cuts scholarship players and may avoid the program for fear they would be "cut" after the first year.  How prevalent is that?

My experience is with DI volleyball where there is not much "cutting" of scholarship players - there are situations where a coach makes the player uncomfortable and does not play her in the hope that she voluntarily quits or transfers -- but no "cuts" per se.  I always assumed the primary reason for that is that the coach/AD does not want the reputation of cutting scholarship players.

 

I'm glad others have stepped in and answered better than I could have.  I was actually not referring specifically to scholarship players but more in general.  There are more non-scholarship players on D1 rosters than most realize.  So many schools are not fully funded and many give the lion's share to P's and then SS and C's.  So, there are a whole lot of players who are still "recruited" and strongly encouraged to come to the school and "be part of the baseball program" but with no athletic scholarship attached.  Also, as others have mentioned, part of the potential cut pool is returning players who have been told the previous Spring some version of "your athletic scholy money will not be renewed but you are welcome to come back and try to make the team in the fall", "we are using your scholy $ elsewhere... you are welcome to try to make the team in the fall but as of now, we don't see you getting much time on the field", etc.  You hit on another method ... make the player uncomfortable and send messages that they are not going to be a big part of the team.

In regards to the reputation for cutting scholy players, cutting happens fairly often (in effect) but usually in a process as described above.  You just don't hear about it much, largely because it isn't something either player or coach is proud of.  They both failed.   I think the coach is concerned about his reputation but perhaps more so with administration  than with the pool of future recruits.  His recruiting efforts and spending of precious athletic $$ has missed the mark.  You can only do that so many times before administration is asking questions.

Certainly, the cut pool consists mostly of those that you mentioned... walk-ons and preferred walk-ons, as well as those returning players who lost their scholarship but are out to prove the coach wrong or stay for a number of other reasons.  So, there is definitely leverage to obtaining some commitment in the form of athletic $, even if a minimal amount.

 

cabbagedad posted:

Yup, this can be the toughest time of year... cuts.  Even as we discuss this at the D1 level.  Imagine these very talented players, all the years of work, dreams, accomplishments, expectations, the recruiting process, with the hope of reaching D1 baseball, finally doing so only to have it abruptly and harshly end before it really gets started.

I definitely feel for these kids.  I can't imagine how hard it is to go through.

Let's be honest here, no player is safe from cuts. Coaches have to win and only keep those that THEY think will help them, period. It's a highly competitive sport and only the best survive. I'm not aware of no cut programs and more importantly, who would want to play on a team that makes no cuts.

I agree with cabbage, this is the toughest time of year. It's heartbreaking to see players that have worked their whole lives be told that they didn't make the cut. I've seen it first hand and it stinks.

I've also seen kids that where cut, transfer, than excel and get drafted. There's a reason so few get to the top of this game. 

I wouldn't  waste any time worrying about cuts. I would suggest that that time be better spent working on getting better.

Let's remember that very few get to play ball at any collegiate level and higher.  The real goal/conversation should be getting a quality education that helps to set you up for a meaningful career moving forward. 

The stories I love on this site are the ones we hear about what the former student athlete is doing once his playing career is over.  

 

I agree that player cuts are the norm and worrying about them is not going to help a player make the team. However, I do think that parents/players should do their homework and find out more about coach/program history in terms of fall roster size. This obviously will play a role in the likelihood that a player makes it through the fall. If player is cut after spring, then it will be easier for that player to find another home that includes baseball then it would be if they are cut during or after fall ball. 

My son's future Power 5 home has 37 on the roster at this time.

I do think the possibility of cuts should be a factor in the decision making process.  Sort of like "go where they love you", not "go where they kind of like you".  Also have to take into consideration the kid's personality/make-up deep down (not what his personality was when he walked tall his senior year in high school).  Kids heading to D1 have generally been top performers, but that large margin in skill they had over kids in their area evaporates and they oftentimes start towards the bottom.  If they are not 100% committed to beating out every one of their teammates, then this should play into precisely where the kid might fit.  If he is only 90% committed (and actually very few kids are truly 100% IMO) then he may need to go to a program where his current skill set is a little closer to the upperclassmen.  Some freshman are all grown up and ready to battle.  Other freshman are still growing up and working through the transition of leaving home and being largely on their own.  The all grown up kid can scratch and claw onto a team and the continue to do battle.  The other kid just might not have enough left over to do serious battle - and could find his journey cut short before he gets his feet under him.

