Our 2020 position player has been working through the recruiting process with a focus on high academic D3 and potentially ivy league schools.  He has recently received some interest from a couple of non-ivy D1 schools.  He would like to pursue a degree in science or engineering, and we are having a difficult time determining the D1 schools that would make this type of degree possible in conjunction with playing baseball.  My impression is that there aren't many D1 schools where this would be possible.  Some schools list players' majors on their profiles, which can help, but many D1 schools don't appear to do this.

If your 2020 wanted to pursue a STEM degree at an academically challenging school, what D1 schools would be on your list?

Original Post

My daughter (softball) majored in forensic science. She had to take some of the lab courses in the summer. I’m not sure there is an absolute list of schools. 

High academics are more likely to be patient with STEM majors. When I was chatting with a NESCAC parent I was told if it comes down to academics or a game the player isn’t on the bus. 

Look at rosters to see if there are STEM majors on the team. When your son is talking with coaches be firm but not pushy about being a STEM major. Some coaches will recruit the player with the idea he can convince him to switch majors freshman year.

Last edited by RJM

Backyardonfire,

Welcome and best of luck in your son's STEM recruiting journey.   In short, my son had the best fit and recruiting experience with D1 Ivy, D1 Patriot and select D3 engineering schools.   We did our research, and that is where it took us....over 20 months of trying to figure it out.   There are others on the board who took a similar path and came to the same conclusion as we did, and a handful of others who took a different path.  It is not a one size fits all solution. 

I agree with RJM that you really need to inspect college rosters to differentiate contender from pretender.  Good luck and keep the questions coming if you have more.

Last edited by fenwaysouth

There are several rather lengthy prior threads on similar topics.  Fenway, RJM, I, and others who have been through it have thrown in our .02 on several occasions.  You should be able to find these by searching for topics like engineering, pre-med and STEM.  However, here is a link to one of them:

https://community.hsbaseballwe...79#17625209023565179

Bottom line, it's doable.  And it's doable at most schools.  IMHO, the kid is usually a bigger factor than the school.

Best of luck.  Let me know if I can help.

 

I would suggest asking the HC/RC straight up what problems will exist with a STEM major.  My son was leaning towards pre-med/science while visiting D1 schools.  His right fit school HC told him up front that it is extremely difficult for those majors since classes will be missed, labs will conflict in the evening, and generally instructors are not very flexible in that major regarding make-up exams, missed classwork, labs, etc.  HC said it is possible but decisions will be made during conflict, and it would be highly encouraged baseball be given priority.  Son ended up changing majors lol.  My nephews play D2 & D3, both health science majors, and they haven't had that conflict, always accommodating.  If high academics are at the top of the list plan accordingly.  Better to know upfront than to think I can handle both programs when historical data points otherwise.  Good luck

Thank you for the thoughtful responses.  Reading some of the posts on this site just has me a little apprehensive about D1.  Hearing that 50% of players eventually end up at another school . . . do you see that same level of churn at high-academic D1s?  Our 2020 isn't concerned about the competitive aspects of working to attain and keep a spot, but as a parent I feel like we should be guiding him towards better odds at stability.

Trust In Him posted:

I would suggest asking the HC/RC straight up what problems will exist with a STEM major.  My son was leaning towards pre-med/science while visiting D1 schools.  His right fit school HC told him up front that it is extremely difficult for those majors since classes will be missed, labs will conflict in the evening, and generally instructors are not very flexible in that major regarding make-up exams, missed classwork, labs, etc.  HC said it is possible but decisions will be made during conflict, and it would be highly encouraged baseball be given priority.  Son ended up changing majors lol.  My nephews play D2 & D3, both health science majors, and they haven't had that conflict, always accommodating.  If high academics are at the top of the list plan accordingly.  Better to know upfront than to think I can handle both programs when historical data points otherwise.  Good luck

This is my exact concern.  Sounds like it really needs to be addressed on a school by school basis.

There are many coaches in College Baseball, outside of the Ivy, Patriot, and HA D3's, who will discourage STEM majors once a kid gets on campus.  Baseball needs to come first in those programs.  And with coaching changes & philosophical changes in programs, it is difficult to stay on top of which programs are good for STEM majors.

I would have a prospective recruit ask a lot of questions, and carefully examine rosters.  Chances are, if there aren't any STEM majors on a roster, your kid is unlikely to become the first.

