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The Transfers topic has been very helpful - I have a son considering the possibility, so will be doing the necessary NCAA research. His issue seems to be with communications with the coach, who he feels has no confidence in his abilities and has given up on his development, despite being a scholarship recruit. Unfortunately, he thinks he won't really know what the coach thinks until the end of the season, when they discuss next year, and renewal of his scholarship. That has led me to post this question: Is it a frequent occurence for a coach to not renew an athlete's scholarship? Or do they generally maintain the athlete's scholarship year to year, even if they do not expect to play him? Will a coach tell an athlete if they do not think they will make it at their level of play and encourage them to look elsewhere, or will they keep them hanging on? I am just curious if anyone has any insights on this. My son is struggling with the question "if I wait till the end of the season to find out what coach thinks, will I have time to find somewhere else?" Thanks for any thoughts you can share.
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Coaches have different communication styles....some will be up front and (perhaps)brutally honest at all times, others may wait until the end of the season, and some may never be as honest. My suggestion would be for your son to try to ask the coach, in a non-confrontive way, how he thinks he fits in and what does he envision long-term for him. The answers could possibly prevent the 'unkown' that you refer to.
I agree with grateful. Have your son talk to the Coach. Was the Coach honest with you and your son in the recruiting process? If so, presume he'll be honest now.

However, do your homework as well. Check out the archives on the school's baseball web page, and see what the Coach's history is. Check out the same info at the Coach's prior schools if he's new. Does he "over recruit?" Are there large numbers of freshmen one year who "disappear" the next. Large numbers of players transferring in and taking roster spots, or transferring out?

Also, find out who signed in November and what positions they are likely to play?

Most of this information is easy to find on the baseball program's web site or with a Google search. What you find -- along with his talking to the Coach as grateful suggested -- will help your son make an informed decision.
grateful, RipEm,

Thanks very much for your suggestions -- we also guided our son to talk directly to the coach, and it is from those conversations that my son got the impressions I mentioned in my first post. It is definitely not a school with a reputation of over-recruiting, and my son's expectations as a freshman are realistic, we think, based on analyzing the kinds of data you suggested. He is not expecting a lot of playing time, but because the roster is small this year, he does not want to make the coach even less eager to use him by requesting approval to look at other schools. That is why I was asking about how often coach's actually "cut athletes loose" by withdrawing their scholarship. He will likely wait till the end of the season, in the hopes that the coach might see him in action and change his opinion - but if he doesn't, I'm just wondering if my son will ever get that feedback, or whether he might be left wishing for another year. I know all coaches are different, so I appreciate any and all thoughts. Thanks again.
iheartbaseball, Since the season is just getting started and he is a Freshman, I think you should give it some time. I know many Freshman who recieved very little playing time who then went on to have fine college careers. If a kid practices hard and is ready when his chance comes, he can then change a coach's mind in a hurry. We went through it with my oldest son, and he stayed the course and ended up having a nice career, getting his degree and meeting his wife, who has given us two beautiful grandchildren. PATIENCE is needed in this game.

Unless there are problems off the baseball field (academics, team rule violations etc) many universities prohibit pulling scholarships entirely. However, it is not uncommon for some universities to reduce scholarships...sometimes drastically (based on how much money they need for incoming recruits).

As for the coach keeping your son "hanging on"...that varies from school to school. I know some Big D1 schools who will not discuss the next year (scholarship wise) until their season is completely finished (including the NCAA tournament). If a coach won't talk about scholarship renewal until mid-summer this makes going to another program very difficult. I believe the NCAA does not require scholarship renewal information (from universities) until the mid-July timeframe.

With all that being advise is to stay patient (since it's early). On the other hand, I've seen too many players forfeit a "redshirt" for playing very minimal innings. It's a very difficult situation but I would not have your son mention to the coach that he is considering transferring. I would also not recommend talking to other schools....the baseball community is very small and coaches talk to one another. The last thing you need is for a coach (from another school) to talk to your son's current coach (regarding his interest to transfer).

As the seson progresses and if your son is still not playing, I think it's fair for him to request a redshirt. Obviously, tell your son to keep working hard and maintain a positive attitude.