It seems to me that if there is a worry about being cut then your in the wrong program to begin with. It's always easier to enter a program where you have solid footing. If you blow out the conference you can always transfer up the ladder. I know that some coaches blow smoke up the old keister but you can tell if the coach is in love with you from day one. The D2 and 3 coaches are usually easier to read on this and even if you falter they will stick with you. I see more D3 kids ending up in a better situation than the D1 bench players.  

The best way to avoid getting cut after fall ball or after the first year is make a good choice during recruiting. Getting an offer to your dream school is great. At least until you get there and discover you’re on the bubble every fall and spring until you’re cut. Every year the coaching staff is recruiting more players to make competition for playing time even more difficult.

When a player is told he will get every opportunity to make it as a walk on imagine how many show up on campus having been told the same thing. If you don’t get athletic money the coach has no skin in the game. If you don’t receive athletic money there better be a goood reason and everyone knows you’re better than most and will get playing time (maybe the family is wealthy).

When a player gets to college, after a handful of studs everyone else is on the same plane talent wise. Then mental toughness, work ethic and time management skills take over.

The OP asked about high academic D1 and cuts. This may be implied in other responses, but in our experience, coaches "cut" in their own ways. 

High academic schools tend not to over recruit. At least I haven't seen it. So there's not 50 guys battling for Spring roster spots each Fall. 

But coaches will make it very clear if they don't want a guy around.  The number of these "cuts" were pretty small, but it was happening most years. 

Branson Baseball posted:

The OP asked about high academic D1 and cuts. This may be implied in other responses, but in our experience, coaches "cut" in their own ways. 

High academic schools tend not to over recruit. At least I haven't seen it. So there's not 50 guys battling for Spring roster spots each Fall. 

But coaches will make it very clear if they don't want a guy around.  The number of these "cuts" were pretty small, but it was happening most years. 

Just to back up the bolded point, Harvard's Fall 2018 roster is online and lists 26 players. 

2019Dad posted:
Branson Baseball posted:

The OP asked about high academic D1 and cuts. This may be implied in other responses, but in our experience, coaches "cut" in their own ways. 

High academic schools tend not to over recruit. At least I haven't seen it. So there's not 50 guys battling for Spring roster spots each Fall. 

But coaches will make it very clear if they don't want a guy around.  The number of these "cuts" were pretty small, but it was happening most years. 

Just to back up the bolded point, Harvard's Fall 2018 roster is online and lists 26 players. 

That's because they haven't added their freshmen yet, but the point remains. In general Ivies don't seem to typically over-recruit as a regular strategy like a lot of other conferences.  There are occasionally juco or other transfers, but the recruiting classes tend to be more along the lines of 8 to 10 players as opposed to other conferences where you will often see numbers well into the teens.

Twoboys posted:

Except FYI two Ivies told 2017 that they would be cutting this year as they had more than 35 known recruits/players, not including any additional walk ons.

Agreed - I didn't mean to imply they never cut.  They do.  And there are plenty of guys who self cut because they simply never see the field and don't appear as though they ever will. Just not the big numbers and with the same regularity that other conferences seem to.

RJM and Ozone make excellent points.

As a freshman,  if you havent gotten a solid committment, have to worry about cuts, seeing a fall roster in the 40 #s, you are in the wrong place. If you haven't signed an NLI, you are a walk on, a walk on is just that, regardless of the language used, invited, recruited, preferred, you will be the first to go. 

Remember folks, D1 baseball only allows 27 scholarships (if fully funded). RS players count in the 35 man roster as well.  

One other thing, coaches are making deals with players, first year this much, second year that much, etc.   Scholarships are for ONE year and renewable.  This is not an acceptable practice recognized by the NCAA.

 

Simple fact of the matter: very few programs recruit to the 35 man limit. It should be a major point of discussion with an HC/RC in the recruiting process as outside of any scholarship money they invest in you it's the biggest barometer for knowing how much they see you as truly part of the team.

highheat15 posted:

Simple fact of the matter: very few programs recruit to the 35 man limit. It should be a major point of discussion with an HC/RC in the recruiting process as outside of any scholarship money they invest in you it's the biggest barometer for knowing how much they see you as truly part of the team.

