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NCAA Uniform Start Date Proposal Moves Forward


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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Monday, July 11, 2005

NCAA Uniform Start Date Proposal Moves Forward

It's tough to know if legislative ideas hang around longer, and take longer to move through the process, in Congress or the NCAA. But as I wrote about here and here, the proposal to adopt a March 1 (or the Friday before March 1) uniform start date for Division I baseball has been creeping its way through the NCAA monolith. As Boyd Nation posts here, another shoe dropped...with a loud bang, despite the apparent attempt to avoid being notice by releasing the information on July 4. In addition to moving the season start date to the last Friday in February, the Competition Cabinet has also recommended that the season be shortened from 56 to 52 games. Here's the NCAA release:
Cabinet approves baseball proposal, seeks cut in games
July 4th, 2005

Action supports Baseball Issues Committee recommendation to standardize start date

By Greg Johnson
The NCAA News

SAN ANTONIO -- The Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet supported competitive-equity recommendations proposed by the Division I Baseball Issues Committee, but also voted during its June 21-22 meeting to sponsor an amendment that would reduce the maximum number of contests in the sport by four games.

If the proposal succeeds in the 2005-06 legislative cycle, the last Friday in February would become the first permissible playing date in Division I baseball, and the Men's College World Series would move back a week during years in which the season is fewer than 13 weeks. The CWS would still be completed before July 1 in those years.

The cabinet's proposed amendment would reduce the maximum number of contests in the playing season from 56 games to 52.

Originally, the Baseball Issues Committee had recommended that the first permissible date of competition be March 1 -- or the Friday before March 1 if that date fell on a Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday -- and that the CWS would extend to July 1 or beyond in 2010-13. The Division I Board of Directors, however, voiced concerns about extending the season into the month of July, and in fact asked the committee to consider a reduction in the playing season.

After approving the new recommendations by the Baseball Issues Committee, the cabinet voted to withdraw the original proposal it preliminarily agreed to sponsor in September 2004.

The Baseball Issues Committee pondered the idea of reducing the playing season during its deliberations, but did not include a recommendation in its latest proposal, preferring to wait until a study of the new Academic Progress Rate on the sport is completed.

That research could be concluded sometime this month.

A uniform date for the start of competition is seen as a compromise designed to lessen the gap in home games played by institutions in the North and in the Sun Belt. Research by the Baseball Issues Committee indicates that home teams win approximately 60 percent of the time, and there is a great disparity between the regions in locations where early-season games are played.

David Housel, director of athletics at Auburn University and a member of both the Championships/Competition Cabinet and the Baseball Issues Committee told cabinet members that a uniform start date is in the best interest of the sport.

"This is the best compromise possible at this particular time," said Housel, who did not vote to reduce games. "It is absolutely not what the Northern and Eastern schools want, and it is absolutely not what the Sun Belt schools want. No one on this cabinet and no one in the NCAA can underestimate the hard line taken by both the Northern and Eastern schools and the Sun Belt schools. We hear a lot about the hard line from the North and the East, but the feelings are just as strong to not do anything from the Sun Belt schools.

"This is, as we've said all along the way, a compromise. It really pleases nobody, but it's a compromise reached by representatives of the North, the East, the West and the South as the best for baseball at this particular time. It is a work in progress, and I remind you of that again."

In years (2008, 2009 and 2014) when the CWS would move back a week, a champion is scheduled to be crowned before July 1.

However, in those years, institutions and conferences that elect to compete up until the day before championship selections may incur additional costs due to student-athletes remaining on campus during vacation periods. According to a survey by the Baseball Issues Committee, the costs average $6,000 per week when school is not in session.

posted on 7/11/2005 by Jeff Agnew

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