Exceptions might be if the kid is just so freaky smart that they can easily handle the academic load of being a STEM major in as many hours a day as the rest of the roster puts in on their school work.  Or, if you are a pitcher throwing 95+, the coaches might be willing to look the other way if you have to miss some practices due to academics.  

backyardonfire posted:

Thank you for the thoughtful responses.  Reading some of the posts on this site just has me a little apprehensive about D1.  Hearing that 50% of players eventually end up at another school . . . do you see that same level of churn at high-academic D1s?  Our 2020 isn't concerned about the competitive aspects of working to attain and keep a spot, but as a parent I feel like we should be guiding him towards better odds at stability.

Re high academic D1 and transferring ... Typically kids going D1 see themselves as a pro prospect to some degree even if the odds are long. How the player at a high academic D1 views baseball versus academics will determine whether or not he transfers or not.

I’m guessing unless they’re seen as a high level prospect entering a Stanford, Vanderbilt, Duke or similar baseball power five they’re more likely to drop baseball and stay for the academics than transfer.

Here’s a question Fenway could answer based on his son’s experience ...

Is it easier for a pitcher versus a position player to be a STEM major and why?

Last edited by RJM

As others have shared ask the coach.  My son had coaches that basically said our players generally don't study a that field.  Also, look at the rosters of schools of interest. If no players are studying more challenging academic fields it could be they are discouraged from doing so, but you never know without inquiring.    A lot of players gravitate to the sports industry which is clearly the primary interest of many. 

The biggest factor for success academically is time management.  The average high school player goes to school by 07:30 then goes from class to class ending around 2:30.  They then participate in their practice for several hours, maybe finishing by 6:00.    Many players play other sports so have a year round activity.  On game day the day goes way into the evening.  That is a very full day that is very much set for them.  If they are taking challenging course in high school they have to hit the books after practice or double down on weekends to stay up on material.  There isn't a lot of free time at their disposal. 

In college they have three to four hours on a typical day for classes.  Baseball related activities for five hours.  They have a tremendous amount of time for academics if they are able to manage their time.  It clearly is a much more involved schedule than a student who is not an athlete but if time management is not an issue the juggling of two significant time investments is very doable. 

Invariably there are classes that are offered only during baseball practice.  These can be a challenge and coaches handle them their own way.  Professors also handle absences in their own way.  How the school and coaches handle these conflicts is something to find out.  My son's coach routinely has to work with these challenges.  Usually, it is with Seniors who are taking upper level classes that are mandatory and not offered many times. 

It is also very helpful to take classes in the Summer even if Gen Eds to lighten the load during the season.  It is relatively easy to take classes at a community college and participate in Summer leagues if desired.

Strive to find the right fit from a program perspective and academically.  Ultimately, the coach has to select the player to be on the team.   Your son can make it work but finding the right place may be tough simply because only a few doors may be open.  Having a fall back/safety option to a strong DIII is always a good plan.  You have to evaluate the DIII the same way.  There are some DIII programs that will face the same scheduling challenges. 

My son's school has practice which is followed by conditioning.  This puts all the athletic non-game day activities in a single time management block from around 1:30 to 6:30 on any given practice day.  If you have conditioning in the morning it adds considerably to the time management challenge. 

Good Luck

 

 

 

backyardonfire posted:

Our 2020 position player has been working through the recruiting process with a focus on high academic D3 and potentially ivy league schools.  He has recently received some interest from a couple of non-ivy D1 schools.  He would like to pursue a degree in science or engineering, and we are having a difficult time determining the D1 schools that would make this type of degree possible in conjunction with playing baseball.  My impression is that there aren't many D1 schools where this would be possible.  Some schools list players' majors on their profiles, which can help, but many D1 schools don't appear to do this.

If your 2020 wanted to pursue a STEM degree at an academically challenging school, what D1 schools would be on your list?

Hi BYOF: Welcome to the site..like the topic.  Many good points so far. One of the best I've read is MTH's which says that "the kid is a factor". Totally agree. My son is a Middle infielder  &  STEM major (Chemical engineering) at HA D1. It takes good time management skills. Your best options are with the Ivy, Patriot , and HA D3's which have strong science programs. The Ivy league for one has an "off day" (Monday for most) which is when the athletic science majors take labs; the athletes pretty much get first "dibs" at these slots. Midweek games are tough and if rainouts on weekends cause games moved to Monday it does become an issue. The athlete should keep the professors abreast on matters and always have a "buddy" in each class to take notes, should there be an absence due to a game. Early meetings and building a rapport with the assistants who run study sessions and labs is key as well.

