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Hope all are doing well. Just published a blog.
A new perspective on the NCAA & NJCAA decisions. An end to our stalemate. And mobilizing the troops for a new strategy.
👇🏾READ👇🏾

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Josh Rudd

INDEPENDENT COLLEGE BASEBALL SCOUT

FLATGROUND CONTENT PROVIDER

www.JRuddScout.com

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I’m afraid you’ve lost me, Josh.  I’ve enjoyed a lot of your content, but you’ve lost a fan today. Don’t fret. I’m nobody. We’ll both live.

“In my interview with Dr. Parker, there was a common theme that rang loud and clear. In full transparency, the President of Junior College Athletics said, “The benefit [of extended eligibility] is only to the student-athletes that are on our rosters now.” This was the light-bulb moment for me. I can’t blame the guy for feeding his kids before mine. That’s his job. He’s making decisions in the best interest of the community he’s been elected to protect.”

In reading your latest blog, a couple things REALLY resonated with me.  For starters, you misquoted Dr. Parker.  Here is what he actually said about the decision.  “This was completely made to support the student athlete.”

Attached is a response from me on 10/28 to your post about the interview with Dr. Parker. Perhaps it’s was done subconsciously, but your recent recollection of Dr. Parker’s quote aligns better with my post than with what Parker actually said.  With all due respect, if you’re going to quote someone, it’s best practice to actually quote them without taking any liberties or allowing other contributors’ thoughts to augment what was actually said.

Having said all that, I can appreciate your point of focusing on what can be done/solutions. That’s always good advice.

Focusing on solutions is virtuous and practical, but calling a spade, a spade and examining historical failures and short-sighted solutions still has some value.  That is, if better, more holistic decisions are to be made in the future.  No, you can’t blame Parker for feeding his kids before yours. But there are a couple inescapable truths in play here. If Parker has kids to feed right now A) they’ll be out of the house (and should be) VERY soon and B) he’s got more buns already in the oven (like my kid - signed JUCO LOI last week).  Yes, he’s happy to see cells dividing right now in the womb and they’ll be his kids very soon. He just seemingly doesn’t want to take any responsibility for those pregnancies until he has to.  We can keep the kids analogy going all day if you’d like. The buns are in the oven and just like his current kids, they’re going to need a nursery. A room. A bed. Food. See Maslow for the rest.  His current student athletes are both finite and temporary.

Covid has ravaged college athletics. It’s ravaged a lot of things obviously. But I think I can speak for many when I say that the decisions being made could have at least attempted to spread the pain AND wealth across a larger group of student athletes. In other words, everybody gives up a little so the fewest possible suffer.

In terms of simply putting the grief behind us?  Too soon, Josh. Know ALL your audience.  There are lots of uncommitted 2021s, 2022s, etc that will never receive an offer thanks in part to the decisions being made right now. We’re likely a couple weeks away from lots of cuts on campuses and broken hearts flooding the transfer portal again. One way or another, carnage is coming because there will be 3 “freshmen” classes on campus next fall.

You’re free to feel how you want, but I’m not sure everyone saw the same transparency from Dr. Parker that you did. See my attachment below for more detail on that.

Attachments

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The NCAA and NJCAA Presidents made myopic emotional decisions to blunt the impact of Covid for a relative hand full of current  college athletes.

You are correct that collectively we need to move on from the "dumpster fire that is recruiting" but not by kicking the can further down the road.  Some group is getting screwed, some roster is getting squeezed and some kid's dreams are getting an earlier expiration date than they might have without Covid.  The NCAA and NJCAA Presidents pushed that target off thier current athletes and onto future recruits in the 2021 and 2022 classes.

Your suggestion just pushes it further down to younger kids.  There are only so many highschool coaches with so much bandwidth and budget so some kids would never get to play high school ball.

The right thing to do is grow a pair and have a tough conversation with the kids in front of you instead of screwing the kids you will never have to see like the NCAA and NJCAA did.

Last edited by 22and25

@DanJ,

You are very wrong about me misquoting Dr. Parker.


I’m very careful not to do that. I was once a sports/beat writer whose work was published globally every day of the MLB season for three years; and naturally I learned the most basic rules that you’ve spent a majority of your post emphasizing. I strongly suggest you go back and watch the interview again. In fact, just so I don’t lose you a second time, I’ll even tell you the quote can be found in the video at the 5:27-5:39 time mark. That’s the segment I watched several times last night to avoid making an irresponsible mistake.