Best of luck!
All - thanks very much for your replies. Buckeyefan -- your info was exactly what I was looking for. He does not expect lots of playing time as a freshman, and is working hard to be ready if called, as suggested by bbscout. He has decided to stick it out for the season and try harder to improve communication with the coach and find out what it will take to earn his time. I guess we'll make the next decision at the end of the season based on feedback from the coach. Thanks again to all.
Buckeyfan - one additional question came to mind as I re-read your response. I did not realize that an athlete could REQUEST a redshirt status on their own, I assumed that was only an option if offered by the coach? My son is continuing to feel that his coach has written him off, and is not providing any guidance or direction on improvement areas or development, but because the number of pitchers is small, he expects to be kept active (not offered redshirt) in the event of an injury or other unforseen circumstance. If the season ends and he is never called upon to throw a pitch, is the year automatically classified as a redshirt year, or does that status have to be assigned by the coach? I would be interested in more details about redshirting (when can it be offered/requested, by who, etc.). If there is an NCAA reference I should refer to, would appreciate that pointer as well. Thanks very much!
IHEART - it's your lucky day. I've been embroiled with the NCAA for 9 months and can tell you that you had better do some research now -- on your own - and not rely on a coach - or a school.

Though well intended the information Buckeye posted is incorrect or misinterpreted.

1. A student athlete has NO individual appeal authority to the NCAA. All appeals, to include "red shirts" must be submitted from a member institution.

2. Even playing one inning, minute or second in a "season of compettition" situation.i.e., against another team where the record counts towards possible championship competition means "no red shirt," unless you can file a " medical waiver" bylaw 14.2.4 or a "season of compettition lost waiver 14.2.6
red shirt reference :

Here's what you need to do.

1.Go to the NCAA website read the rules .

2. Go to the NCAA register and read the appeals and how the rules were interpreted. The NCAA is heartless. One kid transferred in to a small school played 3 minutes of one game and then had to quit the team because he could not afford insurance and the school did not cover their athletes. He lost his appeal.

The NCAA grants about 2 percent of appeals on eligibility.

The NCAA is cold and caluos and a player has "no appeal rights as an individual" they'll tell you that if you call them. The number is in the redshirt link. Moreover, you can't get to them through the legal system because the Suprem court has said they are not a "public" entity.

My advice, have your son decide based on the facts and his gut feel -- his happiness etc. When you decide what to do approach the coach honestly becasue according to rule 2.2.5 and .6 he has to discuss your status if it effects your life.

Of course being this demanding may effectively burns your bridge so you have to make the decision in advance. If your son is out of the picture the coach will welcome your overtures to transfer -- if not it won't matter. He should respect a kid that wants to play.

Finally, everyone on this sight wants to help but I have learned you better do the work yourself where the NCAA is concerned. The NCAA does not recognize "HSBBWEB said" in their rules.

I wasn't trying to misinform or mislead you regarding the redshirt topic. Players definitely have the right to request (from the coach) a redshirt but it doesn't mean that it will be granted (I personally know a D1 player who requested (from the coach) and received a redshirt last week). If the coach does agree to a redshirt then the appropriate paperwork has to be filed with the NCAA. The other caution is that the headcoach holds the cards regarding redshirting. Players should have a "good feel" for how a redshirt request will be received because if the coach feels his decision making is being questioned he can make a tough situation even tougher.

At some point in the season (if your son feels he is not being developed) he will have to decide if and why he would want to stay at that institution. I've always had the feeling that the NCAA acts on behalf of coaches and their member institutions (not necessarily the student /athletes). As a result, it's very important to have the coach act as an advocate for the player in the reshirt request process.
mrmom, buckeyefan -- thanks very much for your responses. I have been reading the NCAA by-laws, but have not yet found the specific guidance I am looking for, which is: what is the process for a student-athlete to have a year of eligibility counted as a redshirt year, when they play in NO games? Is this status granted automatically for the year, or does the coach have to offer and submit some paperwork? Is there any situation where the athlete would use the year of eligibility even tho they never play, if a coach does not process or classify the year as redshirt? Thanks to all who have responded to my many questions!

My advice, learned the hard way is to contact the AD for compliance if your school has one and discuss the practice and know your options.

Don't do as I did. Expect the school to look out for the interest of your son. Hopefully most do but some don't. i DIDN'T WANT TO BE A "MEDLING PARENT" and because I didn't medle my son lost a whole season of competition. The AD who I've had weekly conversations with for months told me. I wish you would have called me when this was happening and it would not have been a problem.

No offense, but the tone of what I hear from you is (baseball wise) your son needs to move on. If you are thinking about it then trust your gut. Important players in programs know who they are and so do their parents. Lack of attention (IMHO) is a red flag.

I remember my son telling me his first fall that "he just felt the coaches didn't like him.
It was just a feeling based on how he was treated relative to the other freshmen.

Be proactive!!!! Wink

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