 Also, son had to keep up with the rotation of classes and when are offered (what term). Sometimes he had flexibility in loading up on lab courses in the fall. One factor I haven't seen in the responses so far is the TRAVEL involved with the conference where son lands. Son had an offer from BIG STATE U. He had big concerns of the travel involved with midweek games. Makes a STEM major harder to seek. Fortunately he landed in a better school all around. Relevant topic too as son said he has had about 10 messages in the past week from an freshman about majoring in engineering and playing baseball. Good luck to your son; I applaud you for looking into this early. Make sure your son get his test scores (SAT/ACT) completed soon.

RJM posted:

Here’s a question Fenway could answer based on his son’s experience ...

Is it easier for a pitcher versus a position player to be a STEM major and why?

I am interested to see Fenway's experience.   I suspect the answer will vary from school to school.  At son's school it was HARDER for a pitcher to be an STEM major than it would have been for a position player.  Son played for two different pitching coaches.  Both required pitchers to be at the field before position players.   Even when they were done with their pitching work, head coach required them to stick around to shag balls for hitters.   One of the pitching coaches often made them stay after games to do extra running. 

 

RJM, MTH, and others

My son (pitcher) told me early on that he would not have been able to do what he did as a position player.  Those were his words based on his situation.   I recall the discussion vividly because he was thinking about asking the coach about becoming a two-way player.  His freshmen year there wasn't much offense and he felt he could contribute.   I asked him if he had enough time to do this, and he quickly realized that he didn't have time for two workouts let alone the position players workouts.  His pitching coach was extremely flexible with workouts, bullpens, and strength and conditioning.   Knowing your position coaches style and willingness to work with your schedule is incredibly important.   We had the most success with these type of position coach discussions with D1 Ivy, D1 Patriot, and select D3s with engineering.   Other D1 programs were not as flexible or forthcoming with information.

Totally agree with MTH and Ripken Fan that the "kid is the (major) factor" and time management is absolutely critical.  However, I also believe some D1 programs can overwhelm these kids where the kid isn't given the opportunity to be the factor.   There are only so many hours in the week, and I got the sense my son milked his time for 4 years as a student athlete and engineering major.  As an example, when he came home for winter break he would sit at our dining room table every day for a month getting a jump on next semesters school work.   He was that disciplined and that interested in his school work.   As I've stated before this was my single biggest concern when we dropped him off in the Fall of freshmen year.   By the end of first semester, we weren't as nearly as concerned. 

A friend's son committed to an SEC school as a HS sophomore.  They assured him that it would be possible to play baseball and be a pharmacy major.  After fall semester of his freshman year he had already found that what the baseball coaches say and what the academic people (professors) say are two completely different things. One prof just flat out told him "athletes don't take my class" when he tried to explain he was supposed to catch a bullpen.  He made it thru his freshman year, but there was no way it was going to work....ended up transferring and eventually changed majors. 

Last edited by Buckeye 2015

Son's teammate(good hitter) is going to Case Western(D3) for Engineering. There is no doubt that "Student" comes before "athlete", at a school like that.

I know that this doesn't directly answer the OP's question. 

57Special,

FWIW...Case Western was one of the D3 engineering schools (I was referring to above along with a few others) my son targeted and had many conversations with.  Clearly they were looking for players like him and were going to make it work as they had a roster with a handful of upperclassmen engineers at that time.  While he did not select Case Western it was a great example of a program that was flexible around my son's academic needs.  

A friend’s tounfer brother and a summer teammate of mine one year entered college as an engineering major. The team was coming off a CWS appearance. He left a Education/Phys Ed degree. He was pressured to change his major when he became the closer freshman year. He was sold he was a MLB prospect. I couldn’t see it. He had great stuff and great command. But in the words of Dennis Eckersley he was throwing salad.

He was not drafted. He went on to be a gym teacher and a high school basketball coach. I haven’t seen him in twenty years.. At that time he said he had no regrets changing his major. He enjoyed working with kids. But engineering major to phys ed is a hell of a change,

His story is the classic “no problem until we get you here and badger you with BS to change your major.”