Other than that, it’s not surprising that you’ve enjoyed content that points the finger at others — like PG, PBR, NCAA, travel organizations and showcase companies. Knowing my audience like I do, I’m well aware that there will be parents turned off by this message — one that calls on families to reflect on their own perspective & be open-minded to taking a different course of action. But if you were truly a fan, then you’d know by now that I bring forth the perspectives of all corners, and not just the one you sit in.

Last edited by Josh Rudd (@JRudd_Scout)

Uhh... this may sound strange on a site dedicated to getting kids to play college baseball....but here goes.

Why would you delay getting on with your life to wait for the CHANCE to play college baseball? Everyone's baseball career ends at some point in time and unfortunately for the marginal players COVID is going to end it sooner than later. I know it sucks, but it is a fact, so deal with it and move on.

College baseball is HARD, REALLY REALLY HARD and most HS players (and their parents) have no idea how hard it is. 50% of college players end up getting cut or moving on during their first year, so why lose a year of moving on with your life to likely be cut, particularly for the fringe players who are getting pushed out sooner.

If you think you have the chops to play college ball go to a JC and further your education while trying to keep the dream alive, or step down a level where you might have a better chance. Play club ball, look at alternatives. At least IMO delaying the inevitable seems foolish. JMO.

I agree to an extent that complaining about it doesn't help anything.  That said, it hurts someone at some point.  My son is on campus but I think the right decision is that no one gets another year.  They should have never given it to anyone.  It sucks, but it is what it is.  Star athletes get injuries, kids lose seasons, it happens every year. Kicking the can down the road doesn't fix anything either.  My son was poised for an amazing senior season last year and it was taken.  It sucks, such is life.  Hopefully it will build more character and resilience.

Josh, please accept my apologies regarding Dr. Parker and what he said. You’re right that he did say that early in the interview. I missed that and was quoting what he said with roughly 5 minutes remaining in the video in which he was not specific about which student athletes he was talking about. I was wrong. My apologies.

Regarding knowing your audience, let me try another angle. It’s extremely tough out there for a lot of people right now. Having a dream you’ve spent the majority of your life chasing vanish at age 17 is quite different than losing it at say, age 50. These are kids.  Hearts are breaking. Dreams are being crushed. This is a very real and highly sensitive thing for many. So to see someone reduce it all down to something as trite as “woe is me,” yeah, that’s going to net you some feedback that might be worth listening to with an open mind.  You’re calling on families to reflect and be open-minded, so I’d hope that what is good for the goose...  When this many people are hurting, I’d argue a little more finesse and tact are in order.  You get more bees with honey.  Yes, for some, the punch to the gut was months back, but many are getting punched right now and will be in the near future.  The world is going to hand everyone lots of lemons over the course of their lives, but this is one lemon that could have been better mitigated for many.  The NJCAA didn’t just make the mistake this spring.  No, there was no ill intent this spring when they gave everyone another year of eligibility.  But part of that decision was predicated on a belief that Covid would be largely wrapped up by now.  There is now more data and the ability to make much more holistic/better decisions, yet the exact same decision was just made again.  THAT is where the pain point exists for many.  People are awfully understanding when some semblance of accountability is present.  The recent decision was consciously made in the same short-sighted manner as the spring. The NJCAA (and soon to be NCAA) implemented a permanent solution (for many 2021s, 2022s,…) for a temporary problem.

Yes, you do solicit lots of different perspectives. That’s great. I’ve seen you ask tough questions and call people out. But to be frank, I didn’t see enough of that with Dr. Parker. IMO Dr. Parker was allowed to avoid getting into meaningful details around the toughest questions and issues at hand. Again, “keep grinding” was about as close to a solution as he had for high school recruits.  He also slipped in a “you’re gonna get an opportunity to play” but provided zero detail to substantiate that claim.  What you may have viewed as transparency was seen by others as vague talking points that provided very little substance of value.  Most feedback I saw on his comments indicated people were largely dissatisfied and craving deeper explanations that never came. Or will.