I don't see how this discussion would go.  If a coach awards a scholarship to a player, why is it relevant if the coach is also recruiting a bunch of other kids, even at the same position?  It's the coaches job to play the best players, and the kids job to compete to be one of those best players.  If the coach doesn't think the kid can contribute, than he won't give a scholarship offer, and if the kid doesn't think he can compete in that program he shouldn't accept.  

What's the point of asking a coach how many other kids he's bringing in or how many at my position?  I'd expect the coach to say he wants multiple players competing for time...not sure what's to be learned from this discussion.

I think it really depends on the program, and you cannot really paint every program with the same brush.  If a coach is new to a school, he may have players that are on scholarship that he doesn't think will fit in with his regime.  In this situation, he will most likely bring in more competition, which could mean more overall than the 35.  

If it is a situation where the program has been around for a long time, and he is constantly bringing 40+ in, then that is a red flag.

Also, please note that just because a coach offers you a scholarship doesn't mean you will contribute.  Coaches evaluations don't always work out.  There are too many variables, kid doesn't develop, doesn't work hard, gets a girlfriend, loses interest, adjustment to being away from home for the first time, partying, adjustment to college academics, personal problems, etc., can all affect whether it works out for a kid.

In the last few years, i havent seen a single walk on preferred or not make the team. Several were sent to D squad and have come back to try again this fall. Meeting next week on fall reports/status so will know more then. I have seen redshirted (scholarshipped) guy quit after soph fall when performance wasnt where it needed to be and projected outlook was bleak post January, pre-season for playing time. I have seen other guys "not come back" in the last few years as well and i assume they had tough exit meetings post fall and very limited PT during previous season. 

College baseball is a business, winning is paramount. Contribute to that or show real promise to do so or you may be on the bubble, regardless of scholarship/status.

Smitty28 posted:
highheat15 posted:

Simple fact of the matter: very few programs recruit to the 35 man limit. It should be a major point of discussion with an HC/RC in the recruiting process as outside of any scholarship money they invest in you it's the biggest barometer for knowing how much they see you as truly part of the team.

I don't see how this discussion would go.  If a coach awards a scholarship to a player, why is it relevant if the coach is also recruiting a bunch of other kids, even at the same position?  It's the coaches job to play the best players, and the kids job to compete to be one of those best players.  If the coach doesn't think the kid can contribute, than he won't give a scholarship offer, and if the kid doesn't think he can compete in that program he shouldn't accept.  

What's the point of asking a coach how many other kids he's bringing in or how many at my position?  I'd expect the coach to say he wants multiple players competing for time...not sure what's to be learned from this discussion.

Agree....I guess I don't see why you would care who is coming in with you....in most cases it's not those guys you're going to be competing with for playing time anyway, it's the guys who are ALREADY there.  My son went in as a pitcher.  In our minds he was the top pitcher coming in in his class.  He didn't care if they brought in 3 RHP or 8....he was already looking at the guys on the roster to see if he could get time on the mound over them...and he went in and did just that.   If you're worried about the other freshmen on the roster as far as a roster spot or playing time, you're probably not in the right situation or don't want to play as much as you think.  I don't know anyone who's gone to a college program who has said "Oh, I don't want to play til I'm a Junior anyway"  Those are the kids who show up, find out that it's not HS anymore and jump ship after the first fall or the next spring when they don't see the field

9and7dad posted:
2019Dad posted:
Branson Baseball posted:

The OP asked about high academic D1 and cuts. This may be implied in other responses, but in our experience, coaches "cut" in their own ways. 

High academic schools tend not to over recruit. At least I haven't seen it. So there's not 50 guys battling for Spring roster spots each Fall. 

But coaches will make it very clear if they don't want a guy around.  The number of these "cuts" were pretty small, but it was happening most years. 

Just to back up the bolded point, Harvard's Fall 2018 roster is online and lists 26 players. 

That's because they haven't added their freshmen yet, but the point remains. In general Ivies don't seem to typically over-recruit as a regular strategy like a lot of other conferences.  There are occasionally juco or other transfers, but the recruiting classes tend to be more along the lines of 8 to 10 players as opposed to other conferences where you will often see numbers well into the teens.

To back up your point and Branson's, Harvard now has its roster including the freshmen online and it is precisely 35 players: http://www.gocrimson.com/sports/bsb/2017-18/roster?

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