Last edited by RJM
Ripken Fan posted:
backyardonfire posted:

Our 2020 position player has been working through the recruiting process with a focus on high academic D3 and potentially ivy league schools.  He has recently received some interest from a couple of non-ivy D1 schools.  He would like to pursue a degree in science or engineering, and we are having a difficult time determining the D1 schools that would make this type of degree possible in conjunction with playing baseball.  My impression is that there aren't many D1 schools where this would be possible.  Some schools list players' majors on their profiles, which can help, but many D1 schools don't appear to do this.

If your 2020 wanted to pursue a STEM degree at an academically challenging school, what D1 schools would be on your list?

Good luck to your son; I applaud you for looking into this early. Make sure your son get his test scores (SAT/ACT) completed soon.

Funny you mention that . . . he took the SAT this morning.  He has definitely put the work in.  Fingers crossed that it pays off.

Both Fenway and my son graduated with STEM degrees; his went to an Ivy and mine to a D3. We found out late in the recruiting process that STEM and D1 are NOT compatible. Exceptions were Ivy's, some Patriot, Stanford, Vtech, Cal Poly, there may be a handful of others - but not many. Pitchers can get by much easier than position players. 

If you are in the recruiting process you need to ask lots of SPECIFIC questions on how they handle afternoon lab time, specifically how certain players schedules differ from the mainstream players, how they pair up high academic kids in travel, etc. If they don't give you specific examples then beware. Look at rosters for those majors. 

Your son better be able to function on limited sleep and be extremely disciplined. My son routinely was going to bed at 2:00AM, and up for classes at 7 and they let him do his lifting and "get his baseball work in" on his on schedule. Friday nights when his many of the players were out partying, his was in the library working, same with travel, and they paired up HA kids. Most D1's have early morning mandatory lifting at 6:00AM which will not work for a STEM major. 

It is possible but not at highly competitive programs. You need to keep reminding yourself that coaches are paid to win, not graduate scientists and engineers. 

 

 

Last edited by BOF

Local boy gets recruited to a Patriot engineering school, coach recommended business....engineering wasn’t really an option. 

My son initially signed his NLI with a Power 5 school. He wanted to pursue Biology and then apply to Physician Assistant grad programs upon graduation. He was told it would be difficult before he committed but felt he could handle it. Once there in the fall,  the mandatory 6 am workouts along with an average of 25- 30 hours each week at the field made it really difficult. Every extra minute was spent studying with very little sleep. In the spring it got worse. There were 4 weeks where the team left campus on a wed or thurs and he was forced to miss labs and a number of classes. He didn't want to give up his dream of being a PA and ended up transferring to a D3 school with a top notch BB program.

We thought the balance would be better. It was in the off season however, during the season the league instituted mid week DH's which started at noon in addition to the regularly scheduled 2 DH's on the weekends. So, he was still missing important classes at a very rigorous school.  Coaches still like to win at this level and they may say that academics come first but that's not always the case. 

My son's attitude when he signed was that BB was a way to get his education paid for. The majority of his teammate's goals at the D1 were to get drafted. Nothing wrong with either avenue. 

My son is now a senior and has decided to forego his last season of BB and focus on what he wants to do for the rest of his life. It's been a hard pill to swallow for his parents but he is at peace with his decision. 

It's just really hard to be fully committed to both STEM and BB at any level. 

I would be reluctant to endorse the generation that it can’t be done  at the majority of D1’s. It really depends on the player and the school.  

Several of my son’s teammates did it. One majored in some kind of life science and went to dental school. My son had extra time on campus because of injury and transfer redshirt years, which enabled him to earn a masters in cyber security and quickly land a cyber security engineer job with a defense contractor.

 

 

While reading everyone's responses the main thing that goes through my mind is that NCAA defines them as "student athletes", students first and athlete secondary.  Welcome to the real world!

Swampboy posted:

I would be reluctant to endorse the generation that it can’t be done  at the majority of D1’s. It really depends on the player and the school.  

Several of my son’s teammates did it. One majored in some kind of life science and went to dental school. My son had extra time on campus because of injury and transfer redshirt years, which enabled him to earn a masters in cyber security and quickly land a cyber security engineer job with a defense contractor.

 

 

Agreed.  I would not be too quick to rule out a STEM major at MOST D1's.  Yeah, there may be a few school schools where it simply can't be done, by anyone.  But, I am convinced that it is possible at MOST D1's.   Is it possible for every kid?  Of course not, no more than it is possible for every kid to PLAY at a high level D1.   But, I am convinced that a lot more kids could do it than currently do.  