Along those lines, there seems to be a fine line between reflection and finger-pointing here. Reflection is good, but finger-pointing seems to have a negative connotation. Me, I prefer the word “assessment.”  Yes, families should be assessing their situation, but there’s absolutely value in people assessing Dr. Parker and the like’s decisions as well.  Ask #45.  Half the country+ have been reflecting, finger-pointing and assessing for the last 4 years.  The ability to air grievances and critically examine the decisions that impact us by leaders is fundamentally important to us.  And here’s the deal.  There are no guarantees whatsoever that Covid will be solved next year.  I think there’s a sense out there that 2021 is teed up for some sort of a return to normalcy.  Let’s hope that’s the case, but we don’t know that these are the last of Covid-related decisions that’ll come from the NJCAA and NCAA.  Those orgs may again find themselves needing to make tough decisions unexpectedly.  If we move on and silence our voices under a “suck it up” approach, what message are we sending them?  “Keep doing what you’re doing!”  This isn’t a pity part for me or my kid.  My son is one of the more fortunate ones at this point.  But I dearly love this game and the kids who give up so much of their lives for it.  I appreciate the truly unique and special time this is in their lives and understand they’ll never have a chance to get it back.  I won’t take a “well, at least I got mine” approach here.  I can focus on solutions AND still be loud in support of thousands of kids out there.  And I will be.

As of yet, I haven't heard a thorough explanation for why more holistic decisions can't be made by theses orgs.  I've yet to hear an argument on why it's impossible for them to consider future student athletes into their equation or why the current SA's need to be the only group getting relief.  People, LOTS of these SA's are getting TWO years of extra eligibility.  TWO!  Would only giving them one extra year be an awful thing to do if it means lessening the negative impacts to future student athletes?  There's a big problem, but there is strength in numbers.  I'd simply like to see the pros and cons distributed out over a larger group of kids - all of which who have some skin in the game.

Everyone has lost something and nobody is happy about it...that we can all agree on I think.

Any kid who is thinking D1 as a 2021 or 2022 grad isn't losing anything except maybe the chance to play that level. If they are truly that kind of player they are going to have plenty of openings in D2 or D3 - JUCO just doesn't do anything for unless there is an academic need but to each their own.

The kids who are going to get pinched are the bottom of the roster in D3, there is already a trickle down of players (more then typical) to the D2 and D3 ranks...so if you are a marginal good but not special type of HS player who normally would attempt to play at D3 you have a problem...but to be totally honest nobody cares about those kids anyway on a baseball level. The D3's (in all sports) use them to fill freshman class numbers, many will quit after the first fall and more after the first real season. They will be replaced and nobody will even remember they were there. It happens every year and next year will happen even more. This may sound cold but I didn't make the rules or create the system.

This is not about the real players having a place to play - they will. Generally speaking I think Josh Rudd has right in it is time to find plan B...except for his comment that HS needs to find a way to add a 5th year option. That I found funny, in a perfect world maybe but in our world there is a better chance of being hit by lightning while inside your home!!

"Generally speaking I think Josh Rudd has right in it is time to find plan B...except for his comment that HS needs to find a way to add a 5th year option. That I found funny, in a perfect world maybe but in our world there is a better chance of being hit by lightning while inside your home!!" -- @old_school

I 100% agree with you that I'm more likely to get struck by lightning. Like many people on here, my background is in education. (FSU College of Education grad -- GO NOLES!) My wife is a teacher, too. Together we have 20+ years in the system with teaching & administrative experience (I know many of you crush our 20+ years... but we're moving along).

By no means does my blog express that I anticipate schools to come up with a fifth-year option, but I absolutely believe they have a responsibility to, at the very least, discuss this possibility. And as mentioned, it needs to be focused on the education while the athletics is a bonus. There are so many non-athletes being denied acceptance because colleges are overcrowded with athletes sticking around.

I'm going to offer up some tiny ideas that hopefully get the smarter people to brainstorm and expand on a Class of 5.0 structure. I think there are places (albeit an extreme minority) that can make something happen, mainly in smaller towns.

Can you share some data supporting this statement?:

"There are so many non-athletes being denied acceptance because colleges are overcrowded with athletes sticking around."

I am highly skeptical of this claim, in fact a quick Google search found:

From the article linked below dated 10/1-

"Most recent data from the National Student Clearing House, which analyzes data from 3.6 million students from 629 colleges, indicates that undergraduate college enrollment is down 2.5%."

