BATON ROUGE, La. – Last Monday, the NCAA gave seniors in spring sports an extra year of eligibility to finish out their careers because of canceled seasons due to the novel coronavirus.
While that’s good news for those athletes, there are questions about specific sports like baseball where that can create a log jam for juniors and incoming freshmen.
The seniors won’t count against roster limits and there’s some flexibility on financial aid, but with the likelihood of a shortened draft in the MLB, juniors and high school players that would normally be selected have to stay in college.
Division I baseball only allows 11.7 scholarships than can be divided among 27 players and with a large recruiting class coming in, LSU head coach Paul Mainieri hopes something can be worked out for programs that have to deal with this issue.
“I’ve got kids that have signed scholarships with us in November and they’re planning to come to LSU; their high school careers were over.
“Plus, what do you do, throw your juniors out on the curb because they weren’t able to be drafted? I just think if the NCAA really wants to see this thing through all the way then they have to look at baseball as a unique sport,” Mainieri said.
Mainieri added that eventually the NCAA could phase down back to the normal 11.7 scholarship limit.
According to Perfect Game, LSU has 16 players in their recruiting class for 2020.