TRUST IN HIM, you nailed it.  For the vast majority of schools in the Power 5 conferences, it's all about the wins.  They'll all try to make sure he gets some kind of degree, but they don't distinguish between Basket Weaving and Engineering.  

 

 

Trust In Him posted:

While reading everyone's responses the main thing that goes through my mind is that NCAA defines them as "student athletes", students first and athlete secondary.  Welcome to the real world!

The relevance of academics to the coach is maintaining eligibility. To the paying parents academics is getting a good grades in a major useful for getting a good job. 

RJM posted:
Trust In Him posted:

While reading everyone's responses the main thing that goes through my mind is that NCAA defines them as "student athletes", students first and athlete secondary.  Welcome to the real world!

The relevance of academics to the coach is maintaining eligibility. To the paying parents academics is getting a good grades in a major useful for getting a good job. 

Very well stated.

As a member very large orthopedic group that trains residents, (believe me I am an academics first kind of guy) this may offend some people, but it is just my own opinion, and we all have a right to my own opinion.  

My personal feeling is STEM degrees are the only degrees worth paying for with very few exceptions.  And my advice with very few exceptions is don’t do a STEM degree or attend an HA at any level while playing baseball.

Neither I nor any of my partners would advise anyone to do a STEM degree while playing baseball.  Nor would any of us tell someone to waste money trying to academically compete at an HA while playing baseball.  We simply don’t care where you went to school and A’s are A’s and B’s are B’s, so you are better off to game-the-system to your advantage.

Think of it like college baseball recruiting.  Coaches don’t care about where you went to HS, or what your HS coach/ history teacher has to say about you, or what your BA, ERA, etc. was.  They care about how hard you throw, how far the ball flies off the bat, how fast you are,  what your mechanics are like, and what your Travel ball coach( hopefully a former college coach, Pro or D1 player) has to say about your potential and character.

When we see an applicant for our residency program, we don’t care about where he went to school, we don’t care about what his med school instructors say, and we don’t care about the complexity of his schedule.  Someone that took 6 years to go through school with a 4.0 still has a 4.0, someone that took 3 and did it with a 3.7 still has to compete with that 4.0.

In order of importance, we care about what his test scores look like(fastball velo, swing speed, 60 time -something we can measure against other applicants).  Letters of recommendation from other ortho docs (what do his travel ball coaches-former D1 and pro players tell us about his personality, understanding of the game, character and overall potential.) Finally, we care about his mechanical inclination and fcan he do the work( control/command/throwing motion/swing mechanics). 

This is my admittedly very egotistical opinion on this topic,  and like I said there are always exceptions.  But  from HA D3 to the SEC - these are the coaches careers, and they get paid to win baseball games, not graduate players.   There were a few exceptions we came across.  There were a few HA programs that I really felt did it in a pure way.  

They hardly talked to us about baseball when we visited and would tell us about all the fantastic opportunities and job offers their players had.  It was awesome at some of them.  They graduated right at 100% or just below it, and it seems everyone had great jobs lined up.  

But, all their baseball teams sucked.  My son said that just wasn’t what he was looking for.   So baseball first with pre-req classes followed by the real academics when baseball is done.

 

 

Pedaldad posted:

As a member very large orthopedic group that trains residents, (believe me I am an academics first kind of guy) this may offend some people, but it is just my own opinion, and we all have a right to my own opinion.  

My personal feeling is STEM degrees are the only degrees worth paying for with very few exceptions.  And my advice with very few exceptions is don’t do a STEM degree or attend an HA at any level while playing baseball.

Neither I nor any of my partners would advise anyone to do a STEM degree while playing baseball.  Nor would any of us tell someone to waste money trying to academically compete at an HA while playing baseball.  We simply don’t care where you went to school and A’s are A’s and B’s are B’s, so you are better off to game-the-system to your advantage.

Think of it like college baseball recruiting.  Coaches don’t care about where you went to HS, or what your HS coach/ history teacher has to say about you, or what your BA, ERA, etc. was.  They care about how hard you throw, how far the ball flies off the bat, how fast you are,  what your mechanics are like, and what your Travel ball coach( hopefully a former college coach, Pro or D1 player) has to say about your potential and character.

When we see an applicant for our residency program, we don’t care about where he went to school, we don’t care about what his med school instructors say, and we don’t care about the complexity of his schedule.  Someone that took 6 years to go through school with a 4.0 still has a 4.0, someone that took 3 and did it with a 3.7 still has to compete with that 4.0.