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/0...lege-enrollment.html

Update on their webpage home screen:

Fall 2020 Enrollment (As of Oct 22)

With 76 percent of colleges reporting data, undergraduate enrollment has been revised downward. Roughly two months into the fall term, undergraduate enrollment is running 4.4 percent below last year’s level and for-profit four-year colleges are now showing slight drops. Graduate enrollment is up 2.9 percent and overall postsecondary enrollment is down 3.3 percent compared to the same time last year.

The decline in freshman enrollment has been revised upward from last month’s reporting of a 16.1 percent drop, to a still substantial decline of 13.0 percent. Community colleges are showing the steepest decline (-18.9%), almost 19 times the pre-pandemic loss rate, followed by public four-year colleges (-10.5%) and private nonprofit four-year institutions (-8.5%).

So if enrollment is down for all students combined, how are athletes sticking around for an extra year displacing non-athlete incoming students?

Last edited by 22and25

I don’t believe eligibility should have been extended for anyone. If a kid was a senior, tough break. The next year, when he’s in the working world he’s not going to be spending time thinking about COVID messing up his senior season. He’s going to be looking ahead.

Pro prospects are still pro prospects whether they missed a year or not. Maybe some kid didn’t have the opportunity to blossom senior year and become a pro prospect. But, he will never know.

If a kid can’t get over missing part or most of his senior year when he has his life in front of him play him Glory Days by Springsteen and send him to a psychologist.

Athletes have been missing senior year for injuries forever. They get over it.

Last edited by RJM
@RJM posted:

I don’t believe eligibility should have been extended for anyone. If a kid was a senior, tough break. The next year, when he’s in the working world he’s not going to be spending time thinking about COVID messing up his senior season. He’s going to be looking ahead.

Pro prospects are still pro prospects whether they missed a year or not. Maybe some kid didn’t have the opportunity to blossom senior year and become a pro prospect. But, he will never know.

If a kid can’t get over missing part or most of his senior year when he has his life in front of him play him Glory Days by Springsteen and send him to a psychologist.

Athletes have been missing senior year for injuries forever. They get over it.

You make a fair point, I don't agree with it completely but it is defendable. I don't think a player getting injured and losing his season is the same as institutions hitting the panic button and closing down the opportunity for everyone to play is the same, not really even similar.

My son is going to grad school as 5th year and will play, he was going to be going to grad school regardless if he was playing ball or not...I see no reason why a kid in that spot shouldn't be able to play.

My daughter went back for the Fall semester as a RS Senior for her DI volleyball program.  She had an injury her regular junior year and decided - why not take an extra semester and enjoy one last vball season (Fall sport), as she had eligibility remaining?  Well of course the season was canceled, but they practiced and worked out nonetheless.  As a Captain she stuck with it even though she knew she would not play in another "real" match.  That is some character building.  I'm sure it was tough on her but she is looking forward to the next phase of life and seems to have gotten over it (whereas I am still bitter lol ).  COVID has affected many others much worse so need to keep it in perspective. 

@old_school posted:

You make a fair point, I don't agree with it completely but it is defendable. I don't think a player getting injured and losing his season is the same as institutions hitting the panic button and closing down the opportunity for everyone to play is the same, not really even similar.

My son is going to grad school as 5th year and will play, he was going to be going to grad school regardless if he was playing ball or not...I see no reason why a kid in that spot shouldn't be able to play.

Seems reasonable, but... this is the logic that got us to where we are at now.  I think the cure is worse than the disease, so to speak.

@old_school posted:

You make a fair point, I don't agree with it completely but it is defendable. I don't think a player getting injured and losing his season is the same as institutions hitting the panic button and closing down the opportunity for everyone to play is the same, not really even similar.

My son is going to grad school as 5th year and will play, he was going to be going to grad school regardless if he was playing ball or not...I see no reason why a kid in that spot shouldn't be able to play.

I didn’t want to complicate my post by stating, “if the kid is going to grad school anyway.” I’ll bet there are kids heading for grad school who wouldn’t be without another year of eligibility.

I graduated from college during the Carter administration. After blaming him for all he did wrong administratively it’s also his fault we have so many lawyers. A lot of people with good college grades couldn’t find good jobs. They went to law school instead. A lot of my friends became lawyers.

Last edited by RJM

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