In order of importance, we care about what his test scores look like(fastball velo, swing speed, 60 time -something we can measure against other applicants).  Letters of recommendation from other ortho docs (what do his travel ball coaches-former D1 and pro players tell us about his personality, understanding of the game, character and overall potential.) Finally, we care about his mechanical inclination and fcan he do the work( control/command/throwing motion/swing mechanics). 

This is my admittedly very egotistical opinion on this topic,  and like I said there are always exceptions.  But  from HA D3 to the SEC - these are the coaches careers, and they get paid to win baseball games, not graduate players.   There were a few exceptions we came across.  There were a few HA programs that I really felt did it in a pure way.  

They hardly talked to us about baseball when we visited and would tell us about all the fantastic opportunities and job offers their players had.  It was awesome at some of them.  They graduated right at 100% or just below it, and it seems everyone had great jobs lined up.  

But, all their baseball teams sucked.  My son said that just wasn’t what he was looking for.   So baseball first with pre-req classes followed by the real academics when baseball is done.

 

 

Agree with this 100%, as it applies to the non medical field as well.  One thing I said during the recruiting journey is I want to be sure my son enjoyed his college baseball experience when choosing a school.  The job will come and his success will be determined by how hard he works, networks, etc., not based on the school on a piece of paper.

Having said that, of course he chose the school with the better academic history and the one costing (for both me and him) the most.  He may regret that decision once he starts paying down his loans, but that's a different story...

Pedaldad posted:

..........................................................

But, all their baseball teams sucked.  My son said that just wasn’t what he was looking for.   So baseball first with pre-req classes followed by the real academics when baseball is done.

 

 

I agree with your statements about college baseball and STEM degrees in general.   I understand 100% where you are coming from.   

I will disagree that if you want to pursue both STEM and college baseball that you have to settle for teams that "suck".  But, I guess "sucked" is in the eye of the beholder...in this case, your son.  There are D1 programs that can provide both a high level STEM education and a mid-level D1 baseball experience for those that are passionate about both....I believe that was the OPs question.   I've seen it with my own eyes many times on the baseball field.   These teams may not be as deep as higher level D1 teams but there is D1 talent throughout their lineups.  

 

Last edited by fenwaysouth
fenwaysouth posted:

 

I will disagree that if you want to pursue both STEM and college baseball that you have to settle for teams that "suck".  But, I guess "sucked" is in the eye of the beholder...in this case, your son.  There are D1 programs that can provide both a high level STEM education and a mid-level D1 baseball experience for those that are passionate about both....I believe that was the OPs question.   I've seen it with my own eyes many times on the baseball field.   These teams may not be as deep as higher level D1 teams but there is D1 talent throughout their lineups.  

 

^^^^^^^^

CTbballDad posted:
Pedaldad posted:

As a member very large orthopedic group that trains residents, (believe me I am an academics first kind of guy) this may offend some people, but it is just my own opinion, and we all have a right to my own opinion.  

My personal feeling is STEM degrees are the only degrees worth paying for with very few exceptions.  And my advice with very few exceptions is don’t do a STEM degree or attend an HA at any level while playing baseball.

Neither I nor any of my partners would advise anyone to do a STEM degree while playing baseball.  Nor would any of us tell someone to waste money trying to academically compete at an HA while playing baseball.  We simply don’t care where you went to school and A’s are A’s and B’s are B’s, so you are better off to game-the-system to your advantage.

Think of it like college baseball recruiting.  Coaches don’t care about where you went to HS, or what your HS coach/ history teacher has to say about you, or what your BA, ERA, etc. was.  They care about how hard you throw, how far the ball flies off the bat, how fast you are,  what your mechanics are like, and what your Travel ball coach( hopefully a former college coach, Pro or D1 player) has to say about your potential and character.

When we see an applicant for our residency program, we don’t care about where he went to school, we don’t care about what his med school instructors say, and we don’t care about the complexity of his schedule.  Someone that took 6 years to go through school with a 4.0 still has a 4.0, someone that took 3 and did it with a 3.7 still has to compete with that 4.0.

In order of importance, we care about what his test scores look like(fastball velo, swing speed, 60 time -something we can measure against other applicants).  Letters of recommendation from other ortho docs (what do his travel ball coaches-former D1 and pro players tell us about his personality, understanding of the game, character and overall potential.) Finally, we care about his mechanical inclination and fcan he do the work( control/command/throwing motion/swing mechanics). 

This is my admittedly very egotistical opinion on this topic,  and like I said there are always exceptions.  But  from HA D3 to the SEC - these are the coaches careers, and they get paid to win baseball games, not graduate players.   There were a few exceptions we came across.  There were a few HA programs that I really felt did it in a pure way.  

They hardly talked to us about baseball when we visited and would tell us about all the fantastic opportunities and job offers their players had.  It was awesome at some of them.  They graduated right at 100% or just below it, and it seems everyone had great jobs lined up.  

But, all their baseball teams sucked.  My son said that just wasn’t what he was looking for.   So baseball first with pre-req classes followed by the real academics when baseball is done.

 

 

Agree with this 100%, as it applies to the non medical field as well.  One thing I said during the recruiting journey is I want to be sure my son enjoyed his college baseball experience when choosing a school.  The job will come and his success will be determined by how hard he works, networks, etc., not based on the school on a piece of paper.

Having said that, of course he chose the school with the better academic history and the one costing (for both me and him) the most.  He may regret that decision once he starts paying down his loans, but that's a different story...

When my cousin’s daughter didn’t get into an Ivy or a NESCAC he told her she’s going to UConn. He told her he wasn’t paying 65K per year just so she could say she didn’t go to her state university. He can afford any college. He doesn’t believe in wasting money. 

From growing up in New England I know in my generation there’s a stigma attached to attending a state university. Some are much better than they used to be. New Englanders don’t understand away from New England a lot of state universities are excellent schools. 

Last edited by RJM
fenwaysouth posted:
Pedaldad posted:

..........................................................

But, all their baseball teams sucked.  My son said that just wasn’t what he was looking for.   So baseball first with pre-req classes followed by the real academics when baseball is done.

 

 

I agree with your statements about college baseball and STEM degrees in general.   I understand 100% where you are coming from.   

I will disagree that if you want to pursue both STEM and college baseball that you have to settle for teams that "suck".  But, I guess "sucked" is in the eye of the beholder...in this case, your son.  There are D1 programs that can provide both a high level STEM education and a mid-level D1 baseball experience for those that are passionate about both....I believe that was the OPs question.   I've seen it with my own eyes many times on the baseball field.   These teams may not be as deep as higher level D1 teams but there is D1 talent throughout their lineups.  

 

I agree completely that there are schools that can provide it at every level.   What I am saying is that anyone puts themselves at a disadvantage if you are trying to compete at a HA school while playing a truly competitive sport.

You will get slaughtered in the classroom by your classmates that are every bit as bright as you, but don’t have the demands of a sport.

Pedaldad posted:
fenwaysouth posted:
Pedaldad posted:

..........................................................

But, all their baseball teams sucked.  My son said that just wasn’t what he was looking for.   So baseball first with pre-req classes followed by the real academics when baseball is done.

 

 

I agree with your statements about college baseball and STEM degrees in general.   I understand 100% where you are coming from.   

I will disagree that if you want to pursue both STEM and college baseball that you have to settle for teams that "suck".  But, I guess "sucked" is in the eye of the beholder...in this case, your son.  There are D1 programs that can provide both a high level STEM education and a mid-level D1 baseball experience for those that are passionate about both....I believe that was the OPs question.   I've seen it with my own eyes many times on the baseball field.   These teams may not be as deep as higher level D1 teams but there is D1 talent throughout their lineups.  

 

I agree completely that there are schools that can provide it at every level.   What I am saying is that anyone puts themselves at a disadvantage if you are trying to compete at a HA school while playing a truly competitive sport.

You will get slaughtered in the classroom by your classmates that are every bit as bright as you, but don’t have the demands of a sport.

As Pedaldad said, sure you can do both and I agree that the athlete is at a disadvantage. The issue is attaining the grades to move on after graduation.  A high GPA is required for my son to even entertain thoughts of securing a spot in a Physician Asst. grad program. 800 to 1,000 applicants for 40 spots at most schools. I'm sure not all STEM programs are so driven by GPA.  At all levels of BB there are only so many hours in the week. And, when the player is spending an average of 25-30 hours on the field, it's very tough to excel in the classroom without the additional hours to study.

Pedaldad posted: 

I agree completely that there are schools that can provide it at every level.   What I am saying is that anyone puts themselves at a disadvantage if you are trying to compete at a HA school while playing a truly competitive sport.

You will get slaughtered in the classroom by your classmates that are every bit as bright as you, but don’t have the demands of a sport.

Again, I think we are going to have to agree to disagree mostly on the term "anyone" because I know quite a few folks that have made this work and gone on to be Vets, Lawyers, Pediatricians, Orthopedic Surgeons, Chemical Engineers, Nuclear Engineers, Material Science Engineers and Mechanical Engineers.   By far getting into Vet school was the most difficult .   These people thrived in this environment.  They found an extra academic gear in college when they were challenged by both.  In addition the baseball programs they played for were flexible.   It can be done.   I've seen it.   Do I think this is for everybody? Absolutely not, which is why my son saw 35% of incoming declared freshmen engineers change their major by  sophomore year.   Know thy self. 

 

 

I respect pedaldad's opinion - particularly regarding the competitive nature and the need to excel in terms of GPA, etc.  I also applaud his acknowledgement that his opinion may offend some readers.  I suppose I'll take exception to his opinion that STEM degrees, with very few exceptions, are the only form of degree worth paying for. The world is a better place with more passionate, young elementary school teachers entering the workforce, for example, is it not?  Our son was a "dreaded" History major at a well-regarded HA liberal arts school, played ball all four years.  I recall multiple 50+ page research papers on such scintillating topics as 1400's Japanese history, the Cuban revolution, Nicaragua, etc..., the reading requirements were heavy, and one could not breeze/skim the reading.  Learned to think and write, dare shall I say, like a surgeon of the English language.  The skills have served him quite well to say the least, post graduation.

It would be interesting to compare the attrition rates of non-athlete STEM majors to that of STEM athletes.  Is the attrition rate greater for athletes?  Maybe its the same, or less even? Our younger son is a non-athlete senior year Cell/Molecular Biology major.  He stated overall attrition was pretty strong during/after Freshman year, and Soph year was when the hammer really dropped.  These were not athletes.  Anyways, this is a good conversation.

Generally, only the best and brightest aim for STEM degrees; and a significant portion of those will change majors (like most college kids). For baseball players (actually all athletes), their teammates will probably have significant influence on the academic rigor your son may choose - and in a D1 environment that influence may not be positive. (As opposed to a Rose-Hulman or MIT squad. In D1, the service academies also are STEM schools.) So, when parsing a roster and you find that STEM major, you are truly looking at an outlier.

My son attended a high academic D1. He, as well as several of his incoming class, preliminarily declared in the STEM area. Neither the school, nor the coach, nor the profs discouraged STEM; but no-one from that group graduated with a STEM degree. (Son had straight As in HS with 8 5s on APs - mostly in science and math - and a 34 (one try) ACT.) He graduated middle of his class with a degree in economics (math and data based). No way he could've remained eligible in a STEM field. BUT, during his time he had a teammate - a true walkon - get the grades to attend Medical school AND had another teammate graduate as a Mechanical Engineer with highest honors. Both those kids were truly extraordinary. (Cor example, the ME devised an app which predicted opposing pitches - before the fifth inning of his first game!)

(BTW, the ME decided not to practice; went to Bain Capital instead. Those international employers really seek out top shelf STEM grads.)

I would suggest that you'll pick the school which offers the best career options; and which also plays baseball. Your son may not become a STEM major for a variety of reasons (loses passion, finds another passion, etc.) BUT he will be able to find a deeply rewarding career coming from a college environment which fosters intellectual growth and curiosity.

DO NOT SACRIFICE ACADEMICS FOR BASEBALL (jmo); rather, leverage baseball into that top academic school. In the end, most every college baseball player will be done with baseball by the time he is 26; then life begins and baseball is in the rear view mirror.

(Oh, the D1 schools I would put on the list include every IVY, Davidson, the service academies, and Stanford. As for the other HA D1s, I'd do a lot more research - athletes may not have the same academic experience as regular students.)

One additional note:  S spanned 7 years of classes and only a single player left the school. And all - except those who were drafted as juniors - graduated in 4 years (with no debt).

Last edited by Goosegg

Where you attend college may matter depending on your objectives. My daughter’s undergrad school was one of the top in the country in her major. But in the big picture it was seen by northeast corridor (Ivy, Georgetown, UVA)  elite law schools as a mediocre southern school. She was shut out despite graduating PBK and a top 5% LSAT. 

She worked in a prestigious Washington international law firm for two years building contacts and references to get accepted to some of those law schools that previously rejected her. 

Where you attend law school can have dramatic effect on your future. 

Last edited by RJM

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